Hands-on with the latest 4K LED LCD smart TVs from Samsung
Last night we had our first look at Samsung’s new TV range. Few won’t have been impressed. The colour performance is stunning and rivals LG’s OLED TVs. The motion smoothing is also nothing-short-of-amazing.
But we need to remember that when TVs are demonstrated, they show lifelike, Ultra High Definition, colourful content that suits the TV and at a nice, smooth 60 frames per second. In other words, very little like the normal TV and movies that people will actually watch on these sets. Indeed, history dictates that where TVs shine at showing showreels, they can suck when it comes to watching Standard Definition TV due to poor upscaling and also at displaying true blacks as with the letter box bars in movies. So we’ll reserve judgement on buying decisions for now.
But, for the moment, it’s worth having a look at what’s coming. It’s not just exceptional image quality, but some interesting features too.
The new Samsung Q9 QLED TV. This gets particularly bright (2,000 nits) because it's lit from the top, bottom and sides. The lesser, (1,500 nits) Q7 and Q8 (curved) are only lit from the top and bottom. We are interested to see what effect this has on letterbox bars and contrast in movies.
If you're anything like us, you'll struggle to remember which device is plugged into which HDMI port. Samsung automatically recognises the device and labels it for you! Also, whether you're watching TV or YouTube, switching between feeds will have things starting where they left off.
Much is made of the new TVs' ability to be wall mounted with hidden cables and Samsung is providing a variety of mounting brackets, stands and cable management options. According to their figures, 88% of buyers intend to wall-mount TVs but only 20% actually do.
The only letterbox bar we saw all night - on a Q7. Hmm.
Samsung is adamant that anyone can wall mount its new TVs with the new brackets.
Samsung is also very proud at having recessed mounting brackets (called the "No-gap wall-mount") so that the screen can go right into the wall. The other holes have plugs to fill their unsightly voids.
The impressive new breakout box (for connectors) is connected with a "Clear Connection Cable" made of bendy optic fibre! This way it can be easily hidden without trailing ugly wires.
The new soundbar. It's a beast but it has a built-in sub-woofer and the audio quality is exceptional - even for big rooms.
The New Q9 (left) is even brighter and more colourful than the old Samsung 9000 TV series (right).
To be fair the camera we used struggle to pick up much difference here but the new model (left) was slightly brighter and more colourful.
Samsung also showed off it's cheaper MU series TVs
The new MU series from behind
The new MU series from the front. We tried to establish whether these were repackaged versions of last year's panels.
Samsung's MU TVs also come with cable management options. Probably better than this.
The new Samsung MU9000 TVs
The new Samsung MU8000 TVs
The new Samsung MU7000 TVs
We were seriously impressed with the wireless beaming of PC games on to the TV - there was no perceivable lag. Amazing.
The PC used by Samsung to wirelessly beams games to the new TV.
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