The resolution of television screens goes one step higher every few years. It may not seem that long ago that Ultra HD 4K appeared, but that introduction has been behind us for six years now. With the Q900R series, Samsung is taking a clear step into the future: an 8K television with already four times more pixels. How does this 8K Ultra HD QLED TV show its quality in the living room? We got the Samsung QE75Q900R on our test bench.
Samsung QE75Q900R – specifications
- What: Ultra HD 8K (7.680 x 4.320) Full Array LED-LCD TV with local dimming (30 × 16 segments)
- Screen size: 75 inch (191 cm), flat
- Connections: One connect box: 4x HDMI (1xARC, 4x v2.0a), 1x optical digital out, 3x USB, 1x digital optical audio out, 3x antenna, network connection
- Extras: HDR10, HDR10 +, HLG, WiFi (802.11ac) built-in, Tizen Smart Hub, USB / DLNA media player, dual DVB-T / C / S2, 1x CI + lock, Smart Controller, voice control, One Connect Box, Invisible Connection, Ambient Mode
- Dimensions: 1,677 x 1025 x 338 mm (including foot)
- Weight: 41.8 kg (including foot)
- Consumption: 377 / 0.5 watt (Energy Label B)
- : 6.999 euro
A complete overview of all the models that Samsung brought to market in 2018 can be found in the 2018 Samsung lcd led tv line-up. Here you will also find the complete specifications per model.
Samsung QE75Q900R – design
Let’s just notice that 75 inches is a very large image size. That 191 cm screen diagonal gives a completely different TV experience. And you can not underestimate this size when drawing up. The device is about 1.7 m wide and weighs almost 42 kg. Samsung first wanted to lend us the 85 inch, but that would come with its 54 kg (!) Above the safe load of our furniture, and was also too wide (191 cm) to fit our furniture.
Get you take this 75 inch in your home, then you do not opt for the slimmest possible screen. The full array backlighting results in a profile of 35mm. That is considerable, but given the enormous size of the device, that hardly stands out.
The screen stands on two slender feet, and the finish is fine. A dark metal coloring frame grips around the screen and the back is perfectly flat, and executed in black plastic with a horizontal stripe structure. We notice during the tests that the screen has built-in cooling, you hear a particularly soft, but not disturbing fan noise.
No connections to be detected on the back, only the connection for the ‘Invisible Connection’ cable, and fine slots to lead the cable to one of the two feet, which, incidentally, also both have a slit to guide the cable away. Be careful when installing the cable. Some curves in the cable slot are wide (like the unused bend in the photo), others are quite sharp (like the bend in the photo). With that sharp you can push the cable deeper into the slot so that you do not bend it too sharp, but that is very difficult, and seems to be a recipe to damage the cable. Samsung had done better to make all corners wide enough.
Just as with the other QLED models, all connections are on the One Connect box. The model with this 75 inch is even bigger than the already hefty version that we found at the 65Q9FN. Presumably, the device requires a heavier diet, and that takes up space. The One Connect box is also getting pretty warm, although it seemed that during our tests it never went so far that we would advise against placing the box in a cupboard. Yet you should provide a minimum of ventilation if you hide it.
HDMI 2.1 unfortunately, the hardware is not yet available, but HDMI 2.0b. This means that you can not deliver 8K content in this way for the time being. The connections already use VRR (handy for gamers). Samsung might provide a new One Connect box (with HDMI 2.1) but its modalities (price, availability …) are not yet known. Furthermore, it contains a digital optical output, three USB connections on the side, three antenna connections, and the wired network connection and the power supply. There is no headphone connection, but the television does have Bluetooth.
The One Connect box connects you to the television using the ‘Invisible Connection’ we already know from the other QLED TVs. This cable is approximately 3.4 mm thick, and is partially transparent. It delivers all the image, sound, data and power for the television, so it is the only cable that runs to your device. Anyone who leads him away (think of it, not to bend too sharply in the bends) can indeed realize an almost invisible connection. The cable is also five meters long, that gives you a lot of possibilities if you want to give the TV a new place (there is a 15 m long cable in option).
Samsung QE75Q900R – ease of use
Install do you either in the classic way on television, or you use the SmartThings app on your smartphone. As soon as the television is detected, the app guides you step by step through the required steps. The app later also serves as a remote control, if you wish.
