Rich Warren | Samsung rolls out its latest TVs

Rich Warren | Samsung rolls out its latest TVs

The IFA consumer electronics show held yearly in Berlin at the end of August and beginning of September dwarfs the American Consumer Electronics Show. Furthermore, IFA welcomes the public. Many companies display their latest innovations at IFA rather than CES.

Samsung displayed its newest TVs by introducing the Q900R 8K line, topping out at 85 inches. The display uses Samsung's proprietary QLED quantum dot technology that delivers image quality just a hair below LG's OLED organic light emitting diode technology. Samsung did not announce a price, but if you have to ask, you probably can't afford it.

All 4K TVs upscale 1080i and 1080p to a synthesized 4K resolution. The new Samsung set will upscale all the way to 8K. Keep in mind this is done with a computer algorithm that doesn't always "guess" at the best result. It probably will beautifully upscale from 4K to 8K. Meanwhile, there's still a dearth of genuine 4K sources for all those 4K TVs now in homes.

Meanwhile, the FCC keeps nudging TV broadcasters to accept new channel allocations in order to consolidate TV channels back into the VHF and lower UHF part of the spectrum.

Then the vacated upper channels will be auctioned off to cellphone companies for more bandwidth and greater coverage, especially with the forthcoming dramatically improved 5G technology.

WICD update

Doug Quick chronicles all broadcasting in East Central Illinois. He is a walking history book of all of our radio and TV stations. He sent me this heads-up last week: "I just posted some pictures and a narrative on the repacking of WICD, which will take place on Sept 1. WICD will move from channel 41 to 32 and includes a new mounted mast antenna (replacing the analog channel 15 antenna) and a power increase from 950kW to 1000kW. That will potentially bring more than 150,000 viewers the signal of WICD in the 'fringe' area. Check it all out at my website, dougquick.com, at the WICD 1967-2015 page or go directly to it fromdougquick.com/wicd-champaign-1967-2015."

It is possible that WICD will temporarily end up on a subchannel of WBUI until the project is completed. When I was there to take pictures prior to Sept. 1, they seemed to be behind schedule. No matter what, WICD needs to be off channel 41 early in the day on Sept 1.

First, understand that your TV will still display WICD as channel 15, regardless of what channel it actually uses for broadcast. Second, once it completes the change from channel 41 to channel 32, if you view WICD off the air, you'll have to use the automatic channel scan in your TV to reprogram it. If you view WICD on cable, your cable company will make the adjustment without any involvement on your part.

The good news is that many viewers in fringe areas finally will receive perfect reception of WICD. Many off-the-air viewers in northern and northwest Champaign County (as well as eastern Piatt), point their antennas south-southwest for best reception of WCIA, WILL and WAND.

Depending on location, that meant sometimes needing to view WICD's sister station in Springfield for ABC programming. It also meant Springfield news and weather.

New phones

Apple debuts its newest iPhones on Sept. 12. Leaked information and industry pundits predict a jumbo sized iPhone X, an updated iPhone 8, possibly labeled 8S, or instead an improved version of the existing iPhone X. Or perhaps a more economical phone with much of the performance but lacking the bells and whistles. Apple probably will unveil a couple of new iPads and a new Apple Watch. Then again, it could reveal something dramatic.

Google follows a month later with the launch of its new Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL phones. Strangely, the 3 XL already found its way onto the black market. Thus far, neither seems to be major improvements over last year's models.

Rich Warren, who lives in the Champaign area, is a longtime reviewer of consumer electronics. Email him at hifiguy@mchsi.com.

Topics (2):Internet, Television
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