Samsung developing 5G based 8K TV with SK Telecom

Is 8K AI Upscaling the answer to lack of 8K content?

by Andy Bassett
TV News

1

Samsung developing 5G based 8K TV with SK Telecom
As Samsung unveils its 55-inch 8K QLED at IFA 2019 and announces ambitions of 5 million QLED sales in 2019, they also confirmed plans to develop the world’s first 5G-8K TV with compatriots SK Telecom.
The two South Korean companies have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (a non legally binding agreement for parties wishing to align themselves with a common goal) that will see them develop and commercialise what they are calling the first 5G based 8K TV. This will involve using SK Telecom’s ultra wide-band, ultra low-latency 5G infrastructure to transmit 8K video wirelessly to 5G dongle-equipped Samsung TVs.

The aim is to revolutionise users’ TV watching experience by the direct transmission of 8K video over SK’s 5G network facilitated by their Mobile Edge Computing and Network-Based Media Processing. The reports are not clear but seem to indicate that Samsung’s 8K AI Upscaling and next-generation codecs will upgrade Full HD and UHD images to 8K resolution, at which point they will be transmitted across the 5G network.

This would seem to be the preferred way the partners are proceeding rather than merely transmitting Full HD or UHD content and then upscaling once the signal has reached the TV using the onboard 8K AI Upscaling technology.

Either way, upscaling HD and UHD to 8K will have the effect of dramatically increasing the amount of 8K content available, something that Samsung wants to be seen as a way of removing the barrier created by a total lack of native 8K content.

It should be noted that Huawei is also rumoured to be planning on developing a 5G based 8K TV but there has been no official announcement of this which qives Samsung and SK their ‘world’s first’ opportunity in a more official capacity.

In addition, the partners are looking to jointly develop 5G-8K in other areas. One is the 5G Sero TV which appears to be based on their recent TV that can shift orientations to provide a smartphone-like experience for users. Another is the expansion of AR and VR contents by developing synergies between SK Telecom's digital virtualization platform eSpace and 8K TVs. Since an 8K TV has 33 million pixels, it can provide highly immersive and three-dimensional effects compared to the image quality currently available. Furthermore, their joint B2B initiative aims to exploit 5G and 8K in business fields such as smart offices and digital signage.

With the 8K TV market set to grow to 300,000 units this year up to 3.46 million by 2021, according to industry sources, Samsung is clearly pushing 8K in a big way. In recent days, they have added a 55-inch 8K Q950R model more suited to European family spaces, announced partnerships to support HDR10+ in 8K content and followed up with this agreement with SK Telecom for 5G transmission of 8K content. It looks like there’s no getting away from Samsung’s 8K ambitions.

If Samsung's 8K AI Upscaling process effectively creates 8K content from full HD and UHD material, would AVForums members be tempted to get a Samsung 8K TV when they next upgrade? Let us know in the discussion thread.

Source: www.businesskorea.co.kr, www.advanced-television.com
Image Source: Samsung / Korea Times

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