Samsung’s New Flagship TV Is Like a Remote for Your Home
A TV used to just be a TV. Now, televisions aren’t just trying to be electronic hubs for all your entertainment needs. They’re also trying to become control centers for your future home—more all-in-one PC than boob tube.
Samsung unveiled its new flagship SUHD 4K TVs at CES 2016 today, and it sets the stage for what to expect out of televisions moving forward: Console-level gaming without a console, smart home controls, and super-bright backlight systems designed for HDR viewing, all wrapped up in a slick, elegant package.
The sleek KS9500 is Samsung’s new flagship model, and it certainly looks like it gets the “TV” part of the equation right. It’s a quantum-dot enhanced, HDR-capable set that pushes its brightness beyond 1,000 nits. That brightness comes in handy for things other than HDR: Samsung says the new set has been designed for viewing in both bright and dark environments, as consumer studies have indicated that most people watch their stories with the lights on or in broad daylight.
And whether it’s powered on or off, it looks beautiful. The clean, curvy lines and metallic stand are similar to last year’s great-looking JS9500 SUHD set, but there are a couple of things missing. One, the bezel: The new set’s screen appears to just float in midair above the stand. And two, the screws: Samsung says it concentrated on giving the JS9500 a unibody look, and it designed the set to look smooth from all angles.
But the KS9500 is also a smart-home hub, designed to work with SmartThings-compatible components. During a demo, Samsung showed how the set could be used to set up and control lighting schemes and be used as a big-screen baby monitor. It’s not just a fancy way to turn off a light or see who’s at the door from your couch, as you can group several IoT devices together and create “mood” schemes with one click.
Samsung also announced a partnership with PlayStation Now and Gamefly that will bring games to the KS9500 without having to buy a console. Some slick conveniences are built into the set, too, such as the ability for it to recognize connected components and let you control them all with the included remote without having to configure anything.
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