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CES: Samsung fires back at LG with bezel-free 8K TV

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Shortly after LG announced it was first to meet a new 8K standard, Samsung went a step further with a unit that devotes 99 % of its surface to display.

Samsung Electronics has revealed it will unveil a bezel-free QLED 8K TV at CES 2020, the world’s largest electronics exhibition, in Las Vegas this week.
It made the announcement on its website, in Korean, two days ahead of a press event where it was expected to unveil its latest innovations.

“The 2020 QLED 8K is an advanced AI technology that delivers a whole new level of 8K experience through product-wide innovations, ranging from picture quality to sound to smart features,” ran the announcement. “In addition, the Infinity design, which eliminates the screen bezel, sets a new standard for TV screens.”

The TV set is equipped with an AI quantum processor that combines machine learning and deep learning to enhances the upscaling function, which converts the image quality to 8K regardless of the image quality of the original image.

Samsung said: “The new AI quantum processor runs on a neural network model and generates its own algorithm from the trained database, enabling optimal upscaling of any image.

“The 2020 QLED 8K features a new ‘Adaptive Picture’  feature that provides optimised brightness and contrast in any viewing environment. Consumers don’t have to deliberately turn off the curtains or turn off the lights, even in strong sunlight, because the TV recognises the environment and automatically adjusts the screen brightness.”

Samsung says the unit also has an AI ScaleNet technology that reduces original data loss during video streaming. The technology will be applied to the Amazon PrimeVideo app in collaboration with Amazon.

“We will expand the market by delivering it,” said Choo Jong-seok, vice president of Samsung Electronics’ video display business division. “2020 QLED 8K has Samsung’s willingness to innovate to provide more advanced screen experiences to consumers.”

The 2020 QLED 8K TV will also be able to stream video using YouTube’s 8K AV1 codec.

One of the biggest features claimed for the 2020 QLED 8K is its ability to deliver rich sound.

“OTS+ (Object Tracking Sound Plus) is a technology that recognises moving objects in the video and moves the sound along the speakers mounted on the TV. This technology enables 5.1-channel surround sound on a TV alone, allowing you to immerse yourself in the scene when there is dynamic movement on the screen, such as a fast-moving scene.

“Samsung will also introduce a new ‘Q-Symphony’ feature that will find the best sound by using both the TV and the soundbar’s speakers. This feature has won CES’s Best Innovation Award, and delivers 9.1.4 channels of high-quality sound that is richer throughout the home.

“In addition, the AVA (Active Voice Amplifier) feature allows the TV to recognise ambient noise and adjust the volume of the video speaker’s voice. With this feature, consumers don’t have to worry about missing drama lines even when the surroundings are noisy.”

The biggest talking point of the 2020 QLED 8K, however, is the “infinity design” that eliminates the screen bezel, meaning it utilises up to 99% of the screen, “providing outstanding immersion and elegant design”.

In addition, says Samsung, “the 15mm ultra-slim design and a completely flat back surface set the bar for luxury screens with Infinity design”.

Even the user interface has been redesigned, with a Universal Guide that helps consumers find content. It recommends streaming content in various apps at a glance, making it is easier to choose content. “TV Plus”, which Samsung Smart TV users can watch for free, will provide more than 120 global channels in various fields, like news and movies.

A multi-view feature allows consumers to multitask while watching TV, so that they can watch two pieces of contents at the same time, from ‘Side by Side’ to ‘Picture-in-Picture’.

A new “Tap View” feature allows users to Mirror the screen by touching a smartphone to the TV. A Digital Butler function allows the TV to recognise and control devices connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, as well as older devices not connected to the Internet.

Voice recognition services have been expanded. Samsung Bixby is optimised for TV function control and content experience, while Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant add cross-platform functionality.

The Samsung Health app can be used on Samsung Smart TVs. Users can manage existing workouts from smartphones on the TV, which also offers dedicated fitness content.

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