For many years we have considered TVs as behemoth content portals that are an ugly means to a necessary end. Remember those giant floor model TVs of the 70’s and 80’s? Or the unattractive giant heavy black boxes of the 90’s and 2000’s?
Now someone is looking at TVs in a new way … as a portal to art and culture and entertainment, as a window to other worlds, and yes, even as art themselves.
Samsung’s new QLED TVs have arrived at Best Buy. These televisions have top of the line video quality, outstanding colour replication and the ability to mount to your wall invisibly and without a tangle of wires. The way you’d hang a painting in your room is now the way you can look at displaying your TV.
Samsung QLED TV video quality
As great as a TV might look on your wall, it’s got to deliver on great video quality or it’s not doing its job. The new line of Samsung QLED TVs have several features that will prove they’re not only doing the job, but exceeding at it.
Like almost all new TVs coming on the market today, Samsung’s new QLED line features crisp, clear 4K resolution.
4K resolution has 4 times as many pixels as HDTV providing a sharper, higher quality video picture. (Read more about 4K technology here)
Quantum Dot colour and HDR
Accurate colour reproduction is vital to a great video picture. Older TVs were only able to replicate a small sliver of the colour spectrum the human eye can see. Today’s TVs are able to display a much wider spectrum, thus providing a video picture that’s more akin to looking out a window on a clear day than watching a grainy washed-out TV picture.
You’ll see the term “HDR” to describe some of these colour advances. (Click here to read more about HDR)
The term HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. With video, HDR allows TVs to display a vaster spectrum of colours and a greater difference in contrast of those colours; making for a greater discrepancy between the lightest colours and the darkest ones. Samsung takes it a step further by utilizing its own technology.
“Utilizing new Quantum dot (QD) material, Samsung’s QLED TVs offer outstanding colour volume, pinpoint colour accuracy, improved brightness and the deepest blacks on an active display,” explains Samsung in press materials. “These attributes equate to a picture quality unlike any other experienced before.”
So how does Samsung say it generates more colour? The answer is in part, light. While older sets pumped more light into their TVs to create a brighter picture, the result often was that it washed out the colour. Samsung says that with it’s Quantum Dot technology it’s found a way to pump more light through its screens while maintaining colour integrity:
“Colour is determined by light. Consider rain, for example. Usually, it’s nothing more than water droplets falling from the sky. But, with the right amount and angle of sunlight, it can be transformed into a beautiful rainbow. Televisions, too, utilize light in a similar way to create colour.”
Know your nits
While we’re talking about colour and brightness, it’s important to understand nits. Nits are a measure of brightness or luminance in televisions. While we won’t get into the science and specifics behind nits this time (we’ll save tallow candelas and square metres for another blog), suffice to say a high number of nits implies that a strong level of brightness can be achieved.
HDR Elite & Q Elite Black
Another way we experience more realism in video is through the contrast ratio. When blacks are deeper and whites are brighter, it’s more authentic. Samsung’s Q4K HDR Elite feature is said to provide extreme realism with brilliant whites and deep blacks, with peak brightness levels of 1500-2000 nits.
A problem with displaying truly deep blacks has been reflection. Samsung’s tried to combat this by adding “anti-reflection measures” to help Samsung’s QLED TVs achieve deeper blacks on its display than other TVs. The technology reduces glare from outside light sources, so you can see the details in the darkest parts of the screen regardless of how much light is in the room.
Display your Samsung QLED TV as art
TVs have evolved to hang on a wall or sit against a bookcase or a built-in for a reason; they’re particularly ugly from the back.
360 degree Design
Samsung has turned that idea around, designing its new line of QLED TVs to resemble furniture so they can sit in the centre of a room without standing out as a hulking ugly black hole.
The new QLED TVs have some interesting stand options; one is a gallery stand called Studio that allows you to display your TV as if on an easel, just like a piece of art. The second option is the futuristic and sculptural Gravity stand.
Frameless QLED TVs mean you can focus on the video
With virtually no bezel or frame around the screen your focus is solely directed at the image on screen. But what’s a slimline edge-to-edge TV that deserves your focus when you’ve got cords and cables cluttering up the area underneath?
Samsung has resolved that problem too by changing the way we connect our peripheral devices to the television. No longer does everything need to connect to the TV itself. With Samsung’s new Invisible Connection, only a single cable connects to the QLED TV (can you see the cable in the image above, right? It’s there if you look). Everything else connects to the Samsung Connect Box, which can be hidden away easily. Only 1.8mm wide, the transparent optical cable is now the only cable you need.
“The television’s nearly-invisible optical cable is 16 feet long, meaning the devices connected to your TV no longer have to be piled up under it,” explains Samsung in it’s media handout materials. “For those who want to tuck cable boxes and consoles even further away, there’s an optional 49-foot cable as well.”
When used with the leggy Gravity stand, the single cable cleverly runs down through one of the legs, creating a seamless, clutter-free appearance.
‘No Gap’ Wall-mount
Samsung’s new “virtually No Gap Wall-mount” is another way the QLED TV can fit into your space better. The mechanism positions your QLED TV flush against the wall, keeping your entertainment space clean. Samsung describes the setup as fast and easy, and once the TV is mounted on the wall, you can still adjust the viewing angle as you like it.
Easy remote & smart technology
Did you know the average TV owner has about four remotes on hand? Smasung suggests you do away with multiple remotes with Samsung’s One Remote. This allows you to control all of your devices, entertainment apps and game content, or access the TV’s Smart Menu from any Android or iOS smartphone.
The universal One Remote automatically seeks out other devices connected to the TV, so you can control multiple peripherals all at once.
The new Samsung QLED TV’s also come with SmartView technology built in. Samsung Smart View is an app that allows you to play content from your smartphone or PC and stream it to your Samsung TV. Plus you can use your phone as a remote control too.
Samsung’s Smart Hub technology also provides built in streaming services and access to online channels without the need for external streaming devices.
As you can see, TV technology is evolving at a fast pace. The new line of Samsung QLED TVs prove they’re becoming more attractive, smarter and providing better video quality than we ever thought possible.