Enlarge /. The almost frameless Samsung Q950.
Most people in the U.S. and other markets are still on the brink of switching from high-definition televisions to 4K televisions, but Samsung is already emphasizing 4K in its 2020 series in favor of 8K televisions. Reports of the European product range show that this year Samsung will only offer top features and specifications for 8K televisions, not for their 4K counterparts.
Samsung's most attractive high-end TVs recently were the 4K QLED models. And these televisions were arguably some of the highest quality LCD televisions on the market, which in many tests were only surpassed by LG's OLED series (and in some others by OLEDs).
However, we were a little worried when Samsung did not announce any specific 4K mainstream models from its 2020 range at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, despite announcing a variety of 8K devices. It turned out there was a reason: the company's high-end QLED product line will only include 8K TVs, and 4K TVs will be relegated to the cheaper TU line.
Only the 8K models have HDMI 2.1 connections. Even more critical to the here and now, every 4K TV will be close to 100 local dimming zones in 2020, while the 4K QLED flagship had more than 500 in 2019, according to an analysis by FlatpanelsHD. While the number of dimming zones in the 8K line-up varies, these sets offer more than their 4K cousins this year.
HDMI 1.2 connections are of crucial importance for future security. With this TV technology, local dimming zones are an important measurement parameter for everything from contrast to HDR performance. This means that TV buyers who want the very best quality but aren't interested in 8K or OLED are likely to have to turn to another manufacturer like Vizio, although Samsung was recently the leader there.
This also means that one of the world's leading TV manufacturers is already moving all-in to 8K, at least in the upper price segment, although 8K is not yet on the radar of most buyers and very little 8K content is available for viewing on these TVs are.
The 8K models will wear the Moniker Q950TS, Q900TS and Q800T. The 4K models include Q95T, Q90T, Q80T, Q70T and Q60T. The Q950TS was introduced at CES and we have already covered it. It is the "without frame" design that served as the flagship for Samsung customers at the show.