Samsung recently asked their social media community which features were most important to them when buying a television. The responses were wide and varied, which didn’t surprise me because if you are used to using any Samsung product you expect everything, however, the top three considerations included design, display and internet connectivity.
My immediate consideration would be display, because after studying photography, and being an avid photographer, I would obviously place considerable emphasis on the visual display. This is one aspect of purchasing a new television that I would never compromise on, because regardless of price, a penny saved today on display will be regretted for an eternity.
While design was the primary consideration among the Samsung social media community, it was my secondary consideration, but it remains an equally important consideration. Think about it: do you want a massive jack-in-the-box television wedged into a cumbersome wall-unit dominating your living-room? Or would you prefer a sleek, sensually-curved, inconspicuous statement piece that doesn’t demand attention until you are ready for it- I also prefer more floor-space for visitors than boxy television sets.
Who would expect internet connectivity from a television? Not me; unless I was living in the world of science-fiction, but I do live in the digital age, so, (YEAH!) sign me up!
I barely have time to watch television because I source most of my information and entertainment online; through my PC, laptop and smartphone, but how much nicer would it be to view that content through an ultra-high definition television? I might be predominantly mobile, but I also believe that everything is better on the big-screen.
So, the big question everyone wants to know: Does the Samsung UHD TV deliver?
In a word, YES! And, it delivers brilliantly.
The Samsung UHD TV is sleek and chic, and will hold pride of place wherever you choose to place it in your home or office. I especially love its minimalistic design, clean lines and modern finishes. Even with a mammoth 65 inch screen, it rests unobtrusively in any room without taking up too much space or demanding attention. I quite like the fact that it doesn’t have any buttons ruining the aesthetic.
One small detail that has a dramatic impact is the curved display. One would think it is a gimmicky design feature, but in reality it feels as though the screen is hugging you in and pulling you closer towards all the action when you’re watching a show. It is a subtle, yet profound, design feature that enhances your viewing experience. I would call it to the visual equivalent of a surround sound.
If you’re a bit of a techno buff, you will know that the Samsung UHD TV packs a powerful 4K resolution. I’m not a techno buff so I relied upon a Google search to discover that the Samsung UHD TV packs 4 times the resolution of your standard HD television- which apparently packs 5 times the resolution of the standard television. That’s a lot of resolutions!
The design of the remote control deserves a special mention because it echoes the same elements that I appreciate about the television itself. Firstly, it is curved to reflect the curve of the television it controls, but it goes beyond just an aesthetic consideration to include an ergonomic design consideration so it rests very comfortably in your hand. Secondly, the buttons are conspicuous by their absence- Samsung have stripped their remote of all superfluous buttons to enhance your channel surfing with one-click menu options on the screen. It’s clean, and clickety-quick!
In addition to the traditional directional buttons, the remote control also includes voice control (with a built in microphone) and Samsung Smart Control which allows you to point and select your viewing options on the screen. Some people might call it trickery, I call it ingenious!
The only design feature that I consider lacking was the user manual because the instructions were vague- or intentionally minimalist, but don’t despair if you are a first-time user, simply setup your Samsung UHD TV, connect it to the One Connect box, point the remote control and everything flows intuitively. There is also a wealth of information in the e-Manuals which you will find in the Menu options.
I would suggest that anyone who purchases the Samsung UHD TV curb their enthusiasm to start watching their favourite shows straight away, set aside some time to read the e-Manuals from start to finish to maximize your experience. You will be amazed at what hidden treasures your Samsung UHD TV contains.
If you are a complete technophobe, you will be pleasantly surprised at how user-friendly the Samsung UHD TV is, because it really is very user-friendly. If you get lost looking for something, simply click through either the SOURCE, MENU or SMART HUB buttons, and literally navigate your way through your options. The e-Manuals explain all your options as simply as possible, but you may even find that simply clicking through the remote control, and a little bit of trial and error, that the learning curve is an effortless one.
I wouldn’t say that if I can learn how to use the Samsung UHD TV then even an idiot could – but yes, even an idiot could learn how to use the Samsung UHD TV. It’s effortless!
Innovation and design excellence is at the heart of the Samsung Smart Control, combining gesture-recognition with a new button console and touch pad to provide frequent Internet video users with more accurate content selection and faster focus movement.
Lance Berger | Head of Product Marketing for TV / AV, Samsung Electronics, South Africa.
My design considerations are based on the aesthetics, but there are numerous design considerations that Samsung have incorporated into the Samsung UHD TV:
Be entertained quicker with faster startup.
Curved screen elevates the feeling of depth.
Surround your senses and be part of the action.
UHD upscaling enhances the quality of all of your viewing.