The Samsung menus and Smart Hub work very smoothly. You really never have to wait on the menus. Samsung has put virtually all settings for image and sound in the ‘expert settings’. This is convenient for the average consumer who has little message about all these things. Also do not forget that some image-related settings (such as eco settings, game mode and HDMI settings) are listed separately in the ‘General’ menu.
The Smart controller is identical to the model shown in the Q9FN is delivered. It is slim, compact, completely made of light metal, and with a minimum of keys. It feels luxurious in the hand, and is particularly easy to operate. Thanks to a fine relief you can clearly feel which key is under your thumb. Do not worry about the small number of keys, the synergy between the Smart Hub and Smart Controller is excellent and you operate everything very smoothly.
As in previous years, you can use the Smart Controller as universal remote for your peripherals. Open the Smart Hub, go to Sources (penultimate icon on the left) and scroll in the options all the way to the right, to ‘Set universal Remote Control’. You go through a very simple installation procedure per connected device and ready. We were able to operate our set-top box for digital TV (Telenet digicorder) and Blu-ray player with the Smart Controller. Make sure that the One Connect Box is not covered on clogged position relative to the devices to be operated. It sends out IR signals for operation.
Samsung QE75Q900R – features
Smart TV platform
Samsung with its Q900R series is not the first to launch an 8K device (which was honor for Sharp) , but it is the first real full-fledged 8K television (the Sharp was previously an 8K monitor). In the Smart Hub you will find everything you need. All functions, sources and settings can easily be found in the bar at the bottom. You can change the order of icons so that your favorite items are at the front.
Above that a larger bar appears that shows options depending on your selection at the bottom. In Netflix, for example, you get a few suggestions, you choose at the bottom of the sources, you see all possible sources.
The Q900R is equipped with a dual tuner for all digital TV possibilities (ether, cable, and satellite) but no double CI + lock. You can record to USB hard drive and watch another channel at the same time but only if one of the two channels is not encrypted. The tuners are unfortunately not suitable for any future 8K broadcasts.
Samsung’s media player has always been an almost universal player. This year, however, we notice that support for Divx and for Xvid video formats have disappeared. Now those formats have long been pensionable, so we do not really like that. What we regret is that the player no longer plays DTS soundtracks. Furthermore, Full HD, Ultra HD and HDR, encoded in H.264, HEVC or VP9 are no problem, just like subtitles. Samsung supplied a few 8K samples on a USB stick, so that way you can play 8K content. Although there are undoubtedly limitations (we could not play the NASA clip (8192 x 4320) and downloaded 8K video from Youtube (in VP9 Codec)). The audio player also reads FLAC and ALAC.
The Smart remote is equipped with a microphone, and with that you can give a lot of commands or say queries. For now, there is unfortunately no support for Dutch.
Do you hate that big black area in the living room, especially with these huge screen sizes? Ambient mode allows television to integrate slightly in your living room.
Ambient mode can be set to show decorative patterns, information such as time and weather information, or as a large photo frame. The image is deliberately dimmed in order not to be noticed, and to give the impression of an art frame.
Samsung QE75Q900R – Image quality
The Q900R is closely related to the image technology Q9FN. The QLED display uses quantum dot technology for a rich color range, and the VA panel is illuminated by a Full Array backlight composed of 30 x 16 segments, identical to the QE65Q9FN.
The best choice starts from the film mode.
|Film Mode||Expert Settings||Expert Settings|
|Picture format setting: 16: 9 standard
] Fit to screen: On
Tint (G / R): 0
|Clean Digital View: Off / Low
Auto Motion Plus: *
Local Dimming: Standard
Contrast Enhancement: Off
HDR + mode: Off *
Color Tone: Warm 2
Range: BT .1886 / 0
RGB mode: Off
Color space: Auto
Explanation of main settings;
- The backlight is in Film mode at 24. This provides sufficient clarity for typical living room use and you can, when you look at a lot of light, the setting is still a lot higher. In that case you can also consider the light sensor, which can be found under General, Eco-solution, Detection of ambient light.
