CES 2017: For Samsung, Q Is for Quantum, Quality, and QLED
Nearly half of all UHD TVs sold in the U.S. last year (46.4 percent) were Samsung models, announced Joe Stinziano, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics America at the company's 2017 CES press conference. Hoping to build on that sizable percentage, the company announced its new QLED line of TVs powered by Quantum Dot Technology. The technology means no degradation of color or light over time, Stinziano said, as well as optimal brightness and a wider color spectrum.
With QLED TVs, Samsung is promising deeper blacks and a wider viewing angle. While a TV's increased brightness can often wash out color, Stinziano said, that's not the case with QLED which builds in better color integrity. "Content is displayed exactly as the creator intended it," he added.
Naturally, thinness is a priority, and QLED TVs include a slim bezel design. But just as impressive is the way one cable provides a link to all the TV's connections, letting owners keep that on-the-wall look neat and clean without a mess of cables hanging from the bottom. QLED sets mount flush with the wall, and their position can be adjusted even after the set is in place. For those who prefer a TV stand, Samsung is offering two attractively designed models called Gravity and Studio. Gravity is more sculptural, while Studio looks like an easel. Samsung's QLED lineup contains three models—the Q9, Q8, and Q7.
Noting that 80 percent of millennials stream video daily, Won-Jin Lee, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics explained the three strategies that guide Samsung's connected entertainment offerings: the need for a unified experience, personalized discovery, and more 4K and HDR video.
While phone-based app remotes aren't always as strong in practice as in theory, Samsung hopes to change that with its just-released Smart View, already available for iOS and Android, which integrates live and on-demand sources.
On the TV, sports fans can track their favorite teams on one screen thanks to a new smart TV service called Sports which offers both live and on-demand content from a variety of sources. Samsung's TV Plus store gains Fandango integration, bringing an easy way to buy and watch 4K video.
While the press conference didn't include virtual reality news, Samsung noted it has sold 5 million Gear VR headsets, and owners have viewed over 10 million hours of video.
At the beginning of the press conference, Samsung Electronics America executive vice president Tim Baxter addressed the elephant in the room: the Samsung Note 7's explosive battery problems. The company will "make sure it doesn’t happen again," he promised, adding that a report on the root cause of Samsung's combusting batteries will come out soon.
The new version of Smart Hub on all 2016 Samsung connected TVs gathers all content—live TV, OTT services, games, and connected devices—in one place.
What could convince average consumers that they need a virtual reality headset? The ability to create their own personal Netflix theater.
Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros., and many more will join together to set standards that will deliver strong image quality to consumers.