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article imageSamsung uses AI to upscale video to 8K, optimise TV sounds

By James Walker     Feb 14, 2018 in Technology
Samsung has revealed more details of how AI upscales video to 8K formats. The company's artificial intelligence is capable of upgrading TV streams to a quality that almost matches native 8K. It works by comparing low and high-quality versions of images.
Although 4K TVs are yet to go truly mainstream, TV manufacturers such as Samsung are already moving beyond the curve to look at the next display technology. 8K content has a resolution of 7680x4320 pixels, equating to almost four times as many individual pixels as 3840x2160 4K. This will produce TVs capable of displaying details which Samsung describes as "lifelike."
The switch to 8K will require a corresponding jump in camera resolutions. With 8K content currently extremely scarce, there's little to view on Samsung's new 8K screens. To solve this issue, the company has developed a "Machine Learning Super Resolution" (MLSR) algorithm which intelligently upscales lower-resolution content without creating artifacts or other visual errors.
The system works by continually comparing different versions of the input video stream. The AI looks at low and high-resolution versions of each frame, enabling it to identify the differences as the quality is increased. Using this analysis, it can accurately fill in the missing details on the upscaled 8K frames. According to Samsung, this results in video output which is "nearly the equivalent" of true 8K.
Samsung 8K upscaling
Samsung 8K upscaling
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"[MLSR] utilizes AI technology to compare the low and high-quality versions of the same content to learn the technological differences between the two and form a vast database," said Samsung. "It analyzes millions of pieces of video content and finds a correlation. Based on its analysis, it can select the optimum filters that support brightness, the level of blackness, spread and other errors from all inputs, and transform low-definition content to close to 8K high definition."
The processing can also be used on sound streams. Samsung's investigating the use of AI to replace conventional sound mode settings found in TV menus. Instead of manually switching between movie and sports mode depending on the content, AI could continually analyse each scene to finetune the distribution of sounds.
Samsung's already trialling this technology as a way to personalise the TV sound experience to each viewer. The company noted that individual volume requirements and viewing environment changes can require corresponding tweaks to a TV's sound output. AI could automate all the adjustments, providing an optimum listening experience that's appropriate for the on-screen action.
Samsung first unveiled its AI TV technology back at CES as part of its 85-inch 8K QLED TV. Today, the company said it's now ready to start rolling the machine learning algorithm out to owners of its commercial 8K QLED range. Viewers will receive the update in the second half of the year, enabling them to view 1080p and 4K content at a seamlessly upscaled 8K resolution.
More about Samsung, Artificial intelligence, Ai, machine learning, Devices
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