[Interview] Exploring Innovation in 2022 Neo QLED 8K: Optimizing Picture Quality Through AI and Picture-Enhancing TechnologyBy STF News
Samsung Electronics has been leading the TV industry for more than a decade with the latest technologies available on consumer TVs and screens. In 2022, Samsung has yet again secured the number one spot in terms of market share for 16 consecutive years.1 At the heart of Samsung screens is customer-centric innovation, which powers Samsung screens, including Neo QLED 8K, to deliver immaculate, true-to-life picture quality. Samsung Newsroom sat down with the engineers to provide a deep dive into the innovative features that make Neo QLED 8K the TV it is today, with next-level picture quality and one-of-a-kind features powered by artificial intelligence(AI).
▲ (From left to right) Engineers Younghoon Jeong, Younghun Jo at Hardware Platform Lab, Sangmin Lee, David Jung at Picture Quality Solution Lab of Samsung’s Visual Display Business
Quantum Matrix Technology Pro Delivers Ultra-Fine Contrast With Details in Darkest Blacks and Lightest Whites
Samsung has continued to pave the way forward in innovation for picture quality by applying cutting-edge technologies to its latest TVs. The newly released Neo QLED 8K is an upgraded version of its previous QLED TV and comes with a wide range of innovative features. At the center of this advancement is Quantum Matrix Technology Pro, which takes advantage of the enhanced 14-bit gradation for greater control of the miniaturized light source — the Quantum Mini LEDs. This allows the TV to control its lighting across an astounding 16,384 steps, which is four times greater than conventional 12-bit displays at 4,096 steps, providing true-to-life colors previously unseen.
Shape Adaptive Light and Real Depth Enhancer Add Depth for Vivid, Lifelike Images
Newly introduced technologies, namely Shape Adaptive Light and Real Depth Enhancer, have taken the picture quality offered by Samsung TVs to new heights. These new features optimize contrast and produce clean and punchy images, adding a more realistic sense of depth to your screen.
Real Depth Enhancer improves picture quality by separating an object from a background. “Every image has an object and background with different requirements to bring out the optimal picture quality,” said Jo. “Real Depth Enhancer separates the object from the background to enhance the contrast of the object, making it look clear. In doing so, we can clearly distinguish the object from the background, creating a greater sense of depth and making the images pop.”
Shape Adaptive Light analyzes a scene and estimates the difference in the light layer by each section of a scene to control the light source. Shape Adaptive Light creates the effect of synergy with the latest Quantum Mini LED to precisely control and optimize the light source for an accurate contrast. “Simply put, it makes bright areas stay bright and the dark spaces around it stay dark. Additionally, the technology enables optimal contrast levels and allows details in the inkiest blacks, producing life-like picture quality,” said Jo.
Upgraded Neural Quantum Processor Allows Customized AI Upscaling for Any Given Scene
Technological prowess has allowed us to enjoy 8K picture quality from the comfort of one’s home. Although not all shows and movies are made in 8K, users are able to take full advantage of the latest TV tech Samsung has to offer. In fact, the real value of 8K TVs comes from Samsung’s AI upscaling technology, which offers next-level picture quality by analyzing the image in real-time and upgrading it to higher picture quality or even 8K, regardless of the original image quality. Neo QLED 8K raised the number of neural networks from 16 to 20 to strengthen the capability for image analysis and upscaling. Multi-intelligent AI networks from the Neural Quantum Processor improve not only images, but also cloud games in 8K resolution for seamless and natural gameplay.
“As the number of networks has gone up, we were able to upscale a wider range of content to deliver a better viewing experience for users,” said Jeong. “Samsung added neural networks to make the image of cloud games vivid and reduce noise. The neural networks immediately analyze a picture, optimize a network and upscale it to 8K so that users can enjoy a cleaner game image.”
Jeong shared Samsung’s ambition to provide a better viewing experience: “Samsung’s multi-intelligence AI network is set up to continuously expand, delivering optimal picture quality technology according to a viewing environment and the latest content trends.”
Samsung’s 2022 QLED TVs, the World’s First HDR Displays With ‘Pantone Validated’ Approval
Color is an important factor in evaluating a TV’s picture quality. Samsung has achieved 100% color volume since 2017 and displayed accurate and vivid colors. Samsung’s all-new 2022 QLED models, including Neo QLED 8K, became the world’s first HDR displays with ‘Pantone Validated’ certification. Pantone specializes in color and provides a global color standard, PMS (Pantone Matching System). The certification means that Samsung’s ability to accurately express colors is officially recognized. Neo QLED 8K was acknowledged for its accurate expression of 2,161 Pantone colors and 110 skin tone shades.
