Samsung's CES TV Surprise Is Blowing Our Minds

The great Vegas gadget circus is only days away, and we've got a feeling that big, beautiful TVs are going to be front and centre. 4K! OLED! Wonderful stuff. But Samsung is teasing something that's either brilliant or insane. We can't tell.

It's not uncommon for companies to try to drum up hype with vague teasers. But it's usually pretty easy to guess generally what they're talking about. A new, faster phone. A bigger tablet. Just because you see a Photoshop mockup of a gadget covered by a shadow doesn't mean it's anything worth caring about.

But is Samsung hinting at a portrait-oriented TV? Are they actually going to show us an HDTV that's rotated 90 degrees sideways? Am I seeing correctly? The picture above — what looks like a tree inside a picture frame on a beach — doesn't mean much of anything. But read this:

A true innovation of TV design is coming up with an unprecedented new TV shape and timeless gallery design…

A new TV shape? As opposed to... a wide rectangle? What new shape could a TV possible arrive in that wouldn't completely alienate anyone who's ever watched a TV?

There seem to be three options:

Samsung might be selling an extra-widescreen, 21:9 anamorphic TV. Vizio's already done it. It's technically a different shape than your standard 16:9 set, and, hey, you could watch Star Wars without any letterboxing, which makes me weep. Maybe it'll be a 4K anamorphic set, which would make cashed-up cinemaphiles shriek. This would be a dreamy TV.

Or perhaps it's a transparent/translucent TV, which is stupid, because who wants to see what's sitting behind their TV? It's probably a wall. You'd basically be framing a wall.

But neither of these look like that damn picture frame, taller than it is wide, which leads to option three: Samsung is going to sell a TV that's taller than it is wide. It sounds insane and impossible, and awfully bizarre or bizarrely awful. We can only imagine the extra vertical space would be used for "smart TV" widgets (a nightmarish vision), or, what, watching three video sources at once? One video with the largest letterboxing in history? We're scratching our heads and rubbing our eyes — we'll have the answer within a week.

Oh, and Samsung: if this is just a thinner TV or something, we're going to strangle you and then ourselves. [Samsung]

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


    My money is on slimmer, maybe a very tiny bezel.

    Looks more like a ''Window'' to me... which suggests a Windows-based something or other.

    Sam, what leads you to believe the announcement has something to do with a TV, let alone a weird portrait-oriented TV...?

    Last edited 03/01/13 9:06 am

      possibly the quote
      "A true innovation of TV design is coming up with an unprecedented new TV shape and timeless gallery design…"

        Hmmm. Was that paragraph in the originally posted article? Or was it edited in for clarification sometime later?

        Incidentally, Samsung also released a teaser video sometime last night which shows a bunch of TV sets heading to CES to see a new TV. So, it's definitely a TV announcement of some kind.

        Last edited 03/01/13 6:25 pm

      "A true innovation of TV design is coming up with an unprecedented new TV shape and timeless gallery design…"

      I agree, Samsung's had a prototype 'Smart-Window-esque' device for some time now, they demoed it at CES 2011/2012. I'd imagine thats what this is.

    May be wireless connections and power?

    Calling it now it'll be a round tv...

    It's a single tree. And a LONE PINE at that.

    So, clearly, Samsung will be releasing either an ANZAC-themed TV, or opening a koala sanctuary.

      Erm... Koalas don't eat pine leaves dude... ;)

          Ahh yes... you'd think with 12 years service in the Army I'd of picked up on that... Embarrassed now... :}

    It is clearly a translucent tv. There is no shadow for the image itself, only the bezel. Although it doesn't make sense at home, it does have commercial applications.


      +1 for translucent considering they've been making them commercially for a while now, but as Sam said you would just stare at a wall when you turn it off-unless you put legs on it and use it as a coffee table or something

    Considering most idiots these days takes their photos and videos vertically (Thanks Apple), this TV being that shape wouldn't be all that bad for many.

    You couldn't pay ME to buy one of course, but for the nimrods who take their photos and vidoes the wrong way, this TV would be a god send...of sorts.

    Samsung Smart Window?

    I reckon the new shape will be a curved screen. It is the only thing that makes sense, other than maybe a cinema aspect ratio 21:9, which would still be a rectangle, so not a new shape at all.

    I would suggest it would at least be some kind of transparent / see through tv. Considering the shadow of only the frame is in front of the set, and you can see straight through it to something that exactly matches the background of the rest of the image.

    Curved is unlikely IMO as well. Perhaps it would be focused more towards businesses as an interactive display or something, probably not for the general consumer.

    Please don't strangle yourselves Giz!

    Perhaps a TV that is a frame when off, so you put a picture behind it or whatever, but when it's on it completely blocks what's behind and acts as a normal.... Portrait.... Oriented TV :)

    What if the TV rotates 90 degrees, like some monitors can. It then covers the usual TV/Video perspective and when rotated to a vertical orientation maybe a second window or picture mode as well?

    I say its a retractable - resizeable TV that you can change to suit the format your watching.
    Wide screen, Anamorphic, or original old school square.

    And so, in the end, not a single portrait TV was revealed at CES, proving the fanciful speculation in this article was as silly as it first appeared.

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