Samsung launch KS9500, KS9000, KS8000 and KS7500 HDR TVs
There's HDR on all their Ultra HD TVs but 3D is dropped from the entire line-up
Samsung have launched a strong line-up of Ultra HD 4K TVs for 2016, with HDR on all their models from the flagship KS9500 down to the entry level KU6000.However before we go into the new line-up in more detail, let's get the bad news out of the way first - the rumours are true and 3D support has been dropped from Samsung's entire 2016 TV line-up. Now whilst that will undoubtedly be disappointing to many enthusiasts who still enjoy watching 3D Blu-rays, the reality is that the feature has never been popular amongst mass market consumers. Although people are still happy to watch 3D movies in the cinema, the average viewer has never been keen on wearing 3D glasses at home and 3D comes way down the list of important features in the various consumer surveys conducted by the manufacturers. Whilst we were expecting Samsung to retain 3D on some of their higher-end models in much the same way as Sony and Panasonic, they aren't the only ones to abandon the format, with Philips also dropping 3D this year.
Aside from the absence of 3D, the new line-up includes just about every feature you would expect on a modern TV with the entire SUHD KS series supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR) at over 1,000 nits of peak brightness. There's an overall increase in brightness of 15% on last year's models and this improvement in brightness is in part thanks to Samsung's quantum dot technology. The latest developments include a uniform arrangement of quantum dots and a nano capsule protective shell that reduces impurities and defects and also prevents oxidation. In addition Samsung's quantum dot technology is cadmium-free making it better for the environment. The latest advances in quantum dot technology mean that the entire KS series can not only deliver a brighter image but also a wider colour gamut (96% of DCI-P3), wider viewing angles and reduced power consumption.
The KS series also use 10-bit panels and a new Ultra Black moth eye technology to reduce reflections. There is Precision Black local dimming with the KS9500 including the Pro version thanks to its full array LED backlight. The new KS series also boasts improved colour accuracy and a remastering engine designed to offer improved picture quality based on content and source analysis. Further down the range there is still HDR support and Active Crystal Colour that uses enhanced red and green phosphors which, according to Samsung, can deliver up to 20% wider colour gamuts and up to 24% better energy efficiency. There's also a 4K Streaming PQ Enhancement feature that uses source and bit rate analysis to optimise the viewing experience and also Ultra HD Upscaling that combines signal analysis with noise reduction and detail enhancement.
Naturally since this is Samsung the emphasis is on curved screens but there are options for those that aren't convinced by curves, with the KS8000, KS7000, KU6400 and KU6000 all using flat panels. There's also a new slim chassis with a bezel-less screen and a 360 degree design, as well as the One Connect box on the KS series. The smart platform has had a major overhaul this year and the new Smart Hub provides a single access point for the menu system, connected sources, TV channels, apps and games that can be easily customised. There is auto detection which allows the TV to detect the exact device you have connected (PS4, Xbox, Blu-ray player etc.) and then immediately control it using the TV's universal remote. The newly designed universal remote drops motion control but retains voice control and makes it easy to access all your connected devices from a single remote.The emphasis this year is on HDR, with all the SUHD models delivering a peak brightness of over 1,000 nits.Although for most people the KS9500 will represent Samsung's flagship model for 2016, technically their top-of-the-line model this year is the S9 SUHD 8K TV. This ultra high resolution model uses a 110-inch curved screen and includes a full array LED backlight and a 360 degree design. The VA 10-bit panel includes an Ultra Black moth eye filter, quantum dot for a wider colour gamut and HDR 10 support. There is Precision Black Pro local dimming, Auto Depth Enhancer and peak brightness of over 1,000 nits, along with Supreme 240 motion resolution. There is also the new Smart TV platform, the Smart Controller and the One Connect Box with 4 HDMI 2.0a inputs, 4 USB ports and Bluetooth.
It's fair to say that the S9 will be quite expensive and at 110-inches it's also very big, so a far more realistic prospect is the KS9500. This Ultra HD 4K model uses a curved screen and comes in 65-, 78- and 88-inch screen sizes. The KS9500 has a bezel-less screen and a 360 degree design, with a full array LED backlight. It uses a VA 10-bit panel and includes an Ultra Black moth eye filter, quantum dot for a wider colour gamut and HDR 10 support. There's also Precision Black Pro local dimming, auto depth enhancer and a peak brightness of over 1,000 nits, along with Supreme 240 motion resolution. The KS9500 includes the new Smart TV platform, the Smart Controller and the One Connect Box with 4 HDMI 2.0a inputs, 3 USB ports and Bluetooth. The pricing hasn't been confirmed yet but the KS9500 will be available to buy from the 23rd of May.
