Samsung brings FreeSync to its 2018 TV lineup

The rumors were true: Samsung is bringing FreeSync to its TVs. AMD and Samsung jointly announced the upgrade yesterday, and it applies to all of Samsung's QLED TVs from 55″ to 82″ sizes, as well as the NU8000 and NU8500 series.

The TVs themselves surely vary in image quality and features, and there's nary a word said by either company about FreeSync 2 support. Still, this is great news both for folks who use Radeon-powered PCs in the living room and Xbox gamers. Both the high-end Xbox One X and the standard Xbox One S got FreeSync support in the Xbox April 2018 update.

If you have one of these TVs and want to try out its FreeSync mode, make sure your display is fully updated. According to Samsung, the feature will come as part of an automatic update to the screens' “Gamer Mode.” The Xbox systems should be able to enable this automatically when you start a game, but you may want to ensure FreeSync is enabled manually.

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    • cygnus1
    • 1 year ago

    SO, assuming this is the start of an industry trend where Freesync is now a bullet item that gets added to most new TVs, now we’re going to be in the boat where the ratio of Gsync display models to Freesync models becomes laughable. When the heck is Nvidia going to get off their buts and add the feature to GeForce cards already… Kind of stupid when the best video cards can’t use a feature that is becoming nearly standard on monitors AND TVs.

    • Alexko
    • 1 year ago

    Is Sony expected to follow suit with Freesync support on the PS4 (Pro)?

      • LostCat
      • 1 year ago

      Nobody knows. They might but they haven’t said anything anywhere I’m aware of.

      Personally, I wouldn’t expect much unless Sony TVs start supporting it.

    • setaG_lliB
    • 1 year ago

    Yeah, well, my plasma has deep, inky blacks.

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      Interesting. My plasma can’t do blacks because the actual unlit pixels are only grey.

      Unless you mean in a pitch-black room, at which point FALD VA panels can also produce deep, inky blacks with dramatically better contrast levels than old plasma tech.

      I think you’re confusing Samsung’s VA TVs with IPS/PLS/AHVA panels maybe?

    • RdVi
    • 1 year ago

    Now LG do this for next years OLEDs with HDMI 2.1 please… Not buying another LCD quantum dot or otherwise.

      • not@home
      • 1 year ago

      I do not know much about the different panel types and i am in the market for a TV. Whats is wrong with LCD quantum dot?

        • meerkt
        • 1 year ago

        I suppose, in general, the same as with any LCD: bad blacks or bad viewing angles. Or both.

        Maybe some local dimming models could be a decent compromise.

      • MrJP
      • 1 year ago

      Putting it out as a firmware update for 2017 models would be even better from my point of view…

    • psuedonymous
    • 1 year ago

    Don’t count your frames before they’re rendered (or at least independently benchmarked). As a TV, here are all the issues you could be contending with:

    – 4:2:2 colour subsampling
    – High input latency (especially a problem for HDR)
    – No working HDR for PC inputs (this is not Freesync 2, so no guarantee of HDR working in VRR mode, or at all) or wrong HDR colourspace being used
    – Low response rate of FALD backlight
    – Small subset of supported input timings (should in theory be avoided due to VRR, but not necessarily)
    – Pixel response only tuned for small selection of refresh rates (23.967, 24, 30, 50, 59.94 60), ghosting can occur at other frequencies (see: first-gen ‘gaming’ Freesync panels)
    – Small VRR window
    – etc.

    Any time new features are pushed to existing TV hardware, the result should be taken with a few hefty truckloads of salt (e.g. post-launch ‘HDR’ updates that fails to meet spec and does not function for external inputs, only via ‘smart TV’ streams).

      • MrDweezil
      • 1 year ago

      IMO this news is much more exciting when viewed as signaling the start of an industry trend then as an actual implementation. No doubt that these first models to get the feature are going to have issues.

        • psuedonymous
        • 1 year ago

        Expect a wave of turds to arrive, the same as with every previous time a new technology was incorporated into panel controllers:

        HD: Wave of displays that accept 1080p inputs, but display them on an SD panel. Curated “HD Ready” branding created in an attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff.
        HDR: Wave of displays that accept HDR10 input, but display it on an SDR panel (or half-arse backlight modulation to advertise a bullshit ‘contrast ratio’). “Ultra HD Premium” branding created in an attempt to seperate the wheat from the chaff. (VESA fucked up here, displayHDR 1000 should have been the [i<]minimum[/i<] acceptable performance level, '300' and '600' are effectively trash) VRR: Well gee, I wonder... DisplayPort/HDMI Adaptive sync is no more a feature that can be just enabled in the panel controller with no further effort put in than HD or HDR. Unless a display is advertising support via a certification that actually requires hitting minimum quality standards (e.g. Freesync 2, AMD learnt their lesson from Freesync) be extremely sceptical as to it actually being worth a damn.

