Last year at CES, Samsung wowed videophiles with a new premium tier of 4K Ultra HD TVs, which the company dubbed SUHD (don’t ask us what the “S” stands for — Samsung isn’t saying). Boasting quantum dot technology for some of the most bright and brilliant colors we’ve ever seen from an LED TV, the new premium tier TVs have been wildly successful.
This year, Samsung has expanded its SUHD TV success with even more vivid displays with ultra-bright, 10-bit panels backed with quantum dot technology. But it is a new suite of user-facing premium features, including a new smart-remote system, automatic device detection, and even a deal with TV rival Sony and GaemFly, both of which enable streaming games, that meaningfully improve on the SUHD TVs of the past.
Behold the KS9500
The flagship of Samsung’s new fleet is the KS9500, a successor to last year’s JS9500 display. The curved TV is crafted around Samsung’s new “360 design,” meaning the TV looks good from front to back, with a chrome V-stand, a brushed metallic back, and hidden screws for a seamless, unblemished look. Like all of Samsung’s new SUHD TVs, the KS9500 boasts high dynamic range (HDR) with a whopping 1,000-nit peak brightness level for searing whites, along with Ultra Black technology to reduce reflections in bright rooms and otherwise reduce glare. Samsung claims the screen “absorbs natural light the same way that a moth’s eye enables it to see better at night,” for better contrast.
Smarter smart TVs
Samsung has revamped its Tizen smart hub this year, with an emphasis on connectivity and ease of use. That includes a more accessible menu, upgraded Smart View functionality to make it easier to share content beyond its proprietary Galaxy phones — including both Android and iOS devices, the Extra button for more available content like player profiles during sporting events, and even a coming selection of 4K Ultra HD sports.
In addition, access to Playstation Now allows subscribers (at $15 per month) to access over 500 streaming and downloadable games in 2016, including marquee titles like Assassin’s Creed III, Batman: Arkham Origins, and many more. And perhaps most impressive, the TVs will automatically recognize components like Blu-ray players and set-top boxes when connected to the TV, rename inputs accordingly, and automatically program its remote to operate them. In other words, put away all those remotes cluttering up your coffee table. .
Connected home hub
Finally, Samsung’s new SUHD TVs are designed to become the hub of your smart home, with a Smart Things hub built right in to control over 200 SmartThings-compatible devices, from security cameras, to lighting control — though a SmartThings Extend adaptor will be required for some features.
We’ve gotten to the point where TVs have gotten so advanced, year-on-year improvements will become increasingly incremental. Still, Samsung has managed to up its game once again, with more exciting developments no doubt planned for the future.