“Pantone Validated certification suggests that the color expression of Neo QLED 8K is almost on par with the colors we are able to detect with our eyes,” said Lee. “Technological advancements of Neo Quantum Processor, along with Quantum Dot material help our TVs accurately express more than 2,000 colors recognized by Pantone and also 110 skin tones, the most complicated and delicate colors.”
Smart Calibration — Automatically Calibrate and Optimize Picture Quality in an Easy and Convenient way
Samsung has been providing industry-leading picture quality through technical innovation. A classic example is Smart Calibration, which is embedded in the latest TV models in 2022.
Smart Calibration enables anyone with a Samsung Neo QLED to calibrate their screen by simply using their smartphone.2 This allows users to calibrate their TVs for superb image quality through a simple step-by-step process with the Smart Calibration feature within the Smart Things app. All users have to do is open the Smart Calibration feature within the SmartThings app and point their smartphone camera towards the TV, the SmartThings app will then simplify the process to optimize picture quality. Users can choose between ‘Basic Mode’ and ‘Professional Mode’ according to how accurately they want to adjust picture quality. Basic Mode offers a quick calibration within 15 seconds, while Professional Mode optimizes more details of the picture and takes only 5-8 minutes to complete.
“Picture calibration normally requires expensive equipments, such as a measuring instrument and pattern generator. Smart Calibration enables users to adjust picture quality easily and conveniently with just their smartphone. Samsung developed this solution to help everyone easily calibrate their screens and enjoy accurate images,” said Jung. “Professionals who work with colors like photographers tend to calibrate their devices quite frequently — once every three months or six months. While this isn’t required for ordinary uses, it will be great for users to calibrate their screens using Smart Calibration when they first purchase the TV or when moving the TV to a different location.”
Samsung Neo QLED 8K, the First TV To Receive ‘Eye Care’ Certificate by Top Global Certification Institutes
There is now more amazing content available via OTT services than ever before, and as a result, more and more people are spending their leisure time watching this content on TVs. Therefore, comfortable viewing experience is becoming an important factor influencing TV purchasing decisions.
The 2021 and 2022 Samsung QLED TVs, including Neo QLED 8K, won the ‘Eye Care’ certification from Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker (VDE) in Germany, a test & certification association. This makes them among the first TVs to be awarded a certificate specific to eye care. VDE’s ‘Eye Care’ certification includes ‘Safety for Eyes’, ‘Gentle to the eyes’, flicker level,3 uniformity4 and color fidelity5 assessments. ‘Safety for Eyes’ certification is assigned to products with the emission levels of blue light, ultraviolet rays and infrared rays that fall into the ‘Exempt Group’ according to the classification of emission limits set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
‘Gentle to the eyes’ certification proves that the amount of melatonin suppression from a device meets the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) standard.
“As TVs become more of an entertainment hub in the home, there’s an increased demand for screens with top-tier picture quality that minimize eye strain. A comfortable viewing experience is quickly becoming a key factor in purchasing decisions, in addition to picture quality and performance. Neo QLED 8K, with its ‘Eye Care’ certification, meets these criteria, offering more comfortable watching experience to users,” said Jung.
Additionally, the Eye Comfort mode on Neo QLED 8K adjusts the screen’s brightness. It limits blue light to provide a more pleasant viewing experience, all done automatically by the TV’s Neural Quantum Processor. “AI technology automatically adjusts a screen’s brightness and color temperature according to a viewing environment so that users can comfortably enjoy their favorite content on their TV,” said Lee. “After sunset, you will see significantly warmer colors and reduced brightness, while during the daytime, the screen will be brighter and more vivid.”
AI technology To Provide Perfect Viewing Experience With Minimal Effort From the Users’ Side
As displays get larger and the technology for enhancing picture quality improves, so too does the standard for good picture quality. “The ultimate goal of advancing our technology in picture quality is to enable our TVs to automatically adjust their own picture quality to its optimal setting, producing a lifelike image. We will continue to develop cutting-edge technology to offer true-to-life picture quality to our consumers,” said Lee.
