The flagship Q950TS QLED range was first unveiled at CES in Las Vegas last month. But at Samsung’s annual European Forum event, which is being held in Malta, tonight the company confirmed the TVs will be coming to Europe this spring – something that triggered some considerable cheers in the audience. Available in 65-inch, 75-inch, and eye-spanking 85-inch models, the Q950TS QLED 8K TV don’t waste any space around the screen.
In fact, you’ll struggle to pick-out anything that isn’t screen on these new models. Samsung says it has managed to achieve a 99 percent screen-to-body ratio, so if you pulled out the tape measure at home right now to see if one of these stunning new screens will fit on your wall – you don’t need to worry about accounting for any bezel in your measurements.
Aside from the usual cavernous blacks and gorgeously vivid colours you’d expect from a QLED display, what really sets these new TVs apart from the competition are the smart features. Dubbed “Smart Screen” by the marketing department, these new AI capabilities mean the Tizen operating system that powers the telly is capable of fine-tuning the picture and sound to ensure you get a cinema-worthy viewing experience. Best of all, this all happens in the background and is switched on by default.
So you won’t need to delve into the labyrinthine picture and sound menus to get everything ready for the perfect Love Island viewing party… unless you want to, of course.
The biggest innovations in the new Smart Screen arsenal are~
Active Voice Amplifier: This is designed to eliminate one of the biggest distractions when settling down to watch a movie – background noise. This nifty new feature automatically recognises when you’re being interrupted by the beep of a lorry backing up, or drilling next door and adjusts voice clarity to ensure you don’t miss a single line of dialogue. Samsung is at pains to point out that the feature isn’t turning the volume up, it’s boosting the voices in the mix so they’re easier to hear.
That’s likely because this feature is enabled out of the box, and some people might be slightly miffed if their TV started to crank-up the volume because your partner is vacuuming in the other room, but personally, it would be a great option to have added to the Active Voice Amplifier option in future.
Objecting Tracking Sound+ is designed to create a three-dimensional sound effect by combining the multiple speakers built into the top, side, and bottom of the TV with a proprietary AI algorithm. Also known as OTS+, this new AI-powered feature should “perfectly matches audio with the on-screen action, providing the ultimate viewing experience,” according to Samsung.
Finally, Q-Symphony should be a huge benefit to anyone who is all-in with the Samsung home cinema suite. For the first time ever, models in the new 2020 range of QLED TVs will keep the top and side speakers active when you attach a Samsung Q Series soundbar to them all to work together to give a richer, fuller surround sound. Until now, plugging in a Samsung-designed soundbar would disable the TV’s built-in speakers – like every other brand of soundbar. Using the existing speakers in the TV to complement the soundbar is a really clever idea and should make Samsung’s own soundbars top of your shopping list compared to rival brands, which is obviously what the clever folks at Samsung want.
Head of TV and Sound Devices for Samsung Europe, Nathan Sheffield said: “We are in a new era of intelligent display; this year will bring even more demand for TV personalisation. Our 2020 TV and Sound Device line-up is our strongest, smartest and most immersive yet, catering to a variety of lifestyles without the need for compromise.”
Finally, these new Samsung TVs will also offer multiple voice assistant options – so regardless of which brand of smart speaker you’ve got at home (unless you’re lumbered with a HomePod, that is) you’ll be able to wire-up your shiny new Samsung to use Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Bixby.
These chatty AI assistants will let you hear about the latest headlines, weather updates, as well as smart home and TV control capabilities. Best of all, Samsung adapts the user interface on the TV to match the Alexa and Google Assistant designs – so, if you’re used to seeing the thin blue line that indicates Alexa’s ears have pricked-up, that will appear in the lower-third of your Samsung TV when you set the smart assistant to “Alexa”, whereas the colourful volume bars you’ll find on Google Assistant devices, like the Home Hub, will surface if you’ve chosen to use the Californian company’s AI assistant on your TV instead.
Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on pricing for the new TVs. But we’ll keep you posted as soon as we get confirmation from Samsung on how much these shiny new sets will cost you.