It’s not UHD, it’s SUHD: Samsung kicks 4K TV up a notch with new lineup for 2015

Samsung is serious with a capital ‘S’ when it comes to its 2015 4K lineup. Dubbed SUHD, Samsung’s best efforts for 2015 bring quantum dot technology for better color and brightness, an entirely new aesthetic, and an overhauled smart TV/user interface based on the Tizen operating system.

Series breakdown

Samsung’s premium SUHD line comprises three series with nine screen sizes ranging from 48-inches all the way up to 88-inches. As is typical for CES announcements, prices and availability are not disclosed as yet. The top-tier JS9500 features full-array LED backlights with local dimming and a chamfer bezel (essentially a beveled bezel, which is way more fun to say). The JS9000 models, all of which are curved, feature a Shirring design on the back, lending a soft, textured feel to the back of the TV.

Quantum Dot

All of Samsung’s SUHD TVs use quantum dot technology, allowing for an expanded color gamut that nearly meets the DCI color space — nearly 20-percent more color than existing televisions. The new TV tech also allows for significantly brighter images. Quantum dots are being utilized by most major TV manufacturers now, so expect to hear more about them as CES progresses. You can find out more about how quantum dots work right here.

HDR is finally here

Samsung’s flagship television was on display showing off short clips of Life of Pi and Ridley Scott’s Exodus, both of which had been specially mastered in 4K UHD with 10-bit color and in High Dynamic Range. Both 10-bit color and High Dynamic Range are reportedly part of the new 4K UHD Blu-ray spec, as designated by the newly-formed UHD alliance. High Dynamic Range allows for brighter images with even greater contrast between dark and light. 10-bit color, on the other hand, goes back to the enhanced color gamut referenced earlier — sources offering 10-bit color and HDR are not available yet, but when 4K UHD Blu-ray discs arrive, we’ll get both and from what we’ve seen so far, it is going to be spectacular in the literal sense of the term.

Tizen takes over

Samsung has ditched its well-known smart TV interface for an entirely new design based on the Tizen OS platform. Tizen, which has struggled to grab a hold in smartwatches and smartphones, appears to make an excellent operating system for televisions. It’s difficult not to draw a comparison to LG’s WebOS platform, which was also a floundering smartphone OS until LG scooped it up and turned it into our favorite smart TV interface.

Like WebOS, Tizen provides a sleek, easy-to-use interface, leveraging a ticker of “tiles” across the bottom of the screen. Switching among multiple apps appears almost instantaneous. Also, thanks to Bluetooth Low Energy, Samsung’s SUHD TVs with Tizen automatically sense and connect to certain Samsung smart devices for instant second-screen and content sharing funcitons.

Samsung still makes regular UHD TVs

Don’t fret: This new SUHD lineup doesn’t supplant Samsung’s standard UHD TVs. Rather, it simply represents a new premium offering from the company. This likely means that standard 4K UHD TVs, which are quickly replacing 1080p HD TVs as the industry standard, will be coming down in price soon. Samsung hasn’t yet disclosed details on its bread-and-butter 4K UHD line just yet, but we’ll follow up with an update once they do.