Samsung says its entire line of 2020 model year QLED TVs is now available for purchase or preorder, including an expanded 8K UHD lineup. The new sets feature mild improvements over the company’s already impressive quantum dot LED-backlit LCD technology.
2019 saw Samsung deliver a single series of 8K UHD QLED TVs, the Q900. The 2020 model year includes three 8K series: the flagship Q950TS and the Q900TS, both of which are available in 65-, 75-inch, and 85-inch screen sizes. The Q800T series is available in 65- 75-, and 82-inch SKUs. So far, we have prices only for the Q800T series: $3,500 (65-inch), $5,000 (75-inch), and $7,000 (82-inch).
New features for the 8K UHD models include a super-thin bezel for the 950TS, and something called local power distribution for the array backlighting on all three series, which the company says increases brightness by a whopping 20 percent. Last year’s Q900 was already pretty darn bright, so this change should deliver even better HDR.
Samsung’s press release also mentions a redesigned AI Quantum Processor 8K with neural net features. Basically, this appears to be more of last year’s machine learning with an online database covering various image scenarios, including upscaling of 4K UHD content. Whatever it actually is, if it’s better than last year’s silicon, it will be impressive.
Samsung Symphony is a new feature that Samsung says will harmonize the sound the TV produces with the audio from Samsung’s Q-series soundbars. So, instead of turning the TV’s speakers off in favor of the soundbar, the new TVs will blend the audio capabilities of both audio systems. The AI Quantum Processor 8K, meanwhile, can monitor the ambient noise in the room and tune the TV’s sound to match the ambient qualities of the room.
Samsung’s 4K QLED lineup will remain largely the same, with The Frame series starting at $1,000 for the 43-incher (also available in 55-, 65-, and 75-inch sizes); the same-sized Q60T series starting at $530 (also available in 43-, 50-, 55-, 58-, 65-, and 75-inch classes); the Q70T series starting at $1,000 for the 55-inch model (also available in 65-, 75-, and 85-inch classes); the Q80T series priced at $1,100 (available in 49-, 55-, 65, and 75-inch classes); and the Q90T series, available only at 65 inches for $2,500.
Other QLED touted features are Real Game Enhancer+, which appears to the a FreeSync-like implementation that matches frame rates to your gaming GPU to eliminate tearing or stuttering; OTS and Adaptive Sound+ allow directional, immersive gaming audio; while Multi-view allows simultaneously viewing of streamed video (YouTube, etc.) while gaming, for collaboration with other players.
Finally, Samsung’s entire QLED lineup in 2020 will support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in addition to Samsung’s own Bixby digital assistant. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Jon Jacobi is a musician, former x86/6800 programmer, and long-time computer enthusiast. He writes reviews on TVs, SSDs, dash cams, remote access software, Bluetooth speakers, and sundry other consumer-tech hardware and software.