Samsung today announced the availability of its 2017 model quantum dot televisions, which it is marketing as QLED for short. The new QLED sets represent the very best that Samsung has to offer, with price tags to boot—cost of entry into QLED territory is $2,800. That gets you a 55-inch class (54.6-inch diagonal) QLED TV with a 4K Ultra HD resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) support.
This is a bold play to bring premium features and products into the living room, and it comes at a time with 4K televisions are become more affordable. For those who want superior picture quality than those lower priced sets, Samsung promise to deliver with its QLED lineup.
Samsung says its 2017 line takes quantum dot technology the next level with advancements in light efficiency, stability, and a wider color spectrum. As a result, consumers can expect better picture quality, a wider viewing angle, improved color volume, and superior brightness and contrast compared to previous models, Samsung says. The company claims its new TVs deliver accurate color and achieve 100 percent color volume, which is the highest on the market today.
"Our 2017 lineup is ushering in a new era for television. This year, we are taking smart features, craftsmanship and creativity to new heights—all while delivering a premium experience and solving everyday consumer pain points in the process," said Dave Das, SVP Consumer Electronics Marketing for Samsung Electronics America. "With QLED TV, Samsung’s advances in quantum dot technology provide our best picture quality ever—all while truly enhancing the way you live."
In addition to better visuals, the new TVs feature improved smart capabilities. Using Samsung's updated Smart View app available for Android and iOS, viewers can fling content to their QLED TVs much in the same what that Chromecast works. The app will also ping users with notifications on when their favorite shows are playing.
The caveat is price. You have to play in Samsung's premium territory. Prices range from $2,800 for a 55-inch QLED TV on up to $6,000 for a 75-inch model (or $6,800 for a 75-inch curved panel).
Samsung also shared some more details on a product it teased at CES earlier this year. Called "The Frame," these are televisions that look like picture frames hanging on the wall. The concept was created by designer Yves Behar with the goal of blending art and entertainment into one. When not watching TV, The Frame's display turns into a piece of artwork, with the user being able to select custom-designed digital art pieces. There are more than 100 to choose from in 10 different categories.
To maintain the illusion of a picture frame, these TVs feature Samsung's new Invisible Connection and No Gap Wall-mount so that users can hang them just about anywhere without any cables or wires cluttering things up.
Look for The Frame to be available sometime this Spring.
Rounding out its home lineup for 2017, Samsung introduced its MS750 Sound+ Soundbar and a new Blu-ray player, the UBD-M9500.
Starting with the former, Samsung says the Sound+ can go as low as 35Hz, negating the need to add a dedicated subwoofer. It offers 5-channel sound, with bass being rounded out with wide-band, front- and top-mounted tweeters, along with mid-range speakers.
"Depending on your preferences, the sound bar can fit neatly on a console below the display—or, with no extra drilling required, you can attach it directly to the bottom of the TV with an optional bracket for an even more minimal look. You even have the ability to plug your TV’s power cord into the MS750—eliminating the need to plug it directly into the wall, allowing for a clean installation," Samsung says. "The power cord adapter comes with the optional TV mounting bracket."
As for the Blu-ray player, the UBD-M9500 builds upon the UBD-K8500 introduced last year. It's a high-end model supporting 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and HDR. What's unique about this model is its Blu-ray to Mobile feature. This allows the playback of two sources at the same time. For example, a user can be watching a TV show while someone else can stream content from the Blu-ray player to their mobile device.
The Sound+ will be available this summer with no word on price yet. Samsung's Blu-ray player will be available in April for $399.