Samsung CES 2021 TV: information and details on Neo QLED and Micro LED

Samsung CES 2021 TV: information and details on Neo QLED and Micro LED
With a dry and perfectly rhythmic presentation, Samsung has finally presented its highly anticipated new line-up of TVs coming out during this 2021.

As usual, the Korean manufacturer is keeping a long way from OLED technology by proposing a substantial and substantial overhaul of its QLEDs and offering a small starter of the expensive but promising MicroLED line. In this in-depth article we will review all the news of the upcoming Samsung displays, obviously focusing our attention on the most interesting features for PC and console players, but we will also offer some reflections on the accessory components of the new line-up, such as the renewed ecological attention of the manufacturer and his extreme care towards design.

And clearly we will not forget to analyze the information regarding the MicroLED offer which, although still very far from becoming attractive for the mass buyer, seems to be increasingly the more plausible future of technological evolution in the TV (and monitor) sector.

The eco-sustainable turning point and attention to accessibility

Much of the virtual presentation in Samsung streaming focused on the desire to highlight the very strong change of direction of the Korean company for everything that concerns attention to eco-sustainability and accessibility of its electronic products. In line with what has been done by many other technology producers for some time, the oriental company has in fact decided to focus strongly on the green by introducing a couple of very interesting and bold design choices.

Let's start with the packaging: Samsung's goal is to convert to new packaging, already partially tested in 2020, the entire line-up of TVs put on the market during 2021. The new boxes include a design minimal, the use of the natural coloring of the cardboard without the aid of oil colors which, apparently, are the cause of an important pollution of the water courses and, above all, a particularly original idea that should stimulate the recycling of packaging directly in the home environment.

The external printing of the packaging will present a subtle but omnipresent grid that should allow you to design and then cut out the packages to transform them into furnishings, games for children, supports and so on. The only limit is the buyer's imagination according to a line of thought that reminded us, clearly very distantly and with due differences of the case, the Nintendo Labo project.

In addition, Samsung has created the first commercial TV remote without replaceable batteries, which should be bundled with all new TV lines released this year. In reality, it is not clear whether this controller will be exclusive to premium displays, but what matters is the Korean manufacturer's choice to abandon the classic two AA or AAA in favor of a remote control capable of powering itself through a light-sensitive rear body. solar (and artificial) or with a short recharge via the USB port present. Also interesting is the choice to use recycled plastics for the construction of the accessory for at least 25% of the chassis.

The other element that defines the path taken by Samsung is the renewed attention to accessibility: the goal of the company is to meet the groups of users with disabilities by offering numerous and interesting forms of aid for viewing and listening that will be integrated into the software of all TVs arriving on the market. From now on it will be possible to access a series of features able to meet the needs of color blind people with a very granular configuration of color tones in order to adapt to the specific needs of those who perceive colors incorrectly. Similar is also the objective of the function that allows you to invert and customize the background colors and the writings of the TV menu.

It will then also be possible to activate a real voice guide that will translate the various functions into audio output of the TV menus so as to allow configuration of the display even for the visually impaired and, in addition, this synthesized item will also be able to read the channel number and name. At the moment only a handful of languages ​​(but not Italian) appear to be supported with the aim of reaching coverage of 28 languages ​​by the end of 2022.

Samsung also plans to roll out within this time frame. automatic subtitles generated by the TV's artificial intelligence for any video source, the ability to control the device through sign language intercepted by a webcam connected to the display and even the computerized generation of an avatar capable of simulating the language of the signs, to explain the various functions and menus of the TV even to those who are unable to hear anything.

The Neo QLED series

Let's now go into the details of the TVs presented, starting from the novelty most interesting and advertised: the new Neo QLED technology. This year, in fact, alongside the classic QLEDs we will find this new new line which is based on the use of Quantum Mini LED to replace the classic Quantum LED. The difference may appear minimal but instead has very concrete repercussions.

In fact, compared to traditional LEDs, these new Mini LEDs (not to be confused with MicroLEDs) are 1/40 large thanks to the use of a single structural layer instead of the usual two layers, one for the cell where the diode is housed and one represented by the lens that diffuses its light emission. This reduction in the size of the LEDs has allowed Samsung to exponentially increase the density of the diodes housed on the display with a consequent greater precision in the diffusion of light and colors, combined among other things with the new Quantum Matrix technology capable of managing the backlight with renewed accuracy.

The result, at least on paper, is a panel with an extremely reduced blooming effect (and we suppose also bleeding) given that the reduction of the LEDs, and therefore their increase in number, combined with the greater precision of the backlight, should allow greater control of the areas to be illuminated by minimizing the pollution of light sources on neighboring pixels. Directly related to what has just been said, Samsung was able to increase the luminance scale to 12 bit, thus reaching 4,096 levels of illumination.

Clearly the Neo QLEDs also carry the new processor for the processing of video and audio signals: the Samsung Neo Quantum that moves much of the calculation on chips dedicated to artificial intelligence which, through deep learning and an exponential increase in neural networks that are concerned with intercepting and processing flows, is able to improve the image according to the type of content transmitted and, at the same time, manage the upscaling from sources at reduced resolutions, minimizing the loss of quality and the occurrence of graphic artifacts.

The consequences on the sound front since the processor will allow to synchronize the movement of the objects and sources shown on the screen with the actual sound emission of the mounted speakers on the screen so as to recreate a sort of enhanced virtual positional surround. The name of the feature is Object Tracking Sound Pro and comes in combination with SpaceFit Sound: an automatic calibration of the audio settings that takes into account the environment where the TV is positioned through constant processing of the sound reflected from the walls.

