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Interview: Samsung’s Dave Das explains what makes QLED TVs so special

Just two years ago we spoke with Samsung Senior Vice President of Consumer Electronics, Dave Das, about SUHD, the company’s branded take on a premium 4K Ultra HD TV. But Samsung is moving on, ditching the SUHD moniker for a new acronym: QLED. In our interview, Das explains what makes QLED special.

QLED is more than just a new set of marketing-friendly letters, though. The new name reflects new priorities Samsung has taken on in terms of design philosophy, as well a couple of picture quality improvements.

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It’s important to note that QLED is not yet the emissive technology we were told about in September at Europe’s IFA conference — that premium TV is apparently still in the works — but Samsung does say that modifications to its quantum dots have resulted in two key improvements: A better viewing angle, and better black levels resulting in improved contrast. While we can’t vouch for the latter, the improved viewing angle is obvious — what once was a very limiting factor for Samsung’s LED TVs has now been shed.

Samsung also claims its QLED TVs are cable of 1,200-1,500 nits of peak brightness, which will add quite a bit of sparkle to HDR content, and bodes well for SDR content, too. QLED is also claimed to be able to produce 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color space, making it well suited to reproduce movies exactly as presented in commercial theaters.

Outside of picture quality, QLED offers some notable design additions, not the least of which is a fiber-optic signal cable barely thicker than fishing line which carries the TV’s video signal from a small connection hub up to the TV. The cable is virtually invisible when strung up a wall, and should make clean installations a bit easier for those who have a power outlet located where the TV will be placed.

Getting a QLED TV mounted on the wall is also claimed to be easier using Samsung’s proprietary wall-mounting hardware, which also offers the benefit of a nearly flush installation. Samsung claims that installing its wall mount solution should only take about 15 minutes, though using a conventional mount is still an option.

For those not mounting the TV, two table-stop stands are available, one of which swivels, and there’s a gorgeous floor-stand available as well.

QLED models sport all-metal finishes and extremely thin bezels for TVs that look as good turned off as they do when turned on.

Three QLED series exist, including Q9, Q8, and Q7. Pricing and lauch date, as usual, are not being disclosed at CES 2017.

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