Reader@mReotEch.com

Latest Tech Feeds to Keep You Updated…

[NEXT for QLED] Part 2: Making the Difference in the Ultra-Definition TV Era

As screens get bigger, the quality of the picture on the screen becomes more important. Big screen TVs are the main source of growth in an otherwise flat market. And with big screens comes higher resolutions.

 

No matter how big the TV screen is, if it doesn’t have the necessary picture quality, users won’t be able to realize the power of the screen. That’s why large-sized TV has inevitably led to the increase in demand for Ultra High Definition (UHD). UHD is a 4K (3,840X2,160) picture quality, which is applied to TVs that measure over 65 inches. The technology is about to take yet another step up as 8K (7,680X4,320) TVs are ready to be commercialized.

 

But this is an era whereby even the number of pixels isn’t enough in isolation. To produce the best picture quality possible, it’s also important to consider the environment this content will be viewed in and the quality of the original content itself. The paradigm is shifting and it’s vital that all considerations are taken into account to produce an experience that everyone will enjoy.

 

 

UHD TV Beyond FHD TV

 

Worldwide UHD TV sales surpassed FHD (Full High Definition) TV for the first time last year, according to market researcher IHS Markit. It is expected to ship more than 100 million units this year, which is about 45% of the total TV market. In 2022, the proportion of UHD TV is expected to reach 60%.

 

Samsung UHD TV sales volume is also on the rise. Sales of Samsung UHD TVs in the fourth quarter of last year already exceeded 50% of the total Samsung TV units sold globally. In the first quarter of this year, Samsung UHD TV sales also increased by more than 35% compared to the same period last year.

 

 

What is the Standard for Ultra-High-Definition?

 

In the ultra-high-definition TV market era, standards for judging picture quality are further developing. For example, is a TV able to reproduce colors with real-life brightness, particularly when the normal TV viewing environment is brighter than many would expect? According to the DOE survey, consumers in the U.S. and Europe usually watch TV in a bright environment with an average home illuminance level of 79 lux. Can a TV react and provide an accurate picture in these, and other common viewing use cases?

 

Experts advise consumers to look beyond the high resolution to see the different factors that cause the difference in brightness, contrast, and content when consumers watch TV. The way consumers view TV and the way experts gauge a TV’s ability to deliver is much more sophisticated than it ever has been. The TV needs to be more versatile because it’s used to do more things. That means Samsung has to be stringent to make sure its QLED products perform not just according to the specifications but also according to real life usage.

 

 

Blacks and Colors Transformed

 

A new criterion for picture quality is color volume, which can measure minute color changes, three-dimensionally, according to varying degrees of brightness. Recently, Verband Deutscher Electrotechnischer (VDE), a well-regarded certification institution in Germany established in 1893, certified QLED TV for 100% color volume for two consecutive years, which is the world’s first and only time a TV has received such a distinction.

 

QLED TV, based on the metal quantum dot technology, can accurately represent detailed colors that can be hidden from dark or bright images. Brightness can be expressed up to 2,000 knits, which is 3 to 4 times that of conventional TVs, giving a more vivid look to scenes such as sunlight reflecting texture and white snowy landscapes.

 

Indeed, this year’s Samsung QLED TVs achieves the highest level of contrast ratio by improving the quality of blacks on-screen while maintaining brightness. To create an even more stunning contrast ratio, the TVs feature new Direct Full Array technology, which puts backlit LEDs behind the panel for precise brightness control. By making the LED blocks more than ten times the number of conventional TVs, the light can be adjusted individually to create a subtler difference in black colors. Moreover, it applies the black algorithm that perceives and precisely adjusts black colors, successfully delivering the original detail even in particularly dark scenes.

 

 

When watching a dark scene in a bright environment, the reflection of objects around the screen can cause discomfort. QLED TV solved this problem by using Anti-reflection technology. Even under daylight or bright lighting, an anti-reflective screen dramatically reduces glare, allowing one to be more immersed in images regardless of the surroundings.

 

Along with this, Samsung is also working to expand the ecosystem to upgrade HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology, which is an integral function of ultra-definition TV. Since last year, Samsung has been developing HDR10+, which is one step more advanced than HDR10, a standard for realizing HDR video. HDR10+ is a technology that shows optimal contrast ratio for each scene through ‘Dynamic Tone Mapping’ technique which applies different contrast to each scene. The company is expanding its HDR10+ content in cooperation with global companies such as Amazon, 20th Century Fox, Panasonic and Warner Bros.

 

 

AI Upscaling the Content

 

High quality content is as important as the ultra-high definition TV specification.

 

Many of the most recognizable names in video content such as Netflix, YouTube and various cable companies already provide UHD content. However, due to the burden of production cost, consumers are not able to enjoy 4K UHD broadcasting content on TV unrestrictedly yet.

