This week Samsung launched its SUHD TV range. UHD stands for Ultra High Definition, so what does the S stand for? “Super”?
We were told S is the letter designation given to what Samsung considers its best products. And it’s easy to see why these TVs got that S.
At the launch event the SUHD was placed alongside Samsung’s model from last year and an OLED TV, all with the same video input. The difference was striking: the SUHD showed crystal clear images with more realistic colours. And I mean realistic because the input was from cameras filming a scene of paint balls hitting a white wall in front of us, so we could directly compare the real colour with the TV image.
To get this level of colour and clarity, Samsung use “Nano Crystal Colour” technology and a new re-mastering engine. This means viewers can experience 64 times more colour expression along with darker blacks and brightness up to 2.5 times greater than previous Samsung TVs.
Launching on 1 May, the SUHD range has three different series – JS9500, JS9000 and JS8000 and comes in 6 screen sizes ranging from 55- to 78-inches. Prices range from $5,499 to $19,999.
In addition to screen technology, Samsung worked on the appearance of the television itself. The JS9500 model features Samsung’s chamfer bezel design, adding more depth to the TV screen, while the JS9000 model has a soft, textured design on the back, which is useful as the back of a curved TV is seen more often than you’d expect.
All of Samsung’s 2015 TVs, not just the SUHD TVs, will be running on Tizen; an open-source platform that supports the web standard for TV app development. Tizen lets you do some clever things. For the first time, your TV will auto recognise and connect to your Samsung smartphone for nearly instant content sharing. These TVs can also act as an alarm, sync with Samsung mobile devices to turn on and display information such as the time, weather, and your schedule.
The Tizen system makes the new Samsung TV range a hub for a smart home as it can easily connect with other smart devices.
This year Samsung will also launch “Rugby Mode”. This feature allows viewers to stop, rewind, replay game highlights, zoom in, all while watching live sport (and despite the name, this mode will work for any sport).
While the SUHD TV’s audio is good, Samsung launched a new series of sound bars and what can only be described as a “sound egg”.
The WAM7500 and 7501 speakers (to be released later this year) both look like an elongated rugby ball – or a prolate spheroid to be exact. Instead of delivering sound in one direction, these speakers create an “omnidirectional sound experience”. Using proprietary “Ring Radiator” technology, the sound comes out in a 360° radius, so instead of having to put the speaker at the front of the room, you can place it in the middle of a space or on a table. For example, the WAM7500 was hung from the centre of the demonstration room’s ceiling and the surround sound effect it produced was amazing.
Samsung’s new range of curved sound bars, also available 1 May, offer a point of difference to straight sound bars. The HW-J8501 Curved Soundbar has 9.1 channel speakers, thanks to a central speaker and additional side speakers situated at both ends. The new curved range also looks nicer with a curved TV.
Overall, it’s hard to find anything wrong with these new TVs. It produced stunning pictures – when looking at native UHD (3840 x 2160) images, I had to get very close to see any pixels. But what does a 1080p feed, such as a blu-ray or a video game, look like on these TVs? The new SUHD TVs can upscale any input into 4K but we haven’t seen that feature in action and it’s that function that will make these TVs practically perfect.
Hadyn Green travelled to Sydney courtesy of Samsung.