Gearing up for what could be a controversial IFA 2019 in Berlin, Germany, Samsung Electronics said Wednesday that it is partnering with major European streaming services to support the world’s first 8K HDR10+ content.

The announcement follows by a day, LG’s declaration that it will soon release to the U.S., the U.K. and other markets, its first 8K OLED (an 88-inch model) and 8K NanoCell LED-LCD TVs. LG also issued a position on definitions for 8K content that differs from other published standards.

Samsung is also expected to be a major participant in 8K discussions being coordinated by the new 8K Association at the show.

In its latest statement, Samsung said it is taking a leadership position in high dynamic range (HDR) specifications, by enlisting the support of CHILI, The Explorers and MEGOGO – three key Over-the-top (OTT) service providers in Europe – to adopt 8K HDR10+ along with support for 4K HDR10+ content streaming.

HDR10+ is a dynamic metadata-based HDR profile championed by Samsung, Panasonic, the former 20th Century Fox studio and others. It is seen as a rival to Dolby’s Dolby Vision dynamic metadata HDR profile, among others.

According to Samsung: “HDR10+ technology optimizes brightness and maximizes the contrast ratio, making bright areas brighter and dark areas darker.”

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Samsung includes support for HDR10+ on all of its 4K Ultra TVs and 2019 8K TV models, including Samsung’s lineup of quatum-dot-color-film-enhanced QLED TVs.

“With HDR emerging as one of the most important technologies for ultra-high picture quality, our HDR10+ format enables every image to be accurately displayed on screen just as the creator intended,” stated Hyogun Lee, Samsung Electronics Visual Display Business executive VP. “We will continue to strengthen our industry leadership through establishing partnerships with top streaming service providers and equipping our televisions with the technology needed to support the world’s first 8K HDR10+.”

In a statement, Victor Chekanov, MEGOGO CEO, stated: “Our main goal in this partnership with Samsung is to offer the highest-quality content services available to our customers. We will maintain our initiative in the Russian OTT service market and plan to provide dozens of HDR10+ movies to Samsung Smart TV users starting late this summer.”

Samsung also revealed that it is collaborating with “several other industry-leading content partners” including Rakuten TV, Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta TV and Videociety, which Samsung said are all expected to adopt HDR10+ support for their respective VOD services between Q4 2019 and Q1 2020.

In addition, Molotov, the first French OTT streaming service to offer live and on-demand TV channels in one location, is also said by Samsung to be considering adoption of HDR10+.

“The growing list of premiere content partners is a testament to the industry’s commitment to the best viewing experience possible for consumers,” Samsung’s announcement stated.

Among others supporting HDR10+ are Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which will be debuting HDR10+ on UHD Blu-ray with “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”, respectively.

These will join a handful of HDR10+ 4K UHD Blu-ray discs already released from Twentieth Century Fox and others.

Samsung said that since it began the HDR10+ logo certification program with Panasonic and 20th Century Fox last year, “81 companies have joined the program, boosting the program’s influence in the industry. Samsung has also strengthened its effort with the new opening of an HDR10+ center in China last December, following Korea, Japan and the U.S. With TV manufacturers such as Hisense obtaining HDR10+ certification in China, the HDR10+ alliance is expected to expand even further.”

The company added that along with HDR10+ certifications of existing TVs and smartphone products, Samsung is working to implement the program for B2B products. This will include micro LED models such as The Wall Pro and The Wall Lux modular display systems. The company said it also plans to expand the ecosystem to include Samsung’s line of LED products.

By Greg Tarr

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