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8K TV war to cool for 2020 CES

Electronics archrivals vow to play nice at the Las Vegas trade show
Dec 27,2019
Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics will do battle in the 8K television market at CES 2020 in Las Vegas next month, attempting to prove that one is technically superior than the other.

The rhetoric is likely to be somewhat mooted though as the rules of the iconic consumer electronics trade show do not allow for direct criticism of competitors.

The hot war between the two rivals will have to be a cool war for a while.

The TV makers say they will abide by the rules of the show and maintain civility.

Both companies insist that they don’t have any plans for a session that directly compares the resolution of their latest displays against that of the other.

8K is the highest resolution currently available for retail television products, with a width of roughly 8,000 pixels.

In 2017, Samsung Electronics posed a direct challenge to LG Electronics by displaying its quantum-dot light-emitting diode or QLED TV alongside LG’s organic light-emitting diode or OLED model, which led to an escalating tit-for-tat dispute.

The absence of direct confrontations does not mean that any sort of truce has broken out.

“Next year is when people get wider access to 8K TV,” said a spokesperson at LG Electronics.

“So, it is kind of unavoidable to face controversies surrounding 8K TVs.”

A spokesperson at Samsung Electronics echoed the sentiment, agreeing that the rival will be back once the era of civility ends.

“The controversy is something we can’t avoid,” the spokesperson said.

The dispute over technological superiority of 8K TVs started at the IFA 2019 Berlin trade show in September. At that gathering, LG Electronics had the audacity to suggest that the Samsung Electronics QLED 8K TV wasn’t really 8K.

Earlier, LG tried to establish its own legitimacy by saying that it had become the first to gain the right to use the “8K Ultra HD” logo at the CES as it met the criteria set in place by the Consumer Technology Association.

Market trackers expect the high-end models will gain more attention in 2020 with the airing of the Tokyo’s 2020 Summer Olympics and the opportunity to compare picture quality against each other during the games.

With more promotion, the sales will also likely gain traction, according to market tracker IHS Markit.

It is projected that the sales will reach 640,000 in 2020, up fourfold from this year.

BY PARK EUN-JEE, KIM TAE-YOON [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]