The Samsung Q950TS is now not the most recent 8K flagship from the world’s greatest TV model – that moniker goes to the brand new QN900A we noticed launched in 2021. But the Q950TS continues to be a notable 8K TV with spectacular specs that may be price eyeing up in any upcoming Black Friday gross sales.
There’s a component to which the Q950TS is overspecified, irrespective of how a lot you spend on it. With 8K decision, this display screen will spend most of its processing energy upscaling the SD, HD and 4K sources you place into it, given the sheer lack of native 8K content material on the market.
Yes, 8K cameras exist and sure, Netflix has apparently used one to develop some content material. And sure, if this summer season’s Tokyo Olympics don’t succumb to coronavirus paranoia then Japanese broadcaster NHK plans to broadcast the complete shebang in 8K. But actually, 8K content material in any significant amount nonetheless appears to be like a great distance off.
So if it’s going to make any type of case for itself in any respect, the Q950TS goes to should carry out miracles with the lower-resolution stuff it’ll spend all its time displaying. Thankfully, it completely does – and the general high quality of its photographs, audio, and have set make it an astonishing entry into the 8K market.
This is a 2020 mannequin, in fact, so these of you after the most recent new Samsung TVs ought to think about the Samsung QN900A or QN800A as a substitute. Otherwise, learn on for our full Q950TS review.
Price and launch date
The Samsung Q950TS is Samsung’s flagship 2020 QLED TV. US buyers have a single 85-inch mannequin, priced at $12,999 at launch.
For UK buyers, it is fairly expensive at £7,999 for the 75-inch mannequin (reviewed right here), although you’ll be able to shave that to £5,999 for the 65-inch – or bump it as much as £11,999 for the 85-inch mannequin.
These are solely launch costs, although, and it is best to have the ability to discover it for nearly half value in any respect of those sizes now.
Samsung Q950TS Specs
Screen dimension: 75- and 85-inches | Tuner: RF, satellite tv for pc | Panel expertise: QLED | Panel decision: 7680 x 4320 | Smart TV: Samsung/Tizen | 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 (HxWxD) | Weight: 36kg
Honestly, expectations are low in relation to a TV’s design. As lengthy because the display screen is huge and the bezel isn’t, that’s just about job accomplished.
And within the case of the Q950TS, Samsung has hit the bull’s-eye.
A 75-inch display screen is huge in anybody’s language, and Samsung has managed to wrap it in what’s genuinely the briefest bezel ever seen on a manufacturing TV. At 2mm thick it’s nearly non-existent – and if you happen to sit a wise distance from this TV it genuinely does disappear from view. As occasion tips go, it is a good one.
Almost as spectacular is the chassis’ 15mm depth. Obviously QLED expertise requires a layer of backlighting, so won’t ever obtain the crowd-pleasing slimness of OLED, its chief rival, however as a result of Samsung has taken all inputs, outputs and energy necessities off-board, the Q950TS doesn’t have an OLED-style lump or bulge anyplace on the rear of its body.
All the inputs – that’s 4 HDMI sockets (considered one of which is 2.1-specified), three USB inputs, RF and satellite tv for pc TV aerial posts, an ethernet socket – are contained within the pretty sizeable One Connect field. It has a digital optical output too, and even takes care of mains energy – only one modest connection to the TV itself is all that’s required. So if you happen to intend to wall-mount your costly new TV, it is going to sit virtually flush.
If you don’t have a large enough little bit of wall spare, although, the Samsung will fairly fortunately sit on its centrally positioned pedestal. From right here it leans again a bit greater than three levels, to be able to direct its display screen at your eyes slightly than at your belt-line. Because you’re not about to face a TV this huge on a excessive floor, are you? You don’t need watching TV to be like sitting too near the display screen within the cinema, in any case…
Design TL;DR: Off-board connections, properly slim chassis and extraordinarily skinny bezel makes for probably the most discreet 75-inch TVs round.
Smart TV (Tizen)
Given that its 2019 vary of TVs had been all possessed of the most effective good TV/person interface round, Samsung has very sensibly determined towards meddling with its profitable method. The Tizen-derived interface has had its background colour amended from white to mild blue within the identify of decreased eye-strain, however in each different respect it’s the identical logical, smart, responsive and easy-to-customize system it’s at all times been. And it’s nonetheless completely loaded with apps.
The set-up menus governing image high quality are complete, however not scarily so, and it’s neither difficult nor time-consuming to finesse the image to fit your personal necessities and preferences. And to this finish the Samsung’s glorious distant management, which is weighty and never over-buttoned, helps so much. So does the built-in Alexa performance – and there’s Google Assistant compatibility to comply with “soon”.
Really, if the Q950TS can look good coping with this comparatively poverty-stricken normal of decision, then it’s house free. After all, the utter dearth of native 8K content material means the Samsung goes to spend most of its life upscaling lower-spec stuff to suit its mighty 7680 x 4320 decision – and a 1920 x 1080 Blu-ray disc of Douglas Gordon and Phillipe Perreno’s Zidane: A twenty first Century Portrait delivers simply over 2 million pixel’s-worth of data. Which leaves the Q950TS with over 30 million remaining pixels to fill with data.
Yet thanks in no small half to Samsung’s huge AI and machine-learning efforts, the 75Q950TS is ready to cross-reference the make-up of the picture towards its enormous database of data. It can then have a much more educated stab at upscaling the image to suit its colossal decision than has ever been attainable earlier than.
There’s numerous image noise within the authentic materials, about which the Samsung can do little. And within the 950TS’s palms there’s not what you’d name absolute certainty in relation to defining the sides of objects or monitoring a footballer’s relentless motion – however nonetheless the Samsung serves up a strikingly composed and convincing picture.