      • gerryg
      • 1 year ago

      I quit reading when you couldn’t spell “color” correctly. 😉

      • Chrispy_
      • 1 year ago

      All of these issues existed for TVs long before this freesync patch was made available.

      That’s because a TV is not a monitor; Most gamers are well aware of this and specifically choose TV models with low input lag and connectivity that supports 4:4:4 4K60. Additionally, most of these TV’s are capable of refreshing the display at 120Hz so the pixel response is effectively as good as the panel technology allows at the moment. You’re drastically overstating the problems, and have to remember that Samsung’s QLED TV’s are premium screens with HDMI 2.0, class-leading input lag and exceptionally good HDR support on PC.

      Rather than complaining about TVs in general, can’t you just be happy that VRR has come to televisions without some ridiculous G-Sync/Gaming markup, and that existing Samsung TV owners just got a decent improvement for absolutely nothing.

        • psuedonymous
        • 1 year ago

        [quote<]Additionally, most of these TV's are capable of refreshing the display at 120Hz so the pixel response is effectively as good as the panel technology allows at the moment. [/quote<] Careful there: - A '120Hz TV' may well only be using 60 unique refreshes per second and either just doing two backlight pulses per update, or using motion interpolation. - Panel update rate does not in any way correlate with pixel response rate (it [i<]should[/i<] in an ideal world, but not in practice). A manufacturer will quite happily sell you a monitor that 'refreshes' at 240Hz which as a G2G response of far above the 4ms required for that refresh rate.

          • Chrispy_
          • 1 year ago

          No, [b<]most[/b<] 120Hz TV's take a 60Hz signal and use interpolation to generate an intermediate frame. Black frame insertion is something that only seems to be in cheaper TVs over here, probably in an attempt to improve motion clarity without spending money on more complex interpolation hardware. Pixel response and refresh rates aren't really linked, I didn't mean to imply that was the case - the point I'm making is that pixel response is only as good as the panel technology. Both VA and IPS struggle with certain transitions and where those transitions take longer than 8.3ms (for 120Hz) you will see some kind of ghosting or smearing. Whilst the [i<]average[/i<] transitions for both panel types is over 8.3ms, the median transition time is around 5ms so large portions of the content changes in time for the next frame.

    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    Samsung’s QLED models are a bit overpriced IMO, but they’re decent TVs nonetheless.

    I wonder how many other TV manufacturers will try and copy Samsung and add Freesync. Unlike notches on phones or tempered glass RGBLED madness, this is one of those times when I really do want everyone to imitate the market leader….

    • JosiahBradley
    • 1 year ago

    4K: Check
    HDR: Check
    Size: Check
    VRR: Check

    Not being able to use your nVidia GPU: priceless.
    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

    Edit: Remind me not to use humor next time guys.
    Edit 2: I use an nVidia GPU and want freesync support badly. This greatly influences my next purchase. If AMD ever has another high end GPU that is.

      • Voldenuit
      • 1 year ago

      >Not being able to use your nVidia GPU: priceless.

      Nvidia, time to get your excrement together and support Freesync. Get all your excrement together, put it in a bag, take it to the excrement store, and sell it.

        • CScottG
        • 1 year ago

        -it would probably sell well – they are on something of a “roll” right now.

      • brucethemoose
      • 1 year ago

      It’s proper HDR too, with retina-scorching brightness and so on.

      But yeah, if there’s a tipping point where Nvidia HAS to jump on the freesync train, this is it. Samsung controls a massive slice of the display market, probably more than the entire PC monitor market combined.

      • tay
      • 1 year ago

      OLED: Check. Wait a second… that’s a Q!

      • gerryg
      • 1 year ago

      Just like I tell Apple owners, it’s your own fault for buying the most proprietary and expensive solution out there, you and your wallet will have to live in that ecosystem for a long time. You may get a lot of benefits, but don’t complain about the drawbacks. Everything is a tradeoff.

    • jts888
    • 1 year ago

    I’m very happy to hear about variable refresh making it into mainstream TVs but have mixed feelings about the FreeSync branding.

    On one hand, AMD deserves something for pushing Adaptive-sync into VESA and Variable Rate Refresh into HDMI, but on the other, this just gives Nvidia even further reason to drag their heels with not supporting standard A-s/VRR displays.

      • EndlessWaves
      • 1 year ago

      That’s nvidia’s problem, not yours. Just buy an AMD card instead.