“Our users’ overall viewing experience is just as important as accurate color and sharpness,” said Jo. This means it is essential to help users conveniently enjoy the best picture quality. “We consistently strive to create a viewing experience where users can simply enjoy content anywhere, in any environment. Samsung is committed to advancing AI technology to provide perfect picture quality with minimal effort from the users’ side.”
1 According to data released by market research firm Omdia
2 Requires Galaxy S, Note, Z Flip or Z Fold series models released after January 2019, or an iPhone that supports Face ID. Supported models may differ depending on the situation. For more information, please check the product manual at samsung.com/support.
3 According to International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC) standard
4 According to International Standard Organization(ISO) standard
5 According to Information Display Measurement Standard(IDMS) standard
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Samsung Electronics Unveils Its 2022 MICRO LED, Neo QLED and Lifestyle TVs, With Next-Generation Picture Quality and Range of Cutting-Edge Personalization OptionsBy STF News
Samsung Electronics today unveiled its newest MICRO LED, Neo QLED and Lifestyle TVs ahead of Consumer Electronics Show 2022. With advancements in picture and sound quality, more screen size options, customizable accessories and an upgraded interface, the 2022 screens bring the vision of ‘Screens Everywhere, Screens for All’ closer to reality with life-like images, immersive sound and hyper-personalized experiences.
MICRO LED: The Pinnacle of Display Technology
As Samsung’s state-of-the-art display, MICRO LED offers a best-in-class picture quality thanks to 25 million micrometer-sized LEDs that individually produce light and color, creating an incredibly immersive experience through impressive depth, vibrant colors and a heightened level of clarity and contrast. At CES 2022, Samsung will unveil the MICRO LED in three different sizes – 110”, 101” and 89”.
In addition to the hardware innovations, the 2022 MICRO LED supports 20-bit greyscale depth. This means MICRO LED models can express every detail in a scene, offering the finest control with over 1 million steps of brightness and color levels, delivering a true HDR experience. It also expresses 100% of DCI and Adobe RGB color gamut, resulting in stunning, lifelike colors. Together with immersive design made possible by its 99.99% screen-to-body ratio, MICRO LED delivers revolutionary performance.
Finally, MICRO LED comes packed with enhanced usability and customization features.
Art Mode allows consumers to turn any room into an art gallery as they can select and display their favorite artwork or digital photography. The 2022 MICRO LED also comes with two exclusive media pieces from noted artist and designer Refik Anadol. Multi View lets users view content from four different sources simultaneously – from any or all of the four HDMI ports – in pristine 4K resolution at up to 120fps. Dolby Atmos delivers a premier immersive audio experience with top, side and bottom channel speakers for breathtaking, multi-dimensional sound.
Evolution of Neo QLED With Neo Quantum Processor and Dynamic Sound Experience
Thanks to the Neo Quantum Processor and the advancements in picture technology and sound it delivers, 2022 Neo QLED will provide some of the most pristine images and immersive soundscapes possible. In fact, this year’s Neo Quantum Processor introduces advanced contrast mapping with BLU (back-light unit), increasing the brightness level from 12 to 14-bit gradation for greater control of the light source – the Quantum Mini LEDs. This allows the TV to control its lighting across 16,384 steps, quadrupled from the previous 4,096 steps.
The new Shape Adaptive Light technology leverages the Neo Quantum Processor to analyze lines, shapes and surfaces to control the shape of light from the Quantum Mini LEDs, enhancing the brightness and accuracy of all shapes on the screen. The result is outstanding image quality that puts full HDR content on display. Samsung’s 2022 Neo QLED also features Real Depth Enhancer, a multi-intelligence picture quality algorithm. This technological advancement creates a greater sense of realism by determining and processing an object on the screen against its background to create a sense of depth.
Additionally, Samsung’s 2022 Neo QLED features EyeComfort mode, which automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness and tone based on a built-in light sensor and sunset/sunrise information. As the ambient light changes, the screen will gradually reduce the amount of light and offer warmer tones, adjusting the blue light levels accordingly. This allows for a more comfortable viewing experience at night by reducing the blue light which may affect one’s sleep quality.
Neo QLED’s sound features are getting a major upgrade as well. Building on OTS (Object Tracking Sound), which directs the sound to move across the room along with the object on-screen, the 2022 products will feature OTS Pro, which incorporates powerful up-firing speakers to create overhead surround sound. 2022 Neo QLED also delivers a truly remarkable Dolby Atmos experience thanks to the addition of Samsung’s new top channel speakers. With multi-channel speakers placed throughout the TV, Neo QLED delivers a dynamic sound experience that tracks the actions from all corners.
