The Samsung Q950TS 8K QLED TV is an illustration of what our future watching might look like, as it is a prime example of just how good a TV can be.
Samsung Q950TS QLED – We will be the first to admit that there are a lot of tricks in
CES: Ceiling TVs, audiotapes, and TVs can rotate 90 degrees so you can watch Instagram videos.
Rather than embracing tricks, Samsung’s latest flagship QLED – Samsung Q950TS – focuses on improving fundamentals,
such as how to create a better image through design and performance improvements
and how to make TV sound match prominent images on the screen.
The result is an impressive QLED 8K that features a surprisingly small bezel and replaces the poor audio loudspeaker
with side speakers and top and rear shooting for a more exotic sound experience.
|Screen size||75- and 85-inches|
|Panel resolution||7680 x 4320|
|HDR||Yes (HLG, HDR10, HDR10+)|
|Inputs||4x HDMI (inc 1 x HDMI 2.1), 3 x USB, ethernet|
|Dimensions||94 x 165 x 1.5 cm|
Samsung Q950TS QLED Design
- One Connect Box
- Single fibre optic cable that includes power
- 4x HDMI in, 3x USB multimedia port
- LAN and Wi-Fi network options; Bluetooth; AirPlay 2
The Samsung Q950TS QLED boasts a new ‘Infinity’ design that virtually eliminates the bezel,
with just a tiny 2mm-wide border around the top and side edges of the chassis,
and slightly wider border at the bottom where the Samsung logo resides.
The result is a rectangular slab that has a flat back and is only 15mm deep,
despite there being a direct array backlight and eight drivers built-into the design.
This nearly-invisible connection provides the panel with everything, including power.
All the other connections are attached to the One Connect box.
This clever solution ensures there’s the minimum of cabling actually going to the panel,
which is particularly useful when wall-mounting.
The inputs on the box include HDMI 2.1, and there’s support for Apple AirPlay 2.
Samsung Q950TS QLED Quantum Processor 8K
- HDR Support: HDR10, HLG, HDR10+
- Processing engine: Quantum Processor 8K
- Hybrid machine and neural network learning
- Ultra Viewing Angle
The Samsung Q950TS sports the latest version of the Quantum Processor 8K,
which now uses an expanded database of picture information
that includes more examples of low- and high-resolution images.
As with last year’s version of the processor,
AI machine learning is applied to build-up a formula bank that’s loaded into the TV and periodically updated.
New for 2020 is the addition of deep learning, which uses a neural network to augment the machine learning
by creating its own formulas and algorithms without resorting to a formula bank. If you’ll excuse the pun,
this is a quantum leap in AI-enhanced processing,
and while the previous machine learning took a day, the new deep learning can take up to a week to complete.
The images are analysed in three layers, from a course one, to finer layers,
and the fine detail texture creation is then applied depending on the quality of the source content.
This means that less processing is required for a high quality 4K source,
but more fine detail and texture creation is needed when dealing with low quality standard-definition material.
The processor also enhances motion by applying error improvements designed to prevent the distortion of small objects.
It also applies pixel-based occlusion correction and concealment, to deliver smoother and more refined motion.
Samsung Q950TS QLED Picture
- Peak Brightness
- Adaptive Tone Mapping
- Adaptive Picture
The Samsung Q950TS uses a direct full array backlight with local dimming zones.
The company wouldn’t confirm the exact number of zones,
but did say it’s the same as last year, which would put the number of zones at just under 500.
The use of a direct back light and local dimming ensures the panel delivers deep blacks
brighter highlights with minimal blooming or haloing.
The backlight creates a current map based on the image,
and analyses this current map to establish bright or dark areas. Using the dimming zones,
it then applies more current to brighter areas of the panel, and less to darker parts.
Object Tracking Sound Plus
- 4.2.2-channel driver array
- Object Tracking Sound Plus (OTS+)
- Adaptive Sound
- Active Voice Amplifier
The Samsung Q950TS boasts a seriously beefed-up sound system that uses eight drivers in a six speaker array.
The result is a 4.2.2-channel layout with two speakers on either side at the top,
two at the sides towards the bottom,
two on the underside firing downwards, and a pair woofers built into the rear of the chassis.
The integration of the speakers is seamless, hidden behind a pattern of tiny holes in the outer edge of the TV cabinet.
The sound quality is certainly impressive, with an open soundstage and plenty of amplification.
However, testing was conducted using a stand-mounted Q950TS,
raising the question of how wall-mounting would affect the woofers at the rear.
The sonic performance is certainly excellent, with the added speakers creating a soundstage
that uses the extra width and height to spread out around the TV screen.
It’s likely that anyone investing in a TV this big and expensive will also use some kind of outboard audio solution,
but if you don’t then the Q950TS is capable of producing sounds big enough to complement the screen size.
Samsung Q950TS QLED Smart Features
- Universal Guide
- Digital Butler
- Built-in Bixby and Amazon Alexa
- Works with Google Assistant
- Smart Screen Security
Samsung’s smart platform uses the Tizen operating system, and is one of the best on the market.
For 2020 it has been enhanced, with a cleaner interface and a host of new features,
of which the most impressive is the Digital Butler.
This allows for quick and easy connection of all nearby devices by automatically detecting
and representing them in a graphical fashion.
The TV will scan for three minutes based on signal strength, looking for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices.
The results are shown using an intuitive representation that also includes any infrared devices,
You can then select any detected device and set it up, before moving on to the next one.
This simple method of detecting and registering devices allows you to centralize device control around your TV.
- Impressive picture quality
- State-of-the-art image processing
- Superior sonic performance
- Sophisticated smart platform
- Incredibly low input lag
- Attractive design
- No Dolby Vision or Atmos support
- It’s rather expensive
- Lack of native 8K content