Samsung launch Q90R, Q85R, Q80R, Q70R, Q60R 4K QLED TVs
Samsung has held a press event with selected attendees in the US to announce its 2019 TV line-up.The biggest news headline for AV Enthusiasts following recent U-turns from HDR10+ founders Panasonic and Philips is that Samsung is going it alone by only featuring HDR10+ on its TV line-up. They are now the only major manufacturer not to support the booming Dolby Vision HDR format on any of their TVs, instead they are holding on to their support for the HDR10+ format, which is struggling to gain any traction at this time. However, recent movements with some IMAX Enhanced content may see more HDR10+ discs and streaming becoming available, but it does currently seriously lag behind the numbers of available Dolby Vision content out there. It will be interesting to see if the wider general public is interested in the lack of DV support, as we know AVForums readers will be, and will that stop some from buying into the new line-up?
However, moving on to what is coming from Samsung this year makes for interesting reading with their advanced AI upscaling technology joining wide angle viewing on the top end QLED models. First seen in the Q900R 8K model we reviewed recently, the Quantum Processor will be employed to help with upscaling of not only the picture quality from lower resolution sources, but it will also improve the sound quality on offer as well, using AI technology.
The full range of QLED TVs will cover around 20 to 28 models in total depending on your territory with the Q900R 8K screens from 65-inches to 98-inches as well as the 4K Q90R, Q85R, Q80R, Q70R and Q60R that range from 43-inch to 82-inch sizes.
The Q90 series was demoed briefly behind closed doors at CES last month and will be available in 55, 65, 75 and 82-inch sizes. There will be a Euro-only Q85R TV available in 55, 65 and 75inches. The Q80 models are available in 55, 65, 75 and 82-inch sizes and both feature ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ technology, which restructures the TV’s panels so the backlight passes through the panel in a redesigned manner giving it better viewing angles without introducing any issues with contrast reduction or colour shifts. The Q70 does away with this feature but retains a direct backlight and the Q60 entry level QLED is reported to be edge lit. This information is currently for the announced US models but we will confirm UK specs as soon as we can.
The Q90 to Q70 QLED sets are 'direct-lit' using FALD technology with advanced AI local dimming, creating better blacks and wider viewing angles. We will obviously put this to the test when the models become available for review. We understand that the Q90 will have the same number of zones as the outgoing Q9FN (believed to be just shy of 500), with the Q80 having around half of this number and the Q70 probably half of that again. We will confirm those numbers when we get more advanced information.
And it's not just picture quality improvements that Samsung is announcing. The ‘New Bixby’ feature on the 2019 QLED TVs gives the ability to easily access the content you want through voice commands. Samsung Smart TVs will also offer the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app and support Apple AirPlay 2. Users can access their existing iTunes library and browse the iTunes Store. With Apple AirPlay 2 support, users will also be able to play content from Apple devices directly to Samsung Smart TVs. All 2019 QLED TVs will also work with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, making it easier to control connected devices through voice commands.
Pricing and availability are yet to be announced for the UK as the news is just breaking in the US as we write this, but we will update the news story when we get that information.
Update 7pm - 13th February 2019 - Here is the European press release from Samsung UK
Samsung Unveils its Full 2019 QLED TV line-up at
European Forum in Portugal
Newly announced QLED 8K Q950R includes 65 to 98-inch models and QLED 4K Q90/85/80/70/60R include 43 to 82-inch models
PORTO, Portugal – 13thFebruary –Samsung Electronics Co. announced today its entire 2019 QLED TV line-up at the Samsung Europe Forum held at the Alfandega Porto Congress Centre in Porto, Portugal. The announcement of the complete QLED TV line-up comes ahead of the commercial launch of the new products at retailers across Europe next month.
The key products unveiled in the 2019 QLED line-up include a suite of 8K and 4K TVs, including the 8K Q950R that ranges from 65-inch to 98-inch in size, as well as the 4K Q90R, Q85R, Q80R, Q70R and Q60R that range from 43-inch to 82-inch in size. In total, the expanded 2019 QLED line-up features more than 20 models and includes more large-screen models.