Award-Winning Lifestyle TVs With Seamless Integration of Design and Technology
Samsung’s 2022 Lifestyle screens seamlessly blend design and technology for a unique and personalized experience. A new Matte Display with anti-glare, anti-reflection and anti-fingerprint properties has been applied to The Frame, The Sero and The Serif, providing one of the most pleasant and comfortable viewing experiences. As a result, the new Matte Display on Samsung’s 2022 Lifestyle screens received three verifications from UL (Underwriter Laboratories) for being ‘Reflection Glare Free’, ‘Discomfort Glare Free’ and ‘Disability Glare Free’.
The Frame now offers the most realistic art viewing experience outside of a museum thanks to the anti-glare, low-reflection panel technology featuring an embossed, Matte Display. It also avoids fingerprints and smudges, allowing users to enjoy their favorite artwork in perfect condition. The Frame comes in sizes ranging from 32” to 85”. The Serif also comes with a matte finish body to blend seamlessly with the Matte Display, elevating the iconic design to give the most premium look and feel. With the addition of a 65” size option, The Serif is now offered in sizes ranging from 43” to 65”. The Sero offers an optimized watching experience with its new Matte Display in both vertical and horizontal modes. The new vertical Multi View function takes multitasking to the next level, allowing users to simultaneously view different content on the top and bottom of the screen, or search information online while watching something.
The New Smart Hub and Apps for the Ultimate User Experience
Samsung’s 2022 Smart TVs come with a new Smart Hub that puts content curation and discovery front and center with their viewing preferences. The new Smart Hub will guide users to their favorite content or help them discover something new all while spending less time searching. The Smart Hub’s sidebar also allows for a seamless transition between categories – Media, Game (Gaming Hub) and Ambient – letting users focus on various in-home activities.
Gaming Hub: The Samsung Gaming Hub will empower players to discover and jump into the games they love faster through game streaming services. Players will have access to an extensive library of games through Samsung’s partnerships with industry leaders – NVIDIA GeForce Now, Stadia and Utomik – and that’s just the beginning. Watch Together: The new app allows users to video chat with friends and family while watching their favorite shows and movies, guaranteed to bring everyone closer together. NFT Platform: This application features an intuitive, integrated platform for discovering, purchasing and trading digital artwork through MICRO LED, Neo QLED and The Frame. Smart Calibration: This feature allows users to fine tune the settings for optimal picture quality. Basic mode features a quick and easy way of calibrating the screens within 30 seconds, while Professional mode optimizes the screens for pristine picture quality in about 10 minutes.
Expanded Accessory Options Personalized to Users’ Needs and Tastes
The 2022 models also come with expanded accessories to personalize the user experience. The Auto Rotating Wall Mount and Stand inherits the vertical viewing experience from The Sero, allowing users to enjoy mobile viewing by automatically rotating their screens.1
To complement the accessory, the 2022 products will support a vertical interface, including the Smart Hub, and offer a vertical Multi View feature. It will offer apps such as YouTube and TikTok as well as mirroring and casting in vertical mode. Lastly, lifestyle features such as Ambient Mode+ and Art Mode are also available in vertical mode. The new rotation key on the remote control lets users easily rotate the screen with a click of a button.
Additionally, with expanded bezel options for The Frame and full motion slim-fit wall mounts for all TVs,2 there are endless possibilities of personalization with Samsung’s 2022 displays.
Breaking Sonic Barriers With the Latest Soundbar and Features
The 2022 soundbar lineup gets technology upgrades to provide even more immersive, three-dimensional audio experience. Q Symphony, the signature surround-sound experience which allows Samsung’s Neo QLEDs and soundbars to work together, has been improved with added synchrony. This enables the soundbar and TV speakers to work together with all the speakers on the TVs, including the top channel speakers, providing for an expansive, powerful soundscape.
Samsung’s 2022 soundbars also come with Wireless Dolby Atmos connectivity,3 a wireless Smart TV-to-soundbar connection in which both the screen and soundbar speakers deliver an incredible audio experience with no distracting cables.
