8K TV resolution is all about larger screen sizes, so we’ve been relatively unenthused over Samsung’s release of 55-inch, even 65-inch 8K TVs, as you’d need to be sitting inches from the screen to get much of the benefit of the increased resolution over 4K.
But now the monster-sized TVs are arriving, in sizes that can rival projection systems, and with resolution and brightness beyond anything the big-screen can yet deliver.
Today Samsung officially launches its 98-inch QLED 8K TV in Australia. The Series 9 Q900R has hitherto been available in 65-inch, 75-inch and 82-inch models at $9999, $12,999 and $17,499.
The eye-opening price of the 98-inch (actually 97.5 inches of screen on the diagonal) is $99,999! The huge jump indicates the various problems as you increase screen size, from the extra bulk required for the rigidity of the TV panel itself, the subsequent transport and delivery issues, and also the exponential difficulty in getting a glitch-free slab of QLED LCD out of the fab plant at this size.
Mind you, the US price is US$99,999, which makes the Australian pricing seem quite the bargain, although the US site is currently offering a 30% discount, bringing the markets back in line.
We like that Samsung is very honest about 8K material, noting online that "Although there is very limited native 8K resolution content currently available, QLED 8K's AI Upscaling allows your favourite content to be upscaled to help you see depth and detail like never before.” A repeated asterisked comment goes even further: “Native 8K content availability is very limited. Picture quality of upscaled content will vary depending on the quality and resolution of source content.”
This correctly states the point that at this early juncture for 8K, with no source players and almost no streaming 8K (and a high speed connection required if you try), these TVs are currently for cashed-up early adopters.
LG had an 88-inch OLED 8Ker at IFA 2018 in Berlin, where it said it was still considering the market and wouldn’t necessarily be releasing such a thing soon, if ever.
That changed at CES when a promise was made to release the TV during 2019, and now LG has done so, though so far only in its native Korean market. It began taking pre-orders with for the LG 88Z9 88-inch OLED from June 5 in South Korea, but is promising availability in “key markets of North America, Europe and Australia” in the third quarter of the year. The price of this one: 40 million KRW, which is something just below $50,000.
We saw TCL’s 8K QLED TVs at IFA 2018 in Berlin also (introduced above by TCL’s Senior Designer Tiago Abreu, and on the IFA stand), and this morning Appliance Retailer announced that the 75-inch X10 QLED is due for an Australian release in September. The X10 won the 8K TV Gold Award of the Year at CES in January, and includes an Onkyo soundbar built in — although local models can vary from both US and European models.
Price in Australia is yet to be confirmed, watch this space, or visit www.tclelectronics.com.au/