With the emergence of high definition and large-screen TVs that offer spectacular visuals, user attention has been turning to the importance of sound quality, the finishing touch to providing the most immersive home entertainment experience possible.
In developing its 2020 QLED 8K TVs, Samsung implemented artificial intelligence (AI) so that users are able to enjoy a truly powerful large-screen TV experience. The 2020 QLED 8K range features technology that configures content audio to follow the movement of objects on screen and will also change depending on obstructions or distractions it senses around the product. These features further maximise audible immersion sound when paired with the HW-Q800T soundbar – winner of the CTA’s “Best of Innovation” Award. The QLED TV’s speakers sync with the soundbar, allowing it to serve as an additional audio channel and create a more dynamic soundscape.
In this two-part series, Samsung is exploring this innovative technology to learn more about its intelligent functionality.
Object Tracking Sound: Reading the Room for More Realistic Audio Experiences
Say you are enjoying an action movie with a dynamic car chase. As the car moves from left to right and top to bottom on-screen, with a 2020 QLED 8K TV, the tension of the scene seems even more real, regardless of where in the room you are watching from.
The secret to this dynamic and realistic sound experience is Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound (OTS) technology, realised through the optimised speaker placement of the QLED 8K range. Unlike conventional TVs, which feature two speakers, the QLED 8K has six speakers1 positioned all around the screen for a more vivid audio experience. The QLED 8K even has two speakers on the left- and right-hand side of the back of the device for a surround sound experience that fills up any room.
A conventional TV that emits sound only from the bottom of the screen (left) and the 2020 QLED 8K TV with speakers on all sides (right). Thanks to this speaker placement, the QLED 8K TV delivers a dynamic surround sound experience
On TVs with a conventional design, which normally feature speakers only on the bottom of the device, an increase in screen size will lead to more audio blind spots between the points of sound emission. For example, if a helicopter is flying on the upper left-hand side of the screen, the sound would still be being emitted from the bottom of the screen, resulting in a dissonance between the content’s visuals and its audio.
Compared with two-channel sound that features speakers only on the left- and right-hand sides of a TV, multi-channel speakers, as found in movie theaters, deliver a more refined sense of realism. The optimum placement for speakers is on the backside of a screen, just as it is in movie theatres, meaning that when an object on-screen moves, a speaker right behind that object can produce sound to match the visual. In order to recreate this dynamic realism achieved by movie theater screens, Samsung’s OTS technology harnesses all six speakers on all sides of the QLED 8K TV in order to have a video’s audio follow the on-screen action in real time.
OTS also features 3D rendering technology, which automatically recognises a content’s genre and optimises the sound tracks accordingly. This means that any type of sound, including stereo and 5.1 channel, will be optimised as 3D multi-channel sound. Whereas with conventional TVs, users would need to sit front-on to the screen to best enjoy the sound of a helicopter in flight in a movie or TV show, with a QLED 8K TV, users can experience the sound of the helicopter moving and rising over the TV even while sitting at a side angle from the screen.
AVA: Intelligent Noise Detection to Enhance Voice Clarity
The living room is the heart of the home, and often, the soundtrack to a movie or TV show is not the only source of noise to be found in this busy family space. However, there is nothing more frustrating than having a crucial scene in a TV show be overpowered by ambient noise.
This is why Samsung’s Active Voice Amplifier (AVA) technology was developed for QLED 8K TVs. AVA technology recognises exterior noise sources and increases the volume of the voices on-screen if the surrounding conditions become too loud. For example, if there is a vacuum running while the TV is playing, the TV will automatically amplify the audio track to ensure viewers can hear everything that is going on.
Not only does this technology help ensure users never miss a piece of dialogue, it does so intelligently by meticulously analysing the space within which the TV has been placed. Through a sound sensor on the bottom middle of the TV, AVA technology will allow its quantum processor to adjust the sound output when it detects a continuous noise from the surrounding environment that is louder than the TV and lasts for more than 3 seconds.
The TV’s sound sensor takes in and monitors audio from the content onscreen as well as the ambient audio from its surrounding environment. AI technology then compares the volume levels of the two types of sound, and if external sounds are found to be louder than that of the TV’s content, it will selectively raise just the voice audio track from the content being watched to ensure users can clearly hear every word being said.
Thanks to AVA technology, users no longer need to scramble for the remote when ambient noise suddenly gets too loud to adjust the TV’s volume. Furthermore, as the only existing TV technology to extract and amplify just the voice audio track of a piece of content, users do not have to put up with a boisterous sound experience when looking to increase a TV’s volume due to a loud surrounding environment. Users can also easily toggle the automatic audio adjusting of AVA on or off in the TV’s settings menu.
The sound innovations that come together to make up the 2020 QLED 8K’s dynamic audio experience take the inconvenience of adjusting TV audio out of users’ hands. Users can enjoy intelligent, 3D surround sound thanks to Samsung’s OTS and AVA technologies.
Check out the videos below to experience the realistic sound experience of the 2020 QLED 8K range for yourself.
A Closer Look at the 2020 QLED 8K’s AVA technology
1 As of the 2020 product line-ups, 8K QLED TV implements OTS+ that uses a total of six speakers and 4K QLED TV (Q90, Q80 series) implements OTS that places a total of four speakers on top and bottom.