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Four times the resolution of a 4K UHD TV
OneConnect box compatible
The new generation of televisions has seen the introduction of 8K resolution; while these models are considerably more expensive than market competitors, in a few years, 8K may become the new standard. The Samsung Q900R 8K TV provides up to four times the resolution as a 4K UHD model and a whopping 16 times the pixels of a standard 1080p HD TV to give you the most true-to-life and detailed image you can get in a home TV. Samsung claims that this model's Elite Backlighting and 16 independent dimming zones can give you a picture that is equal to or surpasses what you can get with a 4K OLED screen. The Quantum 8K processor is designed intuitively upscale non-8K sources to take full advantage of your TV's incredible resolution.
The Q900R is compatible with Samsung's OneConnect box. This means that you can hook up your Blu-Ray or UHD DVD player, game consoles, streaming devices, and sound equipment to the OneConnect box and have a single cord connect it to your TV for a clean and organized setup. This TV uses FreeSync technology for low latency gaming input and a Dynamic Black Equalizer to enhance visibility in the dark and automatically optimizes image quality by analyzing scenes. Bixby voice controls are built into the OneRemote, and you can connect your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant devices.
If you're looking for a total home theater upgrade, check out this bundle from Samsung. You'll get their 75-inch Q900R QLED TV as well as a complete audio package. The TV delivers stunning 8K resolution with HDR support and a direct lit full array panel for the best picture available on the market. With the Quantum 8K processor, not only do you get great native 8K picture, but you also get excellent, AI-enhanced upscaling of other HD media for smooth action and tons of detail. With Intelligent Mode, the TV automatically analyzes the room and adjusts the picture and sound settings for the ultimate viewing experience.
The included Harman Kardon soundbar features 13 built-in speakers and a wireless subwoofer for unparalleled audio. Both the TV and sound system are Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby compatible for hands-free voice controls. They both also have dedicated gaming modes for unparalleled picture and sound. The TV features AirPlay 2 connectivity so you can stream directly from your Mac or iOS devices. It also has an Ambient Mode to turn your TV into a work of art when not in use to blend into almost any decor.
TV and Xbox One X included
Real Game Enhancer
Intelligent Mode for optimal settings
Gamers looking for the ultimate play experience should check out this TV and console bundle from Samsung. You'll receive the 65-inch version of the Q900R TV. This means you'll get all the goodness of their 8K resolution and AI-enhanced processor upscaling of other HD content in a slightly smaller package. You'll also get the Intelligent Mode that analyzes your room to find optimal picture and sound settings as well as the Real Game Enhancer Mode with FreeSync technology for low latency input and better contrast.
You'll also receive an Xbox One X system bundle with a one terabyte harddrive and a physical copy of Ubisoft's The Division 2. You'll be able to connect with friends online to take down enemies and retake Washington D.C. With the Xbox One X's extensive library and the massive harddrive, you'll be able to download tons of other games to enjoy on your own or with friends.
Netflix calibrated mode
Google Assistant and Chromecast built in
LG isn't the only company that has taken the leap into 8K TVs; Sony has introduced their Master Series to the market and their Z9G is the best option. This TV is built around their top-of-the-line X1 8K processor for ultra-fast picture rendering and input processing. It also features Sony's X-tended Dynamic Range Pro technology to provide up to 20 times the contrast of its predecessors for a truly stunning picture.
It has the AndroidTV operating system already installed so you can access all your favorite streaming apps in one place. The included remote is Google Assistant-enabled and compatible with Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice controls. With a native refresh rate of 120Hz and a Netflix Calibrated Mode, every scene will have silky smooth motion and the perfect color volume so you can enjoy movies and shows as their creators intended them to be seen. Chromecast connectivity is built into this TV so you can connect your smartphone or tablet for more sharing options. It also has Bluetooth connectivity to help you quickly and easily set up a home theater audio system.
Voice enabled remote
AirPlay 2 support
Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound
No Chromecast support
If money truly is no object and you have to have the best-of-the-best when it comes to a home TV, check out the LG Signature OLED 8K TV. This model sports a gigantic 88-inch screen with an OLED panel that produces over one billion colors and has over 33million pixels for more lifelike images and more details. It's built around LG's second generation a9 processor that's backed with AI for enhanced 8K resolution and smarter upscaling of lower resolutions. The AI-driven processor also drives the built-in 80 watt speakers with Dolby Atmos sound to give you a virtual 5.1 CH surround sound listening experience.
LG's ThinQ AI integrates Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls so you have hands-free commands while browsing your favorite streaming apps or changing picture and sound settings. It supports AirPlay 2 connectivity so you can stream directly from your Mac or iOS devices. With four HDMI inputs, three USB ports, and Bluetooth connectivity, setting up your ideal home theater is quick and easy.
Six-step noise reduction for upscaling
WISA speaker compatible
If you rely on your Amazon Echo or Alexa-enabled devices to run your smart home, check out the LG Nano 9 8K TV. This model has a voice-enabled remote with Alexa built in so you get hands-free controls when browsing streaming apps or adjusting settings. It is also compatible with Google Assistant for those who use Google Home devices. With LG's ThinQ AI, it's easier to integrate this TV into your smart home network. This TV is built around LG's second generation a9 processor for stunning native 8K resolution and a six-step noise reduction process when upscaling lower resolutions so you always get the best picture possible.
