Samsung’s latest SUHD smart TVs are wickedly thin and nearly devoid of bezels, but their most interesting feature is inside the chassis: An integrated smart hub capable of controlling more than 200 of Samsung’s Smart Things connected-home devices.
The company says these hubs can automatically detect the presence of connected-home devices, virtually eliminating the tedious process of enrolling each sensor, light, smart door lock, security camera, and other components. Samsung showed its home security cameras displaying their feeds directly on the TV. In fact, the entire smart-home user interface, running on Samsung’s Tizen operating system, can appear on the TV, where you can interact with it using the TV’s remote if you find that more convenient than using your smartphone or tablet.
The new line also has enough processor horsepower to play videogames without the need to plug in a gaming console. At a press event last night, Samsung showed games such as Assassin’s Creed III, Batman: Arkham Legends, and Ultra Street Fighter IV running on the TVs, and the company says more than 500 other titles are available, in partnership with Sony’s PlayStation Now game-streaming service. Hardcore gamers would likely cringe at the frame rates and visual quality, but casual gamers should enjoy it.
Sticking with LCD and quantum-dot tech
Unlike Panasonic, which announced at IFA that it was switching from LCD to OLED technology for its flagship smart TV, Samsung is sticking with LCD and (cadmium-free) quantum dots. And why not? Samsung announced last night that its 2016 lineup is among the first to earn Ultra HD Premium certification from the UHD Alliance, thanks in part to their ability to display 10-bit color and to produce 1000 nits of brightness.
Samsung also announced last night that it was taking preorders for its first Ultra HD Blu-ray player, the UBD-K8500 that was announced last fall at IFA. The company intends to ship the new player, which can deliver four times the resolution of Blu-ray discs, to the U.S. market in March. Samsung said it has partnered with 20th Century Fox to bring 30 movies—including The Martian and Peanuts—to Ultra Blu-ray.