The rest of the SUHD line-up uses edge-lit LED backlighting and includes something for everyone. The KS series represents Samsung's premium line-up and the KS9000 uses a curved panel with screen sizes of 49-, 55-, 65 and 75-inches. It has a slim chassis, a bezel-less screen and a 360 degree design. The KS9000 uses a VA 10-bit panel and includes an Ultra Black moth eye filter, quantum dot for a wider colour gamut and HDR 10 support. There's also Precision Black local dimming, auto depth enhancer and a peak brightness of over 1,000 nits, along with 240 motion resolution. The KS9500 includes the new Smart TV platform, the Smart Controller and the One Connect Box with 4 HDMI 2.0a inputs, 3 USB ports and Bluetooth. If curved screens aren't for you, the KS8000 offers exactly the same feature set as the KS9000, except for the auto depth enhancer, but uses a flat panel and comes in sizes of 49, 50, 55 and 65 inches.
The SUHD entry-level models are the KS7500 curved screen and the KS7000 flat screen, which offer all the same features as the higher-end KS models but at a lower price. The KS7500 comes in screen sizes of 43, 49, 55, 65 and 75 inches whilst the KS7000 uses 49-, 55-, 60-, 65- and 75-inch screen sizes. Aside from the Auto Depth Enhancer, which is only used on curved models, both the KS7500 and KS7000 include the same features. So we get a slim chassis, a bezel-less screen and a 360 degree design. There's also a VA 10-bit panel, an Ultra Black moth eye filter, quantum dot for a wider colour gamut and HDR 10 support; along with Precision Black local dimming, a peak brightness of over 1,000 nits and 240 motion resolution. As with the other KS models there is also the new Smart TV platform, the Smart Controller and the One Connect Box with 4 HDMI 2.0a inputs, 3 USB ports and Bluetooth. The SUHD models will begin shipping in March with the KS9000 arriving in stores in two weeks, although pricing is still to be confirmed.Samsung's might have dropped 3D this year but they offer a comprehensive TV line-up that goes from Full HD to 8K.If the premium SUHD models prove to be too expensive for your budget, then Samsung also have a strong range of step-up Ultra HD models aimed at those entering the world of 4K TV for the first time. The KU6500 uses a curved panel and comes in 43-, 49-, 55-, 65- and 75-inch screen sizes whilst the flat panel KU6400 comes in screen sizes of 40, 43, 49 and 55 inches. Both models use a slim chassis and a 360 degree design, with Active Crystal Colour for a wider colour gamut and HDR 10 support. There's also 120 motion resolution, the new Smart TV platform, the Smart Controller, 4 HDMI 2.0a inputs, 3 USB ports and Bluetooth.
The entry-level UHD TVs are the curved KU6300 and the flat KU6000, with the former coming in 40-, 49-, 55- and 65-inch screen sizes and the latter using screen sizes of 40, 43, 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 inches. Both models include Pure-Colour and HDR 10 support, along with 120 motion resolution, the new Smart TV platform, 3 HDMI 2.0a inputs and 3 USB ports. All these new Ultra HD 4K models will begin shipping in March and through into April but pricing has yet to be announced.
Although the emphasis is obviously on Ultra HD 4K these days, Samsung will still offer a range of Full HD models with the K6200 using a curved screen, a slim chassis and a 360 degree design. It will come in 40-, 49- and 55-inch screen sizes and includes the new Smart TV platform 3 HDMI inputs and 3 USB ports. The K5500 overs the same feature set except it drops a USB port, uses a flat panel and comes in screen sizes of 32, 40, 43, 49 and 55 inches. Finally the K5300 comes in 32-, 40- and 49-inch screen sizes, it uses a flat panel and a 360 degree design, along with the new smart TV platform, 2 HDMI inputs and a USB port.
Whilst the loss of 3D this year might be considered a disappointment by some, there's no denying that Samsung are offering an extremely strong line-up models with screen sizes and features to meet all budgets and an impressive level of features in even their mid and lower tier models. The manufacturer has certainly built on the success of last year's SUHD models and the improved peak brightness and wider colour gamut will allow this year's models to take full advantage of Ultra HD 4K sources like the UBD-K8500 UHD Blu-ray player. If the improvements in picture quality weren't enough, the new Smart Hub looks excellent and the auto source detect and universal controller are sure to prove popular with consumers. So 3D might well be dead but it looks as though HDR is here to stay.
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