Samsung 105-inch bendable SUHD TV Review

Samsung 105-inch bendable SUHD TV – First Impressions from CES 2015

It’s customary now for the big AV brands to have some truly outlandish

bits of TV tech on show at CES 2015 to guarantee headlines from the

assembled media. This year, though, Samsung has not one but two cutting-edge TV behemoths it hopes will make passers-by drool: a 110-inch 8K

glasses-free 3D TV we’ll be reporting on separately, and a 105-inch TV

we’re looking at here, built using the brand’s new SUHD panel technology.

Not

surprisingly the 105-inch SUHD screen is hard to ignore –

especially as its ‘Timeless Gallery’ design is presented at CES on

two floor-standing easel-like legs and is built to a 21:9 super-wide

aspect ratio rather than the usual 16:9 one. With the support legs mounted right at each end you almost expect the ultra-wide screen

to start sagging in the centre.

Related: Samsung JS9500/JS9000 SUHD TVs – First Impressions

Samsung 105in Bendable SUHD TV

Actually

it’s even more robust than Samsung’s usual premium TVs, since the

screen is built within a secondary outer frame. Unlike LG’s new bendable

OLED TV, where the whole back curves along with the screen, Samsung’s

latest bendable screen curves away from a non-bending flat back panel.

This makes for a slightly less elegant effect when viewing the curving

action from the side than you get with the LG OLED. But then, of course, you typically won’t be standing at

the side of the TV to study its mechanics! Rather you’ll just be sat in

front of the TV admiring the way the screen is capable of curving

really quite markedly and then flattening out again without causing any

disruption to the image quality whatsoever. Except, of course, that if

you’re viewing from much of an off-axis angle you may feel the image’s

geometry is upset by the curved setting.

No matter how close we

got to the screen we could see no signs of stress in the panel

structure, and no sign of any distortion, stretching, colour upsets,

light leakage or detail loss in any part of the image, even during the

actual process of the curving/flattening movement.

This is made

all the more impressive by the fact that Samsung is achieving it with

LCD rather than OLED technology, given how many perfectly aligned layers

go into making an LCD screen.

You may recall that

Samsung has shown off a bendable 105-inch TV before. But this one is

significantly different to its predecessor, since it’s the first to use

Samsung’s new SUHD technology. As reported in our first look at the Samsung JS9500 and JS9000 models,

SUHD screens boost brightness versus Samsung’s previous LCD TVs by a

factor of 2.5, use a nanocrystal take on Quantum Dot technology to boost

colour response by 30 per cent, run at 10-bit for greater colour

mapping accuracy, and support playback of HDR (high

dynamic range) content.

Strangely the 105-inch TV on display at

the CES wasn’t running the remastered Life of Pi clips being shown ad

nauseam on Samsung’s smaller SUHD TVs. Instead we got a demo reel

of lots of lovely mountainous regions and views which didn’t, to our eyes,

look like it was genuine HDR content.

Related: LG’s 2015 4K OLED TVs – First Impressions

Samsung 105in Bendable SUHD TV

However,

it was still easy to appreciate the stunning brightness, vibrancy and

punch of the 105-inch SUHD panel. Coupled with the larger than life

dimensions of the picture and the screen’s lovely UHD/4K – sorry, 5K,

given the extra-wide ratio – resolution, you really do feel like you’re

there in the world you’re watching. Especially, we have to say, when the

screen’s ‘got its curve on’.

There are certainly still issues with the

curve, as we’ve noted in our feature on curved TV technology, but there’s

no doubt that the curve makes more sense on screens as big as this

105-inch one, genuinely enhancing your sense of immersion without

excessively limiting the number of usable seating positions in your room

or distorting image geometry too heavily.

The only issue is that

we did notice onscreen reflections distorting across a much greater

part of the screen area when using the TV in its curved mode than we did

in its flat mode. Though to be fair, the lighting conditions at CES

were much more harsh and likely to cause reflections than a typical home

lighting environment.

Samsung assured us that the bendable

105-inch SUHD TV really would be getting launched at some point in the

latter part of this year – though actually it’s said the same thing

about previous versions of the TV and they’ve never turned out to be

true!

One thing we can be certain of, though, is that if you

like the enormous cut of the 105-inch SUHD TV’s bendable gib, it’s going

to set you back a huge amount of money. In fact, while Samsung wouldn’t

be pinned down on a price, we wouldn’t be at all surprised if five

figures turned out not to be enough…