        • auxy
        • 1 year ago

        Speaking as an AMD fangirl, AMD would need to produce a graphics card that’s worth buying first. (‘ω’)

          • Chrispy_
          • 1 year ago

          I’m with you here.

          I use a 75Hz WQHD Freesync monitor with Vega56 but even on custom undervolt and power-save BIOS I can’t help but look at the Nvidia options and think to myself:

          This is hotter than a 1070Ti (AMD’s fault)
          This is noisier than a 1070Ti (AMD’s fault)
          This is more expensive than a 1070Ti (Cryptomining’s fault)
          This produces less consistent framerates than a 1070Ti (Nvidia’s TWIMTBP and Gameworks’ fault)

          So yeah, I’m happy with my AMD in my home-office/man-cave but the Geforce powering the TV is definitely staying there.

        • jts888
        • 1 year ago

        My home workstation actually uses an RX 480. My concern is that PC gaming software is more likely to neglected on this front (lag tuning etc.) if the most common customer setup has an Nvidia GPU not connected to an adaptive-refresh capable display.

    • brucethemoose
    • 1 year ago

    I felt a great disturbance in the market, as if millions of overpriced “gaming” monitors suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something wonderful has happened

      • RtFusion
      • 1 year ago

      Good thing too, in the market for a new monitor.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 1 year ago

      Depends on how Samsung prices these, but I hope you’re right.

        • superjawes
        • 1 year ago

        If I’m reading this correctly, the displays are already in the wild, and you would just need an update. I think I saw these at Costco, ~$1,800 for the 55″.

        Still somewhat premium (makes sense), but prices on TVs have been dropping pretty quickly, and you could probably pick up a sweet deal if/when Samsung release the 2019 models.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 1 year ago

          Oh, in that case, that’s great. I didn’t realize these were already out.

          Probably not coming to my low-end TC 55P605 any time soon, but I’d love it. And the PS4.

      • Kretschmer
      • 1 year ago

      While these large TVs are good for some types of gamers, many would prefer smaller screens with strobing, ultra-fast response times, and gaming-friendly resolutions (e.g. 1440P).

      • morphine
      • 1 year ago

      Don’t really want to rain on the parade, but TVs with more than 60 Hz input/refresh rate aren’t commonplace.

        • tay
        • 1 year ago

        Yeah. Enjoy your 48 – 60 Hz free sync ranges.

          • MrDweezil
          • 1 year ago

          This is almost certainly aimed at console gaming.

            • Wilko
            • 1 year ago

            Shouldn’t it aim for 30 minimum then? Or the oh so cinematic 24?

            • MrDweezil
            • 1 year ago

            Microsoft is trying to make it work on their end. From a [url=https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2018-freesync-support-tested-on-xbox-one-x<]eurogamer article[/url<] back when freesync was patched onto xbox: [quote<]Microsoft's support for 30fps games is intriguing - and definitely not standard AMD spec. The console's HDMI transmitter still runs at 60Hz, with every rendered frame from a 30fps title sent twice. If performance drops beneath 30fps, the deficit is divided across two frame outputs. So, for example, if a title drops to 25fps - a 40ms frame-time - it's transmitted as two 50Hz frames. And true to form, the Asus Game Tools FPS counter presents a 50fps reading, as opposed to its true 25fps.[/quote<]

            • derFunkenstein
            • 1 year ago

            edit: not LFC. There’s a similar thing in G-Sync but this is done on the console side instead of the display.

            • DoomGuy64
            • 1 year ago

            lol, software LFC, why can’t we have this on PC? (obviously to sell VRR monitors)

            • LostCat
            • 1 year ago

            If you need 24 but can’t figure out how to double it to 48 that’s pretty sad.

          • Suleks
          • 1 year ago

          These TVs actually can push 1080p resolutions at 120hz natively according to their user guide. The freesync range is 48-120hz. No 4k support for that though. HDMI 2.1 would probably fix these issues.

            • tay
            • 1 year ago

            Cool! Did not know that.

        • brucethemoose
        • 1 year ago

        Well, to be fair, all current 4k freesync monitors are 60hz too.

        • meerkt
        • 1 year ago

        120Hz-input TVs are starting to get more common.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 1 year ago

    Hell yeah! Freesync needs to be everywhere. Hopefully it comes to PS4 too.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 1 year ago

      Free the Sync! Free the Sync! Free the Sync! None of us are FreeSync until all of us are FreeSync!

      [I think I just flashed back to the ’60s.]

        • morphine
        • 1 year ago

        [quote<]I think I just flashed back to the '60s.[/quote<] Can I have some of that acid too?

          • Neutronbeam
          • 1 year ago

          Check the small DHL Express box at your door tomorrow. ;->

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