At CES today, Samsung Electronics Canada announced a breakthrough line of QLED TVs, based on a new type of quantum dot technology that promises a significant advance in color, contrast and brightnes.
According to the company, QLED is based on a metal alloy Quantum Dot material, which allow display of deep blacks in both light and dark scenes, regardless of ambient room lighting. QLED can also generate peak luminance as high as 1,500 to 2,000 nits. Color performance remains constant at all levels of brightness and at wide viewing angles.
"2017 will mark a major paradigm shift in the visual display industry, ushering in the era of QLED," said Pat Bugos, Vice President, Consumer Electronics, Samsung Canada. "QLED TV will provide industry leading true-to-life picture, stunning design that can redefine any room and intuitive innovation to help Canadians get closer to the on-screen content they are passionate about."
"With the QLED TV, we've solved many of the problems that everyone - and every home - has experienced; cable clutter, thick wall mounts and a slew of devices sitting right under the TV," said Bugos. "The focus of our innovative 2017 TV lineup is on the content on the screen and not everything surrounding it."
Samsung's new line of QLED TVs includes three series of 4K UHD models, dubbed Q7, Q8 and Q9. The Q8 series offer curved screens, while Q9 are flat. All are claimed to accurately display the DCI-P3 color space, reproducing 100% ‘color volume,' so that even subtle differences in color are visible at any level of luminance.
The Samsung release doesn't go into detail about the technology in its new sets. Quantum dot is a sophisticated technique that can be used to greatly enhance the performance of basic LED-backlit LCD panel designs. But the term QLED, specifically, has been used to denote self-illuminated quantum dot panels, which emit light directly with no backlight. That level of technology would obviously be a strong alternative to OLED screens.
It's not clear at this point what technology Samsung is using. Nonetheless, the concept is extremely promising, and Samsung's QLED sets seem likely to have a significant edge over current OLED and LCD types.
Apart from the QLED technology, Samsung's new TVs incorporate some interesting innovations in physical design.
For example, the new QLED sets feature a single, transparent Invisible Connection cable, through which all peripheral devices can be connected to the TV. A thin, near-invisible fiber-optic link links the TV back to a hub that sits close to other AV components and connects to them using conventional cabling. The TV still needs a connection to the wall plug, but many homes now have outlets strategically placed for this purpose.
Samsung's QLED TVs offer a ‘no-gap' wall mount, which allows the TV to be easily hung flush against a wall. Samsung is also offering two new stand designs. The Studio Stand resembles an easel with a painting. The Gravity Stand is said to resemble "a contemporary sculpture."
The QLED line will incorporate Samsung's latest smart TV features, including a Smart Remote that can control most connected TV devices. The Smart Hub TV interface has been extended to both Android and iOS smartphones through an improved Smart View app. An overview of all available content is now provided on the app's home screen, including both live TV shows and video-on-demand services. Users can choose to receive smartphone alerts about their favorite content.
Details of pricing and availability were not included in the Samsung release.