8K is, for the most part, barely out of the starting gate, but Samsung is already announcing a new innovation in the nascent category. The company, which showed off several 8K TVs at this year’s CES — along with LG, Sony, and TCL — has built a new display controller chip for 8K displays, that it claims will eliminate bezels on new 8K TVs.
With a name that only an electronics engineer could love, Samsung’s new DDI (S6CT93P) chip can deliver twice the intra-panel data throughput of its predecessors, clocking in at 4Gbps. While we laypeople can all agree that 4Gbps is clearly more than 2Gbps, it’s a lot harder to say exactly why that number matters. According to Samsung, that speed bump not only reduces the need for extra components (thereby reducing cost), it effectively eliminates the space needed to house those components. Since those now superfluous components used to live in a display’s bezel area, 8K bezels may soon be a thing of the past. “The boost in the DDI’s data transfer capability greatly enhances the efficiency of a display’s system performance and reduces the need for additional components,” Samsung’s press release says. “This also allows more streamlined product designs for slim bezel-less TVs with display sizes 65 inches and above.”
Are we delighted by this news? Well, sure, it’s hard not to be impressed by the incredibly thin bezels on today’s 4K TVs, especially when paired with an ultra-thin technology like OLED, so knowing that 8K TVs can now sport similarly svelte profiles is welcome news. But when it comes to 8K TVs, we wouldn’t exactly say that bezel thickness stands out as the category’s greatest areas for needed improvements. The almost complete lack of native 8K material (Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic 8K broadcast notwithstanding) raises doubts over exactly when we’ll be able to get the most out of these new TVs.
Price will also be a big hurdle to overcome, same as it was when 4K TVs debuted. Though on this front, perhaps Samsung’s announcement deserves real praise: It’s a necessary step toward bringing 8K TVs within easier reach of consumers thanks to the cost reductions (and connected retail prices) its new chip will hopefully bring. No word yet on how much the new DDI will cost, so we’ll just have to wait for the first 8K TVs that are built with it, to see if there are actual savings coming.
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