As Sony, Panasonic and LG get set to launch new OLED TV’s at CES 2017, Samsung is set to roll out their latest QLED TV technology, which the Korean Company claims solves a lot of problems associated with OLED TV technology which is expensive to manufacture.
The technology fully unlocks the potential of high dynamic range (HDR) technology like never before claims Samsung engineers.
The first indication that Samsung was about to deliver a seemingly dramatic leap forward with its third generation of Quantum Dot TVs came in a recent report on generally reliable Korean tech news site ETNews. This reported that Samsung Electronics had applied for a trio of eye-catching trademarks to apply to its new TVs: ‘HDR 1500’, ‘Q HDR’ and ‘Real Black’.
UK TV expert and SmartHouse TV writer John Archer claims the first of these terms clearly suggests that Samsung’s latest TVs will achieve light outputs of at least 1500 nits (2016’s models were marketed as ‘HDR 1000’ and cleared 1000 nits). The ‘Q HDR’ name suggests a desire by Samsung to equate Quantum Dots as key to a premium HDR experience. And ‘Real Black’ seems to be Samsung challenging rival OLED technology on its traditional ‘safe ground’ of black level response.
Insiders claim that the performance of Samsung’s 2017 TVs will exceed that of 2016 models by around 50%, and that Samsung intends to focus heavily on the concept of Colour Volume in the marketing of their new TVs.
Colour volume is essentially about the way colours in the real world look when different levels of brightness are applied to them. Samsung sees this as a big deal for its new TVs because to reproduce colour volume effectively you need a lot of brightness; something its ‘QLED’ TVs look set to have but which rival OLED TVs (as Samsung will doubtless be keen to point out!) traditionally struggle with.
According to Samsung sources the Korean Company didn’t think that sticking with its previous ‘SUHD’ TV terminology would reflect the extent of the advances it claims to have made with its third-gen Quantum Dot TVs.
According to Archer Samsung built a Future TV Task Force into its TV Business Unit, with the aim of drawing on the knowledge and ideas of all areas of Samsung technology. The TVs Samsung is unveiling at CES are the result of this project.
Apparently the next-generation innovations used in these LCD TVs introduce ‘perfect’ blacks alongside unprecedented brightness, as well as pictures that can be watched from any angle.
The QLED name was seemingly chosen because it helps consumers understand that the new TVs use a combination of LED and Quantum Dot technologies.
Some readers may recall that the QLED term was first coined by Quantum Dot maker QD Vision (which Samsung now owns) to describe an experimental emissive technology, where each pixel made its own light.
Samsung TV owners will soon be able to take advantage of High Dynamic Range video on YouTube, depending on their TV model.
In other news set to be confirmed at CES anyone with a 2016 Samsung Quantum Dot TV or UHD TV will be able use their televisions to view HDR content via the YouTube app, for the first time ever. The update “will launch progressively throughout the world from December”, according to Samsung, although it’s not clear when it will arrive in Australia, we suspect April when Samsung traditionally upgrades their TV’s.
Speaking at the announcement, Seline Han, Samsung’s VP of the Visual Display Business, said: “With the global availability of YouTube’s HDR, we at Samsung are thrilled to support the best HDR viewing experience and a wide range of HDR content for users to enjoy.”
“We are confident that our TVs will bring to life an immersive HDR viewing experience – all from the comfort of our users’ homes,” Han added.
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is an image reproduction technology that allows for significantly improved colour and light in video. For instance, it offers a wide range of darks and lights, allowing for deeper blacks and much more accurate highlights. It also offers a wider range of colours, meaning the image you see should be more accurate to real life, assuming no other funky post-processing is going on.
But viewing HDR content isn’t simple. First, you’ll need to find HDR-friendly video, which isn’t abundant – there’s barely any on YouTube, although the roster of content is growing. Then, you’ll need a TV or monitor that supports HDR content, like Samsung’s 2016 range of QDTV and UHDTV televisions.
In a bid to bolster its HDR content offering, YouTube has worked with content creators like Mystery GuitarMan and Jacob + Katie Schwarz to create new HDR videos. And Samsung says that additional YouTube creators will be given the opportunity to create HDR content using specialist production facilities in Los Angeles and New York City, to further grow YouTube’s HDR ecosystem.
“We are thrilled to announce the launch of HDR support on Samsung’s Quantum Dot TVs,” said Heather Thompson Rivera, YouTube’s Director of Product Partnerships. “By combining Samsung’s commitment to picture quality and our desire to offer the best content available, we will work together to build a strong ecosystem that improves HDR content creation and allows users to enjoy more diverse content in the best quality possible.”