 

The problem here is that if low-quality content is shown on a big screen, the pixels are usually enlarged artificially, causing the picture to shake or lose clarity. Samsung Electronics has solved this problem by installing the ‘4K Q Engine’ based on semiconductor technology on its QLED TV.

 

‘4K Q Engine’ is a technology that upgrades SD (400,000 pixels) and FHD (2 million pixels) class image to 4K (8 million pixels) class. Based on artificial intelligence, it applies a 5-step algorithm (Image Signal Analysis ▷ Noise Reduction ▷ Improved 1st Detail ▷ 4K Upscaling ▷ Improved 2nd Detail) to improve image quality and express hidden details. In actual comparison, in the FHD image, the part where the light in the night view of the city is clearly separated by the ‘4K Q Engine’.

 

What’s more, 8K AI Technology will be introduced in the latter half of the year and will offer an even better picture and sound expression.

 

 

QLED TV’s dramatically improved picture quality this year has been widely praised by many media outlets including Tech Radar, What Hi-Fi, and AVS Forum. Trusted Reviews gave Samsung’s QLED the Highly Recommended mark and said: “The Samsung QE65Q9FN is the most impressive TV I’ve reviewed in years. It effectively combines the strong brightness and colour of Quantum Dot LED (QLED) with the deep blacks and almost the lighting precision of OLED. That’s a huge deal in a world where you generally choose one or the other.”

 

“As TVs gradually get larger in size and the competition for premium picture quality becomes fiercer, detailed and subtle image rendering performance is growing in importance,” said Doochan Eum, Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “With Samsung QLED TV’s enhanced brightness, contrast, content, we are continuing to provide consumers with a superb immersive viewing experience.”

‘All In’ on AI, Part 2: Driving the Evolution of 8K Picture Quality and Advanced Sound on TV through AI

What do you consider important when watching the Olympic Games on TV? Vivid picture and sound quality on your TV would be able to provide you a lifelike experience just as if you were onsite at the Games. The artificial intelligence (AI) technology which Samsung Electronics recently unveiled at CES 2018 promises to deliver this kind of experience, with picture quality nearly the equivalent of 8K (7,680 × 4,320) resolution, as well as optimized sound, for real-time and other video content.

 

The new AI technology achieves close to 8K resolution and enhanced sound quality by aligning with the unique characteristics of the specific content, a step up from typical upscaling technology used to improve image quality. So how exactly does it work? Let’s take a closer look.

 

 

Enjoy any content in 8K through Machine Learning

 

The world’s first 8K AI Technology that realizes a definition nearly the equivalent of 8K is based on Machine Learning. Computers or smartphones run according to directive values that humans enter. In contrast, Machine Learning refers to the way AI learns certain patterns and gives optimized answers based on various examples.

 

Samsung’s Machine Learning Super Resolution (MLSR) utilizes AI technology to compare low and high-quality versions of the same content to learn the technological differences between the two and form a vast database. It analyzes millions of pieces of video content and finds a correlation. Based on its analysis, it can select the optimum filters that support brightness, the level of blackness, spread and other errors from all inputs, and transform low-definition content to close to 8K high definition.

 

The input content is recognized as ‘real-time’ based on a frame and is enhanced by scenes, which makes it possible to upgrade image and sound quality immediately, regardless of whether the video source is live streaming or OTT (Over The Top).

 

 

8K picture quality through AI, what’s the difference?

 

Other upscaling techniques require human input to compare low-resolution and high-resolution scenes and find ways to reconstruct them. However, Samsung’s AI Technology enables it to self-study millions of images on its own using MLSR, allowing much-improved accuracy compared to conventional technologies.

 

There are three elements to improving picture quality on displays. First is ‘Detail Creation’ that sharpens the detail of expression and improves the texture to areas with low definition that have become blurry after compressing the file. Second, ‘Edge Restoration’ defines the edges of text, people or objects in a video, moving pixels on the borders to thin them down to increase legibility and visibility. For example, if text context is spreaded along the edges, the video will be adjusted around the text for clarity. In a video that shows the moon, Edge Restoration improves details of the moon’s shadow and enhances the darkness of the background for a clear distinction. Lastly, ‘Noise Reduction’ gets rid of static noises generated during high compression or recompression of files. In order to transmit an image, it is necessary to compress the image. In this process, various ‘noises’ such as a jiggling point or a squared dot can be effectively removed according to the image characteristics.

 

 

AI delivers immersive sound effects

 

When watching dramas or movies, realistic, immersive sounds are as important as picture quality. Samsung’s AI technology not only transforms low-definition into high-definition, but also optimizes the sound quality of content.

 

Conventional TVs provide multiple view settings such as movie mode and sports mode according to the genre of content. With Samsung’s new AI technology, content can be automatically analyzed by characterizing scenes to provide optimum sounds.

