Samsung's 2016 range of SUHD TVs will serve as the central hub of a smart home, with integrated Internet of Things wireless hardware that will be able to control smart appliances like lightbulbs, door locks, and security cameras. The TVs themselves are more powerful, too, with brighter panels, quantum dot pixels, and integrated console-grade gaming services like Sony's PlayStation Now.
Introduced at CES 2016, Samsung's new SUHD TVs are now built around quantum dots, the more efficient and powerful screen backlighting and subpixel technology that widens a screen's colour gamut and improves its overall brightness range. The top of the line KS9500 in Samsung's 2016 SUHD range boasts a maximum screen brightness of 1000 nits, easily twice as bright as mid-range TVs of a couple of years ago.
Among the first screens to receive certification from the newly formed UHD Alliance, the SUHD TVs are all capable of displaying HDR video from a compliant source like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or Samsung's new Ultra HD Blu-ray player — itself available for pre-order in the US today. Most Hollywood studios are planning to release UHD HDR Blu-ray discs in 2016, with 20th Century Fox forecasting more than 30 new or remastered titles.
The TVs have a redesigned Smart Hub based on Tizen for the new year, and Samsung says that all its 2016 Smart TVs will be able to be controlled as devices within its SmartThings ecosystem. Users will be able to create routines that change TV settings alongside room lighting, air conditioning and other smart appliances — you could customise a cinema mode that dims the light, locks the front door and turns on your sound system while switching to Blu-ray input and adjusting volume.
The new TVs will be released in Australia later this year, although the exact line-up is still to be confirmed. Samsung also showed off a new ultra-thin quantum dot SUHD prototype at its CES stand, as a pointer to the future that the company sees in further developing non-OLED panels.
Campbell Simpson travelled to CES 2016 as a guest of Samsung.