Samsung Electronics Tuesday staged a formal virtual “Unbox & Discover” event from its global web site in support of its 2021 video display lineup encompassing new Micro LED TVs, Samsung Neo QLED TVs, Lifestyle Series TVs, gaming monitors, and soundbars.

Although many of the models and technologies were previously announced at Virtual CES 2021 in January, the company’s event held a few surprises including a planned 76-inch screen size for Samsung’s flagship Micro-LED display tech, a 75-inch high-sunlight version of The Terrace outdoor TV and an updated and enhanced 2021 version of the Odyssey G9 gaming monitor with an ultra wide curved screen for more immersive 4K/HDR gaming action.

James Fishler, Samsung Electronics America home entertainment senior VP, re-emphasized that “the role of the TV in our lives has grown—and in 2021, Samsung continues to redefine the role of TV around the needs and passions of consumers.”

This year’s displays have been optimized to go beyond their baseline functions to serve as conference rooms and fitness hubs, he said, adding that in light of the pandemic “people are re-examining the role that their TV plays in their lives.”

The company announced recent market research showing Samsung was the No. 1 TV manufacturer in the world for a 15th consecutive year in 2020.

In 2021 Samsung is emphasizing the more traditional TV form factor it is employing to sell its Micro LED display technology as a one-piece out-of-the box solution, instead of simply a collection of modular panels that need custom installation. The company previously announced the Micro LED lineup now includes, a 110-inch, 99-inch and 88-inch screen sizes. It also said a 76-inch screen-size Micro LED display “is on the future roadmap” for introduction, possibly this summer.

The large wall-like screens enable being used to display up to four picture sources on one screen simultaneously, through a “4Vue (Quad View)” feature. Pricing was not discussed for the 76-inch model, but Fishler referred to the technology as still being “aspirational”.

For more affordable options, Samsung again discussed its new lineup of Neo QLED Mini-LED LCD TVs in both 8K and 4K resolution levels. These model series all offer specially developed Neo Quantum Processors, and new “Quantum Mini LEDs” that are 1/40th the size of conventional LEDs, and allow fitting more individual points of backlighting behind pixels for greater control over brightness, black reproduction and shadow detail.

The advanced processing also improves upscaling for sharper images while displaying lower-resolution sources on the 4K and 8K pixel resolution screens.

Samsung Neo QLED also pack in a host of advanced gaming features, and as such, announced it is again teaming up with Microsoft as “the Official TV Partner of Xbox Series X in the United States and Canada.”

“With Xbox and Samsung renewing their multi-year agreement this year, the two companies will continue working together to offer an unbeatable gaming experience,” Samsung announced.

Samsung pointed out that its Neo QLED and QLED TVs have capabilities that make them excellent displays for next-gen gaming using the new Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. Samsung’s attention to shadow detail this year “allows the Neo QLED and QLED models to show details with incredible 4K clarity, up to 120 frames per second of smooth action images and response times as low as 5.8ms,” the company said.

This year, Samsung has expanded its partnership with AMD to offer the first consumers supporting the new FreeSync Premium Pro system for both PC and console games that play games in high dynamic range (HDR) without frame tearing or stuttering.

Samsung’s QLED models also feature a new Game Bar that helps players quickly monitor critical aspects of play to make changes on the fly for competitive advantage. This includes Samsung’s Super Ultrawide Gameview, which brings ultra-wide aspect ratios—traditionally only available on gaming monitors—to the TV.

In 2021, the Samsung Health fitness feature in Neo QLED TVs adds “a Smart Trainer” that accepts the connection of an optional camera to leverage AI technology and analyze a user’s workout posture and provide real-time feedback to help improve form and properly following along with instructional exercise videos.

In 2021, Samsung Neo QLED’s 8K models (QN800A and QN900A) will be available in 65-, 75-, and 85-inch screen sizes, while the 4K models (QN90A and QN85A series) will have a wider range of screen size options starting at 50-inches.

The popular Lifestyle TV Series lineup, is improving the design and styling of its line of “The Frame” TVs to make them look more like works of art than ever before. Samsung is using new partnerships in the Art Store with NAVA Contemporary and Etsy to offer more original artwork that can be played on screen when the TV is not showing video to present works of art that match a range of individual tastes.

This also includes AI-based auto-curation technology that recommends artwork based on previous selections. Users will have the ability to curate personal digital art collections from a growing library of over 1,400 pieces of art from world-renowned institutions.

Samsung said The Frame also features increased photo storage space this year, with 6 GBs of capacity, up from 500 MB from 2020. This is good for up to 1,200 photos and scanned paintings in 4K UHD quality.

The company said that also for 2021, are new customization options for The Frame TVs including new mounting options like the Slim Fit Wall Mount and five bezel options. The 2021 Frame design is also slimmer this year, measuring closer to the depth of an actual framed painting at 24.9mm thick.

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A new My Shelf accessory for The Frame coming later in the year will allow tailoring the look of a wall with personal touches that complement the screen and surrounding décor. The My Shelf can be attached to the 55-, 65 and 75-inch Frame sizes, and will be available choices of beige, white, brown, and black colors.

Samsung reminded that it is now offering The Premiere 4K ultra-short-throw projectors featuring a minimalist design, with rounded edges and a fabric finishes. The company announced that later this year it will be offering rollable screens optimized for the ultra-short-throw format on Samsung.com.

New for Samsung’s The Terrace weather-resistant outdoor TV series is a 75-inch “Full Sun” model, joining the previous 55- and 65-inch screen size options. The larger screen model continues to carry an IP55 rating to protect against water and dust, and also offers easy connectivity options for hard-wired and Wi-Fi network sources.

In PC monitors, Samsung announced its first “do-it-all” Smart Monitor—uniting the best of monitor and TV. Smart Monitor is compatible with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Wireless DeX, and Apple AirPlay 2, enabling working from anywhere without having to physically connect a PC. With AirPlay 2, customers can stream, control, and present content from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac directly on the monitor screen. Users can stream smart TV content apps on the display platform.

For 2021, Samsung is bringing an updated Odyssey G9 gaming monitor that integrates the company’s Quantum MiniLED display technology from the Neo QLED TVs a long with premium gaming features. The monitor offers a 1000R screen curvature for a more immersive lean-forward gaming experience.

Also announced with the new 75-inch Samsung Interactive Display FLIP digital whiteboard. This institutional display allows writing, drawing and editing directly on screen and includes connective features for hybrid working and learning. It features optimized 4K picture quality and easy-to-read visuals that permit a team of up to 20 to work simultaneously to sync personal devices for real-time content sharing, Samsung said.

The Flip is said to provide presentations as if in person. Samsung said the concept was designed to foster greater collaboration, increased productivity, and a seamless exchange of ideas. The new 75-inch display joins the 55-inch, 65-inch, and 85-inch versions of the display.

For AV sound, Samsung highlighted is 2021 Q Series soundbar lineup offering the company’s exclusive Q-Symphony technology designed to sync audio from the Samsung TV to deliver enhanced 3-dimensional sound. The soundbar can take audio readings from the room environment to auto configure sound output to the dynamics of a specific room for optimal impact.

The flagship Q950A soundbars, particular, was said to have been developed to deliver full, deep and rich immersive tonal experiences. It is positioned as the industry’s first 11.1.4 channel soundbar to engulf listeners in sonic entertainment. Features include Bass Boost that allows adding “more boom” at a click, or playing favorite music from a smart device through Tap Sound that enables tapping the device to the soundbar for instant wireless connectivity. The Samsung Q950A works with multiple voice assistants, including Amazon Alexa and Bixby for easy full control of the listening experience.

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By Greg Tarr

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