Samsung Launches 2021 TV Range and The Premiere in Singapore
Having recently been declared the world's number one TV brand for a 15th consecutive year, Samsung shows no sign of relinquishing that title in 2021. On the contrary.
As StereoNET Asia staff discovered when we attended last week's unveiling event in Singapore, the size and variety of Samsung's upcoming AV range looks set to consolidate its domination of the TV world. And if Samsung has anything to say about it, it will potentially take a leading role in the projection world, too, with its first projectors for more than a decade.
It was actually these new 'The Premiere' projectors that stole the show at the Singapore media event. Two models will be available, the entry-level SP-LSP7T (S$6,999) and the flagship SP-LSP9T (S$12,999).
Both of these new models are ultra-short throw projectors, meaning you can place them conveniently right up against your wall, and both carry built-in speaker systems to bolster their potential as realistic big-screen replacements for a regular TV.
The LSP7T uses a single laser light source with a colour wheel and claims to deliver 83% of the DCI-P3 digital cinema colour range, 2,200 lumens of brightness, and images up to 120-inches in size. The LSP9T, remarkably for its price, uses a triple laser system, where each of the RGB elements of the picture gets its own independent laser, and boasts a remarkable 147% of DCI-P3 coverage (as well as 106% of the 'full' BT2020 HDR colour gamut), 2800 lumens of brightness, and an image up to 130 inches across.
The Singapore event showed in no uncertain terms just how impressive both projectors are at delivering a TV-like experience in a bright room, as well as how striking a proper home cinema performance they can deliver when you decide to dim the lights. Especially in the case of the LSP9T, which does more justice to the colour range of bright HDR content than any projector before. StereoNET has just completed a thorough review of the LSP9T, which will be published soon.
Our understanding from Samsung is that from now till 14th April 2021, customers who purchase The Premiere can get a free motorized projector screen worth S$1,198, and this launch promotion is exclusive via their partner; AV Intelligence at Millenia Walk.
On the TV front, the Singapore event's focus was Samsung's new Neo QLED 8K models. And it's fair to say they didn't disappoint. From a sheer aesthetic perspective, for starters, they looked incredible. The Infinity design of the flagship QN900A 8K range, in particular, means there's pretty much zero frame around the screen, making it feel as if you're watching pictures materialising out of thin air.
This 'pictures from nowhere' effect was made all the more eye-catching at the event by the QN900A's immense brightness and colour richness. Powered by Samsung's new Mini LED technology, where nearly 2,000 separately controlled zones of microscopic LED light sources deliver unprecedented (for LCD) levels of local contrast, the QN900As are able to combine brightness levels of well over 2000 nits with the inkiest, deepest black colours the LCD TV world has ever seen. All without, so far as we could tell under the Event lights, really any of the backlight halos or clouding problems we'd normally expect to see with LCD TVs that use local dimming backlight systems.
With native 8K content currently in extremely short supply, Samsung was keen to point out that its new QN900A (which start at S$13,499 for the 65-inch model) and QN800A (from S$9,199) 8K Neo QLED models use a new AI-based upscaling system that draws on the learning of 16 neural networks, rather than the single neural network used for 2020's 8K models. This should result in much more precise, detailed and noiseless upscaled 4K and even HD pictures than we've seen with any previous 8K TV - and demos at the Singapore event certainly suggested that this is the case.
While the QN900A range's design caught our eye at the event because you could barely see it (apart from the massive screens!), Samsung's latest The Frame TVs stood out for the exact opposite reason. With these models, the frame around the screen is made explicitly to be seen, the idea being to make the TV look more like a painting. You can even choose to have the TV play a digital version of famous artworks on the screen when you're not actually watching TV on it.
The 2021 version of The Frame features a slimmer rear, making it even better suited to hanging on a wall than its predecessors, as well as an expanded range of original artwork for you to choose from as your 'screen saver'. There's even a new AI-powered auto-curation system, where the TV can choose artworks it thinks you'll like based on an assessment of your previous selections.
The latest Frame range will be available in five sizes, from a S$1,999 43-inch model up to a S$6,699 75 inch set.
The rest of Samsung's 2021 TV range as confirmed at the Singapore event will include QN90A and QN85A 4K Neo QLED (Mini LED) models, Q60A and Q80A QLED 4K models, and the AU8000 Crystal UHD TVs. These latter models don't use QLED technology but still offer a better colour performance than the entry-level AU7000 series.
Samsung also ran demos of its new range of soundbars for 2021. Its previous soundbar ranges have set new standards for power and channel support, and this trend is set to continue thanks to the flagship HW-Q950A. Remarkably, this model provides an 11.1.4-channel speaker configuration - more than any other soundbar to date. This includes two sides, front left, front right, centre and two up-firing height channels in the main soundbar, plus an external subwoofer and rear speakers that contain up-firing and side-firing as well as forward-firing drivers.
As you would expect from such an extensive configuration, the Q950A will play back both the Dolby Atmos and DTS:X sound systems.
Samsung has also introduced a new Adaptive Sound + feature for its high-end soundbars for 2021, which works in conjunction with Samsung QLED TVs to optimise the sound performance based on the audio characteristics of your room.
While the S$1,999 Q950A sounded predictably spectacular with its fully immersive speaker package, Samsung's cheaper new soundbar models also all deliver clear upgrades on their 2020 predecessors. The Q900A still offers the same 7.1.2-channel speaker count that 2020's Q900T did, but from a smaller main speaker and with the new Adaptive Sound+ feature on hand to improve the way it adapts to your specific room.
The Q800A joins the previous Q800T in offering a 3.1.2-channel configuration from just a soundbar/subwoofer duo, with no rears. However, as well as adding Adaptive Sound+ support, the Q800A can now also be partnered with new optional extra rear speakers that include up- and forward-firing drivers.
The Q700A also joins the equivalent Q70T predecessor in supporting 3.1.2-channel, but again from a more compact package and again with the option of adding the new 2.0.2 rear speakers.
The Q600A delivers 3.1.2 channels compared with the Q60T's 5.1-channel configuration. And wrapping Samsung's AV range up are new mid-range A650, A550 and A450 models follow the 3.1, 2.1 and 2.1-channel configurations respectively of their T650, T550 and T450 predecessors, but up the power from 340W/320W/200W to 430W/410W/300W.
Look out for more reviews of Samsung's 2021 product line on StereoNET in the coming weeks.
Known as the tech geek among his peers, Eugene’s passion for audio started when he bought his first Sony Discman and there was no turning back from that point. Based in Singapore, Eugene is Editor and Regional Manager for StereoNET Asia.
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