Samsung is taking TV resolution to 8K and planning to bring modular MicroLED flat-panel technology out of digital cinemas to the consumer market.
During its Sunday night First Look event for the press prior to the start of CES 2018, Samsung also revealed plans to bring Samsung’s Bixby voice-controlled virtual assistant to 4K TVs to control TV functions and smart-home systems connected to a Smart Things home automation hub.
In demonstrating a 146-inch 4K MicroLED TV dubbed “The Wall,” Samsung executives touted the display's emissive micrometer-scale RGB LEDs, which are much smaller than current LEDs. By emitting their own light, the LEDs deliver OLED’s infinite-black levels when turned off and LCD-technology brightness when turned on. Because a TV screen can be custom-built from modular bezel-less rectangular tiles only a few inches in height and width, consumers can create 16:9 TVs with no size limit or design TVs in shapes suiting their décor. The modular design also makes it easy to get super-sized flat-panel display into homes and rooms. A micro LED display would have to be professionally installed, one executive confirmed.
To deliver 4K resolution, a 16:9 MicroLED TV would require a 146-inch size, said product planning director Dan Schinasi.
Jonghee Han, president of Samsung Electronics’s visual display business, boasted that the world’s first consumer MicroLED display “delivers incredible brightness, color gamut, color volume and black levels.”
During The Wall’s demonstration, the seams of the display’s multitude of micro LED tiles were barely visible on close inspection. The Wall’s MicroLED technology uses much smaller LED pixels with a much smaller pixel pitch compared with Samsung’s MicroLED cinema displays, Schinasi noted.
Samsung described The Wall’s debut as a technology announcement and declined to say whether the product would be available this year in consumer channels.
Samsung’s 8K quantum-dot TV, however, will be out sometime this year in an 85-inch size, a spokesman told TWICE. Pricing and other details are due in March.
The 85-inch Q93 8K TV features QLED quantum-dot display that uses Ai and ample processing power to up-scale video to 8K regardless of source, including broadcast TV. As screen sizes rise, “resolution becomes more important,” said SVP Dave Das.
The 8K TV also boasts MicroLED backlighting whose microscopic LEDs provides for thousands of full-array back-lit local dimming zones that, along with other developments, greatly improve black levels, said Schinasi. In typical rooms, the blacks “look as black as they can possibly be,” he said.
In other announcements, Samsung said Q series 4K quantum-dot LCD TVs will get its Bixby voice-controlled virtual assistant for the first time. Bixby is already incorporated in select smart phones and networked refrigerators. Via the TVs’ microphone-equipped Bluetooth remote, voice commands will be transmitted to the TV to control TV functions. When a Samsung Smart Things home automation hub is on the home network, a variety of smart-home devices.
The TVs themselves feature an on-screen user interface, or dashboard, to control all hub-connected smart-home devices.