Let's be real — "Quantum Dot" sounds like marketing jargon. The surprising thing is that it isn't. Never one to shy away from innovation, Samsung have literally used quantum physics to create a new standard in picture quality for its SUHD TVs.
And that's not the only area of focus for the latest range, which hits all the right notes on style, form and function. For a price, of course.
Image: Samsung Series 9 KS9500 78-inch SUHD TV
Samsung looked at three main areas in the creation of its latest offering.
What people actually want in their homes.
It screams "gimmick", but four years after its introduction Samsung are reaffirming its commitment to the curved TV — especially since they now represent almost half of all new Samsung TV's sold. It definitely has its advantages, but it also presents an interesting dilemma in terms of interior design. In a time where wall mounting your TV has become the norm, the very shape of Samsung's curved range makes it an impossibility. Instead of looking at this as a restriction, Samsung took it as an opportunity to create a TV that would actually look good as the centrepiece of a room.
To do this, Samsung went into the homes of "everyday" Australians to find out what they actually want. They discovered two main modes we slip into for TV usage. We "lean in" for active viewing, gaming and socialising around the TV, and we "lean back" for background noise, passive viewing, chilling out.
Images: Samsung Series 9 KS9500 78-inch SUHD TV
They discovered despite 71 per cent of Australian households featuring an open-plan living room layout, we often put our TV in a particular place out of necessity. And they discovered we want to hide cords.
TVs have gone from being something we hide in a cabinet, to something that is (once again — history repeats itself) the focal point of the room. So Samsung have focused on creating a range of SUHD TV panels that look stunning "at all times" — and from all angles. "Unnecessary elements" have been eliminated in the 360-degree design approach. You won't find a bunch of screws or an ugly back designed to be hidden away.
Samsung have tips for making your TV work with your decor, too. Balancing the sleek modern look with natural fibres — heavy linens, neutral tones, timber pieces and organic materials will bring a sense of comfort to a room that may otherwise be overpowered by having a giant silver futuristic looking TV as your main feature.
Keep it simple, silly.
Image: Samsung Series 8 KS8500 65-inch SUHD TV
As TVs get smarter, they become more intimidating to those who aren't so confident with new technology. Samsung are working on making their range more accessible by simplifying the way you use them.
The new Smart Hub runs on the Tizen operating system, and is customisable to make it easier to access the apps and features you want. Samsung have started the simplification process by eliminating the way you would normally access sources, and the need to remember which device is plugged into which port. Your Xbox, Blu-Ray player — anything that is connected via HDMI — is now automatically detected and shows up on the screen with an icon showing what it is.
Image: Samsung Series 8 KS8500 65-inch SUHD TV
These icons sit alongside the apps you choose. Netflix, Stan, Presto, YouTube and live TV can be easily switched between from one easy menu.
And when you turn off your TV while watching a program that is housed in an app, something cool happens. It saves it. You turn your TV back on, the program is still there. There's no need to re-open the app, wait for it to load, and find what you were watching all over again.
This whole new simplified experience extends to the included remote control. The Samsung One remote is universal, and automatically recognises and connects with connects with any compatible set-top box, game console, or home theatre system that is connected to your TV. If you'd prefer the old-school remote with all of its familiar buttons and features, it is included as well.
"Quantum Dot" isn't marketing jargon. Samsung can't patent it.
Images: Left — Samsung Series 9 KS9000 65-inch SUHD TV. Right — Samsung Series 8 KS8000 65-inch SUHD TV
Samsung's 2016 SUHD TVs feature a cadmium-free, 10-bit Quantum dot display, offering true-to-life picture quality, stunning brightness, exceptional contrast and the most lifelike colours ever offered by Samsung.
Yeah, okay. So what does that actually mean, and how does it work? Samsung have literally used quantum physics to create a new way for us to see colour. Quantum dots are a real thing that have been used in the science community for years — nano-scale crystals that absorb light and re-emit it at a different, very specific, wavelength. A wavelength that has defined parameters in terms of brightness and colour.
