The beginning of the 8K era for television has officially begun. Samsung is now taking preorders for its 8K Q900R QLED TV, which ships the week of October 28, 2018, according to Samsung’s website. This 85″ TV is the new Samsung flagship for 2018 and is available in the size that’s most appropriate for 8K—85 inches—for an MSRP of $ 14,999.99.
While there is currently (almost) no 8K content available outside of some YouTube streams and still photos, the new Q900R QLED is about more than just putting more pixels on the screen. It is a evolution of Samsung’s quantum dot-based QLED TV technology that offers advantages such as rich color, high brightness, and resistance to burn-in.
What Samsung promises is that the Quantum Processor 8K used by the Q900R will deliver superior image quality from SD, HD and 4K sources thanks to 8K AI Upscaling. This technology draws from a constantly updated database of imagery to decide which algorithms to use when adding pixels. The result is a perceived increase in visible detail, and the TV will get even better at upsampling over time, as the database grows and the AI gets smarter.
This ia a FALD-LCD TV which means it is not prone to image retention and burn-in, unlike OLED. It also means the TV can produce 4000-nit peak highlights when showing HDR, which matches the peak highlights on the mastering monitors used to create HDR content. By contrast, consumer OLED has yet to even reach the 1000-nit barrier the is the baseline for mastering HDR10 content.
At fifteen thousand dollar TV that matches the brightness of a mastering monitor is truly a dream come true for AV enthusiasts interested in the absolute state of the art. That the TV is also a genuine 8K device, capable of putting 7680 x 4320 native pixels on screen is almost icing on the cake. Until you see what 8K fine art looks like on such a screen, especially with accurate DCI/P3 color and 100% color volume. That’s the moment you appreciate this is something new and different and exciting.