Additionally, the new HW-S800B Ultra Slim Soundbar resets the standard in the slim soundbar category, delivering a powerful bass in compact form by integrating passive radiator technology with its subwoofer. With true top-firing speaker channels, the new ultra-slim soundbar packs powerful sound at just 1.6” in depth.
“The role of the screen has changed dramatically in recent years with advancements in technology and how entertainment is distributed. With our new lineup of products, we are providing customers an entirely immersive video and audio experience that is customizable to their needs,” said Simon Sung, Executive Vice President and Head of the Sales & Marketing Team of the Visual Display Business at Samsung. “Whether you are a movie buff, TV lover, gamer or even an art enthusiast, Samsung has leading-edge offerings that can enhance any room.”
For more information, including images or videos on the products Samsung is announcing at CES 2022, please visit news.samsung.com/global/ces-2022.
* All functionality, features, specifications, and other product information provided in this document including, but not limited to, the benefits, design, pricing, components, performance, availability, and capabilities of the product are subject to change without notice or obligation. Availability of the above-mentioned products, services, and features may vary by region.
1 Compatible with 2022 The Frame and Neo QLED 4K/8K models up to 65”.
2 Applies to all 2022 TV models 43”-85”, except Q80A and AU7000
3 Compatible with 2022 Samsung QLED
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By STF News
When it comes to generating the best viewing experiences possible on a TV, a balanced array of technologies and features are necessary to determine the picture quality of a display. From resolution to refresh rates, contrast levels to backlight control and color gamut to upscaling capabilities, all these features work together to create and produce high-quality images on-screen.
Samsung Electronics’ 2021 Neo QLED lineup features technological breakthroughs that deliver immersive and true-to-life viewing experiences like never before thanks to its LED modules on the hardware level through to its upscaling processes on a software level. With Samsung’s proprietary Neo Quantum Mini LEDs, Quantum Matrix Technology and Neo Quantum Processor, users can enjoy true-to-life viewing experiences that are better than ever before.
What’s more, Samsung’s Neo QLED lineup also features an incredibly thin and stylish Infinity One Design.1 With bezels all but erased at less than a millimeter, users can fully immerse themselves into the images on-screen, and given that the Neo QLED hangs on the wall just like a painting, it can blend seamlessly into various interiors.
To better understand how three key technologies of the 2021 Neo QLED lineup work together to enhance the overall picture quality experience, Samsung Newsroom is introducing them in dynamic graphic format for easy comprehension.
Manufactured With Precision – Quantum Mini LEDs
Samsung’s 2021 Neo QLED comes with an all-new form of light source, Quantum Mini LED. A whole new display technology featuring thousands of LEDs that are much smaller than standard LED modules,2 Quantum Mini LEDs reveal accurate and sophisticated image detailing while maintaining precise backlight control.
The secret behind the miniature size of Quantum Mini LEDs is Samsung’s proprietary micro layer technology that mounts micro layers inside the LED itself, as opposed to conventional technologies that pack layers on top of the LED, in order to eliminate unnatural noise among the LED elements and ensure deeper blacks can be displayed without blooming.
4,096 Levels of Lighting Control for Greater Bright-to-Dark Contrast – Quantum Matrix Technology
The 2021 Neo QLED lineup also incorporates Samsung’s proprietary Quantum Matrix Technology, which harnesses enhanced 12-bit gradation for greater control of the light source – the Quantum Mini LEDs. This allows the TV to control its lighting across an astounding 4,096 levels, four times greater than conventional 10-bit displays.3 This also creates even more possibilities to deliver the ultimate in contrast ratio management and deeper shades of black.
But that’s not all. With advanced local dimming control, 2021 Neo QLED lineup can efficiently manage power and improve peak brightness, making bright areas brighter and dark areas darker by harnessing unused electric power from dark areas and concentrating it to be used in bright areas. Quantum Matrix Technology takes advantage of the Quantum Mini LEDs’ superb hardware characteristics, all embedded in an LED the size of a grain of sand, and offers viewers sharpness and color volume that is more true-to-life than ever before.
Advanced Upscaling Divided Into 16 Artificial Neural Networks – Neo Quantum Processor
The crisp definition and vivid colors offered by Quantum Mini LEDs and Quantum Matrix Technology are brought to life by Samsung’s powerful Neo Quantum Processor and its AI upscaling capabilities. With 16 multi-modal neural networks running at once, the 2021 Neo QLED lineup delivers smooth and seamless 4K or 8K upscaling that meets the needs of the finest home theaters.
