Samsung has unveiled a new line of TVs, dubbed the QLED range at CES 2017
There are three QLED models: the flagship Q9F (flat) and Q8C (curved). There is also a Q7 model, which will come in both flat and curved options. That the Q9F is flat is a surprising move, considering Samsung tends to like its top models curved, but the company has acknowledged people generally prefer flat screens. The range will come in 55, 65, 75 and 88 inches.
QLED refers to Quantum Dot LEDs. Quantum Dot technology itself isn’t new – Samsung and other companies have been using it for the last few years, but with the QLED series, Samsung has wrapped Quantum Dots in a new metal alloy, which leads to better brightness, colour and viewing angles.
The QLED range will replace the existing SUHD models as top dog – a tough act to follow considering the premium SUHD range has been extremely successful in the last few years. But the QLED series boasts a lot of improvements.
It’s brighter, for starters. Last year’s top SUHD model, the KS9500, could hit brightness peaks of about 1400 nits. The 69Q9F can achieve peaks of about 2000 nits. Samsung also claims its new QLED TVs can cover 100% of the DCI colour gamut found on most 4K Blu-rays. That means more and better colour for your money.
QLED also promises to address the greatest weakness in LCD TVs – the backlighting system. Traditional LCD backlighting lights pixels light up from one direction, but Samsung’s QLED panels are structured in a way that can be lit from multiple sides. The idea is to increase the maximum viewing angles and allow you to move further away from dead centre before colour and contrast take a hit.
It remains to be seen whether Samsung’s QLED lighting system is good enough to take on LG’s OLED TVs, which have no backlighting issues whatsoever.
Samsung wouldn’t be drawn on prices, but you can expect the new QLED TVs to ship around March 2017.
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