Skip to main content

Samsung’s Dave Das discusses MicroLED, 8K QLED, and goodies for gamers

Samsung’s First Look event, held two days ahead of CES, has become something of a ritual for TV reviewers and tech journalists the world over. It’s an exclusive gala where Samsung displays its efforts to maintain its spot as the number one TV brand in North America. While this sort of event is often unapologetically self-aggrandizing, this year Samsung didn’t just beat its chest about innovation, it showed it off in appropriately spectacular fashion. Headlining the event was a 146-inch MicroLED TV — a behemoth that stole the show with sheer size and brilliance — but peppering the event center was a laundry list of new technology for Samsung TV in 2018. We interviewed Dave Das, senior vice president of Samsung Consumer Electronics Marketing, to learn more.

MicroLED: The display of the future?

Das isn’t saying MicroLED is a direct swipe at OLED, but he isn’t not saying that, either. Given the company has been steadfast in its refusal to produce a commercial organic-based display technology, it’s not a stretch to see this new kind of emissive display as Samsung’s play to up the ante in displays that don’t use an LCD panel.

Rich Shibley/Digital Trends
Rich Shibley/Digital Trends

We see it as a smart plan. While OLED TVs are universally hailed by professional reviewers as the best-performing TVs on the market today, OLED panels remain difficult and expensive to produce (though LG has done a great job of managing production as the lone producer of OLED TV panels). OLED TVs don’t get quite as bright as LCD/LED TVs either — though true black helps make up for that fact in the contrast department. Now that Samsung knows people love true black levels and the exceptionally sharp lines afforded by OLED, it makes sense the company would want to invest in a technology that has all the benefits of OLED and none of the drawbacks.

Wouldn’t ya know? That’s how Samsung TV is positioning MicroLED.

The 146-inch MicroLED on display is not ready to be sold, and, let’s face it, it’s too big for most folks’ homes. But the technology has legs, and this proof of concept which should arrive in 2018 as something consumers can purchase will start the process of trickle-down technology, potentially positioning MicroLED as the next big thing in TV.

8K … because big TVs

Manufacturers know 8K is going to be a tough sell. Consumers are still getting used to 4K, and they’re only now able to get a reasonable amount of 4K content on their new TVs from streaming services,while broadcast, cable, and satellite operators continue to lag behind.

As Das explains in our interview, the point of bringing 8K to market during an absence of content comes down to the benefit that higher pixel density brings to especially large TVs. During this segment of the interview, we show in our video the comparison demonstration Samsung set up with an 85-inch 8K and 85-inch 4K TV each upscaling the same SD, 720P, 1080P, and 4K content. We found it a convincing argument in favor of 8K at 85-inches, but wonder how many TV 85-inch-plus TVs we will see sold in the coming two years.

A better TV experience, soup to nuts

Sasmung continues to make its TVs smarter and easier to use. After introducing a new fiber-optic signal cable that carries full-resolution video and audio over a cable barely larger than fishing line and a system that allows for a nearly flush-mounted TV or TV/soundbar combination, Samsung turned to the inside of its TVs to make them easier to use.

New Samsung TV owners will be able to use a new Galaxy smartphone or its Android/iOS SmartThings app to quickly set up their televisions. The TV will poach Wi-Fi setup information from the users’ phone and automatically connect. The system will then allow users to have the TV automatically sign into popular apps like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu without having to re-enter usernames and passwords.

A TV built with gamers in mind

Das also explains a new partnership with Microsoft that has born fruit in the form of a TV experience optimized for gamers. Once connected to an Xbox One X, select Samsung TVs will automatically detect the console and the game being played, then enter a gaming mode created to optimize 4K HDR gaming while reducing lag. Dave hints at more to come, as well.

All in all, it appears Samsung is set to deliver some strongly competitive devices to market in 2018, and we look forward to reviewing them for you here at Digital Trends. As always, follow all of our CES coverage, and be sure to visit our YouTube channel to catch live broadcasts from the show.

Editors' Recommendations

Caleb Denison
Digital Trends Editor at Large Caleb Denison is a sought-after writer, speaker, and television correspondent with unmatched…
All Sony TVs at CES 2020: 8K LED, OLED, and more
2020 Sony 85-inch Z8H 8K LED TV

For decades, one thing has always been true of CES: It's the event where manufacturers roll out their biggest and best TVs for the year. But sometimes, a smaller TV makes waves. Such is the case this year as Sony rolls out a new 48-inch 4K OLED TV. We've also found all of the Samsung TVs from CES 2020.

The new, condo-friendly size is an addition to Sony's Master Series A9S line of OLED TVs -- its new premium line of OLED TVs for 2020. And while the price has not yet been announced, we imagine it will be proportional to its size, which could make it one of the most affordable OLED TVs to-date.

Read more
All Samsung TVs at CES 2020: Bezel-free 8K TV and auto-rotating 4K
Samsung q950

CES 2020 has arrived, and some of the biggest and best TVs are being shown off on the showroom floor. We're looking at a total of four new Samsung TVs: The much-anticipated, bezel-free Q950TS 8K TV, a motorized, rotating 4K TV called The Sero, an updated version of its minimalist Frame TV, and advancements with its modular The Wall 8K TV.

Though TVs are always huge at CES, we've also found some of the very best soundbars to accompany these glorious screens.
Q950TS 8K TV
Meet the Samsung Q950TS 8K TV. Samsung

Read more
Confirmed: Samsung bezel-free 8K TV will debut at CES 2020
Samsung Bezel-Free 8K TV

Samsung’s best TV for 2020, the 8K Q950TS, is finally official -- and as rumored, it's a bezel-free beauty you need to see to believe. The best news? I’ll be standing in front of one in a few hours at CES 2020 to walk you through it, so keep it locked to Digital Trends for all the latest. Until then, let's take a trip down memory lane, recounting my experience with the television so far.

A few weeks ago, I attended an event in New York where Samsung presented us with a prototype of the Q950TS, and while I can’t speak to its picture quality (because it basically had a poster of an image glued to the panel for illustrative purposes) I can say that a screen -- dubbed Infinity Screen -- that is 99% picture and only 1% border is really something to behold.

Read more