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Video: 2018 Samsung QLED 4K Ultra HD TVs

Quantum dots yield brilliant colors

Heads up!

Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.

JR and Steve discuss the 2018 line of Samsung QLED TVs in this video. These 4K TVs keep getting better every year, and our experts explain Quantum dot technology, differences in backlighting, and other features found in these TVs.

Read video transcript

Hey I'm JR, I'm the training manager here at Crutchfield. Today we're in the video studio with Steve Kindig, our local TV guru.

Hey, folks.

And Samsung's 2018 line of QLED 4K TVs. Now Q is not "O,"right, OLED TVs that's a whole 'nother thing, right? Samsung's doing QLED. What's that all about?

QLED stands for "quantum dot enhanced LED backlight" so there's millions of dots in the TV, probably billions.

Billions, yeah. So what do they do?

Quantum dots are tiny. I mean they're unimaginably tiny, they're like maybe 10 atoms across or something like that, so there are billions of these quantum dots. There are nanocrystals, and they're in a film layer that goes across the entire screen, and what they do is help improve the color performance of the TV. So what you have on a QLED TV is the backlight, instead of being white, is blue. And the quantum dots are red and green, so that gives you your blue, red, and green for all your basic colors. And so they give you just really vivid colors, which is what you need for 4K and HDR.

So there's a difference in the backlighting on some of these models, right, when you spend a little bit more you get a better backlight. Tell me about that.

Right, so they're all LED backlights, but the 6 and the 7 are edge-lit, so all the LEDs are at the bottom of the screen and they shine upward kind of in slices.

And then when you go to the 8 and the 9, that's when you get the full array, right? More bulbs in there?

Yep, all behind the LCDs arranged kind of like a grid so you get much more precise backlighting, and in fact when you go to the top of the line model, the 9 series, that has almost 500 independently adjustable LEDs, so that is super precise. That's really good local dimming.

All of the 2018 Samsung 4K TVs are gonna look obviously great when you play a 4K source like a 4K blu-ray player or 4K streaming, but they're also going to look good when you're not able to play something in 4K, right? Like maybe you're watching something over the air from an antenna or a cable channel that's not in 4K, your old DVDs collection, yet you still have laying around that you haven't replaced with a bunch of new Blu-rays?

Yeah, this is going to make those look pretty darn good as well. Blu-ray in particular. I mean, HD stuff looks fantastic on these sets, but yeah like you said any source these sets have very powerful upscaling circuitry and yet they just they do a fantastic job. One little feature that I like about these they do have Bluetooth output, so if you wanted to hook up, say, a sound bar you wouldn't have to run a wire from the TV to the sound bar to get a sound to play on the sound bar, you can do it using Bluetooth.

But another thing you can do with Bluetooth is send the sound from the TV to a set of Bluetooth headphones, right? we actually have a lot of customers looking for this feature. Maybe someone in the household is hard-of-hearing and might want to be able to, you know, pump up the volume a little bit by using some in-ear Bluetooth headphones?

Right, on some TVs when you use the Bluetooth output it disables the speaker's on the TV, correct.

That doesn't happen here, you can actually have the TV speakers live playing sound while someone is listening on Bluetooth speakers, so the whole family can still listen to what's on TV and that one person who may need a little bit more volume can get it with somebody's headphones.

Yeah that's a great feature. It's really smart that they've that they've allowed it to do both at the same time.

So far everything we've talked about is pretty universal across the line. There are some differences though, right, in the TVs?

So when you go from the 6 up to the 7 what do you get? From the model 7 on up you get a much more effective anti-glare screen, so if you have kind of a bright room you know with a lot of lights either windows or lights in the room that anti-glare screen makes a big difference. It causes a picture to wash out much less.

Which series of these TVs come with the one connect box?

So that's going to be the 7 and the 9. So on this model and the 8 you know, you plug all your sources like your blu-ray player cable box you plug them directly into the TV. On the seven and the nine they come with something called the one connect box, and it's a little box about this big it's kind of small and you plug all of your sources into it and then you just have one super thin cable running from that box to the TV.

So especially if you're gonna be wall mounting the TV.

Yeah I mean that is the cleanest way to, and that cable really is thin enough that it almost just disappears, right, run it up your wall you might even be able to cover it or paint it, yeah.

Yeah so the one connect box definitely simplifies how everything hooks up and how you get power and TV that's that's right your TV yeah because that that super thin cable carries both power and signals from the box yeah.

You literally have one thin wire going to your TV and the remote control on this TV is also a very simplified remote with a microphone on it yep so a control of the TV is as easy as ever right there's only a couple of buttons on it and like you say the key is the microphone because that gives you control over things like changing channels and picture controls but also I mean you can even ask you know what's the weather like there's a yeah a voice assistant called Bixby that's built-in.

So that's a pretty good overview of the 2018 line of samsung QLED TVs. We've been impressed with them as we've seen them here in the studio and in our labs. If you have any questions about these TVs or anything at Crutchfield, please give us a call, chat with us online, send us an email advisors are standing by to help you get the right TV for you.

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