We’re on the cusp of the 8K revolution with the release of the Samsung Q900R QLED.
8K is the next big thing in TVs. Literally. With offers enough resolution to make visible pixels a thing of the past and put viewers inside the scenes they see on a screen. 8K may technically mean putting 33 million pixels on screen, but in reality it heralds a whole new era of video technology with exceptional fidelity with TVs like the Samsung 8K Q900R QLED.
We’re on the cusp of the 8K revolution with the release of the Q900R QLED. 8K offers double the resolution and four times the pixels of 4K, which lets you see the incredible amounts of detail captured by film and the latest digital cameras. And while some may argue that 4K also delivers a pristine image, that you can’t see more detail that what 4K offers, the same claims were made when 4K was new and compared to HD video. Now, I find 1080p presentations lack the detail and “pop” I’ve grown accustomed to with 4k HDR.
8K is in the same spot 4K was just a few years back. But while 4K has become ubiquitous, it’s reasonable to think 8K will be a feature reserved for larger TVs for some time to come. The thing it, given the payoff in immersion that filling your field of vision with motion picture imagery offers (think IMAX at home) you need to make pixels totally disappear at larger screen sizes such as 85″ and up. For that, 8K is the answer.
AI Upscaling and the Quantum 8K Processor
The main challenge with presenting more pixels is bandwidth, you need a lot of digital horsepower to push 8K to a screen. But there is a benefit as well, all that processing power can work wonders when upsampling 4K and HD footage to 8K. The key is the Quantum 8K Processor use by the Samsung Q900R.
There are several principles at work here that are known to digital photographers. When it come to upscaling, when you have better algorithms combined with powerful processing and more pixels, you can preserve textures and edges when increasing the size of an image, so that it looks better when viewed large. First-generation 4K upscalers were primitive compared to what’s possible today.
The reason it’s called AI upscaling is because Samsung uses artificial intelligence to create optimized algorithms for filling in the missing pixels. Machine learning is the key to its effectiveness, allowing the TV to become ever more effective at upscaling over time, applying different formulas to different parts of the picture depending on the scene.
Plus, all this processing prowess won’t just be reserved for HDMI sources, the Q900R also makes streaming sources look as good as possible. The end result varies depending on the quality of the source but with 4K UHD HDR streaming now commonplace, AI upscaling helps you get that absolute best picture. And for situations where the quality is not so high, the powerful AI upscaling still does its part to make video look as good as can be.
Real 8K Resolution
While 8K content is currently rare, that will change thanks to ongoing improvements in storage and camera sensors. Of course, the expectation for an 8K TV is that it supports the resolution natively, like the Samsung Q900R QLED. If you load fine art imagery on a USB drive and show it on an 85″ 8K TV, the experience is like looking at a real painting. Same goes for digital photography, the potential is there to display every pixel captured by modern cameras, which typically exceed 4K resolution.
Gamers may wind up being the first group to enjoy the benefits of true 8K resolution. Imagine being inside a game world so detailed it actually looks real… we’re on the cusp of that already. Military flight simulators use 8K technology because that’s what it takes to render a scene that looks like reality. Imagine having the same level of detail in an 8K Forza or Call of Duty; with an 8K TV it’s possible.
There’s More to 8K than Just Pixels
What else will 8K bring to the table? With the Samsung Q900R you get the first consumer HDR TV that can achieve 4000-nit peak brightness. This capability is hugely important when you consider how HDR content is mastered, and the popularity of HDR today, as it is adopted by more and more streaming services for premium content.
While in the early days of HDR a lot of content was mastered to 1000-nit highlights, that soon moved to mastering for 4000-nit highlights, but then using tone mapping to compensate for the inability of various TVs to reproduce that level of brightness.
Now, along with 8K resolution that shows every detail when it comes to sharpness, 4000-nit peak brightness allows the Samsung Q900R to properly show HDR imagery the way it was originally mastered.
The 4000 nit highlights of the 8K Q900R are far brighter than what’s achievable with OLED technology, and yet there’s no risk of burn-in thanks to the longevity of quantum dots. Furthermore, the use of quantum dots allows all 33 million pixels of the Q900R to show 100% color volume, meaning you get rich color even in the brightest highlights.
What’s more, Samsung ensures that the overall image looks fantastic by effectively suppressing blooming with the Q900R QLED. When you see the moon in the night sky in an HDR scene, it won’t be surrounded by a big halo. Instead it’ll look crisp and detailed.
8K is Now
The appearance of an 8K TV is no fluke. The Samsung Q900R is the first 8K TV to hit the market and as an 85″ model it’s got the size you need to appreciate the incredible resolution it offers. After all, looking at the Q900R QLED is a lot like taking in four of the 1080p, 42″ mastering monitors used for making 4000-nit HDR content all in one.
That’s an astonishing reality, that the TV used to watch content is as capable as the TV used to make it. But it’s true, and the Samsung Q900R QLED is what brings it home to you.
Soon, you’ll see 8K content appear. Why? Because there is no “chicken or the egg” conundrum here. The Q900R exists and will ship shortly, and there will be reviews and 4K streams will look fantastic playing on the first 8K TV that’s also the first to offer 4000-nit HDR. That… is amazing.