Just what you wanted, another acronym! Here’s what Samsung’s SUHD really means

Samsung SUHD CES 2015
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
Sometimes, pushing technology forward means leaving consumers bewildered. The public had only just begun to hear about 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition) televisions, let alone understand them, when Samsung swooped into CES 2015 with “SUHD.” Is Samsung developing a new standard within a new standard? Is SUHD like UHD on steroids? Should you hold off on buying that 4K TV you’ve been eyeing for the Super Bowl for the next big thing?

The answers, in order, are: No, sort of, and it’s complicated.

To help understand Samsung’s move to “SUHD” as a descriptor for its forthcoming televisions, we tracked down Dave Das, Senior Vice President of Home Entertainment Marketing at Samsung. He explains what Samsung is up to this year in television, why SUHD is supposed to be better than UHD, and how UHD is poised to take off in 2015 as 4K content comes in at a gush rather than a trickle.

As comprehensive as Dave Das’ answers were, we walked away feeling there might still be some confusion around SUHD. So, to clarify exactly what SUHD is all about, we’ve broken it all down below.

It’s marketing folks

By now, you’ve likely sorted out for yourself that SUHD isn’t some kind of new resolution that somehow exceeds that of 4K UHD, it’s simply Samsung’s marketing efforts at making a premium line of 4K UHD TVs when 4K itself is still considered premium. You could say the ‘S’ stands for “Super Premium.” Or “Sumptuous.” Or whatever you want, because Samsung hasn’t actually issued an official explanation of what it stands for.

SUHD isn’t some kind of new resolution that somehow exceeds that of 4K UHD.

Is it worth the premium price that comes with Samsung’s SUHD? That depends on how important having the best is to you. Samsung’s SUHD TVs are sure to be chart toppers this year, even if the content that really makes them shine doesn’t show up for another year or so. Of course, if you’re an early adopter, you’re not going to want to wait for spring 2016 to get your hands on the next version of SUHD. But if you can stomach waiting, you will probably save a few bucks, and get yourself in the second generation of this super-premium lineup at a time when you can pick up a 4K Blu-ray to really take advantage of everything SUHD brings to the table.

Better color, brighter picture

Two somewhat similar backlighting technologies battled for supremacy at CES this year: quantum dots, and an approach without a totally un-sexy name involving LEDs coated with phosphors. Some manufacturers hitched their wagon to quantum dots, while others went with the phosphor-coated LEDs — only LG came to the show using both. Samsung decided on quantum dots. Each manufacturer called their technology something different, which only makes things harder for consumers. In any case, both technologies allow for a TV with better color accuracy, a wider color gamut, brighter overall images and higher dynamic range (brighter brights and darker darks).

For now, users will only benefit from the improved color accuracy and brightness. Later on down the road, as 4K UHD content is mastered to take advantage of the wider color gamut and higher dynamic range, owners of these TVs will see some significant bumps in picture quality as well as the increased resolution 4K TVs already bring to the table. Television will be closer to cinema-quality than ever before, in some cases perhaps better.

So, SUHD means better picture quality and compliance with future 4K UHD standards.

New Tizen-based TV operating system

Pretty much every TV is a smart TV these days, but this year nearly every manufacturer came with an overhauled interface to make the experience better. Not surprisingly, most of them appear to follow the trail LG blazed with webOS. Of course, just because they look similar doesn’t mean they act the same. Samsung has an opportunity here to better integrate its TVs with Samsung mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and smart watches. Users can expect an unprecedented level of interaction among different Samsung devices in the years ahead — instant streaming back and forth from TV to mobile devices, for instance. By using the SUHD moniker, Samsung is implying its TVs have the brand’s very best user interface.

New design

Samsung really dove deep into design this year, commissioning renowned designer Yves Behar to design its concept television, the S9W. But the company also made concerted efforts to make its TVs look even better in living rooms and home-theater spaces. Samsung wants SUHD to be synonymous with its best TV designs, pure and simple.

Simply put, SUHD represents Samsung’s very best efforts in TV for 2015, and that includes a whole lot of forward-looking TV tech. We’re eager to see how SUHD looks when we take them to task later this year, and we look forward to telling you all about it this Spring.

Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (February 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in January and February, from new original series to classic films.
Mobile

Is this the first image of a Galaxy S10 being used in real life?

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different technologies

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies, and help determine which might be best for you.
Home Theater

How much are the initials ‘LV’ worth? $700 if you put them on your earphones

If you're looking for truly wireless earbuds that make as much of a statement about the state of your finances as they do about your high-tech street cred, Louis Vuitton's Horizon earbuds fit the $995 bill.
Home Theater

What are HDMI ARC and eARC? Here’s how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next generation technology, eARC.
Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.