The technological progress in TVs in the last couple of years is no less exciting than in smartphones. Over the past decade, televisions have dramatically changed our attitude to them, turning from panels for broadcasting TV channels into home media centers. They acquired the ability to control smart home appliances and received voice control. The pandemic that covered the entire planet gave an additional leap to televisions, and today their capabilities have begun to outstrip the wildest dreams regarding the SmartTV concept, which this year marks its 10th anniversary. Samsung has definitely moved the furthest in this direction, so you can easily follow its example to track all those fantastic changes in TVs that looked like pure fiction a decade ago.
1. Replaces the computer
Few people remember, but the first personal computers were connected to the TV as a monitor. But with the advent of the IBM PC, the standard was to use a separate monitor for the computer. When the computer became the main device for watching movies and video cards got an HDMI output, we began to display the playback of movies or TV series on the TV screen, the size of which has always outstripped (and continues to outstrip) the size of computer monitors. Finally, there comes a period when the TV is able to exclude the computer not only for games or movies, but also for work. We connect the Internet, a wireless keyboard and the same wireless mouse. And now you can remotely connect to your work computer, remaining in the office. Or even connect directly to Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365 cloud services. And it is comfortable to work on a large TV screen, comfortably located in your living room. This feature is available in Samsung’s 2021 TVs and the Smart Monitor line. To work, just install the Easy Connect app on your TV, smartphone (or computer). Samsung smartphone users can get a “seamless” experience using their Galaxy with the Dex service.
2. Artificial intelligence for real-time image processing
The success of artificial intelligence in the form of machine learning and the use of neural networks in modern devices is already undeniable. Neural networks trained on millions of images are able to increase the video resolution in real time, reduce image noise and make it more contrasting and clearer. The Neo Quantum processor used in the 2021 Samsung Neo QLED TVs uses 16 (!) different neural networks trained on various tasks. It recognizes scenes, real-time video stream resolution, and does the job of improving resolution, clarity, and contrast, and reducing noise and blurring. Samsung calls this solution the “Multi-Intelligence Neural Network”. Accordingly, the use of 16 different neural networks to solve various tasks to improve the image instead of one, this gives an image improvement even compared to last year’s TVs. We have all seen the success of neural networks in processing ancient black-and-white film, which can now be seen in color and in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. The day is not far off when televisions will be able to do such wonders in real time.
3. Incredible picture: Magic Micro LED and Quantum Mini LED
If you compare the image that the best TVs were capable of ten years ago with the advanced TVs of 2021, the difference will be visible to the naked eye. Modern TVs have not only a higher resolution (and, consequently, greater clarity and detail) – 4K and 8K versus FullHD, but also give greater brightness, contrast and depth of black. This year, we are waiting for a real revolution associated with the miniaturization of LED backlighting used in televisions. What is the difference between Micro LED and Quantum Mini LED?
The Micro LED TV uses 24 million (!) LEDs ranging in size from tens to hundreds of micrometers. The brightness of each is controlled separately, providing a clear picture, with a deep black color and extremely high brightness.
Samsung calls these LEDs self-illuminating (self-lit), which gives them a higher brightness than traditional LCD TVs. Accordingly, they do not need additional lighting and a color filter. In general, this technology came from commercial displays used in outdoor advertising and for creating composite screens during concerts and performances (Micro LED technology allows you to create almost frameless screens, the manufacturer calls this design monolithic). In 2021, Samsung for the first time introduces consumer Micro LED TVs with huge diagonals – from 77 to 110 inches!
An important detail is that we are talking about LEDs on inorganic elements, which gives an advantage for those users who are concerned about the problem of burning out screens on organic LEDs.
What is the difference between screens with Quantum Mini LED? This is a further development of QLED technology using quantum dots. Quantum Mini LEDs are 40 times smaller than traditional LEDs used in TVs. This made it possible to get rid of the lenses and the LED housing – a film microlayer is used instead. The absence of lenses played another important role – they are associated with the inevitable scattering of light, creating a halo effect or blurring of the image at the boundaries of objects (between adjacent dimming blocks).
Thanks to the microlayer, the amount of light emitted by the LEDs in front of them (and not to the side) is increased. On the other hand, the diffusion effect decreases. Another advantage of the microlayer is that it reduces the optical path for the light that forms the image. The result is greater clarity and less blur and halo.
Accordingly, by reducing the size of the LEDs, it was possible to further reduce the thickness of the television panel and achieve better black depth indicators. Increased contrast and peak brightness. These TVs use the Neo Quantum processor with its 16 neural networks for real-time image processing. Finally, there is the Quantum Matrix technology, which made it possible to switch to 12-bit gray scale with 4096 gradations instead of 10-bit in previous generation TVs.
So, Micro LED is a technology that allows you to make TVs with a frameless screen and large diagonals. Neo QLED is the most advanced technology that provides a technological advantage with Neo Quantum processors (16 neural networks and up to 8K scaling) and Quantum Matrix technology (12-bit gray scale).
4. Screens emitting sound
The next thing we value in TVs after pictures is, of course, sound. Of course, the sound of TVs has also radically changed over the decade. It’s not even about supporting audio processing technologies developed in the Dolby labs (although they certainly play a role too). And not only that we have begun to install soundbars next to our televisions – acoustic systems specially designed for use with televisions. The sound capabilities of modern televisions allow you to localize an object on the screen and create an acoustic effect, thanks to locally located sound sources behind the screen. Samsung calls this technology Object Tracking Sound and all sound connoisseurs should pay attention to TVs with its support.