The built-in 40 watt speakers use Dolby Atmos technology for a more immersive listening experience. The TV is also WISA speaker compatible so you can set up more audio equipment when you need to expand your home theater. It supports both Bluetooth and AirPlay 2 connectivity so you can set up external soundbars or stream directly from your smartphone or tablet. With a refresh rate of 120 Hz and LG's Nano Color Pro technology, motion is always smooth and crystal clear so you never miss a beat of action.
Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management, so she has the knowledge of what makes a solid TV for home entertainment.
With 4K UHD resolution becoming almost ubiquitous with home entertainment, it's no surprise that some television manufacturers have started to embrace the next generation of technology in order to stand out from their competitors. Sony, Samsung, and LG have all introduced 8K UHD televisions into their line-ups. Televisions that feature native 8K resolution provide you with four times the pixels of a 4K model and 16 times that of 1080p full HD models for unparalleled picture quality, color ranges, and contrast. Some customers and technology experts can agree that the average person won't be able to see the difference between 8K and 4K resolution because of the limitations of our eyes. However, the true difference lies in refresh rates, or how many times a TV cycles the image on the screen in a second. An 8K television requires a consistent refresh rate of at least 120Hz, or cycling the image 120 times per second, to achieve smooth motion and detailing with the dense pixel concentration they have.
As tempting as it is to rush out and buy an 8K television so you can be the first among your friends to have one or just to future-proof your home theater, there are a few important factors to consider before getting one. We'll break down a few of them to help you decide if an 8K television would be a good fit for your home.
The three biggest smart TV manufacturers, Sony, Samsung, and LG, have started to introduce 8K UHD televisions into their lineups. Each brand built their models with different screen panel technologies and size classes as well as different audiences in mind. LG brand 8K televisions use OLED panels to take full advantage of the new resolution technology. An OLED panel uses layers of organic materials which are activated by electrical currents and individually-lit pixels to achieve truly stunning color ranges, detailing, and contrast. These TVs also come in larger sizes from 77 inches all the way up to 96 inches, meaning you'll need a very large home theater in order to accommodate these models. All of this comes at a cost though, and the LG 8K models are some of the most expensive on the market; some cost as much as $30,000, putting them well out of reach of average customers and even some businesses. However, if you have cash to burn, these TVs can be seen as a worthy investment to truly future-proof your home theater or entertainment space. In contrast, Sony and Samsung have 8K televisions that, while still pricey, can still fit comfortably within a generous budget.
The Sony Z9G Master Series is built with a full-array LED panel for enhanced brightness and contrast as well as an updated processor that not only produces excellent native 8K resolution, it intelligently upscales non-8K content for a consistently beautiful viewing experience. It also uses Sony's Acoustic Multi-Audio technology to produce virtual 3D sound for more immersive audio. The Z9G is priced around $8,000; much less than options from LG, but still considerably expensive. Samsung builds their Q800T and Q900T series televisions with their proprietary QLED panels. These TVs use quantum dot technology to pack as much color and detail into the screen as possible for more lifelike images. Each television uses an AI-assisted processor that produces crystal clear images and buttery smooth motion in 8K and uses machine-learning to upscale non-8K content. They also use object tracking sound for a more immersive and cinematic viewing experience. With adaptive picture technology, these models use built-in sensors to monitor light and sound in the room and automatically adjust settings so you always get the best images and audio. Samsung's 8K televisions are priced anywhere from $3,200 to almost $13,000, depending on smart features and screen size, making them the most accessible to average customers.
One factor besides price that should give you pause before going out and investing in an 8K television is the lack of 8K content available through streaming services, cable and satellite providers, and broadcast media. Apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video are just now starting to offer shows and movies in 4K UHD, meaning that 4K televisions have a lot of life left in them. It also highlights the issues surrounding streaming UHD content when many customers have internet data caps imposed by their internet providers. Streaming in UHD takes up an incredible amount of bandwidth and data. For example, streaming an hour's worth of video in 1080p uses 1.5GB of data, an hour of 4K video uses 7.2GB, and an hour of 8K would use close to 16GB of data; this means that some customers who use DSL internet or Wi-Fi hotspots would hit their monthly data cap by watching one or two movies in 8K.
The bandwidth problem also affects broadcast media. Broadcasters have to pay for the bandwidth they use to provide customers with content, and 8K would be very pricey for them, and they would pass that cost onto you. So far, 8K content is only being seen in a few cities in Japan; even then, customers have to purchase special receiver boxes to get a usable signal for their 8K TVs, adding even more to the cost of operation. With virtually no 8K content available in North America and Europe, spending thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars on an 8K television is a risky investment at best, since it will be several years yet before 8K UHD content is widely available. It's worth keeping an eye on this technology though, to see how it will develop and how streaming services and broadcast media providers will adapt to it.