The new Quantum Dot/QLED TVs from Samsung are expected to be a new and highly advanced generation of high dynamic range 4K models which will reportedly supersede the capabilities of Samsung’s already stunning 2016 SUHD HDR TVs by a whopping 50%. More importantly, the new televisions are reportedly going to solve many of the issues that have traditionally plagued LCD 4K display when it comes to color, viewing angles and most importantly, black levels, which have always been a weak spot in the LCD display landscape when compared to the blacks delivered by OLED TVs.
In terms of peak brightness, Samsung is reportedly claiming a new “HDR 1500” standard for their new 2017 SUHD TV replacements and this alone gives us plenty of reason to be excited due to the HDR display potential it offers. The 2016 SUHD TV lineup of models like the flagship KS9800 and the remarkably identical KS9500, KS9000, KS8000 and KS8500 all promised what Samsung called “HDR 1000” display brightness technology, referring to these TVs’ ability to put out 1000 cd/m2 of peak brightness and in all fairness, Samsung more than delivered on this promise for the 2016 models. They not only managed 1000 nits, but actually even surpassed it, with every single one of the KS-Series SUHD TVs being capable of reaching as high as 1400+ nits of peak brightness in sections of their display. This made them some of the very brightess HDR LCD TVs of 2016 and it greatly contributed to their overall ability to deliver a stunning HDR picture quality for high dynamic range content.
Thus, if HDR 1500 is just the promised specs of the 2017 Quantum Dot TVs, we hope to see these new models over-deliver just like their 2016 cousins did.
Additionally, the expectation is high that the QLED TVs offer even further wide color gamut coverage enhancements thanks to their more refined quantum dot display technology and other factors and even if they can’t deliver deeper blacks than their 2016 SUHD cousins, superior brightness and color performance will definitely go a long way towards creating perception of rich black levels. One other thing we’d also love to see in the new Samsung premium TVs is full-array LED backlighting across the board. In both their 2015 and 2016 SUHD TVs, Samsung installed full-array LED backlighting in only the priciest flagship models, opting for edge-lit displays in the rest of each year’s SUHD TVs. With Full-array backlighting, a 4K TV can deliver a much stronger level of local dimming for onscreen content and as a result also offers superior picture quality and black level performance.
Our first indications of a new and dramatically improved line of 2017 flagship TVs from Samsung came from the Korean website ETNews, which reported that Samsung Electronics had applied for several trademarks whose names are distinctly revealing to say the least. These consist of the aforementioned “HDR 1500”, “Q HDR” and “Real Black”.
The specific technical details of what these names mean are still open to interpretation but with HDR 1500 we can assume a bigger, literally brighter version of HDR 1000, which is already well-known.
And as for the Q HDR, it obviously refers to the use of quantum dot technology in a more involved and refined way as a means of delivering HDR color gamut in the new TVs. “Real Black” is pretty self-explanatory in what it covers but we are curious about how the technology behind the name will actually affect real, extremely accurate and practical black levels in these new 2017 LCD TVs. The wording of “Real Black” suggests the ability to deliver genuine perfect blacks of the kind found in OLED 4K TVs but we’ll see if Samsung can actually deliver such a thing with LCD display technology regardless of the technical wizardry it uses. Currently, even the very best LCD TV displays with full multi-zone local dimming can manage black levels of about 0.015 cd/m2 or slightly deeper but this still doesn’t compare to the outstanding genuinely real black levels managed by OLED display, which sit at 0.0005 nits or even lower (almost unmeasurable and imperceptible brightness for the human eye).
The reporting from ETNews also claims performance boosts of as much as 50% in the Quantum Dot TVs over their 2016 SUHD cousins. This is a major improvement claim indeed and we suspect that it’s mostly based on the peak brightness these new TVs are expected to have.