What quantum dots do that is so special, is they eliminate the need for additional filters. The accuracy of the colour they are able to achieve is so precise, that nothing else is needed. This means less power being sent to the area of the TV that would normally correct tone and colour, less heat emitted and improved functionality. It's legit, and it's here.
Complimenting the Quantum dot technology are a couple of other features that make the screen truly stunning in a wide range of conditions. The curved designs and "Ultra Black" technology reduces the glare on the screen, while the high dynamic range (HDR) has a peak brightness of 1,000 nits for a higher level of contrast between light and dark images.
After viewing a short scene from The Martian in Ultra HD Blu-Ray, it's clear the improvements made are not incremental. This is a leap, and a big one at that.
So what's available?
Most of Samsung's 2016 home entertainment range — including the shiny new Ultra HD Blu-ray Player and the Soundbar and Speaker range — is available today, with some models availbe in a couple of month's time. Here's what you can get, and when:
SUHD TVs Samsung Series 9 KS9800 88-inch SUHD TV – Available July 2016 Samsung Series 9 KS9500 78-inch SUHD TV – Available July 2016 Samsung Series 9 KS9500 65-inch SUHD TV – RRP $6,299, available now Samsung Series 9 KS9500 55-inch SUHD TV – RRP $4,299, available now Samsung Series 9 KS9005 75-inch SUHD TV – RRP $10,999, available July 2016 Samsung Series 9 KS9000 65-inch SUHD TV – RRP $5,999, available now Samsung Series 9 KS9000 55-inch SUHD TV – RRP $3,999, available now Samsung Series 8 KS8500 65-inch SUHD TV – RRP $5,799, available now Samsung Series 8 KS8500 55-inch SUHD TV – RRP $3,899, available now Samsung Series 8 KS8000 65-inch SUHD TV – RRP $5,499, available now Samsung Series 8 KS8005 60-inch SUHD TV – RRP $4,499, available June Samsung Series 8 KS8000 55-inch SUHD TV – RRP $3,599, available now
UHD TVs Samsung Series 7 KU7500 78-inch UHD TV – available August 2016 Samsung Series 7 KU7500 65-inch UHD TV – available July 2016 Samsung Series 7 KU7500 55-inch UHD TV – available July 2016 Samsung Series 7 KU7000 65-inch UHD TV – available July 2016 Samsung Series 7 KU7000 55-inch UHD TV – available July 2016 Samsung Series 7 KU7000 49-inch UHD TV – available July 2016 Samsung Series 6 KU6000 70-inch UHD TV – available July 2016 Samsung Series 6 KU6000 65-inch UHD TV – RRP $3,899, available now Samsung Series 6 KU6000 60-inch UHD TV – RRP $2,999, available May Samsung Series 6 KU6000 55-inch UHD TV – RRP $2,199, available now Samsung Series 6 KU6000 50-inch UHD TV – RRP $1,899, available May Samsung Series 6 KU6000 40-inch UHD TV – RRP $1,399, available now
HD TVs Samsung Series 5 K5500 49-inch HD TV – available July 2016 Samsung Series 5 K5500 40-inch HD TV – available July 2016 Samsung Series 5 K5500 32-inch HD TV – available July 2016
Ultra HD Blu-ray Player Samsung UBD-K8500 Curved Ultra HD Blu-ray Player – RRP $599, available now
Soundbars and Speakers Samsung Series 8 Curved Soundbar, RRP $1,599, available now Samsung Series 7 Curved Soundbar, RRP $1,299, available now Samsung Series 6 Curved Soundbar, RRP $899, available now Samsung Series 6 Soundbar, RRP $849, available now Samsung Series 5 Soundbar, RRP $699, available June Samsung Series 4 Soundbar, RRP $549, available now Samsung Series 3 Soundbar, RRP $399, available now Samsung Wireless Rear Speaker Kit, RRP $179, available now