Every color and shade displayed in their natural state.
A more detailed picture made for UHD resolution.
See amazing brightness in the darkest scenes.
Easy touchpad and motion control for your TV.
Clear Motion Rate minimizes motion blur.
Better performance with a powerful Quad Core Plus processor.
See your mobile content on a large TV screen quickly and easily.
Great multitasking with Multi-Link Screen (Quad).
Future Ready- because technology is always evolving.
Updated Smart View connects your TV, devices and content.
Enjoy great gaming on your TV without a console.
All the excitement of the big match with Soccer Mode.
For more detailed information and the tech specs, visit www.samsung.com/za.
After price, display is arguably the biggest consideration when it comes to buying a new television; or better put: display is probably the first consideration, but price will define how much display we can afford. And we all want bigger, better display!
I remember back in the dark ages of the SABC, before they started broadcasting, they displayed the iconic test pattern, and it was mesmerizing- even in black & white, but especially in colour. As kids; and probably some adults too, we would stare at the test pattern as if it was the highest form of entertainment itself. As televisions have evolved, so have our expectations and demands, and so has Samsung with their UHD TV.
The Samsung UHD TV’s curved 4K display will redefine your expectations of what you expect from your next television as it brings the magic of the big-screen directly into the comfort of your own home.
The magic begins with the gentle curve that adds depth to the screen while drawing your attention deeper into the display. It is a truly immersive viewing experience that will enhance whatever you are watching- even television commercials. I found myself riveted to shows that I don’t even enjoy but the visuals were so mesmerizing I found myself staring at the television even if I wasn’t paying attention to what was on.
It’s difficult to do the Samsung UHD TV justice without having any ultra high definition content to view (Samsung’s UHD Blu-ray player is only due to be launched in 2016) but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t do your current content justice. Samsung’s Ultra High Definition TV promises to upscale your existing content to 4 times the resolution of Full HD- and it does so with incredible detail. It enlarges smaller formats beautifully, without any distortion, but you only begin to appreciate its capability when viewing content shot with a high definition camera.
I mentioned Samsung’s “UHD Upscaling” earlier when reviewing the design features- basically it upscales lower resolution content into better resolution content- a bit like supersizing your burger, but without paying for the privilege, and it does a great job. Your standard television soapie becomes a big screen production while DVDs (shot on high definition) are immortalized in spectacular technicolour. If you are watching really old shows, or content filmed on less sophisticated technology, you might experience some loss in intensity, but that is the format, not the medium.
I was watching some live music concerts on DVD, and came to the conclusion that I would rather have a front-row seat in front of the Samsung UHD TV than stand in front of the artist- it literally has that much impact. Coupled with supreme sound, you really are spoilt for choice.
Apparently, DStv’s Explora delivers better high definition content than the standard decoder- as does a Blu-ray player over a DVD player, so I will be upgrading my peripherals to maximize my viewing enjoyment on the Samsung SUHDTV. Without the upgrades it is a bit like driving a sports car with a 50cc engine.
Investing in the Samsung UHD TV also means that your device is already equipped to deal with future technologies- like future Samsung’s UHD Blu-ray player!
You would probably need the eyes of a chameleon to appreciate all the colour nuances on the Samsung UHD TV. Conventional televisions express colour combinations through the primary colours; red, yellow & blue, but Samsung developed their own colour technology that incorporates magenta, cyan & yellow. Ultimately, you enjoy a richer visual experience as colours are more intense, more natural, and more realistic.
On a more technical note, there are over 8,000,000 pixels in the UHD display- so the clarity intense to the nth degree!
My personal favourite experience was using the “Screen Mirroring” feature to watch Youtube through my smartphone on the Samsung UHD TV!
C: Internet Connectivity
We’re living in an age where everybody is watching two screens simultaneously, and Samsung isn’t taking that lying down.
If you’re used playing with your phone while watching television, you will love playing with the Samsung UHD TV instead of your phone. It’s not just a television, but a smart-television that allows you to enjoy all the functionality of your smartphone on your television. It really takes internet surfing to a whole new level (in ultra high definition) as you can connect with your social media communities, respond to emails and google anything through your television. Do we need to mention watching Netflix? You can do that too.
Connecting to the internet is as effortless as turning the television on- and you can connect through a LAN line, Wi-Fi, HDMI or a 3G dongle.
If the current trend of reducing screens to the bare minimum continues, we’d all be squint before we could say it, but the Samsung UHD TV is opening our eyes to a whole new world of possibilities- and it is brighter, richer and more colourful than ever before!
Samsung images: samsung.com/za.
SABC Test Pattern: mybroadband.co.za.