Sometimes Spec sheets and product images don’t tell you the full story. That’s how I felt during my first brush with Samsung’s stunning new range of televisions that finally kept their date with India. The product brochure will tell you that this TV packs 16 times the number of pixels of your everyday Full HD TV, but until you see this up close, it’s impossible to visualise the spectacular image quality.
Samsung calls this the world’s first QLED 8K TV. It packs a whopping 33 million pixels. A few years ago, Samsung was one of the first brands to acknowledge that a premium TV had to be more than just a gadget. In 2017 The Frame, Samsung’s high-end TV was a lifestyle accessory that could occupy pride of place in your living room with your heirloom paintings. Most of your guests would imagine that this was either a painting or a large photo frame until you flipped it to TV mode.
You can expect the same oohs! and aahs! with the QLED 8K TV too. While it’s not beaming Netflix or live sporting action, it can morph into a frame that merges with the rest of your objects d’art in your living room. You can program it to display weather updates or transform itself into a painting or even add a family photograph enhanced with a range of artistic effects. The TV sits on your wall just like a painting with Samsung’s proprietary ‘no gap’ wall mount. It’s not just the frame itself, the minimalism extends to the cable. All those external cables converge into Samsung’s One Connect Box that hooks up with your TV with just one translucent wire (Samsung calls this One Invisible Connection) that is almost invisible.
Smart assistant integration is no longer a nice-to-have feature. Bixby, Samsung’s digital assistant is deeply integrated with this TV and then there’s also Google Assistant support. Samsung has also incorporated Apple AirPlay 2 support. It means that you can stream content (from photos to music and videos) from your iPhone or iPad. I also enjoyed using the voice command feature on Samsung’s One Remote enabled by Far Field Voice Capability.
The Samsung QLED 8K has quite a few tricks under its hat, but the clincher is its content upscaler. Over the years the biggest challenge for any new TV display technology has been the lack of available content to allow you to take full advantage of the TV. Samsung’s proprietary 8K AI Upscaling technology is driven by machine learning; it upscales video and sound to 8K irrespective of the original source or format. This includes anything from content on Netflix or videos from your last holiday shot on your smartphone. Samsung’s QLED 8K TV is clearly the TV to beat in 2019.
Samsung’s new range of QLED 8K TVs costs Rs 10,99,900 / 75-inch (189 cm) and Rs 16,99,900 / 82-inch (207 cm). The 98-inch (247 cm) variant of the QLED 8K TV, is priced at INR 59,99,900, and is available only against orders. Samsung will add 65-inch (163 cm) version to the line in July.