Home / Opinions / Samsung TVs in 2014: Everything you need to know

Samsung TVs in 2014: Everything you need to know

John Archer


Samsung TVs in 2014: Everything you need to know

This is the first guide of a series explaining what's new from each major TV brand in 2014. Feel free to ask any questions that you have.

To say Samsung had a successful 2013 would be an understatement. It dominated the global HD TV market as the number one selling TV brand, and after a slightly slow start it also ended up taking the lion’s share of the new UHD/4K TV market. But how does the Korean giant intend to build on this remarkable success?

Based on its showing at CES 2014, with 4K and curves. Pretty much every public statement Samsung made at CES 2014 about its TVs focussed on either the UHD native resolution of some of its TVs or the benefits of ‘the curve’ in TV design.


5 things you need to know about Samsung TVs in 2014

1. Samsung is going big on the curve

What is it? Having introduced the idea of curving TV screens with its debut OLED set last year, Samsung has gone curve crazy for 2014 introducing curved models to both its UHD LED and HD LED TV ranges. In fact, it even dared to claim the world’s ‘curviest’ TV in the shape of a 105-inch UHD TV hero set – a model introduced more to grab headlines, mind you, than with any real hopes of launching it to market.

What we think: As we noted in our first look at the Samsung 65U9000, the impact of curving a TV seems very dependent on the size of screen you’re applying it to. With small screens – by which we mean anything below 60-inches – introducing a curve creates more problems than benefits. Issues like poor geometry and a very limited viewing 'sweet spot' dominate.

However, above 60-inches the sweet spot grows, geometry issues diminish, and you’re thus more able to absorb the potential benefits of curvature – namely a greater sense of depth, less colour and contrast loss during off-axis viewing, and even a marginal boost in clarity as the TV curve tracks the curve of your eye. It also has to be said that curved TVs tend to be pretty easy on the eye. We’re still not completely convinced the world really needs curved TVs, but some of Samsung’s large new models have at least started to open our minds a bit.

2. Samsung is going even bigger on 4K / UHD

What is it? UHD – or 4K as it’s also known – is a picture format that quadruples the number of pixels from a Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 resolution to 3,840 x 2,160. Samsung had only a couple of UHD TVs for 2013, but it’s introducing two and possibly three new UHD ranges for 2014. It’s also having a stab at solving the lack of 4K content by offering 4K films to buy on HDD from 20th Century Fox and Paramount on HDD, and compatibility with Netflix’s upcoming 4K streaming service.

What we think: We’re huge fans of UHD here, and fully embrace Samsung’s decision to offer more UHD TV options this year. And provided the films don’t cost too much and are readily available, the provision of 4K films on HDD – as many as 50 may appear in the first 12 months – could prove a great reason to turn to Samsung for your UHD TV.

SEE ALSO: What is 4K & UHD? 10 reasons why you should care

3. Samsung has a new Smart Remote

Samsung TVS 2014

What is it? A total revamp of the track pad second remote shipped with many of Samsung’s 2013 TVs. Its most useful new features are a new point and click system, a centrally positioned, remarkably small trackpad you can control with just small moves of your thumb, and slightly more buttons.

What we think: For the most part we’re all in favour of this new remote. The point and click addition is particularly welcome, adding a new brilliantly intuitive option to Samsung’s already impressively wide-ranging control eco system. The extra buttons are welcome too as they reduce the amount of submenus you have to use without making the remote feel complicated or cluttered. We’re not convinced about the thumb trackpad yet, though, as we found it a little unresponsive and hard to use with precision. But maybe it’s something you get used to with more practice.

4. Samsung’s 8-series HD range isn’t flat

What is it? Samsung has elected to make its 8-series HD (as opposed to UHD) platform curved, and hasn’t provided a flat alternative.

What we think: The 8-series has consistently delivered better picture quality than the step-down 7-series you’ll now need to go for if you don’t want a curved screen. So by making the new HD 8-series curved Samsung has prevented picture enthusiasts who don’t like curved TVs from being able to get their hands on Samsung’s premium 2D picture quality. It’s worth adding, though, that when we questioned Samsung about this situation, it was suggested that Samsung decided not to do a flat version of the 8-series because its flat UHD series, the 8500s, won’t cost that much more than the 8 series.

