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With QLED Lineup, Samsung Hopes to Make the TV Invisible
The premium TV maker is focusing on lifestyle features in 2018, creating TVs that blend in with their surroundings so well they almost disappear.

In a break from tradition, Samsung didn't spend much time talking about its upcoming TVs at this year's CES. Maybe that’s why it hosted a first look event in Manhattan today, showing the large screens and impressive features that comprise its upcoming QLED TV line.

Samsung's strength is at the premium end of the TV market. As Dave Das, senior vice president and general manager of consumer electronics product marketing for Samsung Electronics America, revealed, over 50 percent of the TVs sold by Samsung are 65-inches or larger. The QLED line plays to that, with models running from 49- to 88-inches. The high-end Q9F line includes 65-, 75-, and 88-inch models.

Rather than competing on a pristine image, Samsung wants the QLED line to stand apart with user experience features. The sets use one single thin cable for both power and data, and that cable can be up to 15 meters long. Owners can place a set anywhere they want, even if there's no power socket nearby.

One of the line's more eye-catching features is its Ambient Mode, available with one click of a dedicated remote control button. Ambient Mode displays news, weather, art, or family photos anytime the TV isn't in use. Using a mobile app, owners can snap a picture of the TV in their home, then Ambient Mode will recreate the color or pattern on their wall around it, allowing the set to almost disappear from view. Jae Julien, vice president of Samsung visual display, called it "a TV that simply blends in without distraction."

Samsung talked up its new Universal Guide, which recommends programs and gets smarter over time. Thanks to a partnership announced today, Samsung's guide now includes Pluto TV, which streams commercial-supported TV shows and movies. Samsung highlighted its easy wireless setup, which uses an app to make connecting with Wi-Fi and popular apps (like Spotify and Facebook) especially easy. The company promises its new sets can be connected to the internet in under a minute.

The QLED line will be in stores this month. The 65-inch Q9FN lists for $3,799. While these models are all 4K, Samsung gave a peek at its upcoming Q9S, which will use artificial intelligence to upscale even standard definition video to 8K. The company hasn't announced a release date for that model.

Samsung gave a glimpse at its upcoming modular TV set, called The Wall, at CES, and offered more details today. With The Wall, owners can arrange bezel-free micro-LED video squares in any combination they want, creating uniquely sized displays. Samsung says The Wall will be available in August, but didn't offer pricing information.

JH Han, president of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics at the 2018 Samsung First Look event

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