In advance of availability on some of its 2018 4K Ultra HD QLED TVs next month, Samsung officially released pricing on its fullest lineup (so far) for U.S. market this year.

As previously reported, the 2018 QLED tier includes the Q9FN, Q8FN, Q7FN, Q7CN and Q6FN series, with screen sizes in the U.S. assortment comprising: 55, 65-, 75- and 82-inches.

For the best picture quality, the top two series–Q9FN and Q8FN–have dramatically improved contrast and black levels, and brighter specular highlights, thanks to a return to full array LED backlighting, which Samsung calls Direct Full Array, and these include local dimming for localized brightness control.

Samsung has also improved color, color volume and viewing angles with the latest version of quantum dot technology, using a QD film layer. The Q9FN line will have the largest number of LED back light zones for the best overall black level, contrast and brightness performance, but Samsung is saying exactly how many zones that entails.

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In addition to the full-array LED backlight in the Q9FN and Q8FN series, Samsung said it enhances black levels with a new processing chip, and an anti-glare film, that dramatically reduces on-screen reflections.

The Q9FN models include the 75-inch QN75Q9FN ($5,999.99) and the 65-inch QN65Q9FN ($3,799.99). Both have flat screens and offer very deep blacks with clearly visible fine detail, and very bright whites and yellows without haloing around bright objects on dark backgrounds.

The step-down Q8FN models include the 75-inch QN75QFN ($4,799.99), the 65-inch QN65Q8FN ($2,999.99), and the 55-inch QN55Q8FN ($2,199.99). These also have flat-screens and full-array backlighting with local dimming, but with a lesser number of LED zones across the LCD back plane.

Both the Q8FN and the Q9FN series also add the “One Invisibile Connection.” This is a single thin fiber optic cable connection (a 5-meter cable is supplied with the TV and a 15 meter version is available as an option) between the Samsung external One Connect box, which carries processing circuitry and input/output terminals. The One Invisibile Connection then supplies both source signals, and for the first time, power to the screen, without the need for additional cords or wires.

This is ideal for wall mounting the television without requiring holes drilled into walls or unsightly wires running down the wall to the source devices and power outlets.

A company representative said the One Invisible Connection cable is not fire rated and is not recommended for installations behind walls without proper conduit insulation. But its thin form factor and translucent white coloring make it less obvious than traditionally bulky power cords and HDMI cables when run outside the wall.

The Q7 lineup will come in two screen versions — flat and curved. All of these models us edge-lit LED lighting, like Samsung’s 2017 models. The flat-screen versions include the 75-inch QN75Q7FN ($3,999.99), the 65-inch QN65Q7FN ($2,599.99) and the 55-inch QN55Q7FN ($1,899.99). The curved-screen versions comprise the 65-inch QN65Q7CN ($2,699.99) and the 55-inch QN55Q7CN ($1,999.99).

The entry QLED series is the Q6FN, which is comprised of the 82-inch QN82Q6FN ($4,499.99), the 75-inch QN75Q6FN ($3,499.99), the 65-inch QN65Q6FN ($2,199.99), and the 55-inch QN55Q6FN ($1,499.99)

All of the new QLED models and many lower-tier Samsung 4K Ultra HD televisions this year will feature an updated Tizen smart TV operating system, bringing support for SmartThings-compatible home automation device control, Bixby AI voice control, and a new Universal Guide. QLED models will also feature Samsung’s One Remote universal remote.

Using Bixby voice AI, users can speak a title, actors name, directors name, genre etc into the mic in the One Remote and the Smart TV platform brings up in the Universal Guide a screen full of suggestions from multiple input sources, including cable and satellite systems, broadcast stations and OTT services.

All of the 2018 4K Ultra HD models will be capable of high dynamic range (HDR) supporting the HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG), and HDR10+ profiles. The latter is Samsung’s open platform supporting dynamic metadata for scene-by-scene color grading.

The 2018 QLED models will also feature a wider angle of view than last year.

The Q9FN models and will be available in the 65- ($3,799.99 suggested retail), 75-inch and 88-inch screen sizes. Scheduled to hit retail in April, The Q9FN models will have flat screens and are to use what Samsung is calling “Full-Array Elite Backlighting”. The sets also feature an Ultra Black Elite filter to produce what Samsung said are OLED-like deep black levels and an Ambient Mode.

Ambient Mode is another highly cool feature included for the first time in 2018 QLED models. In wall-mounted applications this lets you use an app on an iOS or Android smartphone to take a picture of the TV and the surrounding wall. Then, using the app, the TV can be controlled to present a pattern of the backing wall on the screen so it looks like the screen is invisible, showing the wall behind the frame. Samsung embellishes this with subtle graphics to make it look like a TV is framing a picture with a transparent background. It also can play music and display news headlines, traffic reports, and weather updates.


By Greg Tarr


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