But let's get to the actual models. Even if at the moment there are no precise details on the diffusion and distribution in Europe, as well as clearly the almost total absence of availability dates and prices, it is still possible to take a look at the plausible line-up. Only the top-of-the-range TVs will use Neo QLED technology and we are talking, specifically, of 3 series with 8k resolution, QN900A, QN800A and QN700A and 3 series with 4k resolution, QN95A, QN90A, QN85A. There are no details on the polliciaggio while the design should be the new one for the 8k models with practically invisible frames and just 15 mm thick (Infinity One Design), combined with the new One Connect Box that can also be installed on the central bracket for the management of all audio and video connections.

The 4k models should instead have a similar design to last year's series but with a significant reduction in thickness. They should therefore lack both the Infinity One Design and the One Connect Box, with the exception of the QN95A which should only feature the latter accessory.

The traditional QLED series

Even more scarce details for what concerns the 2021 line-up of classic QLEDs, without Mini LED technology. Probably Samsung's idea is to place on the market a very simple restyling (almost rebranding) of the previous models with a handful of hardware and software additions to meet the needs of the consumer.

We only know of the existence of 3 4k series: Q80A, Q70A and Q60A. With the exception of this last series which should be an economic "maintenance" line, all the others should present the main novelties in terms of features, so 120 Hz, Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode and full support for FreeSync Premium Pro and G-Sync. These are clearly the models to keep an eye on if the goal is to connect PS5 and Xbox Series to TVs that can support all their features, while spending as little as possible.

You can be sure that when they come out more details, we will keep you updated.

Features for players

As written above, the most interesting part of the models announced by Samsung during CES, and the one that concerns us most from close, it concerns their full support for all features of HDMI 2.1. Starting from the models that will be launched on the market this year (the only exception should be the Q60A), it will therefore finally be possible to fully enjoy the features of the next-gen consoles: therefore 4k at 120 frames per second, variable refresh rate and automatic low latency mode.

In addition, during the virtual conference, Samsung showed a feature completely dedicated to gamers that should be an integral part of the new software mounted on its displays. It is a real Game Bar, accessible at any time and able to lift itself from the bottom of the screen. Using it it will be possible to view and modify a series of settings on the fly, particularly useful when the TV is connected to a console or to the PC.

In order we have noticed that the Game Bar shows a customized setting relating to input lag , the real-time count of frames per second, the presence or absence of HDR and VRR (variable refresh rate), the setting related to the audio output, the aspect ratio of the screen and the positioning of the video source on the display, then the activation of the game mode and a quick link to the resolution of any problems.

Particularly interesting 2 of these items that mark, among other things, a primacy of Samsung in terms of attention towards gamers. The new models support ultra wide aspect ratio, 21: 9 and super ultra wide, 32: 9; the latter unfortunately (and obviously) only when the TV is connected to a PC. The particularly interesting element, in addition to the increased field of view typical of "enlarged" resolutions, is also the possibility of positioning the portion displayed not necessarily in the center of the screen, but also at the top or bottom so as to have, for example, a large black bar below or above the image instead of the usual 2 bars present simultaneously above and below.

In the presence of a PC, these new TVs are able to connect to the computer completely wirelessly through Samsung Dex with in added native support for a wireless mouse and keyboard so you can control your PC remotely without having to pull cables or invent who knows which pass-through connections around the house. The new version of Dex is also able to implement the remote connection through the internet with any PC left in the office or in a second home, but clearly the performances are all to be verified and will hardly be suited to the needs of the players.
Also in this case it will be our pleasure to test the new TVs as soon as possible to verify their actual compatibility with PC, PS5 and Xbox Series directly in the field.

The MicroLED series

We conclude our review on Samsung news from CES 2021 with the most futuristic and futuristic technology among those presented. MicroLEDs have been talked about for years and years but, unfortunately, apart from very rare exceptions that have actually managed to reach the market, today we continue to see only prototypes and experiments. The Korean manufacturer seems to be finally about to reverse this trend even if, at this stage, the offer is clearly aimed at a very high-end, premium market.

At the moment there seem to be only 2 models arriving on the market, among other things already announced at the end of 2020, the 110 and 99 inches with 24 million MicroLEDs and currently without a name in the series. The design is the same as the Neo QLED 8k: Infinity One Design and One Connect Box, therefore very small frame and thickness with positioning of the Samsung logo at the bottom right in an almost invisible format and presence of the box for all audio and video connections that can be hooked directly to the central bracket. Clearly we are talking about TVs that will not be accessible to mere mortals (we are talking about $ 150,000 for the 110 inch), but we reiterate that it is interesting to start seeing the marketing of MicroLEDs.

Among other things, Samsung has confirmed during the presentation that in the course of the year and 2022 also models with smaller cuts, 80 and 70 inches to be precise, will be announced and placed on the market, but above all the marketing of the technology will pave the way for the customization of sizes and formats, one of the key features of MicroLEDs.

This technology in fact represents a sort of ideal meeting point between LED and OLED since it presents most of the characteristics of the latter architecture, especially in terms of color rendering and brightness, but with the most important features of LEDs, namely the reduced production cost (in the long run), the great longevity and above all the optimization action of productive yield. An optimization that allows the printing of a completely variable and virtually infinite number of MicroLEDs which can then be assembled together to create gigantic or, on the contrary, microscopic TVs. But above all with any possible shape (as long as you have 90-degree angles).

The long-term design idea is to have custom-made displays according to the consumer's requests to cover furniture or areas and to adapt to the professional and entertainment needs of the final buyer.

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