Samsung TVs in 2022: Innovations for QLED and microLED – With the introduction of Neo QLED, Samsung focused strongly on miniLED in 2021. What innovations can we expect in 2022? Is it about updates to existing technology or are there really new things?
Screens have become very important since the pandemic. Samsung is certainly not the only manufacturer that has seen the TV as the center of the living room for several years, but admittedly, the importance has increased significantly in recent years. Samsung sees the TV not only as our source of entertainment, but also as a tool to work on, to work out and to stay in touch with friends and family. Samsung wants to continue in that direction, so the tagline is ‘power the next normal’. Not entirely surprising are the most important requirements a consumer places on the TV: image quality, screen size, and sound quality.
Samsung TVs in 2022 New screen technology?
Rumors abounded in December: Samsung would also QD-OLED start using imaging technology. Unfortunately, in this briefing, which we received in mid-December 2021, nothing was said about this. Is Samsung still holding back a big reveal, or has it decided not to use the technology after all? The coming days/weeks will show that.
Neo QLED image enhancements
The miniLED backlighting that Samsung introduced last year under the name Neo QLED received a number of improvements.
For starters, it is now possible to control the brightness of the LEDs with 14 bits of accuracy, compared to 12 bits last year. More nuances and finer control over the light output. But that’s not all, Samsung is now also introducing ‘Shape Adaptive Light Technology’. Specifically, it can now adjust the shape of the LED’s light beam. A wider beam in bright objects or a narrower beam in dark ones. It does this on the basis of AI analysis of the image, and in real-time. For example, less ‘blooming’ should be visible.
The Neo Quantum processor also got some new features. Because people almost always focus on a certain part of the image and sharpness is important there, Samsung has now expanded the processor with ‘AI Object Depth Enhancer’. It imitates the effect of the human eye and recognizes objects and people in the image. It can distinguish foreground from background and use that knowledge to give images extra depth. That sounds remarkably similar to what Sony introduced in 2021 with their Cognitive Processor.
Because there are now enough studies that show that bright (and especially cool) light just before going to bed disrupts your sleep, Samsung has now also introduced ‘Intelligent Comfort mode’. It seems to us that it does exactly what your smartphone or Windows computer can do. It adjusts the brightness and color temperature based on the time of day (for example, it takes sunrise and sunset into account) and the ambient light. In the evening the color temperature becomes a bit warmer and darker so as not to disturb your sleep.
Calibration would also be within reach for more people. From the Q60B series and above, it becomes possible to calibrate the TV using an app in 30 seconds (basic calibration) or 10 minutes (for a full professional calibration), at least if you have an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
For gamers we spotted a detail, the new Neo QLED models would support 4K at 144Hz for an even sharper gaming experience. And the Game Bar got a redesign with new features.
Neo QLED sound
The flagship, the QN900B, gets a few extra speakers, which are specifically aimed upwards. This means that the TV can already boast a 90 Watt 6.2.4-channel audio system.
OTS (Object Tracking Sound) is getting a very clever extension: ‘Human Tracking Sound’. The processor uses facial recognition to determine where the actors are in the image. Together with the information from the soundtrack and the extensive speaker system, it allows the TV to accurately place the voice in the picture. This feature will be available from the Q70B.
If you have a Samsung Soundbar and a 2021 TV, the speakers of the soundbar will work together with part of the TV speakers, namely only the top ones, thanks to Q-Sympony. Q-Symphony will be expanded on the 2022 models so that the soundbar works with all TV speakers.
And lo and behold, the 2022 Samsung Neo QLED TVs will also support Dolby Atmos. That is an important step for Samsung. Unfortunately, Dolby Vision remains absent.
A new Smart Hub
The 2022 models will get a new Smart Hub interface. Done with that bar at the bottom of the screen, the new interface is full screen. Not our favorite pick, but it’s clear that the trend is heading in that direction, LG already hit that path last year. When you zap away from live TV to the Home screen, you can continue watching in a smaller window while looking for something new, or zap back to what you were watching.
Above all, the new Smart Hub should make it easier to navigate our increasingly extensive range of streaming services. Discovering new content should become much easier. Of course, that means Samsung uses your viewing history, both from live TV and streaming services, to make better recommendations. Selecting content would then be possible directly from the Home screen. Practice will show how well this works. We asked Samsung to what extent this feature will also work for Belgium and the Netherlands. They confirmed that services such as Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video have been offered. It will be a while for local partners and live TV: “We are also in talks with local content partners and Korea to be able to apply these features to relevant local players. Live TV is not (yet) included for the Benelux because Universal Guide is not yet supported as a feature.”
On the left of the Home Screen, there is a Side Bar with three categories: media, ambient and games. In the media environment, you’ll see content from streaming services and live TV to continue watching what you’re already watching, plus recommendations for new viewing. The game environment takes you to games from your console or streaming service (the Google Stadia icon was visible in the presentation). Again, you get recommendations based on what you’ve played. The Ambient environment is there for when you don’t watch TV.
Finally, there will also be a new feature, ‘Watch together’. You can sync what you’re watching with other viewers, and video chat on the screen at the same time. Enjoying a movie or watching football together, it is also possible from a distance. It is not yet known with which sources this will be possible.
Samsung introduced last year Micro LED TVs for the consumer. Well, not for the average consumer. There is a 99” and 110” available for 129,999 euros and 149,999 euros respectively.
They deliver 2,000 nits, perfect contrast, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, and 20 bit processing. The TVs are modular, so you can also create custom screen ratios and other screen sizes. Thanks to the Monolith design, the TVs have a barely visible edge. Features include Art Mode, Dolby Atmos, and Multi View with four sources (even four HDMI inputs simultaneously).
In 2022 there will also be an 89-inch model, the price is not yet known.
The Lifestyle models
Both The Frame, The Serif and The Sero will receive a new screen with anti-reflection film and a matte display film. Such a matte film has a light surface texture that diffuses incident light. This way you have even less problems with reflections and fingerprints also remain virtually invisible. The screen then has more the appearance of paper, and that is a nice plus for these lifestyle models that rely heavily on the Ambient function. These screens will also receive the Intelligent Comfort Mode.
As soon as Samsung announces the full line-up for 2022, we will publish an overview of all models, including model numbers, specifications and prices.