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This article was published 13/3/2019 (438 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
IF you thought TVs couldn’t get any better, you’d better think again.
Advance Electronics has got its hands on the newest TVs that have not only four times the resolution of the current 4K sets, but will also get smarter and sharper the more you watch them.
Last week, Advance received its first models of the new Samsung 8K televisions that not only feature vastly higher resolution, but also uses artificial intelligence to actually improve the performance over time.
The TV has quadruple the number of pixels — resolution — of 4K and 16 times that of normal high definition.
Some of us, still stuck back in the early days of HD, might worry that there is not much content available with the 8K definition the TV is capable of showing, but according to Advance store manager Adam Loszchuk, the AI component makes that a non-issue.
"It doesn’t matter what you feed it," he said. "You could feed it your old DVD collection from 20 years ago and it is going to upscale the content with the AI technology."
The 85-inch model now on display at Advance retails for $20,000 — Loszchuk said they don’t necessarily feature the price prominently because "it might look a little scary" — but he said Samsung’s 8K is not meant to be just a professional model.
"We call it a flagship product," he said. "It’s the best they have to offer."
Samsung has the manufacturing capability to produce very fast computer chips, and the AI component of the Samsung Q900R QLED 8K allows images to be fed into the cloud. The TV learns how to take poor quality DVD-sourced images, for instance, recognize the object and knows how to make it into 8K resolution.
Loszchuk said the AI learning capability will actually push that knowledge to the TV with automatic firmware updates.
In addition to the 85-inch set on display, Advance also has 75-inchers — which go for a mere $9,000 — and they’ve already sold a few of those.
The 8K comes in 65-inch, 75-inch, 82-inch, 85-inch and 98-inch models. The latter, which has to be specially ordered, comes with a six-figure price tag.
"At $20,000 (for the 85-inch), it is definitely within the realm," Loszchuk said. "We will sell the 85-inch model, maybe not a $100,000 or $80,000 TV though. But if you are the type of person who buys the best TV every 10 years, well... here you go."
Sony is expected to come out with its own 8K model this year, as is the up-and-coming Chinese brand TCL.
Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.