Tomorrow's TVs will be bigger, brighter, and bendy-er?
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At the International CES, there are typically a lot of TVs, and Samsung's booth is no different. All of the company's big new releases were there: UHD TVs, LED TVs, and the recently-announced 105-inch Curved UHD TV and 85-inch Bendable UHD TV. There were some other curveballs, though.
While checking out every crevice of Samsung's booth, we found some incredibly compelling concepts: 8K resolution, bendable OLED TVs, UHD OLED TVs, and glasses-free 3D technology. This is a glimpse of what the future of displays might be, and one thing is certain: we're excited.
4K, UHD, 4K UHD—that's all we seem to hear at CES. Then Samsung came along and one-upped the whole concept of 4K by showing off its 98-inch 8K TV (dubbed QUHD), and it is glorious. Put aside the fact that we don't even have enough 4K content and have barely scratched the surface of that technology: The footage that Samsung showed on its 8K TV was absolutely stunning.
This behemoth of a TV showed a clip of people shopping on multiple levels of a mall. I was able to see minute details like clothes stacked up in the back of certain stores and individual bricks in the wall. The downside of this technology: 1080p TV now looks blurry by comparison. If that doesn't proove higher resolutions are the future, then I don't know what is.
What's that, you say? LG has one of these flexible TVs too, but in a 77-inch? You're absolutely right, but that doesn't make it any less impressive. We already saw Samsung's Bendable UHD TV, but that uses LED-backlighting technology. Its smaller (55-inch) Bendable OLED displays were actually more impressive, simply because of the compact form-factor.
When we first saw Samsung's Bendable UHD TV, it was hard to tell whether it was flat or curved because of its size. With the 55-inch Bendable OLED TV, though, I watched as the prototype unit curved outwards and then back in... many times. What does this tech actually bring to the table, though? The gift of choice: You choose whether you want to enjoy your content flat or with a slight bend. It doesn't hurt that OLED technology is awesome, either.
One of our favorite TVs from the show was LG's curved UHD OLED display, which is a masterful combination of the two biggest technologies in the market. Not to be outdone, Samsung showed its own technology combination at its CES booth. Where LG's was a 77-inch giant, Samsung showed a smaller TV—possibly 55-inch, although no size was given.
Samsung, while clearly capable of making this kind of super TV, has no plans of releasing it yet. We're optimistic though.
We've seen glasses-free 3D tech from plenty of TV companies in the past, and we always walk away thinking "what a gimmick." I won't beat around the bush: It's no different with Samsung. You always need to hunt for the sweet spot where images actually seem to jump out of the screen, and if you're not there, the effect looks terrible.
To Samsung's credit, the 3D effect was pretty good (although not perfect) when it worked properly. One of the biggest hangups with 3D technology in general is that no one wants to wear goofy glasses while watching a movie. Maybe this tech will never see the light of day, but then again, there's also the possibility we'll be enjoying jaw-dropping glasses-free 3D in 10-15 years. Fingers crossed.