 

For example, let’s say you were watching a movie that includes musical performances. AI technology can highlight the music in a way that allows you to experience the sound as the actual characters would. When the crowd applauds after the performance is over, you would hear the clapping the same way as if you were in the crowd in the movie. When characters are speaking, AI adjusts the sound to make sure the lines are communicated clearly.

 

Imagine you were watching a relay broadcast of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics that started last week. AI will enhance the voice of the announcer so that you don’t miss who’s up next. When a game has started, AI will increase the background sound to deliver the liveliness of the actual game. With this tailored sound adjustment scene by scene, audiences can enjoy the best sound quality for any genre of content.

 

Samsung developers plan to continue to improve sound quality according to the preferences of individual viewers so that each viewer can enjoy the best TV viewing experience, right for them. Because volume patterns differ for every user, and the viewing environment can change according to the time of day and other factors, the sound will be accordingly adjusted and optimized to provide the most enjoyable experience to each individual viewer.

 

 

Why does 8K AI technology matter?

 

As customer needs for high-definition TVs and content increases, some terrestrial broadcasting stations have committed to working towards UHD delivery, and various IPTV and cable channels have initiated 4K UHD (3,840 × 2,160) services. However, even as the TV industry begins to launch 8K (7,680 × 4,320) TVs, the reality is that 4K content is, as of yet, still not fully utilized in homes.

 

In this context, Samsung has proposed a new direction for TV technology by combining 8K UHD display technology and premiere content through AI. Samsung has developed an AI algorithm that automatically enhances picture quality to solve the problem of limited high-quality content. As example, AI technology plays a key role in the 85-inch 8K QLED TV technology that Samsung introduced at CES 2018.

 

Samsung will begin the process of applying AI technology to its 8K QLED TVs from the second half of this year, and viewers will soon be able to enjoy UHD quality video that is nearly 8K in resolution and delivers optimized sound for any type of content. A genuine 8K era is now on the horizon, and Samsung will continue to lead the way.

The Frame vs The Gallery: Which Packs the Largest Punch?

 

Samsung Electronics’ The Frame TV boasts striking 4K UHD picture quality when turned on and displays a collection of dazzling artwork when turned off. Bringing the two together in one device is certainly a masterpiece in innovation. But how does viewing artwork at home on The Frame square up to the gallery experience?

 

 

Round 1 – Price

 

For 1,799 euros (about $2,130), an art enthusiast can secure a piece by Wolfgang Uhilig and 1,699 euros (about $2,010) can buy a single work by Tommy Clarke at the Lumas Gallery in Berlin. Even official prints can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Not to mention the cost of protecting and insuring masterpieces – purchasing a work of art is certainly a long-term financial commitment.

 

By contrast, access to the Samsung Collection’s 100 stunning works from 37 renowned artists is included with purchase of The Frame. To fuel the user’s passion for art, the Art Store offers additional pieces on a curated subscription basis at $4.99 per month, and works from the permanent archive retail at $19.99 each.

 

Altogether, The Frame can provide around 450 art pieces. With The Frame, art has never been more affordable – or offered an experience as priceless.

 

 

Round 2 – Aesthetics

 

Some say that nothing can compare to viewing the original. But the Frame TV’s Art Mode renders 43, 55, or 65 inches of pure artwork realistic enough to convince observers that they are studying a genuine article.

 

Art Mode redefines the meaning and purpose of the TV. The Frame can tastefully blend into its surroundings or become a statement piece in the home. Moreover, by displaying one’s own personal photos on The Frame TV, the user becomes the artist, muse and curator.

 

 

Round 3 – Convenience and Usability

 

The world’s most famous galleries are typically located in major cities and aren’t always the easiest to access. For example, tourists can travel thousands of miles simply to catch a glimpse of da Vinci’s famed “Mona Lisa” at the Louvre in Paris. But the tiny portrait is almost impossible to see behind the crowds of people who flock to view the painting on a daily basis.

 

Whether you pause to observe every detail, or take the occasional glance, viewing an artwork every day from the comfort of your own home can offer new perspectives on the subject.

 

The Frame also makes a pleasing addition to any public space, such as an office, hotel or hospital, and helps to reduce concern about artwork damage or maintenance.

 

 

Round 4 – The Bonus Round

 

In the final round, the gallery might just throw in the towel. The Frame is not simply a stunning display for artwork, but also a TV with outstanding picture quality. The Frame weighs in with 4K HDR Pro and 4K Color Drive Extreme, which add detail and definition to every image. Equipped with the 2017 Samsung Smart Hub and Samsung Smart View, viewing content on TV has never been easier.

 

Finally, the One Remote Control provides quick access to almost all connected media devices, so users can effortlessly switch between their favorite TV shows, movies and video games with a single remote.

 

While galleries exhibit expensive originals in a formal setting, the beauty of The Frame lies in its winning combination of price, picture quality and at-home comfort. On top of these it possesses dual-identity as a 4K UHD TV. Who won this match? You be the judge.

Scroll Up