Samsung’s solution to green energy laws is to darken 8K TVs out of the box

Bottom line: Samsung has found a way to comply with new EU power consumption regulations that will allow the Korean electronics giant to continue selling 8K televisions in the European Union. The workaround highlights the bureaucratic silliness that often occurs in the regulatory space.

Samsung is lobbying for the EU to reconsider its stance on 8K TVs. According to the energy efficiency index (EEI), 8K displays and microLED-equipped devices sold from March 1, 2023 must have the same EEI as 4K displays.

8K sets have four times the number of pixels than similarly sized 4K models. What’s more, they require more powerful processors to upscale images to 8K quality from their native resolutions. Limiting an 8K set to 4K power consumption levels may seem unreasonable, but the EU refuses to play ball. This leaves Samsung with no choice but to pull its entire 2023 8K TV lineup from the region or come up with a workaround.

To comply with regulations, Samsung will ship 2023 8K TVs to the EU with their brightness set to a very low default level. Additionally, the brightness setting for the low-power preset is locked and cannot be changed by the user.

A complete disaster, you say? It’s not like the devil is in the details. As highlighted by Forbes, Samsung is sending sets that run on a low power mode by default. Apparently, EU is very good for users who switch to another preset photo mode without brightness limitation. In addition, the brightness setting in non-eco modes is fully adjustable.

In the end, this whole fiasco is for nothing. Samsung should just ship the sets running eco mode out of the box. That’s it. Buyers are free to switch from eco mode and fine tune the brightness of the set as they see fit. Samsung says it will even include a section about photo presets during the initial setup process to raise awareness of the eco mode’s status. This should ensure that even those with zero technical skills know how to switch photo modes to unlock the full capabilities of the set.

Image credit: Erik Mclean

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