Samsung’s Neo Quantum Processor features AI-powered deep learning technologies that mimic the mechanism of human learning and memory, and the 2021 Neo QLED lineup sees a significant upgrade in this technology as the Neo Quantum Processor has grown from featuring one to 16 neural networks. These 16 different neural networks categorize content based on input resolution, quality and more.
Furthermore, since the Neo Quantum Processor includes dedicated upscaling models to precisely upscale content based on various factors including resolution, edges, details and noise levels, its 16 multi-modal neural networks can upscale SD broadcast content, HD videos on streaming services or even FHD content from Blu-ray disks, enhancing the exact aspect of picture quality needed for each content type.
1 Infinity One Design is offered on QN800A and above. For detailed lineup information, please visit www.samsung.com.
2 Compared with LED module height featured in the 2020 Samsung UHD TV, each Quantum Mini LED is 1/40 the size.
3 10-bit: 210 = 1,024 levels of control; 12-bit: 212 = 4,096 levels.
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By STF News
One of the reasons that movie theaters have been so popular is due to the immersive screen experiences they provide. This is because the viewing experience as intended by the director – including audio, lighting and picture quality – can be exactly replicated.
Not only do movie theaters provide lifelike pictures and visuals in ultra-high resolution, but they also control the amount of ambient light in the room in order to highlight the scene shown on the screen. Given that these theaters are built specially to provide such conditions, the at-home experience is never quite the same given that it is harder to control the amount of light in a room depending on the time of day.
But what if we were able to replicate the picture quality at home the way a content creator intended it to be seen? How can we bring the movie theater experience home?
The answer lies within Samsung Electronics’ 2021 Neo QLED TVs, which come with the latest HDR10+ Adaptive standard. Not only do the TVs provide premium viewing experiences, but they are also able to optimize the picture quality regardless of any reflection, luminance and interference brought about by the indoor lighting condition. Samsung Newsroom has pulled the curtains back to find out what HDR10+ Adaptive is and just how it works.
True-to-Life Picture Quality for Impactful Viewing
HDR10+ is the latest advanced High Dynamic Range technology, which Samsung has been incorporating into their UHD and above TVs since 2017 and is also featured in the 2021 Neo QLED TVs. It intelligently adapts your TV to optimally display UHD content the way it was meant to be seen with all the true-to-life highlight and shadow details. HDR10+ uses dynamic tone mapping to enhance the color and contrast and directs the screen to accurately display high dynamic range content on a scene-by-scene or even on a frame-by-frame basis.
HDR10+ is a royalty-free, open standard, accessible to any device maker to adopt and certify their own compatible devices using HDR10+ metadata syntax. This means that Samsung has been able to build complete control over on-screen picture quality into their TV lineup for true-to-life viewing experiences. HDR10+’s metadata also offers flexible reference tone and mapping curve definition for content creators, such as film producers and engineers, allowing them to deliver more impactful images exactly as they intend them to be seen.
AI Analysis for Optimum Experiences Even in Home Lighting Conditions
Samsung’s 2021 TV lineup also supports HDR10+ Adaptive, a technology that improves the HDR10+ viewing experience in users’ homes regardless of the lighting conditions. Samsung’s 2021 TVs come with the HDR10+ Adaptive standard which supports Filmmaker Mode1 and adapts to brighter rooms so that customers can enjoy true cinematic experiences when viewing HDR10+ movies and television programs in various environments at home.
On the 2021 Neo QLED TVs, HDR10+ Adaptive harnesses its AI engine to analyze the viewing environment, including the lighting, brightness and even reflections using the sensors equipped on the TV. The results are then incorporated into the dynamic metadata, and then through four further steps, the brightness and contrast of a scene are optimized. HDR standards are typically designed with a dark room in mind, similar to that of a movie theater. However, with HDR10+ Adaptive, viewers are guaranteed to see the original creators’ intent regardless of the lighting condition or the time of the day.
Youngwook Son, an engineer at the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, has been spearheading the development of the feature with his team. “HDR10+ is a premium feature that is geared to optimize the TV’s picture quality by fine-tuning the scene while preserving the original creator’s creative direction. HDR10+ Adaptive takes this one step further by allowing the TV to optimize the picture based on the surrounding lighting conditions, finally allowing TVs to provide a similar viewing experience to those found in dark environments, such as movie theaters.”