SEE ALSO: Our round-up of the best TVs

5. Samsung has gone cold on OLED

Samsung OLED TV

What is it? Despite launching an OLED TV in 2013 (pictured) and waxing lyrical about OLED’s quality, Samsung has been conspicuously silent about any OLED plans for 2014. After some probing we discovered that they have a single 55-inch new OLED model, due for launch at a currently undisclosed date. It hasn’t mentioned OLED in any of its main press materials, nor featured it on its stand at CES 2014.

What we think: We guess we can understand Samsung’s decision to step back from OLED (at least for now). If OLED manufacturing yields still aren’t great meaning prices are still going to be high, maybe it makes sense to just focus on UHD for now and come back to OLED when it’s more stable. But that doesn’t mean we’re not disappointed, for OLED remains a technology capable of mesmerisingly brilliant picture quality – as underlined, ironically, by the explosive quality of the new OLED range on the CES stand of arch rival LG…

Samsung Smart TV 2014: First Impressions

At first glance Samsung’s Smart TV system hasn’t changed much from last year. It still uses the same five-screen multi-hub system, and the layout and level of graphical presentation is more or less the same too. Look closer, though, and there are some significant changes.

First, Samsung has made it easier to see which user (the system supports multiple users) is logged in at any time, and switching between them is easier too. This immediately makes the system’s ‘Recommendations’ engine feel more effective, immediate and personal.

Samsung has also made its online login account system less heavy-duty, and replaced its social media online Hub with a screen that focuses on online games. This is a very worthwhile change for Samsung to have made given that we really didn’t ‘get’ the social media page that appeared at the same Smart hub location in 2013.

Also impressive is the way the quad-core Plus processing engines in Samsung’s new flagship UHD range enable the TVs to display four different apps onscreen at once, by dividing the screen into four quarters (models lower down the range can show two apps at once).

It’s worth adding here, too, that using the onscreen menus for the Smart TV system has undoubtedly been enhanced by the new touchscreen remote control.

In terms of content, aside from stressing that its new UHD sets will be compatible with Netflix’s imminent UHD streaming services – and most likely any other upcoming UHD streaming services – Samsung didn’t have much in the way of new content it was able to talk about for the time being.

Samsung TVs in 2014: Key Models

Samsung UH9000 (Estimated price: £1800-£3,500)

  • Available in 55 and 65 inches
  • Native 4K / UHD resolution
  • New depth enhancement processing engine, enhanced colour performance
  • Curved screen
The UH9000 series represents the flagship level of Samsung’s new LED range. And as the 65-inch model is – for now at least – the biggest option available, naturally this is the one us 4K fans would want. Especially as bigger screens make better use of curved designs.

Samsung U8000 (estimated price: £1400-£2,300)

  • Available in 55 and 65-inches
  • 1920 x 1080 HD resolution
  • New depth enhancement processing engine, enhanced colour performance
  • Curved screen
Given how popular the 8000-series has been with picture quality enthusiasts, it’s a brave move to make this year’s 8 models curved without offering a similarly well specced flat alternative. This model will be very important, though, in assessing just how willing people are to embrace the curve.

Samsung TVs in 2014: John Archer's First Impressions

John ArcherI came away from my time delving around in Samsung’s new TVs and TV features feeling that the brand is going to have another strong year. Picture quality has been improved by a wider colour range and some interesting depth enhancement processing on its curved models, and the new Smart TV engine is subtly but effectively improved. I like the new ‘smart’ remote control with its helpful point and click system, too, even if the jury is out on the touchpad part.

With the prices of UHD models likely to plummet too versus 2013 levels, the only potential issues I can see are greater Smart Engine competition from LG and Philips in particular, and the unknown quantity that is the willingness of the public to embrace curved TV designs.

Next, read all about Panasonic's 'plasma beating' Studio Master 4K LCD demo


January 9, 2014, 11:47 pm

Overrated IMO. Samsung likes to think it's the best but it mostly pulls up a bit short and they are pathetic with warranty issues. They are far too dominant and I won't be buying anything they have to offer.


January 10, 2014, 7:46 pm

What will the 2014 Evolution Kit offer the F8000 and will it include the new remote?


January 11, 2014, 6:34 am

The black frame is short, it's good. If TV with frameless, the sense of eyesight will be much better.

