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Samsung 2014 Display Lineup Preview




  • Product Name: 2014 Display Line
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Date: April 14, 2014 08:00
  • MSRP: $Varies
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

This year's CES was all about 4k (or Ultra HD if you prefer). Disconcertingly, there were many curved models being shown off by manufacturers. If the point of a display is to grab the attention of someone in a big box store, then a curved display will certainly do the trick. But from a usability standpoint, curved is just a horrible idea. It reduces viewing angles, it's harder to place in a room, and many can't be wall mounted. When we saw all the new 4k curved displays at CES, we were afraid that much like 3D, this new "feature" was going to be shoved down our throats.

Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. Samsung announced their 2014 line of displays and it includes both curved and flat models. If you are really excited about getting a curved display, we recommend waiting. Once manufacturers realize they aren't selling well, you will probably be able to get one at a really good price.

When looking at the model number of the new Samsung displays, there is no way to know if something is curved or not without remember the specific model number. The first letter in the model number will let you know if it is 4k or 1080p. If you want a 4k display, you'll want a display that starts with a 'U'. For a 1080p display, look for an 'H'.

Samsung, like many manufacturers, is piggybacking on the IMAX marketing claiming that the curved displays are more "immersive." If you have been to an IMAX theater, think about how much of the screen fills your vision. If your sitting position at home doesn't offer the same experience, you don't need a curved display. What a curved screen does offer from a seating position farther back is reduced viewing angles (something people still worry about with LCD screens) and a distorted image (the screen is CURVED).

Okay, we'll get off our soapbox now.


Samsung HU8550 UHD

Ultra HD offers four times the resolution of 1080p displays. Samsung has included a proprietary UHD Upscaling to take your content and scale it to 4k in their displays. Their solution includes a unique four-step process that includes signal analysis, noise reduction, upscaling, and detail analysis. They've also included UHD Dimming technology for better black levels. This dimming solution covers a "number of zones" but Samsung is keeping mum about the exact number. None of the new displays are OLED, however.

Until recently, 4k displays were being released with HDMI 1.4 connections. With the new HDMI 2.0 spec, 4k/60Hz transmission has been standardized. The new Samsung 4k displays are all shipping with the new HDMI 2.0 connection which support HEVC (important for receiving a 4k stream from sources like Netflix) and HDCP 2.2 (the latest copy protection from HDMI). Samsung has also made their displays "future ready"" with the UHD Evolution Kit. This "One Connect Box" houses the brains of the TV externally so that they can be switched out if HDMI makes a dramatic change that can't be solved through firmware (and they have done this in the past).

Samsung is offering four new lines (though one line is a single display) of 4k displays. The first is the largest and it gets its own line. At 105", the yet unnamed Curved UHD TV sports a 21x9 aspect ratio. It is as large as a projection screen and boasts 11 million pixels. It won't be available until the second half of the year, so you might want to start saving now. It is surely going to cost a ton.

The U9000 line has three models - 55", 65", and 78". They will cost $4k, $5k, and $8k respectively. The U9000 line is curved and features a number of new technologies. There is the Auto Depth Enhancer, which attempts to adjust contrast for greater depth - creating what Samsung calls "3D without the glasses." PurColor is on-board as is Peak Illuminator & Precision Black for more detailed and lifelike images. Unlike other curved displays we've seen, the U9000 range can be wall-mounted with VESA compatible mounts. The two smaller displays should be available now with the 78" coming later.

The U8700 4k displays are also curved and feature a thinness of 1.2 inches and an extremely narrow 7mm bezel. While pricing has yet to be determined, you can get these in 55" and 65" sizes. The last line is the U8550 displays. These flat 4k displays are packed with smart TV features and come in 55" ($3k) and 65" ($4k) models right now. In May, look for 50" ($2500), 60" ($3500), and 75" ($6k) offerings.

In the 1080p resolution, Samsung has two new LED lines. The first is the H8000 Curved Smart LED TV. It will be available this spring in 55" ($2500) and 65" ($3400) sizes with a 48" ($2k) model being released in May. The H7150 FHD LED TV is the flat addition to the Samsung 1080p line. It features Micro Dimming Pro and Multi-Screen entertainment for split screen viewing. Again, these are scheduled for a spring release with models sizes in 55” ($1900), 60” ($2200), 65” ($2,700), and 75” ($4k).

For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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