- Clean Digital View contains all noise reduction techniques. It is advisable to activate at least ‘low’ when viewing DVD or other low-quality image. The ‘Auto’ mode also slightly illuminates color bands.
- Auto Motion Plus: this is always a matter of taste. Auto delivers too many artefacts. Adapted with Haziness Reduction at 10 and vibration reduction somewhere between 4 and 6 seemed the best compromise. We do not recommend LED Clear Motion, the flickering in the image is visible.
- HDR + mode can be activated to taste. It seems to us that you lose some white detail.
8K, 33 million pixels
It is easy to forget how huge an 8K image is. Ultra HD 8K which is 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, or 33.2 million pixels. That is four times more than Ultra HD 4K and 16x more than Full HD. It is totally crazy when you compare with SD. An SD image (like a DVD) fits 80x (yes, eighty!) In an Ultra HD 8K image.
Whether so much detail has a place in the living room is the subject of discussion. What is clear is that 8K only makes sense if you look at very large screen sizes, such as this 75 inch, or the 85 inch version. The 8K content we received from Samsung is incredibly sharp, and has a tangible depth, both when you are one meter in front of the screen, and when you’re a bit further away. 8K brings in a bit of reality as it were. Very impressive, but …
Unfortunately, 8K content remains very limited available for the time being. YouTube has 8K videos but the player currently provides a maximum of 4K. Vimeo also has some 8K content, but we can not see details of the stream in the app, and we suspect that this app is limited to 4K. In short, for the vast majority of your viewing pleasure, you will be dependent on upscaling Ultra HD 4K material or lower.
Upscaling will therefore be of great importance in the future. Samsung equipped these devices with their latest processor, which uses AI and machine learning to choose smart upscaling methods. The result is particularly good, but is also directly proportional to the quality of your source material. If you start from good Ultra HD 4K images, then the Q900R delivers images that, from a normal viewing distance, can almost pass for 8K content, and yes, are even noticeably sharper than on a comparable 4K screen. Full HD content is very clever, but lacks the small details that make the image so real. In short, the scaler can do a fantastic job.
The performance of the processor with SD footage (eg DVD) may initially seem like a setback, but that is because you do not adjust your expectations. In reality, the processor must convert every pixel of the source image to 80 pixels. That he does not make mistakes, accentuates block formation, enlarges noise or simply makes the image too soft, and all that in real time is an incredible achievement. Yes, the image is quite soft (due to lack of detail), but you hardly see any image errors. It is possible, but who really wants to see the performance for which he pays: at least choose Full HD source material on this screen.
General image and image processing
The image processing of this Samsung is excellent. Thanks to the excellent upscaling you can enjoy very beautiful and sharp images with all your sources. However, anyone who is tempted to sharpen the image a little further must do so with the necessary caution. You can only intervene by adjusting the ‘sharpness’ setting, which gives rise to fake detail and double contours very quickly. We recommend as a maximum approximately ‘5’, at ’10’ there were already problems visible.
He detects several film and video framerates correctly so that you will rarely see jagged edges or moiré. The noise reduction provides excellent work, and we recommend to keep at least the ‘low’ mode activated for all Full HD or lower content. In the ‘auto’ mode he also works out some color bands, but the noise reduction is sometimes quite strong, so that possible loss of filmgrain is possible.
The motion sharpness on this LCD is excellent, and even seems to be a better than what we saw on the Q9FN. You must keep Auto Motion Plus enabled for that. The ‘auto’ mode, however, produced too many image artefacts (only recommended for sport). For film, the best compromise is the ‘adjusted’ setting, with blurring at 8-10, and vibration reduction between 4 and 6. This gives you a beautifully detailed and smooth image. Although with ‘Led Clear Motion’ you see extra detail in fast moving images, we do not recommend using it because you get visible flickering in the screen.
The Q900R uses 480 zones in its backlight, just like the Q9FN. Samsung also seems to have tinkered with the dimming algorithm, so the result is even better. The black value should narrow the thumbs for OLED, but the black detail is slightly better. Segment boundaries hide the dimming very well, even in very extreme examples such as our firework scene. Only those who look at eclipse may notice an occasional, very soft halo. Also the pulsing of the general brightness (as seen in some scenes by Jessica Jones) seems to have been eliminated.
