LAS VEGAS – Last year at CES, Samsung announced its SUHD TV: a 4K smart TV with an incredible color gamut and a plethora of useful apps. Now that SUHD TVs are widely available, the company wants to give viewers a TV set that looks just as gorgeous as the picture it displays. Samsung's new lineup of SUHD TVs are thin and curved with an innovative bezel-less design, and have the ability to control a variety of Samsung smart home devices right from your remote.
Samsung showed Tom's Guide its new SUHD TV features at a press event, and provided further details during its CES 2016 press conference. For those who aren't familiar with the technology, SUHD TVs make use of quantum dot technology to display a color palette well beyond what most LED/LCD screens can accomplish. (Samsung does not use more expensive, high-contrast OLED screens like its competitor, LG.) The technology hasn't changed too much since last year, but its presentation has. Tom's Guide will have more information about pricing and availability once it becomes available.
The new SUHD TVs will come in a curved configuration with one major change from last year's model: a complete lack of bezels. When you look at a new Samsung SUHD TV head-on (we saw the KS9500 model, all you see is screen. I got to take a close look at an SUHD TV playing nature footage on a loop, and the effect was quite striking.
The TV rendered the subtle blues and greens of a peacock's feathers, as well as the delicate framework of the rachis holding them together. Without a bezel to draw my attention away, it felt like there was nothing between the action onscreen and me. In a program with an actual story, it's not hard to imagine how much fun it would be to watch a program like that. Even the back of the TV continues the trend, with a striated, modern look and no visible screws.
The Samsung Smart Hub, the SUHD TV's Tizen-based OS, is also getting a substantial upgrade, which will focus on the Internet of Things. Using Samsung's new SUHD lineup, users will be able to control Samsung's various smart home products without ever having to leave their couches or whip out their smartphones. Samsung supports everything from smart lightbulbs to smart thermostats to smart plugs, so using a TV as a central command center for the whole home sounds like a useful innovation.
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At its press conference, Samsung announced five different lines of SUHD TVs, which will range in size between 49 inches and 88 inches. Each will feature a 4K display and the company's unique SUHD quantum dot technology, but as far as how the models vary in design, price and release date, Samsung has not yet revealed that information. The company did point out that some of its TVs have earned the new UHD Premium distinction from the UHD Alliance, which helps consumers choose TV sets with particularly good 4K displays.
One other interesting feature is related to Samsung's new Smart Hub interface. Instead of having to search for new content by opening apps and sifting through things you've already watched, Samsung's new SUHD TVs will keep tabs on what you watch through apps like Amazon Prime, then entice you with your favorite shows right on the home screen. This saves only a few steps, but added up over the course of marathon show after marathon show, it could make navigating to your favorite shows a much quicker experience.
While the underlying tech of Samsung's SUHD TVs hasn't changed much in the last year, existing owners have a lot to look forward to, as do first-time adopters who want to bring colorful, versatile 4K displays into their homes.