John Archer

January 13, 2014, 3:19 pm

Although Samsung wasn't discussing its Evolution Kits in detail at the CES, based on my experience with last year's kits I'm confident that the new ones will bring to your F8000 every Smart TV and picture processing feature and interface change found on the new TVs that isn't dependent on a generational hardware shift (such as the capabilities of the built-in camera). After all, the Evolution Kits essentially simply replace your current Samsung TV's chipsets with those used by the new TV generation.

And to answer the other part of your question, based again on our experience with last year's Evolution Kits I would be very surprised if the new ones for 2014 didn't ship with Samsung's new remote controls.

Mr Smith

January 15, 2014, 11:15 am

Is there going to be a (flat) 4K UH8550 series in the UK.


January 15, 2014, 11:45 pm

There are still millions of people who do not need or wat silly tech like this.
Just want a 40" smart tv for about £500.
Full stop

Brian Lee

January 25, 2014, 3:56 am

I dare to say there are millions that do want this tech that make those other millions eventually want it too. Pioneers vs. followers.

Brian Lee

January 25, 2014, 3:57 am

Havent seen a curved tv in person yet. I just think if you're gonna wall mount it, you're gonna want a flat tv.


January 30, 2014, 11:08 pm

Hey John, Interesting arcticle, I have a 1K to spend on a as my old one broke, I was looking at the F7000 & F8000 but I'm not sure if I should bite the bullet on one of these or hold out for the new releases ? What would you recommend?



February 10, 2014, 2:21 am

Good luck getting a f7100 7500 or 8000 for 1k retail on a 46f7100 is still 1100-1200. Your in the 50" f6400 range with 1k to spend.
Not knowing your likes and if your willing to go up a couple hundred more and like video games take a look at Sony's w802 models too.

J King

February 11, 2014, 5:57 pm

Many people said that the Smart 40inch of 2013 had synching problems on i-player etc, and that the delay made it unwatchable. Has Samsung addressed this for 2014?


February 12, 2014, 9:09 am

We'll have to wait to get test models to confirm this.


February 15, 2014, 1:50 pm

Dear All I had bought a
Samsung TV - UA40D5500RR ( The serial no of product is 20013ZEC300203V.) around
1 and half year back with a warranty of 1 year. After using this TV for 1.5
year suddenly since last few days I have started seeing dark black shadowing
patch on the left side corner of picture screen and a horizontal line in center
of the screen. If i push screens upper left corner a little bit the dark patch
goes away but again start appearing after 15 mins. I am surprised to see such
problems in less than 2 years of purchase. The TV is well maintained but still
problems. I logged a complaint at Samsung. The Service Request No is
2116065260. The service engineer visited my place and checked the TV on 11th
Feb 2014. The moment he saw the picture on the screen he told me that this is a
known issue and the issue is in the display panel. He also gave me estimate of
rupees 20 to 25 thousand for the replacement of display panel. I was completely
surprised when I heard the cost of the replacement, In this cost someone can
buy a new LCD TV. I am also surprised that the engineer cannot fix this problem
which I believe is sort of loose connection, he told that even if he will try
to fix there are chances that entire display panel can be destroyed so for such
issues they don't take any risk and ask customer to go for replacements. Its a
huge dis-satisfaction from customer front. I had bought this TV just 1.5 years
back in around 62 thousand, if I would have known about such issues in the
Samsung TV's and would have read the reviews on Internet, I wouldn't have ever
bought it. I was a loyal customer of Sony and all my previous TV's were Sony,
this is the first time that i decided to go with Samsung for its design but
looks like now I have paid the price of not going with tried and tested brand.
I spoke to their executive from CEO team but they cannot help and offer any
discount on the new panel. All they can do is provide 12 months warranty on the
replaced display panel. If Samsun would like to retain and grow the customer
base, it is important for them to look into such customer issues and provide
replacements free of costs. Infect since it was a known issue they should have
recalled all TV's and fix the issue. This way customer would have been happy
and might look to buy some other products from Samsung. I would urge people not
to go with Samsung just for their design and cost. These Korean and Chinese
companies are same, they don't listen to customer and use cheap quality parts
inside the product. If you do so you will land up in the trouble in the future
and then regret on your decision Thanks Vipin


February 16, 2014, 12:22 am

Do you know when Samsung will release its new smart tv models? A product rep told me they typically introduce their new lines in May or June, but I'd like to verify that. Best buy and stores like it aren't saying.