Only subtitles on very dark images inevitably lead to a slight adjustment of the light intensity. The screen shows a lot of black detail, which is a nice improvement compared to the Q9FN that hid something in that area.
The uniformity of the screen is solid, we could here and there on test images a vertical band, but that was never visible in practice. The film mode delivers excellent results, with a stable gray scale, which has a very light, green tint. The error is very small, but makes red and orange shades slightly weaker. The color reproduction is generally fine. We had expected a more accurate picture of a top model, but the errors are small, and are around the observable boundary. You also enjoy very good images.
Samsung supports HDR10, HLG and HDR10 +, but no Dolby Vision. Because the content offer of HDR10+ remains non-existent, and Dolby Vision keeps growing, we find that a shame. The Q900R comes with a maximum brightness on paper of 4,000 nits, but we do not get that in practice. In the dynamic image mode, the maximum is about 3,200 nits, and that can hold the Q900R for only a few seconds, then the brightness drops down.
In the movie HDR image mode the maximum is about 1930 nits on a 10% window. The peak declines after a long time to 1000 nits. On a completely white screen is the maximum 560 nits. That is more than enough to deliver a particularly lively and impressive HDR performance.
Just like on the Q9FN, the image is generally too bright in Film mode. That can go up to 50% too bright. The device does keep all white detail. Anyone who wishes to limit this excessive brightness can lower the ‘contrast’ setting. On our test sample, a value of 40 (instead of 50) gave an almost correct result. It is also striking that the screen has a slightly smaller color range than the Q9FN (93% DCI-P3 and 67% Rec2020), but that will hardly be visible in practice either.
Reflections and Viewing angles
The Q900R uses the same anti-reflection film as the Q9FN and it delivers results. The viewing angle is reasonable, but remains fairly limited, as with all VA screens. Especially with dark scenes and the more with HDR content you still risk halos and segment boundaries. With bright images the result is much better.
In the film image mode we measure a lag of 114 ms. That is far too much for a good game experience. With the game mode active, the lag drops to 16.7 ms and that is an excellent result. You activate the game in the settings, under General, Manage external devices, Game mode. Samsung has also added Motion Plus settings so you can now also edit the motion sharpness in game mode. As a result the lag rises to about 37 ms.
In the menu of the game mode we now also find a mention of FreeSync. That is the VRR (variable refresh rate) feature of HDMI. Gamers using Radeon Freesync can make use of this.
Samsung QE75Q900R – Audio quality
Of this giant screen we had, to be honest, expected better sound. On the other hand, it is also not a matter of worry and grief in terms of audio. The Q900R delivers more than enough volume with a solid line of bass. His biggest deficit is in his rather flat sound, there is little pit to drag you into the film. Experiment with the ‘optimized’ sound mode, we found it sounding nicer than the standard setting.
Anyone who wants a real movie experience with good, spatial sound, opts for an external sound solution that better fits the fantastic image . The Samsung does not support Dolby Atmos (via eg Netflix) and because of the lack of eARC it can not send such soundtracks to an external sound installation.
For the lay-measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. To analyze any HDR problems, we use an HDFury Vertex.
Samsung QE75Q900R – Conclusion
Ultimately, someone should be the first to introduce new technology, even if the rest of the industry is lagging behind. This 8K TV from Samsung, however, sets the bar very high. Not only is the content for the time being non-existent, all those pixels only come into their own on a 75-inch screen or larger. This naturally limits the market, because not everyone wants a large screen in the house. We do not like the lack of Dolby Vision. And the price is steep, but compared to other first introductions that often have a price tag of 20,000, this QE75Q900R is surprisingly reasonably priced.
Otherwise, this TV is a great alternative for those who want to get a picture of the film, but opposes the limitations of projection. You then accept a slightly smaller picture, but you get many other benefits in return. Extremely clear HDR performance, brilliant colors and a fantastic contrast, which you can enjoy in daylight without any problem. Phantom stimulating detail thanks to the clever upscaling of Samsung, especially if you’re going from (Ultra HD) Blu-ray, and nice performances for gamers. All packaged in the handy Samsung Smart Hub, and with all the ease of installation of the One Connect box and Invisible Connection. An impressive piece of technology.