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Samsung ramps up UHD TV lineup, including a 110-inch monster

AT CES 2014, the company also shows a UHD prototype TV with a flexible screen

Published: January 06, 2014 05:00 PM
Samsung's 105-inch TV with curved screen

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While it looks like OLED TVs are currently on the back burner, Samsung still had plenty of TVs to talk about at CES 2014, introducing a 105-inch UHD set with a curved screen. Even more impressive, though, was a prototype UHD TV I saw that had a flexible screen that can shift from curved to flat with the push of a button on the remote.

While its focus here was on the new 105-inch model, the company will also apparently offer the 110-inch flat UHD TV it announced just before CES. But to me it still isn't clear if this set, which has a flat screen, will actually be sold here in the U.S.

In all, the company will have three UHD series this year, with both flat and curved screens ranging from 50 to 105 inches.  It is also rolling out the curved-screen idea to a new H8000-series 1080p LED LCD TV line.

Ultra HD, ultra large

LG and Samsung will have to battle it out for the bragging rights to being the first company to offer a 105-inch curved-screen UHD set, since both are claiming that title. The TV has a wide-screen 21:9 screen format, with approximately 11 million pixels compared to 8 million pixels on a 16:9 UHD set. Depth Enhancer technology brings amazing depth to

Samsung's other curved UHD TVs can be found the U9000 series, a premium UHD TV line that will be available in 55-, 65-, and 78-inch screen sizes.

The company is Samsung is carrying over the S9 UHD series last year, which adds the 110-inch TV to the 85-inch model the company debuted last fall at $40,000. No prices have yet been announced. These models sport the "frame design" used last year, which give the TVs a unique, stylish appearance.

Unlike the curved OLED TV introduced last year, Samsung’s curved LED LCD TVs can be wall-mounted, though frankly the curved screen is better appreciated—in my opinion—when the TV is mounted on a stand.

Those with as bit less discretionary income can choose from a U8550-series of sets, which will be offered in 50-, 55-, 65-, and 75-inch screen sizes. These TVs have conventional flat screens.

For all the show news, trends, and analysis visit our insider's guide to CES 2014

All the UHD TVs will come with HDMI 2.0 inputs, which can support 60-frames-per-second video, as well as built-in decoding of the new more efficient H.265 (HEVC) video format, which allows for higher quality video at the same bitrates as the current H.264 standard. The sets will also be compatible with the new HDCP digital rights management technology standard (version 2.2) that is used to protect copyrighted content.

For those who like the idea of a curved screen, but who don’t need or want UHD resolution, Samsung is offering the H8000 LED-backlit 1080p TVs. These flagship 1080p models will be offered in 48-, 55-, and 65-inch screen sizes, and come loaded with features.

Updated smart TV

Speaking of features, Samsung has updated its Smart Hub smart TV platform with a new interface in 2014—it still uses five main content panels, but combines personal content and social media into one Multimedia panel and adds a new one for games.

The TVs also get more processing power thanks to quad-core processors that enable an "instant-on" feature that lets the TV turn on without delay. The processing power also helps when playing games; Samsung says it will provide about 20 free "mid-weight" games, with the processing done by the TV.

Many of the new TVs get multi-screen capability, so that you can watch a TV in one window while browsing the Web or getting Internet-delivered streaming video on another. (The U9000’s screen can be divided into four panels.)

We're still waiting for some additional details, especially pricing and availability, so check back.

—James K. Willcox

   

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