The Korea Herald


[IFA 2019] LG says Samsung’s 8K TV fails internationally agreed standards

Samsung opts to give no response

By Lim Jeong-yeo

Published : Sept. 8, 2019 - 11:57

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BERLIN -- LG Electronics is adamant that Samsung’s 2019 8K TV does not meet the international standards for 8K resolution and that the company is effectively deceiving consumers.

LG has made similar assertions before, but this is the first time it has officially called out Samsung.

“We believe Samsung’s 8K TV is not really 8K,” said Park Hyoung-sei, executive vice president at LG Electronics TV Business Operation Center.

“Consumers need to know the truth and know what value they are getting for the price they pay.”

LG calls its NanoCell 8K TVs “real 8K” at IFA 2019. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald) LG calls its NanoCell 8K TVs “real 8K” at IFA 2019. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)
Samsung introduces its 55-inch QLED 8K TV at IFA 2019. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald) Samsung introduces its 55-inch QLED 8K TV at IFA 2019. (Lim Jeong-yeo/The Korea Herald)

LG representatives including Park said at a press briefing at IFA 2019 on Saturday that product-testing and certification bodies Intertek and VDE’s tests of commercialized 8K TVs from Samsung, LG and Sony showed that Samsung’s QLED 8K TV has a contrast modulation level of 12 percent, far below the 50 percent threshold to qualify as 8K resolution.

The VDE report also stated LG’s NanoCell 8K TV has 90 percent CM and Sony’s 8K TV has 70 percent CM.

Intertek and VDE report (LG Electronics) Intertek and VDE report (LG Electronics)

CM, or contrast modulation, is the level of distinction between the luminance of white and the luminance of black on a screen.

The higher the CM the clearer the distinction between white and black, therefore producing sharper images.

ICDM set the threshold for CM levels for text-displaying screens at 50 percent and image-displaying screens at 25 percent.

In 2012, the ICDM said that contrast modulation is “the best way to describe display resolution” and made it mandatory for companies to report it. 

Varying degrees of contrast modulation (ICDM) Varying degrees of contrast modulation (ICDM)

Global tech companies, such as Dolby, Apple, Microsoft, Panasonic, Samsung and LG, had agreed on the guidelines as members of the ICDM.

Therefore, 8K resolution must not only have 33 million pixels -- the result of having 7680 by 4320 pixels -- but also have above 50 percent CM, LG stressed.

Samsung’s TVs had previously abided by this CM level guideline. Samsung had been supporting the importance of CM, according to its company newsroom article dated June 20, 2016.

“You‘ll have to ask Samsung what happened (for their 2019 versions),” Park said.

“The fall in Samsung QLED 8K TVs’ CM happened so abruptly and drastically, we only suspect something Samsung did to improve other features, such as improving the viewing angle, to have resulted in negatively affecting the CM rate.”

Samsung QLED 8K TVs still boast ultra-high definition when seen with human eyes.

LG admitted it is almost impossible to distinguish between 4K and 8K resolutions, but that consumers are entitled to know what product specifications they are paying for.

Samsung is selling its 98-inch QLED 8K TV, the biggest model from the line, at 77 million won ($64,500).

A Samsung representative declined to comment. The company currently has no plans to hold a session countering LG’s claims.

LG is planning to host another press event Sept. 17 at its office in Yeouido, Seoul, to further discuss 8K TV specifications. 

(Samsung Electronics) (Samsung Electronics)

Meanwhile, Samsung’s 55-inch QLED 8K TV -- a new addition to the 8K lineup -- was presented the best TV award at IFA 2019 on Saturday.

The world’s first commercial 8K TV was developed by Sharp in December 2017.

Samsung introduced its first 8K TV at IFA 2018 as one of the early pioneers. At this year’s event, several companies showcased 8K TVs, including Japan’s Sony and China’s TCL, reflecting growing interest and research and development on higher-resolution premium screens.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (
Korea Herald correspondent