HDR10+ Marks Its Two-Year Anniversary with 120 Partners and Over 2,000 HDR10+ Content
The HDR10+ standard was introduced 2 years ago and now has 120 related partners. HDR10+ has robust support across the industry, with several thousand different products from multiple manufacturers offering HDR10+ supported devices. Currently, over 3,100 different TVs and projectors from more than 20 manufacturers support HDR10+. Furthermore, devices including smartphones, tablets and Blu-ray players also support the standard.
Streaming platforms like Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Rakuten TV, Megogo, Watcha, Paramount+, YouTube and others have helped make accessible thousands of hours of premium content, delivering a wide array of viewing choices to certified HDMI devices, including the Paramount+ Original Series “The Stand” and Universal’s iconic Back to the Future Trilogy. There are now over 2,000 pieces of content available to users that support the HDR10+.
HDR10+ is the only dynamic HDR technology supported on YouTube, which provides content creators and viewers alike with the unique opportunity to have the access to enhanced, premium HDR content right at their fingertips. With the rise of vertical video production and consumption, the standard gives content creators a unique opportunity to film and view user-generated content across any HDR10+ device.
“There are numerous technologies involved in creating the perfect scenes for the ultimate viewing experience,” noted Younghun Choi, EVP and Head of R&D Team, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “HDR10+ Adaptive is one of the core technologies that enable us to enjoy the pristine picture quality that we enjoy watching today. Samsung will continue to invest and upgrade users’ viewing experiences in line with the latest technological advancements and trends in the home entertainment industry.”
1 Filmmaker Mode is a viewing mode, which allows viewers to enjoy movies and TV shows the way the filmmakers intended them to be seen. Various Hollywood directors, including Christopher Nolan and James Cameron, are known to have advocated for the feature in August 2019.
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[Interview] The Story Behind the Development of the EZCal, an Easy-to-Use Picture Quality-Calibrating App That Transforms Your Living Room Into a Home TheaterBy STF News
▲ (From left to right) Ji Man Kim, Jun Hee Woo, Jason Park, and David Jung, engineers at Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business behind the development of the EZCal app.
Ever since the beginning of the global pandemic, we have been choosing our living room sofa over our seat at the local movie theater, our QLED TV over a mega screen, and the convenience of enjoying a film at home over the excitement of a screening in a movie theater.
At CES 2021, which was held in January of this year, Samsung Electronics premiered its EZCal app, which enables you to calibrate the picture quality of your TV to a quality comparable to that of a movie theater for those who want to enjoy that true cinema experience at home. Samsung Newsroom sat down with the developers of the EZCal app to hear more about the story behind how this upcoming app, which helps customers quickly and easily enjoy optimal viewing qualities, came to be.
EZCal: For Cinematic Viewing Quality in the Comfort of Your Home
In August 2019, Hollywood film directors including Christopher Nolan and James Cameron emphasized the need for a ‘film maker’ mode on user’s personal TVs, a mode that would portray a film in the quality that the creator had in mind when they originally produced the content. Such a particular picture quality is favored not only by Hollywood filmmakers but also by experts across a range of fields, including professional engineers of picture quality for TVs, experts from institutions concerning international picture quality standards, and developers of picture quality-calibrating solutions. This ‘film maker’ mode is also known in the industry as ‘creator-intended picture quality’ or ‘picture quality in accordance with international broadcasting video standards.’
However, in practice, this ‘film maker’ mode has often not been able to provide all users with the flexibility they require when looking to enjoy cinematic viewing experiences in the comfort of their own homes. In order to find ways to make it easier for users to enjoy cinema-level picture quality at home, Samsung Electronics developed a way to connect TVs and smartphones using compatible apps that then easily calibrates picture quality using the color data exchanged between the two devices: EZCal.
“The fact that this app need be used only by those who want to use it helped ease the burden in terms of research costs,” noted Engineer Ji Man Kim. “What’s more, the app is easy to operate, meaning that users can seamlessly enjoy the picture quality they desire.”
EZCal stands for ‘Easy Calibration,’ and upon its unveiling at CES 2021 this January, the upcoming app quickly garnered attention for its ability to showcase a creator’s intended picture quality through the app format, and even won the Best of CES Award at the AVS Forum, a forum comprised of industry experts.
