Published 2022-01-04 - 1:00 pm
The CES show in Las Vegas is this week, and Samsung is among the first manufacturers to unveil brand new TV models for 2022. The South Korean manufacturer claims, as usual, important advances in both picture and sound quality, as well such as ease of use and design.
The news includes, among other things, ultra high-end screens with MicroLED technology, updated models in the large Neo QLED range, and – not least – new versions of the popular design model The Frame.
Samsung continues to focus on MicroLED technology on its flagships in the ultra high-end class. During CES, they launch MicroLED TVs in three screen sizes – 110″, 101″ and 89″. The latter is a brand new, smaller model, but do not expect it to ba anything reminescent of cheap as we are in the Huge High End Telly Territory!
The MicroLED panels offer, among other things, a separate Art mode where they can display art and images in standby mode. Another curiosity is the ability to view images from up to four different video sources simultaneously, in 4K resolution and up to 120 frames per second. This allows you to follow sports and newscasts on a quarter of the screen, while you game AND check the walkthru from YouTube on the other two at the same time…
It is still uncertain when and if Samsung’s MicroLED TVs will arrive here, and what they will cost. But we’re probably talking five digits, even for the “smal” one!
New models in the Neo QLED family
For us mere mortals there will of course be updates in the Neo QLED series, which still constitute Samsung’s most important model selection in the premium and high-end segment. The successors to popular models such as the QN85A and QN95A will be called the QN85B and QN95B.
This year’s models are, like last year, based on LCD technology combined with MiniLED backlight: a technique that provided clear improvements on several of the 2021 models – but not without complications. Although MiniLED provides visibly better contrast and black level than ordinary LED, so-called “halo effects” can also occur with outlines around bright objects if the light distribution is not precise enough.
This is reportedly something Samsung has worked on a lot on the 2022 models: They come equipped with a new video processor (Neo Quantum Processor) which will contribute to more precise light control. Among other things, the new processor has increased from 12 to 14 bit light gradation, so that it can regulate the many thousands of LEDs in far more steps than its 2021 predecessors.
The Neo Quantum processor should also be better at analyzing the image material and shaping the light distribution accordingly: A new feature called Shape Adaptive Light takes into account lines, shapes and surfaces to provide the most accurate backlighting possible.
This will hopefully result in an even more precise and sensitive light distribution – but it remains to be seen in practice!
Samsung also claims that the 2022 Neo QLED model should get even better sharpness and depth feel. A feature in image processing called Real Depth Enhancer takes into account objects in the image and the relationship to the background. This may sound like something we’ve seen used on, among others, their Sony LCD and OLED models, with great success.
One feature we have missed on the 2021 models is support for the HDR video format Dolby Vision. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be a reality on the 2022 models either: Samsung is instead investing in its own, open format HDR10+, in the hope that more content producers will embrace the format.
Neo QLED Sound: Better surround sound
Selected Neo QLED models should also have had a significant upgrade on the audio side: the 8K top model Samsung QN900B gets lots of speakers built into the slim case, including upward-facing height speakers, as we have seen on competing models such as the Panasonic JZ2000 before. The new height channels will contribute to a better reproduction of Dolby Atmos soundtrack.
The Neo QLED TVs can also analyze the objects in the image, and help to position the sound more precisely according to the action on the screen – so-called Object Tracking Sound. It will be exciting to check out how well this works in practice on the 2022 models.
The Samsung screens will also work well in interaction with the company’s own soundbars, through so-called Q Symphony. New this year is that you will also be able to transfer the sound between TV and soundboard wirelessly via Wi-Fi – also for Dolby Atmos soundtrack. This can potentially save an HDMI cable with associated input.
New lifestyle models: Samsung The Frame 2022
The Frame has undoubtedly been a success for Samsung: It sold around 1 million models last year alone. This year’s model has had some updates on the panel side: The main difference consists of a new screen coating, which will reduce glare, and make the panel surface more like a matte paper. It will hopefully be able to give an even more credible and “picturesque” look. And who knows, maybe it can also give the image quality an extra twist? The so-called Matte Display must also be extra resistant to grease marks and fingerprints. The same coating will also apply to the other design models in the Lifestyle segment, including The Sero and The Serif.
Samsung The Frame 2022 will be available in screen sizes from 32″ to 85″ (QE85LS03B).
New Smart Hub
Samsung’s well-known Smart Hub user interface will also get a real facelift this year. The main menu has been redesigned to provide a better overview and faster access to favorite content, as well as personal recommendations. The 2022 models also have their own menus for games (Game Home) and Ambient mode (Ambient Home). Here you will, among other things, get access to streaming games, via services such as Google Stadia and Geforce Now.
A separate app called Watch Together also makes it possible to watch content with others – eg friends and family – on their own TV screens.
Several of the 2022 models will also have access to a feature called Smart Calibration – which fine-tunes the colors and grayscale of the TV screen for optimal picture quality. The calibration is done automatically using an app for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy mobiles, and should take between 30 seconds and 10 minutes depending on the image mode.
Price and availability
Samsung has not yet announced detailed information about Nordic models, prices and launch dates. We expect more detailed info before the new models are rolled out towards the spring of 2022!
Source: Samsung press release