Samsung has announced its latest TV products for 2016 at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The key improvements that we can expect to see this year include more true to life displays, the ability to control connected devices around your home, more seamless entertainment and, finally, the ability to play 4K movies from Blu-Ray discs.
A more dynamic picture
Starting with screen quality, while Samsung introduced its SUHD (Super UHD) TVs with Quantum Dot technology last year, the 2016 models use the same technology with some improvements including 10-bit support for better contrast, colour accuracy and contrast.
Also new, and found on rival manufacture LG’s new TVs, is support for High Dynamic Range (HDR). This will probably be the new buzzword with TVs in 2016, and essentially it helps balance pictures that have both very bright and dark elements.
In addition, a new Ultra Black screen technology helps reduce light reflection and glare.
The flagship KS9500 SUHD TV is the world’s first bezel-less curved TV, which creates a floating effect for the screen, and the minimalist design includes the removal of the screws on the back of TV for a seamless look and feel.
Samsung has updated its Smart Hub, which is the interface that connects viewers with the content that they want to watch. Essentially, it’s been simplified to allow access to favourite TV shows right from the home menu.
The new Smart Control remote helps eliminate the need to keep multiple controllers for different living room devices, and can automatically recognise set-top-boxes, games consoles and home theatre systems without any special set-up.
On the gaming side, Samsung has made the bold claim that its 2016 range can deliver a ‘console’ like gaming experience. With over 500 streaming games available over 2016, this looks to be a possibility, especially with well-known console games such as Assassin’s Creed III, Batman: Arkham Origins and The Lego Movie included in the mix.
Controlling your connected home
A game changer for Samsung TVs in 2016 is the ability to connect and control smart home devices directly from the TV menu and remote control. Samsung TVs feature IoT (Internet of Things) hub technology for controlling SmartThings branded devices such as lamps, baby monitors, security cameras, doorbells and lights.
Users can also program routines for certain situations such as watching a movie, which would turn on a surround sound system and sound-bar at the same time.
For full support of SmartThings devices, a special extended USB adaptor is required.
Blu-ray meets 4K
Samsung also unveiled its eagerly awaited 4K Blu-Ray player, which can provide the best possible picture quality to enjoy movies in ultra-high definition. The UBD-K8500 is also HDR compatible and offers four times the resolution and 64 times the colour detail of a normal Blu-Ray player.
With upscale support built in, the UBD-K8500 can also play DVDs and standard Blu-rays, as well as stream Netflix content.
This year, 20th Fox is slated to release more than 100 4K Ultra HD discs with HDR including films like The Martian, Peanuts among others.
In terms of pricing and availability, Philip Newton, Corporate Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer – Samsung Electronics Australia says:
“Samsung Electronics Australia can confirm that the new line-up of Samsung SUHD TVs unveiled at CES 2016 will be launched in Australia later this year. We will confirm local pricing and availability for the new SUHD range closer to the local launch.”
Valens Quinn was flown to CES as a guest of Samsung Electronics Australia