Samsung's 2018 TV lineup can tell you the weather, headlines and blend into the walls
Samsung has its hands in much of the technology we use in our home from refrigerators to vacuum cleaners — and of course TVs. The South Korean brand pulled the curtain back on what it hopes will be your latest smart entertainment staple, TVs that lean heavily on the QLED technology it first showcased back at CES 2017.
Three new TVs made the line-up at Samsung's First Look 2018 event on Wednesday in New York including a 65Q9F, 75Q9F and 65Q8C, part of Samsung's existing QLED TVs. The 2018 line of TVs, available later this month, (but no pricing as of now) will all link in through Samsung's smart home SmartThings system, talking to any smart home devices on your network.
Bixby is also integrated into the new TV line, letting consumers control their screens by just speaking to them. Watching something on the home TV and want to move it to your mobile? Just ask Bixby. You can even setup your new Samsung TV through the Samsung SmartThings smartphone app, linking to your home's Wi-Fi and apps including Spotify and Hulu.
"Devices that were smart are becoming intelligent," says JH Han, Samsung's president of visual display business at Samsung Electronics, on stage at the event.
A new mode is now available through the TV remote, called Ambient Mode, when the TV is off — which Samsung says happens 80 percent of the time in our homes. Much like the Apple TV mode, which rotates drone videos of major cities, Samsung pushes the content a bit further. Now we can pull up weather, news headlines, personal photographs — or even images that mirror the background and wall like tiling and paint so it blends better in a home space.
Brands are increasingly focused on building smart home products that are more design-friendly. Whether that's creating fabric coverings for smart home speakers or making devices seem invisible, there's some acknowledgment that technology can feel cold and clinical — and not an object worth highlighting. The Ambient Mode is certainly a nod towards that trend.
One cable — up to 15 meters (49 feet) long — is all it takes to link the TV and AV data, and is also a help to breaking the cord clutter that every home suffers from today.
The company also highlighted its modular design — which Samsung first touted this year at CES 2018 with The Wall and available finally later this year —which means TVs can be shaped in almost any dimension needed, with each component, or screen, powered through micro LED technology.
Its new Q9F and Q8F will come in a variety of sizes: Q9F TVs will be available in 65-inch, 75-inch and 88-inch screens, with the Q8F TVs available in 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch screens. The screens also have backlighting control that Samsung says delivers more accurate colors that don't react to ambient light, with also sharper blacks and whites. The Q9S TV will also push out resolution at 8K — no matter how its pushed from its original source.
Gamers haven't been forgotten either. Samsung highlighted the lack of lag on its QLED TVs as well — and its ability to read the console hooked up to the display and react to produce the best experience, the company says.
New audio products are also in the lineup including a speaker that has a distinctively retro feel —designed as just a large dial with a small footprint that can be placed anywhere to manage sound through voice control.
"We focus on what the consumer wants," said Samsung's Han during the event. As Samsung makes these TVs available, we will see if consumers agree.