When 4K Ultra HD televisions first started appearing, they were defined by their resolution: 3840 x 2160 pixels, often touted as four times the resolution of Full HD. Then, in January 2015, Samsung made some waves by introducing its SUHD line of 4K Ultra HD televisions, which were meant to be a step above standard UHD TV sets because they offered High Dynamic Range (HDR) and more colors (WCG). Soon, SUHD would become a brand of its own. It stood for premium — the best Samsung made — and they sold like gangbusters; over 2 million units in one year, according to Samsung.
Suddenly, Samsung didn’t have to talk so much about complex technical terms like HDR and Wide Color Gamut. People could see the difference, and they knew SUHD had something to do with it. But in 2016, things changed. The UHD Alliance, tasked with coming up with standards for these new televisions, decided that there should be a premium tier for 4K Ultra HD TVs, so they developed requirements for manufacturers to meet, and the Consumer Technology Association came up with a badge of its own.
SUHD — as a marketing term, anyway — was ahead of its time. That being the case, it’s had a year to sink in with US consumers. Now that people know SUHD is premium, how do you tell them just how premium it is? Especially with a whole new standard for what premium is supposed to be now making the rounds with manufacturers?
We cornered Dave Das for an explanation. In the video above, he essentially tells us that SUHD is offering more of what has before — more brightness (1000 nits), more contrast (HDR), more color (quantum dots, 10-bit panels) — but there’s even more to it than that. Samsung’s developed a refined user interface, made its TVs way smarter, and equipped them to control a huge array of smart home devices.
Samsung has always maintained that the ‘S’ in SUHD didn’t stand for any word in particular. But this year, it’s hard not to see the ‘S’ as standing for ‘Smart.’