This time last week I was sitting in a plane on my way to Sydney for the launch of Samsung’s new SUHD tv’s. It was the first time, in the close to 10 years of running Throng, that we’ve done a junket. Travelling with and getting to spend more time with a small group of other members of the media was so much better than the usually brief exchanges you’d have at any of the other TV related events we regularly attend. There really is something about travelling that’s great for camaraderie.
The thing for me was that while we were there to be sold the wonders of the new Samsung AV gear, the conversations around television were awesome. So often I come across people who work in Television who either don’t care, don’t watch or are simply ill-informed about what’s going on. To be perfectly honest, the entire trip was quite refreshing.
On arriving, we bused into our hotel in the city before we had some free time. I caught up on the Campbell Live and X Factor ratings and then we headed off for an extended lunch. A picture says a thousands words so:
After lunch I headed back to the hotel and caught up with Kristian, who you may recall won an MTV VJ role last year.
And then it was on to the blue carpet event in Darling Harbour.
After a few speeches from the various Samsung execs, it was time to unveil the new TVs and get a close up look at the new technology through a number of different presentation rooms that had been set up.
As you’d expect with a Samsung product, it’s pretty visually stunning.
The second room included a bit of background on the technology.
The third room was an introduction for me to Samsung’s audio products. If you ever get to do an audio demo where a room has been tuned you can hear what wonderful audio is supposed to sound like. Unfortunately, most homes aren’t just boxes with a TV and speakers but if you have an entertainment room in your house, then setting it up properly is definitely worth while. The speaker is the rugby ball shaped object hanging from the ceiling.
The final room included some colour and brightness comparison testing between the previous UHD models and the new SUHD’s. To provide a bit of fun, there were buckets of balloons filled with paint and a wall which guests were invited to “leave their mark on” by biffing the balloons at. It was a bit of fun, particular for the guy who clearly needed to let off some steam with numerous quick fire, high velocity throws.
There were definitely observational differences in the boldness of the colours between the UHD and SUHD models which I find quite amazing considering how good the previous models were. That developers can still manage to make progress that is noticeable is quite incredible when you think each previous television has been a marked improvement on its predecessors.
While the imagery is stunning, the problem that we have in is the lack of available content. Services like Netflix offer 4K content but to access it, you’ll need to be on fibre.
One can only hope that the <em>build it and they will come</em> approach is the incentive to broadcasters and content producers to create content in SUHD.
As a smart TV, being connected to the internet brings a host of other content options to the fore and if the various on demand services providers can follow Netflix’ lead and deliver 4K content over IP then owners of these TV’s will be very happy indeed.
I’m hoping to get my hands on one of these once they launch next month so I can review it in the wild. Until then, I’ve seen a number of retailers running sales in the lead up to the new product arriving so if you’re looking for a bargain, now is a good time to look.
Thanks to the team at Samsung for their wonderful hospitality and excellent conversation.