Samsung announced its new 8K QLED TV lineup earlier this year during CES 2020. They feature an Infinity Screen design, AI-powered 8K upscaling, Direct Full-Array local dimming, and AI-powered 3D audio. These 8K TVs are also the world’s first to feature Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and among the first to come with AV1 hardware decoding.
The AV1 codec is used by Google to decode and encode 8K videos on YouTube. This means that the latest 8K QLED TVs from Samsung can effortlessly play 8K videos on YouTube. AV1 is a royalty-free codec developed by AOMedia (Alliance for Open Media), a non-profit consortium. Apart from Samsung, Amazon, Apple, ARM, Cisco, Facebook, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Mozilla, Netflix, Nvidia, and Tencent are also a part of the non-profit organization.
YouTube is the first video streaming platform to exclusively use the AV1 codec for 8K videos. Some TVs from LG also support the AV1 codec, and TCL said that it will start supporting the AV1 codec on its TVs later this year with the Android TV 10 software update. While there are multiple codecs that offer 8K video playback, AV1 seems to be the most important one as it is backed by almost all the popular consumer tech brands and video streaming services.
Samsung’s new 8K TVs are also the first ones to receive the 8KA (8K Association) certification. They also feature Quantum HDR 24x, HDR10+, adaptive brightness, ultra-wide viewing angles, and AMD FreeSync (for tear-free gaming). For a minimalistic setup, they come with a No Gap Wall Mount design and One Invisible Connection. Other features of these 8K TVs include AirPlay 2, Alexa, Bixby, Google Assistant, HomeKit, and SmartThings.