March 4, 2014, 11:59 am

I saw the 4K tv yesterday at a Samsung training and I am disapointed about the picture quality. They said that the TV was a mass production TV not a pre production sample.
The picture was quite noisy and the upscaling desn't work as they say, wider range of colours ? That statement must be a joke (!!!!!!) as there was no improvement when compared with an F8000 . Quality going down , marketing up.... :(

Salvador Dali

March 9, 2014, 8:51 pm

What is with the Input Lag ? Is it better now thanks to Quad + ?
Or is it the same inacceptable horrible Lag as the 2013 Tvs ?
Thats what I want to know !


April 2, 2014, 4:09 pm

Horrible, horrible, horrible.
My 46 inch TV has had a bad display for the past 2 years. I was fine after 10 minutes of warm up time. It is now 2 hours of warm up time to 'fix' itself. I got tired of it and called samsung. A tech came out and confirmed it was a bad display. $1000 to fix. A new TV costs 500. He said to call samsung. After being passed around to everyone I finally got to 'advanced customer support'. I was told it was out of warr and I was to pay to fix it. I said it there anything you can do. I was tole to have a nice day and thank you for calling. NEVER again. It was a good TV. If they worked with me I would probably buy one again. Not after this. DON"T BUY SAMSUNG!

Paul Lawrence

June 7, 2014, 7:46 am

There are customer responsive companies, and there are those
who are not – Samsung is not. I bought a smart from TV from them early this
afternoon, got it home, and found that the screws didn’t fit the stand. I rang
Samsung who told me they could send me some new screws in the post, though they
couldn’t be sure they would fit. The customer service phone person couldn’t
tell me what would happen next if they didn’t fit, so I declined the offer and requested
she arrange for someone to come and make sure they had the right screws. She
did her best to fob me off onto the retailer, but in the end agreed to ring the
retailer herself to see if they could
send someone out, since she knew they had technicians. She rang back to say the
retailer couldn’t send someone out (at all) so all she could so was send me
some screws in the post. I suggested that Samsung
sent someone out – since there was a big advert for an installation service in
the packaging material. She said they couldn’t possibly do that without
charging me. I asked her then to ring the retailer to see if they could come
and pick up the TV and give me a refund, which she said she would do. Two hours
later – nothing, so I rang again only to find out she had gone without making
the call. Her supervisor was very apologetic and told me several times how much
he understood (which she also did a lot too). He tried ringing the retailer,
but they had closed for the (long) weekend. He said there was no other action
he could take without talking to someone first, but there would be none
available until after the long weekend. He couldn’t take a decision himself because
that would be outside ‘policy’. So now I’ll take the TV back tomorrow and get a
refund – because Samsung’s customer facing staff have no authority to do
anything other than apologise profusely and tell me how much they understand.
So instead of Samsung sending someone out with the right screws, the retailer
will have to send the TV back to Samsung to be repackaged. I just hope for the
next poor sod’s sake they package it up with the right screws. Good grief. Half
a day down the tubes and back to the shops tomorrow ... thanks guys ...


July 22, 2014, 4:21 pm

32'' LED - gone in 7 months, since it is in warranty I am getting it repaired. Since it doesn't have any repairs till now and so requested for a replacement of the product assuming the product might have problems, customer service says I can only get it repaired rather replaced. Any electronic product once opened and repaired lasts for how many days, months or years ? Up to you to buy Samsung TV..

L Silva

August 1, 2014, 4:30 am

Samsung makes a great TV, the bottom line is where you purchased it and how it was handled along the way (Shipping)

As a custom AV specialty company we purchase from the best distributors and even directly form the manufacturer with the latest models that are not yet at Costco and sometime even BB.

We have had only 2 issues with the hundreds of Samsung's sold in as many years that we have installed,but I do see a few more defects and issues from the big box stores where clients just want us to install what they have already purchased only to find a lack of inputs/features or where the product has been improperly handled, or like some suppliers that buy closeouts, left overs, refurbs and so forth, you buy day old bread you pay less, it applies to electronics too. I've been in this business for almost 40 years, seen it all !
Caveat Emptor !!


October 20, 2014, 1:24 pm

Damn those awful phone reps for not magically clicking their fingers and ordering the staff at a third-party retailer to immediately attend your home. I bet they personally put the wrong screws in the package just to screw with their customers. They could have at least flown an engineer over from Korea to double check the screw sizes.

comments powered by Disqus