The ICC Cricket world cup this year was a trigger for many Indians to move to larger screens. In fact, the 55-inch and above segment is estimated to be 20 per cent of the overall TV market in 2019 as compared to just 8 per cent in 2017. The Tokyo Olympics next could see another wave of this behaviour. To cash in on these spikes, companies like Samsung has come up with new product offerings like the 8K QLED range. We asked Raju Pullan, Senior VP, Consumer Electronics, Samsung India about the segment.
Excerpts from an email interaction:
What is the uptake for 8K in India? What are the type of customers you are looking at?
The QLED 8K is designed for today’s evolved consumer, who prefers an improved experience of realness and presence with exceptionally true-to-life picture quality. The television has been specifically crafted for enthusiasts who want to experience the next level in visual entertainment technology. With the increase in demand for bigger and better displays which offer superior visual content, consumers are now looking for an enhanced visual experience. With the launch of QLED 8K, Samsung further dominates the 75” and above market share with 55 per cent market share, year till date.
Is it time for the first 4K adopters to upgrade? Is that a market you are looking at?
In the past few years with increasing economic prosperity, we have seen people migrating to higher value products and upgrading their lifestyle. The exposure to global technologies and lifestyle has created a perception shift and consumer durables are not just viewed as utility products anymore. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that add value to their lives. The market trends have shown a sizeable appetite for premium products which is not limited to just metros but even Tier-II and Tier-III markets.
With the evolved consumers today looking for bigger and better displays, this trend can be attributed to the rising purchasing power led by economic growth and explosion of good quality content from multiple sources. They want to upgrade to the best technology that is available out there and upgrade their lifestyles.
How will users get over the lack of 8K content?
Though 8K content is limited at the moment, but it is the future. Interestingly, the QLED 8K TV comes equipped with 8K AI upscaling technology capable of scaling any content by creating flawless textures, realistic edges and reducing noise to 8K regardless of the original source quality or format.
How long do you think this lag will last?
Production of 8K content is getting popular. A significant portion of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is most likely be transmitted in 8K. There has been some 8K content shot at the last several Olympics, so expect even more. We do see immense potential for the 8K content to further develop and provide an immersive experience to the consumers. Apart from this, many production houses have already started content production in 8K resolution.
What’s innovative in the new range?
Samsung QLED 8K TVs, which are available in four sizes come with 33 million pixels, four times the resolution of 4K UHD TVs and 16 times that of a Full HD TV, allowing consumers to immerse themselves into the display. These 33 million pixels provide sharper resolution giving a feeling of realness and presence with exceptionally true-to-life picture quality.
Samsung’s proprietary 8K AI Upscaling technology based on machine learning upscales picture and sound quality to 8K regardless of the original source quality or format. Whether a user is watching content through a streaming service, set-top box, HDMI, USB or even mobile mirroring, the Quantum Processor 8K recognizes and up-scales the content.
What is the pricing of the Samsung QLED 8K TVs like?
Samsung’s new range of QLED 8K TVs is priced at INR 10,99,900 and INR 16, 99,900 for 75-inch (189 cm), and 82-inch (207 cm) variants respectively. The 98-inch (247 cm) variant of the QLED 8K TV, priced at INR 59,99,900, will only be made to order.
Apart from the QLED 8K range, Samsung’s new 2019 QLED TV line-up, priced at INR 3,99,900 for 65-inch (163 cm) Q90 model, INR 2,09,900 (55 inch/138 cm) to INR 6,49,900 (75 inch/189 cm) for Q80 models, INR 1,69,900 (55 inch/138 cm) to INR 2,79,900 (65 inch/163 cm) for Q70 models and INR 94,900 (43 inch/108 cm) to INR 7,49,900 (82 inch/207 cm) for Q60 models, which are currently available in the market.
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