When it comes to the art of designing, it is commonly said that it is harder to take something away than it is to add something new. Samsung’s QLED 8K 2020 TVs implement a design that does away with all unnecessary elements while simultaneously offering users the best possible watching and listening experiences for total immersion.
After a lengthy process, Samsung’s designers and developers were able to come together to produce the unprecedented Infinity Screen, which makes use of 99% of the display space and comes in at a super-slim thickness of 15mm. Samsung Newsroom interviewed the product designers and mechanics engineers behind Samsung’s QLED 8K 2020 TVs to learn more about how this revolutionary design came to be.
(From left to right) Jang-ho Kim, Hyun-joong Chae, Jae-wook Yoo and Hokwon Peter Song of Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Business. Kim and Yoo are part of the product design group, while Chae and Song are part of the mechanics R&D group
Minimized Bezels, Maximized Immersion
Since its introduction to the market in 2018, Samsung’s QLED 8K TVs have constantly been applauded by the industry for their groundbreaking technologies which offer viewers the best available display resolutions powered by AI technology, HDR10+ and 100% color volume. For those who worked on producing the 2020 QLED 8K TVs, this legacy was always front of mind. In order to deliver an even more immersive viewing experience with this series of TVs, the screen’s bezel and its black matrix – that black boundary at the edge of the display – had to be minimized.
“Users should be able to focus solely on watching and listening when enjoying content on their TV,” stressed Jang-ho Kim. “To achieve this, we implemented a design that reduces the bezel count and black matrix into a near-imperceptible level. After numerous tests that involved reducing the black matrix each time by 0.1mm, we discovered the optimal values for this display, these being 0.8mm for the bezel and 0.9mm for the black matrix.”
Compared with the previous QLED 8K model (left), the Infinity Screen (right) has an immediately obvious lower bezel count
After many twists and turns, the ideal design was settled upon. But there were still challenges ahead when realizing this design into a product for the market. Given the number of parts that make up a screen’s black matrix, the team needed to come up with a streamlined way to include them all into the limited space allotted by the 0.9mm total area. “Considering that the average thickness of a human fingernail is between 0.6 and 0.7mm, the space we had to negotiate fitting all of the necessary components into was barely thicker than a fingernail,” said Hyun-joong Chae. “We had to raise the degree of precision implemented at the product assembly stage, which we achieved by producing specialized instruments and equipment, as well as cells that had adequately thin boundaries.”
The team provided a differentiated bezel for this unique display by changing the materials used in production. Previously, the main material for such products had been aluminum, but for this product, stainless steel was spread in the thinnest layer possible using a special method to increase its durability. “By reducing the bezel count and black matrix, the resulting screen we created occupies 99% of the front side of the product,” noted Jae-wook Yoo. “The TV’s Ambient Mode feature, which displays a user’s photographs and videos when the TV is switched off, also contributes to breaking down the boundary between the TV’s display and the space it is placed in.”
A Flat Back Design for Seamless Adhesion
As well as innovating on the front side of the device, the team also eliminated unnecessary elements from its back side. Unlike the back of a conventional display which is thin at both ends but becomes thicker towards the device’s center, the 2020 QLED 8K TV implements a flat back design that has a consistent thickness of 15mm. “When a product is wall-mounted, a differentiated back side design can cast a big shadow if there is a lot of space between the wall and the TV,” explained Yoo. “The flat back design allowed us to reduce this space and any resulting shadows considerably.”
The 2020 QLED 8K TV’s flat back design complements other interior elements well when wall-mounted
Of course, this slimmer back side design resulted in a reduction of space wherein to fit all the TV’s parts and components. Accordingly, these components, including the output port, the processor, the circuit board, the speaker and the cover, had to be reduced in size in order to fit naturally into this reduced space. “The cover was 2.7mm in width previously, but using a special method, we managed to reduce its thickness down to 0.8mm for the 2020 QLED 8K TV,” noted Hokwon Peter Song. “In order to do so, we spent a lot of time working with external factories and other experts in various fields in order to develop this specialized method.”
A Stand That is Strong in its Simplicity
Conventional TV stands often implement designs that stand out. However, the stand for the 2020 QLED 8K TV is small and simplistic in order to place more emphasis on the screen. Moreover, understanding that every user has consoles of different styles on which to place their TVs, the team decided that a simplistic design would best suit everyone’s TV environment.
“The display stand we designed tilts the TV’s screen backwards around 3.5 degrees,” explained Kim. “We calculated this specific angle to ensure that users would be able to enjoy a fully immersive, comfortable TV experience and the angle also boast the TV’s slim design at 15mm.”
The stand, which tilts the screen back by 3.5 degrees, provides the optimum angle for user immersion
Samsung’s 2020 QLED 8K TVs have been receiving favorable reviews from across the media and industry landscape not just for their advanced screen quality and sound technologies, but also for the concerted efforts the team have put in to overcome the limits of conventional design.
“In the future, TV screens are set to grow in size and provide users with ever-better screen quality experiences,” noted Yoo. “Our job is to make sure the product design fully backs up and complements the features and performances of these future products. We will continue to work hard to create products that provide the highest quality TV-watching experiences to users.”