Samsung are a company that know how to jam. From phones, tablets, smartwear, dishwashers, tablets to, heck, you name it, if it has a power button then there’s a chance that these guys had something to do with it. As a major part of their extensive tech portfolio it’s no secret that they’ve long been instrumental not just in manufacturing high quality televisions, but in developing the latest and greatest technology that improves the viewing experience time and time again.
Today we’re looking at their newest Series 9 range of high definition LED LCD TVs. It’s common knowledge that the best way to check out a product properly is a truly immersive experience, so we holed up at QT Hotel for a night with a stack of Blu Rays, a KS9500 telly, Samsung’s UBD K8500 Blu Ray player, ordered room service and locked the doors.
The first thing to note is how bloody handsome this TV is. Before it’s even powered up, the gentle curve of the screen, thin border and sleek metal stand are all key ingredients in Samsung’s recipe for style, with a firm belief that a television should look just as good when it’s switched off as when it’s showing your favourite film. Once it’s going, the amount of technology developed for these models really shows through, but I’ll get to that in a second.
The One Remote is a comfortable little handle that fits snugly in your palm and eschews the dozens of buttons of the tv remote from days of yore and offers just a few options with a menu button and arrows, as well as programmable voice controls. It takes some getting used to (this reviewer seldom refers to an instruction manual so I am partly to blame for my mild initial frustrations) but once you’ve figured it out, your reward is an easy tour of Smart Hub, Samsung’s smart tv interface, which is probably the easiest to use (and most attractively organised) out there. One of the great features of this TV is its ability to recognise what your inputs are, so an Xbox plugged in to an HDMI socket actually displays in your option as an Xbox, not as HDMI1 or such, making multiple gaming platforms and media inputs a cinch to manage all at once.
It also pairs easily with any smartphone or computer for screen mirroring, so you can use the display to your advantage beyond just high res film and television. Once you have set up your favourite inputs, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the image quality of the quantum dot display technology. And what a display it is. The initial reaction to sliding in a 4K HD Blu Ray disc is that this. Is. Legit. There’s no lag, the literal over-a-billion colours are sharp and vibrant, the lines are distinct and subtle and the blacks are actually black. The screen has been designed to absorb light and the curvature helps this even more, so even in a bright room during daylight it’s a treat of a cinematic experience.
With 4K HDR still a technological seedling in Oz, this TV is definitely getting ahead of our own providers of streaming services, with Netflix and Stan only offering a few options (so far) that can really do a telly this good justice (also assuming your internet can actually handle it). But that will soon change, with Ultra HD Blu Ray coming to our shores shortly, streaming services will have to come to the party, and while most offerings are currently broadcast in 1080p, the KS9500 renders the image sharper and upscales it anyway, so it’s a win-win for your viewing pleasure.
Starting at $4299 AUD for the 55” and moving up to $12 999 AUD for the 78”, you might not be getting one for every room, but you don’t need to; this is as much a statement of style in a communal living area as it is an advanced piece of technology. Advanced technology that is as current as anything else on the market, but with the addition of Samsung’s unique sprinkling of style, and style never goes out of fashion.