It does remarkably good work the place element retrieval and the outline of textures are involved – it makes the Real Madrid shirt look simply as shiny and flamable as all of us bear in mind it. Contrasts are robust, and element ranges stay excessive even within the brightest or darkest scenes. The Samsung’s capacity to maintain black tones differentiated and white tones clear – even once they’re on-screen concurrently – is spectacular on a reasonably elementary degree.
Overall, it’s the readability and confidence of the massive quantity of upscaling that’s being accomplished right here that’s most hanging. There’s no jaggedness, no overlapping and little or no of the graininess that may be launched when HD stuff is upscaled by some 4K screens – so for this 8K Samsung to look so composed is sort of one thing.
Given the Q950TS’s deeply spectacular efficiency with high-def content material, it doesn’t come as any nice shock to search out the Q950TS does exemplary work when upscaling the 3840 x 2160 decision of a 4K Blu-ray of Mad Max: Fury Road. The image is actually superior to that of any variety of well-regarded native 4K screens.
There isn’t a side of picture-making at which this Samsung doesn’t appear to excel. It summons extraordinary ranges of brightness, it paints from a staggeringly expansive colour palette, it reveals virtually indecent ranges of element. Despite the vastly stylized nature of the movie and its relentless movement, on-screen motion is managed with an iron fist. Even the brightest white tones resist bleaching, and the deepest blacks retain element.
The disc’s HDR-assisted photographs completely pop from the Q950TS – the overdriven crimson and orange tones, particularly, are able to coping with cataracts. But that is no blunt instrument: the Samsung’s full array backlighting (a complete of 480 zones) is controllable all the way down to a single particular person zone. So even when the boldest, brightest colours are scorching from the display screen, the darker areas of the scene stay convincingly darkish. And solely in probably the most making an attempt circumstances does the backlighting make its presence felt.
The Samsung can’t rid the most important, most uniform areas of colour (which on this film tends to imply both ‘the sky’ or ‘the desert’) of a smattering of image noise, although – it’s about the one overt indication of simply how onerous the Q950TS’s upscaling engine is working.
In phrases of management, dynamism and easy believability, the Q950TS will take some beating. Which is simply as properly, because it appears fated to spend the overwhelming majority of its time working to carry 4K photographs as much as its native decision.
Oh, in fact the Samsung appears to be like nothing wanting spectacular when displaying native 8K content material. But except you’re in a really privileged place, the 8K content material you’ll get to see is identical because the 8K content material I get to see: pretty electronics show-worthy pictures of flowers opening, luxurious panning pictures of city-scapes, close-ups of fairly animals…
Yes, all of it appears to be like unbelievable. Colorful, high-contrast, luxuriously detailed all that… however till there’s any significant 8K stuff accessible on disc or through streaming service, it shouldn’t actually make any distinction to your decision-making in relation to getting your bank card out (or not) for the Q950TS.
You should have some distinctive thought processes happening if you happen to’re contemplating dropping a small fortune on a brand new TV but not budgeting for an acceptable sound system to accompany it. But Samsung has nonetheless moved to handle what was usually characterised because the ‘woeful’ sound of its 2019 8K fashions, by deploying one thing it’s calling ‘Object Tracking Sound +’.
Basically, this implies an array of eight speaker drivers organized in what Samsung’s describing as a ‘4.2.2’ association. That means two midrange drivers firing from the highest of the chassis, one other pair of mids plus two low-frequency items firing from the underside, and a tweeter at both aspect of the body about midway up. The concept is to each open up the soundstage and to supply a level of audio monitoring to no matter is going on on the display screen.
In some respects it’s fairly profitable. Certainly the eight drivers and their 70 watts of complete energy produce a giant, properly separated sound – and there’s undeniably a level of motion-tracking together with it. But the sonic signature is sort of onerous and skinny, and so inappropriate for the opulence of the photographs it’s accompanying it’s virtually humorous.
Other panels to ponder…
Well, final yr’s Samsung 8K fashions are actually accessible with some tempting reductions… however the Q950TS is a good step on from any of these, so let’s not contain ourselves in any false economies.
A greater wager could be to think about one of many world’s larger and extra completed 4K TVs, particularly these with half-decent audio high quality. And in that respect it’s onerous to look past the outstanding Philips OLED+984. Admittedly it’s ‘just’ as 65-inch display screen, however in contrast to the Samsung it’s a) geared up with Ambilight, b) consists of Dolby Vision in addition to HDR10+ dynamic metadata compatibility and c) sounds higher than every other TV available on the market because of its Bowers & Wilkins built-in soundbar.
And it’s roughly half the worth of the 75Q950TS, so it leaves you adequate cash for a pleasant vacation or one thing.
Or you could possibly go to the opposite excessive and spend 5 figures on the 85-inch Sony Z9G/ZG9 8K TV. It’s a bloater in comparison with the Samsung, each in display screen dimension and chassis depth, nevertheless it’s a comparably spectacular upscaler of 4K content material. It’s not as shiny because the Samsung, although, nor as adept with low-light element.
The 75Q950TS is a really worthwhile development of the 8K artwork. Its native 8K photographs are virtually humbling of their constancy, and out in the actual world it’s pretty much as good an upscaler of 4K content material as you should buy at any value. The value, and the dearth of native content material, make it an undeniably idiosyncratic buy, nevertheless it’s onerous to think about anybody watching the images it delivers after which wishing they hadn’t bothered.
- Expect to see the Q950TS on our checklist of the most effective 8K TVs
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