Samsung QLED TV explained: Daring design, pristine picture, more smarts

Samsung today announced an all-new line of televisions it calls QLED, and while the picture quality has gotten better, its the new series’ design that makes the biggest difference this year.

QLED replaces Samsung’s two-year-old SUHD line as the company’s most premium TV line, and it includes several meaningful upgrades. QLED offers better viewing angles, brighter high dynamic range (HDR) performance, and increased color production (100 percent of the DCI P3 color space), with claimed improvements to black levels as well.

A new design allows you to mount a Samsung QLED TV smack up against your wall. With Samsung’s proprietary mounting system, its Q9, Q8, and Q7 QLED TVs can be mounted flush, making the TV look more like a piece of art than a television. If wall mounting isn’t the plan, Samsung offers two types of table-top stands with modern styling, crafted from aluminum and stainless steel. An easel-style floor stand offers an uber-modern option for those who want their TV to take center stage in their room.

If wall mounted, Samsung’s QLED TVs offer nearly invisible cable management. Thanks to a new fiber-optic system, the cable that delivers the TV’s video signal looks like nearly as thin as a strand of fishing wire, and essentially disappears against a wall. Power must still be provided to the display, but many modern homes offer a power outlet right next to the TV’s location.

But is QLED a radically different kind of TV technology? No, not exactly. Videophiles who follow TV development may have been hoping for an emissive, non-organic alternative to OLED TVs, which can actually turn off each individual pixel to allow for perfect black levels. QLED is not such a technology, but it’s still a notable leap forward in TV tech, and worth paying attention to this year. We look forward to evaluating these new TVs and letting you know how they perform in our review process.

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