High-End Picture Quality: From Measurement to Calibration
Prior to the development of the EZCal, calibrating the picture quality of a TV required a light-blocked room as dark as a darkroom along with a suite of high-end devices. The pattern generator and the optical instrument would first have to be connected to a PC equipped with a picture quality software solution, and the optical instrument would then be placed close to the TV screen so that it could recognize the pattern produced by the pattern generator. The picture quality would then be calibrated using the PC – all in all, this process was a cumbersome one and could take up to two hours if carried out manually. This process also required basic knowledge in picture quality, thereby preventing regular users from even attempting calibration.
“We had to grapple with how to move past the existing picture quality-calibrating framework and integrate it into the users’ experience,” said Engineer Jun Hee Woo of overcoming initial concerns that arose during the development process. “The solution was to simplify each step of the picture quality calibration process and to think of ways to replicate the functionality of high-end calibration devices.”
In order to replace the instruments that would measure the optical data of the TV screen, smartphone cameras were harnessed for the EZCal app. But even then, one problem still remained: the picture quality of TVs could not be calibrated under the RGB spectrum, i.e., a color value acquired using smartphones. “Picture quality for TVs should be based on the colors that people perceive with their eyes,” noted Engineer Jason Park. “This is why we needed the XYZ coordination data prescribed by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE). Developing an algorithm that could transform RGB data to XYZ coordination data was key to picture quality calibration.”
The video pattern generator was then changed to incorporate a method of sharing video patterns directly from the TV, and the connection between the picture quality software solution and the PC was replaced by the connectivity of a smartphone to a TV linked via Wi-Fi. “It was through the process of verifying whether the hardware and software of the QLED TV and a Galaxy Smartphone were suitable for the development of EZCal that we became convinced that the complex picture quality-calibration process could be condensed within a single app,” said Engineer Ji Man Kim.
Three Modes for Easy Calibration – to Your Tastes
The greatest advantage offered by EZCal is that you can easily and quickly calibrate the picture quality of your TV to whatever degree you desire. Once you launch the EZCal app on your smartphone, the Tizen app built into your television will begin operating in the background. Then, depending on the detail of calibration you desire, you can select from the following three options: Quick Mode, Basic Mode, and Professional Mode.
As its name indicates, Quick Mode is an option that enables easy calibration within a short period of time. Once you have selected this mode and brought your smartphone to your TV, the camera in your smartphone captures the on-screen video pattern and transforms the acquired RGB spectrum data into XYZ coordination data. “It only takes 15 to 30 seconds to calibrate the picture quality in Quick Mode,” explained Engineer David Jung. “Our focus when developing this mode was on enabling calibration in a quick yet effective manner.”
Basic Mode, a functionality that is one step more advanced than Quick Mode, offers users a wider range of calibrations. While in Quick Mode you can calibrate a content’s white balance within two points, in Basic Mode you can calibrate this aspect within 20 points, and also calibrate the Gamma – which governs the brightness of video signals – and the greyscale linearity – the aspect responsible for the consistency of colors by signal strength – resulting in a more optimized picture quality. Whereas Quick Mode is an option designed to make the movie-watching experience more pleasant for regular users, the Basic Mode has been optimized for movie fans that enjoy being particular about their film’s picture quality,” explained Engineer Jason Park.
Thirdly, Professional Mode is an advanced setup mode tailored for those that enjoy curating sophisticated picture quality experiences. Although Professional Mode requires the longest time for calibration to complete – between 12 and 15 minutes – this longer calibration period allows for color and brightness calibration to be undertaken in even greater detail. “Professional Mode can be used for a variety of situations, whether you are watching movies or playing games,” noted Engineer David Jung. “We recommend that you turn your room’s lights off and use tripods for even greater calibration measurement accuracy.”
Reflecting the TV’s ability to provide the best picture quality possible, Samsung’s QLED TV lineup has consistently received support and praise from its users. Over 20,000 units of the 2021 QLED TV have been sold in Korea in just under two months since its release, a figure that mirrors the efforts of the company to provide users with high-quality viewing experiences at home.
Samsung’s ongoing efforts to provide optimal picture quality experiences to users are what have led to the development of EZCal, which is set to bring about cinema-like picture quality to QLED users that would satisfy even the films’ creators themselves. The team who worked on developing EZCal is proud of the range of calibration options offered by the app; “In the near future, we will see EZCal be used across even more diverse areas,” shared Engineer David Jung. “There is no doubt that its emphasis on genuine media appreciation will expand to serve other purposes, too.”
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