Samsung has added a 98-inch model to its lineup of QLED 4K TVs for 2023. Priced at $8,000, the new 98Q80C is available for early order on Samsung’s website and at participating retailers through July, with discounts, a free soundbar, and free shipping and installation.
Regular Samsung QLED models like the 98Q80C lack the mini-LED backlighting found in the company’s high-end Neo QLED models, several of which top our list of the best 4K TVs. While the 98Q80C does have a direct full-array backlight and local dimming to enhance blacks, the mini-LED backlight offers higher peak brightness than standard QLED models.
Samsung’s Neural Quantum Processor allows clean upscaling of regular HD images on the new 98-inch QLED, and it also supports HDR10+ high dynamic range. The bezel-less design on three sides of the TV screen gives it a “floating” appearance, while Dolby Atmos support and Samsung’s Object Tracking Sound Lite feature provide enhanced audio performance.
If you’re spending $8,000 on a TV, chances are you’ll go the extra mile and add an external audio system. If so, Samsung’s Q-Symphony 3.0 feature could allow the TV’s built-in speakers to work with a Samsung soundbar for even better Atmos immersion.
Like other Samsung TVs, the 98Q80C comes with the company’s Game Center, which lets you access cloud gaming services like Xbox, Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and more. There’s also multi-view support for viewing multiple sources at once — a feature that really makes sense on such a large screen.
Analysis: Samsung’s $8,000 super-large-screen TV is a great deal
TVs with screen sizes larger than 85 inches are becoming more common, with companies such as LG, TCL and Sony offering extra-large models that approach the 100-inch mark. It used to be that to get a screen that big you needed a projector, but supersized TVs have become an important projector replacement.
While $8,000 is enough to buy a TV, Samsung’s 98Q80C is actually a bargain compared with LG’s 97-inch G2 OLED model, which sells for $25,000. It may be years before supersized OLEDs become affordable, but QLED TVs are dropping in price every year, and TCL is now selling a 98-inch XL-series model for $5,000 on Amazon and other retailers. TCL also plans to sell its new 98-inch screen size mini LED-backlit QM8 series of TVs, though that particular set will be priced at $10,000 when it arrives later this year.
If you’re looking to get the biggest possible picture for your home theater, projectors are still the best value for money, and even factoring in the price of the screen, some of the best 4K projectors are under $5,000. While these typically require tight lighting control of the viewing environment to maximize picture brightness, ultra-short-throw projectors such as Samsung’s own Premiere offer brighter, more living-room-friendly options.
Another new big-screen TV option is MicroLED, a modular display that uses wall-mounted self-illuminating panels. One advantage of MicroLED is that it offers levels of brightness that far exceed those of OLED, another self-emitting display technology. It’s also scalable, and not only can MicroLED TVs reach 150 inches, but they’re already available today. The downside of MicroLEDs — and it’s a big one — is cost, with existing options priced so high that companies like Samsung that make them don’t even list them. (MicroLED sales are typically not handled by retailers, but by companies that specialize in custom installations.)
We won’t be testing Samsung’s 98Q80C 98-inch TV anytime soon, because it’s impractical to review a set this size. But if it bears any resemblance to last year’s Samsung Q80B-series models, it should deliver very good benchmark performance. Make some room on the wall – you’re going to need it.