Another technology that is dramatically changing the perception of TV sound is SpaceFit Sound. It is used in Neo QLED TVs, works in conjunction with a soundbar (and this is another reason to buy one) and evaluates the acoustic scene of the room using microphones, and then adapts the sound of the TV to achieve the best result. For comparison, remember how excellent the algorithms for evaluating external sound work in modern TWS headphones (for example, the same Galaxy Buds Pro), it is obvious that the capabilities of the TV speakers are much higher. By the way, Samsung TV speakers are able to interact with the soundbar as a whole, enhancing the sound thanks to the Q-Symphony function. Well, it’s impossible not to fall in love with technology such as Active Voice Activation (AVA), which allows you to increase the volume of dialogues on the TV when a source of noise appears in the room (for example, a working vacuum cleaner). Another advantage of modern technology in TVs, which could only be dreamed of 10 years ago.
5. Interior TVs
Interior TVs — just a brilliant idea of Samsung, which forever changed our perception of these devices. And it gave an impetus to a new round of organic integration of technologies and interiors, which probably began with the appearance of household appliances built into kitchen furniture: refrigerators, washing machines and dishwashers, and ovens with microwaves. This year, the developers of the TV series The Frame went even further and opened new horizons for the integration of these TVs into our interiors with the help of special modular shelves My Shelf.
The Serif TVs have also made their contribution to history – their customers are so delighted with the purchase of such a TV that every fifth buyer publishes his photo of The Serif on social networks. 10 years ago, no one would have even thought about this.
The Sero TV was Samsung’s answer to the growing popularity of vertical video, conquering the world. This year, they predictably began to support the main vertical video service on the planet — TikTok. Although 10 years ago, it was physically impossible to imagine that vertical video would have such an impact on the industry.
Finally, The Terrace series TVs are also capable of becoming a part of our life in the near future – they will be bought not only by the owners of country houses, but also by the owners of cafes and restaurants with summer grounds and, of course, hotels. These TVs have an anti-reflective coating (so you can watch them in the bright sun). And there is also protection against splashes of water according to the IP55 class (you can not be afraid to put them next to the pools) and resistance to work at high temperatures (on a sunny day, ordinary electrical appliances on the street have a hard time).
6. Laser projection TVs
Ten years ago, if you wanted a 100-inch screen at home, you had only one choice – buy a projector and connect it to your computer. Today, one more direction of projection televisions is developing, which is a synthesis of television filling and a modern laser projector. For example, such as the high-tech Samsung Premiere. This is the industry’s first tri-laser projector with 4K resolution.
It installs from 5 centimeters to any solid wall in the room and produces images up to 130 inches in diagonal. By the way, around projectors there are a lot of all sorts of side product categories, for example, roll-up motorized screens. For Premiere, it’s worth thinking about this, especially if your home interior is as immodest as in the video below. Inside the projector there are acoustics with speakers according to the scheme 4.2 (yes, it has two subwoofers and two high-frequency tweeters) with a total power of 40 watts! And, just like the 2021 Samsung subwoofers, it supports the Tap View function – connecting a broadcast from a smartphone with one touch.
Remember Marty McFly’s TV from the future in Back to the Future 2? Which could be divided into several screens and display several channels on it. 30 years ago, it looked like what it was — pure fantasy. Now this is already a reality — Samsung Micro LED TVs (no wonder they are with such huge diagonals) have a Multi View function (aka 4Vue or Quad View). It allows you to divide the TV screen into 4 parts and output an image from its source to each one. You can simultaneously play, watch a stream with the passage of the game and still track some news (or stock quotes, if you work remotely as a broker).
8. Advantage in computer games
Gamers don’t just love using wide, curved monitors (like the Samsung Odyssey G9, for example). Such monitors allow you to expand the angle of view in the game, thus gaining an advantage over the enemy. And who would have thought that this would somehow affect the TVs. But in the Samsung Neo QLED TVs of 2021, a special Super Ultrawide game mode has appeared, in which you can use an image with an aspect ratio of 32:9, which already supports 70% of computer games. At the same time, the image diagonal on 65-inch TVs will be 59 inches, which exceeds the image size even on the flagship 49-inch gaming monitors. The new TVs also support Freesync technology, and the Neo QLED series is the first in the world to support Freesync Premium Pro, which guarantees minimal lag in games and makes the picture smooth, without jerks. Together with a special Game Bar menu with quick settings and automatic recognition of the running game, all this allows you to position your Neo QLED TVs as the best solution for gamers.
9. Solar-powered remote control
But such a decision could have been imagined ten years ago, but it is unlikely that anyone would have taken it seriously. Today, this is already a reality — Samsung TVs in 2021 will have a solar-powered remote control with a built-in battery. The world is increasingly concerned about the environment, and this solution, given the volume of production of Samsung TVs, will allow for the next 7 years to prevent waste from 99 million AAA batteries that can cause (if not properly disposed of) serious environmental damage.
10. Transformer packaging
Finally, another brilliant design idea, and even related to the environment — the creation of packaging for televisions in the form of a constructor, from which you can assemble a cat house, bookshelves or a children’s toy.
In addition to the rocking horse, there are also bears and toy houses for dolls. And all this thanks to patterns placed directly on the surface of cardboard boxes from televisions, which are thrown out every year by the ton. A good first step in the direction of reasonable consumption.
Progress never stands still, every new year brings us new generations of technology and new experiences from using a wide variety of devices. Compared to the same smartphones, TVs were rather slow-growing devices that did not promise revolutions every year. But that’s how it used to be. The events of 2020, which closed the entire planet to quarantine, forced billions of people to stay at home. The time they spent in front of their TVs has grown dramatically, which has spurred TV manufacturers to speed up all their development processes and turn modern TVs into something new, taking them to a new level. Now you even know which one.