Gears & Gadgets

Samsung’s obscenely expensive 85-inch 8K TV ships later this month

$ 15,000. That’s what it will cost you to buy Samsung’s first 8K TV in the US later this month. If only there were something in 8K you could watch on it.

The Samsung Q900R 8K TV will arrive the week of October 28, according to a recent announcement from Samsung. It measures 85 inches, though smaller versions (65 and 75 inches, at least) are expected as well. In some respects, the QLED set resembles the company’s current 4K flagship, the positively reviewed Q9F. It has the big-ticket Samsung bells and whistles, like “Ambient Mode,” which lets you input a photo to make your TV show an image that makes it blend into the wall behind it.

The TV can push up to 4,000 nits of brightness. It naturally does HDR (the new HDR10+ standard is supported), and the resolution really is 8K—that’s 33 million pixels if you’re interested in counting. If you want a TV to make you the first person on your block with 8K, this is the one to splurge on. Unfortunately, though, there’s not really any 8K content to show it off with.

But according to Samsung, you don’t need native 8K content to enjoy the TV. That’s because the company claims that the set uses AI to scale 720p, 1080p, and 4K images up and makes them look better than they would on 4K TVs thanks to the TV’s “Quantum Processor 8K,” which, despite the name, is definitely not quantum computing technology. We generally did not find similar claims from manufacturers to be true in the early transition from 1080p to 4K, so we’re not inclined to believe it this time, either. That said, TechRadar seemed impressed.

There are other limitations. The TV is not certified for HDMI 2.1, and the 8K mode is limited to 30 frames per second. eARC is also not supported, and it won’t work with YouTube’s 8K content, which is almost the only 8K content out there.

The TV is huge because there’s no point in having a smaller 8K TV; people wouldn’t be able to see the difference between 4K and 8K on a 50-inch set. Never mind the fact that most US households still don’t even have 4K TVs. The percentage was around 25 percent in January and could hit 50 percent sometime in 2019, according to a report the Consumer Technology Association published earlier this year.

This TV is not the only 8K TV coming up, nor is it Samsung’s craziest TV. But it’s probably not worth it for most people. FlatpanelsHD has a good deep-dive on the TV from Samsung’s IFA 2018 presentation if you need help deciding whether to take this very costly plunge.

Listing image by Samsung

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Tech – Ars Technica