with CLIPREVIEWED learn the articleSamsung Expands MicroLED TV Lineup, Unveils Neo QLED TVs
Samsung already announced its first consumer MicroLED TV last month in the form of a massive 110-inch screen, but it isn’t stopping there. The company has two new MicroLED TV models in smaller sizes, along with new technology for its QLED TVs.
The MicroLED TV—originally unveiled as the modular, enterprise-focused “The Wall” a few years ago—got a one-piece, consumer-friendly version in December. It’s now being joined by 88- and 99-inch MicroLED models, rounding the line out to three screen sizes.
What Is MicroLED?
MicroLED uses clusters of colored, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for each individual pixel to produce a picture, a very different technology from backlit LCD panels used in most TVs or the principles behind OLED TVs.
LED clusters have been used for large-scale digital signage for some time, but the technology has only recently been miniaturized to the point that it can be used in a living room TV (rather than on the side of a stadium). The MicroLED TVs are 4K models, each packing over 8 million LED clusters. They support multi-screen viewing with Multi View, splitting up the picture into four 1080p pictures that can be watched at the same time.
Samsung has not announced pricing for the MicroLED TVs, though rumor and international availability have pegged the 110-inch model at over $100,000. While these are consumer products, they’re still clearly for wealthy consumers; smaller, more affordable MicroLED models won’t be seen for a while.
Besides MicroLED, Samsung unveiled Neo QLED, the company’s next step in its LCD-based QLED panel technology.
Neo QLED combines Samsung’s QLED LCD panels, which use nanocrystal technology to improve color performance, with a mini LED backlight system that provides a brighter picture and wider contrast. Mini LED is a different technology from MicroLED; Mini LED just means that the LEDs used to backlight the LCD panel are very small, and there are many more of them than the larger, more spread out LED backlight systems of other TVs. This enables dark parts of the picture to stay dark while bright parts of the picture get brighter.
While the MicroLED TVs are 4K, Neo QLED is where Samsung will focus its efforts for 8K, with several Neo QLED models featuring the higher resolution.
‘The Frame’ Get an Upgrade
Samsung also announced a new version of its The Frame lifestyle TV, a QLED TV designed with a modular bezel that lets you customize how it looks, and gives the impression of a framed picture when up on a wall. The new The Frame is around half as thick as the previous model at just 24.9 millimeters deep.
Even More Upgrades
All new QLEDs will get a variety of upgrades. A new Eco Remote Control features solar cells that can recharge its batteries automatically, enabling use for up to two years before the battery has to be replaced. The Multi View feature found on the Micro LED TVs will also be on 2021 QLED TVs, with 8K models capable of displaying up to 12 sources at once.
Remote Access Plus will add new productivity options to Samsung TVs, letting users connect mice and keyboards to enable web browsing, and direct access to Microsoft Office 365. The TVs will also support Google Duo with screen mirroring, letting you make video calls through your TV (with a supported camera).
For gamers, QLED TVs will feature a new Game Bar pop-up menu that provides quick access to gaming-specific features like toggling game mode and checking aspect ratios. A Super Ultrawide Gameview mode will let games be played at letterboxed 21:9 or 32:9 aspect ratios.
Finally, Samsung will expand its eco-friendly packaging to all QLED and lifestyle TV models in 2021. This packaging eschews oil-based ink, and can be converted into useful things like pet condos, storage systems, and toys for kids thanks to online instructions that outline how to repurpose the boxes.
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