[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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By STF News
▲ (From left) Kyuseong Lee, Kang-il Chung and Sunwoo Kim, the lifestyle TV product planners at Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business
The characteristics of TVs are continuing to evolve in line with the latest trends and lifestyle patterns. Against this backdrop, the role of the television has expanded. Whereas it used to simply be a device for delivering entertainment, the TV has now become a central component of users’ interior design schemes.
To keep up with emerging trends, Samsung Electronics has continued to think outside the box as it explores new possibilities for TVs. Since 2015, the company has been continuously pushing the envelope to develop new looks and features on its televisions, and ensure that consumers can fit their TV to their lifestyle. So, how did Samsung come up with its lifestyle TV line, and what kind of consumer experience is it aiming to provide? To find out, Samsung Newsroom met with the company’s lifestyle TV product planners, who have contributed to solutions ranging from The Serif to The Terrace.
Lifestyle TVs: Becoming More Than Just a Fixture of the Living Room
Vivid picture and a sense of immersion are two fundamental elements that a television must provide, with a well designed product capable of delivering both. Nowadays, lifestyles are shifting, and viewing has moved out of the living room, with people preferring to consume their content in whichever room they are in at the time.
“Our goal was to allow consumers to have a range of different screens for the various spaces in their house,” said group leader Kang-il Chung. “This would allow them to enjoy whatever content they wanted, wherever they were, based on Samsung’s ‘Screens Everywhere’ philosophy.” Chung’s work involves analyzing tech trends and usage patterns, which allowed him to start determining which new features users want from their television.
“In order to establish concepts for new TV products and functions, we look at things like how televisions are being used, interior decoration trends and the overall cultural and lifestyle preferences of our users,” explained product planner Kyuseong Lee. During the planning stage, the product planners focus on connecting the desired user experience to the essence of the product. By doing this, the team seeks to make it easier for the user to comprehend both the product’s story and the distinct experience it offers. Added Lee, “Rather than simply adding lots of different functions, we work to clearly define the main concept of the product, then make it different. In this way, we look to realize all aspects of the core experience to perfection.”
The Serif and The Frame: Bringing Classy Décor to Your Other Rooms
Since the time of its invention, the television has been considered a staple of the living room. But now, with a growing number of users also putting TVs in rooms like their bedrooms and studies, this is changing. In line with this trend, Samsung has expanded what it deems the ‘TV space’ from the living room to a range of other rooms. Along with this, the company has started to develop televisions that not only suit the interior aesthetics of those other rooms, but include features that match the needs and lifestyles of the people using the rooms.
In September of 2015, Samsung introduced its first lifestyle TV, The Serif, which was designed to contribute to users’ interior design schemes. The Serif’s iconic I-shaped design was created by the internationally renowned Bouroullec Brothers, and is an ideal choice for those who want an aesthetically pleasing television that goes well in any space. “We pursued a meaningful design that emphasized people and space, and tried to get away from the usual ‘TV look’,” said Chung. “A lot of consumers claim that The Serif looks more like a lifestyle product than a TV.”
The product planning team’s ongoing efforts to develop new models that blend well with their surrounding environments also contributed to the development of The Frame. Looking like a modern picture frame, this television can be matched to any home décor style and features an ‘Art Mode’ that allows viewers to enjoy artistic masterpieces from the comfort of their homes. The TV’s sensors are also capable of automatically detecting illumination intensity and movement. “Samsung is collaborating with world-renowned curators, renowned art galleries, museums and artists to deliver a broad collection of art through the Art Store,” related Sunwoo Kim. “We will keep working hard to ensure that we are able to display an increasingly broad range of great artworks in stunning resolution.”
Thinking Outside the Box: The Sero for Millennials
And Samsung’s ‘think outside the box’ development philosophy goes beyond considerations of space and expands to form. Whereas a typical television has a horizontal, 16:9-aspect-ratio screen, modern viewers’ increasing use of mobile devices means that watching content on vertical screens is becoming more and more common. The Millennial generation’s tendency to watch things on their smartphones, in particular, has contributed to the increased prominence of vertically displayed content. Thus, The Sero was developed as an answer to the question, ‘what if we could make the TV screen rotatable so that it could better match the lifestyles of Millennial users?’
The Sero is the result of this bold idea. “Developing the Sero with a rotating screen was a long and challenging journey, as it was like we were exploring unchartered territory,” said the product planners. The team had to consider a broad range of factors, such as whether the user would rotate the screen manually or whether it would rotate automatically. The project brought many different teams together as they set out to create a whole new consumer experience, with their efforts eventually culminating in ‘The Sero’. “We are witnessing an increasing amount of consumption of vertical, short-form content on social networking sites,” remarked Chung. “And The Sero allows viewers to use screen mirroring to watch this content in a full screen, immersive format.”
Expanding to Other Spaces: The Premiere and The Terrace
Over time, the focus of Samsung’s Lifestyle TVs has shifted again. Due to the pandemic, many people prefer watching movies at home to going to the theater these days. The Premiere is specifically designed for those who want to create a theater-like environment in their homes. This easy-to-install model boasts a large, theater-like screen with very sharp picture quality. “With The Premiere, you can enjoy your favorite content on an ultra-large screen from the comfort of your home,” related Kim. “With a premium fabric finish, The Premiere also serves as an excellent complement to your interior décor.”
In the current climate, more people are also making use of private outdoor spaces such as balconies. In line with such consumer lifestyle changes, Samsung has introduced its first outdoor TV model, The Terrace. With superior water and dust resistance, The Terrace delivers an outstanding viewing experience regardless of rain, heat or other adverse weather events. Said Lee, “Going forward, the outdoor TV market is expected to grow exponentially. The Terrace provides an optimal outdoor viewing experience, delivering exceptionally vivid and detailed images in both the sunlight and the shade.”
As our TVs become increasingly important parts of our lives, some argue that the evolution of the product is nearing its conclusion. But Chung thinks differently, claiming that, “There is still an unending range of possibilities for what our televisions might become in the future.” He expressed hope that himself and his team will be able to keep introducing new and varied lifestyle TV models to keep providing fresh experiences to consumers.
Samsung’s lifestyle TV product planners believe that TVs need to keep evolving in order to keep up with continuously changing lifestyles. “We want to develop TVs that people want to own, and that they’ll want to show off,” Kim stressed. “Our dream is to build a so-called ‘lifestyle universe’ where each space is equipped with a lifestyle TV that suits the function of the space.”
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