Increasing the number of large-screen models in its TV line-up is part of a wider strategy at Samsung, arising from shifting consumer demands. According to global business information provider IHS Markit, the market for 75-inch or bigger TVs recorded 2.1 million units in 2018 and is expected to grow by 43% to 3 million units this year and to 5.8 million units by 2022.
“We have witnessed our customers’ unfaltering confidence and affection towards Samsung QLED TVs within the past year,” said Jongsuk Chu, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “This year, our QLED 8K and 4K line-ups are addressing the growing demand in the market for ultra-large TVs and we are proud to be able to deliver our most innovative and immersive line-up to date.”
Deep Blacks and Wide Viewing Angles
Samsung’s 2019 QLED TVs feature ‘Ultra Viewing Angle’ technology, which restructures the TV’s panels so the backlight passes through the panel more evenly onto the screen – which means no matter where you’re sitting, you’re guaranteed an incredible viewing experience. In addition to Ultra Viewing Angle, most 2019 QLED TVs are ‘Direct-Full-Array’ modelsthat allow for a more sophisticated control of contrast, delivering much deeper blacks on screen.
Following its adoption in 8K models, Samsung’s new QLED 4K models are also now equipped with its proprietary ‘Quantum Processor,’ enabling the QLED 4K to upscale any picture, no matter the source, to deliver the ultimate 4K picture, with improved brightness, picture quality and sound optimised for each scene through AI upscaling.
In addition, all Samsung 2019 QLED TVs will feature HDR10+, a premium picture processing format. The HDR10+ standard makes bright scenes brighter and dark scenes darker by optimising the contrast for each scene, so that users can enjoy a detail-rich picture. The QLED 8K TVs will also support HDMI 2.1 (8K 60P) transmission.
The New Bixby – an AI-powered Intelligent Assistant
The new Bixby feature on 2019 Samsung Smart TVs gives users the ability to easily access the content they want through voice commands on Samsung’s ‘Universal Guide,' which helps users search for content they might like based on their previous viewing habits and preferences.
To provide more entertainment options and open platform functionality, 2019 SamsungSmart TVs will offer a new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app and support Apple AirPlay 2. With the new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app, users can access their existing iTunes library and browse the iTunes Store to buy or rent content. With Apple AirPlay 2 support, Samsung customers will also be able to effortlessly play content from Apple devices directly to Samsung Smart TVs.
Additionally, 2019 Samsung Smart TVs are now integrated with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so users can turn their TV on or off or control volume via simple voice commands.
Ambient Mode Offers Even Greater Variety of Decoration and Art
Through Ambient Mode, Samsung’s QLED TVs elevate the home by displaying decorative content, useful information, your own photos and can even mimic the texture of the wall behind it. In addition, an even wider variety of themes are also now available, which allows users to further customise Ambient Mode to complement the décor of their homes. Customers can also sync their ambient screens with music when they are not watching TV.
Samsung QLED TVs also come with an automatic light control sensor, allowing it to adapt its brightness levels to give users the optimal viewing experience, whether you’re watching TV late at night or in the bright morning sunshine.
‘The Frame’ and ‘Serif TV’ come with QLED technology
At the Samsung European Forum, Samsung also showcased the 2019 ‘The Frame’ and ‘Serif TV’, which both now feature QLED technology.
When it is not being used to enjoy films or TV shows, The Frame’s Art Mode displays paintings, pictures, digital art or even your own family photos. With customisable bezels, a No Gap Wall Mount that helps it sit flush against your wall, and a brightness sensor that adjusts colours on-screen to fit the ambient brightness of the room, The Frame is able to look convincingly like a framed picture on your wall.
The 2019 ‘Serif TV’ designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to deliver a bold aesthetic look, comes in 43, 49 and 55 inches. Samsung’s 2019 The Frame and Serif TV will be launched simultaneously to European, Korean and US markets in April this year.
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