Big-screen televisions have advanced dramatically in recent years, with sets growing to sizes that few of us would have considered possible (or at least affordable) just a decade ago, and a swathe of smart features now integrated in even the lowest-priced options.
And whereas it used to be relatively simple to figure out the hierarchy between different TV technologies, in 2021 there’s an ever-increasing number of competing panel types vying for your viewing pleasure – each one with its own distinct pros and cons that often mean strength in one area comes at a cost in another.
For example, some TV technologies deliver unrivalled black levels at the expense of brightness, while others are able to produce stunningly vibrant images by compromising contrast, forcing viewers into a difficult buying decision that requires a trade-off.
And then there are the less-visible features that must be considered. A television’s picture quality might look great in the store, but it may be lacking the next-gen functionality that will ensure your purchase is future-proofed for years to come.
It’s with all that in mind that Samsung has introduced its new Neo QLED TVs – a range of sets which take advantage of the latest television technologies, including Mini LED and HDMI 2.1, to deliver an astonishing and completely uncompromised viewing experience.
Here’s what you need to know about Samsung’s Neo QLED technology, and how it takes TV viewing to the next level – regardless of what you’re watching.
How Mini LED differs from other TV technologies
Mini LED is a new TV backlight system that’s able to produce impressive backlighting accuracy, flexibility and brightness. This, combined with Samsung’s Quantum Matrix Technology, empowers Neo QLED televisions to deliver exceptional blacks and excellent contrast – all while retaining the incredible brightness and colour vibrance that many competing technologies struggle to achieve.
When comparing Mini LED to OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology, the latter differs in that it isn’t backlit in a traditional sense, instead opting to use self-lighting pixels. While this allows OLED to light images at an individual pixel-level in order to achieve excellent contrast, it often comes at a cost to peak brightness.
Mini LEDs aren’t quite tiny enough to light individual pixels, but they’re orders of magnitude smaller than some other backlight LEDs that have lit all LCD-based smart TVs in recent years. In Samsung’s Neo QLED sets, each individual Mini LED diode is roughly 1/40th the size of a standard Samsung LED.
Because of their minuscule size (around 0.2mm each), Samsung has been able to fit thousands of Mini LEDs behind Neo QLED screens rather than just hundreds, resulting in a greater number of dimming zones that are able to brighten targeted areas of the display with extraordinary accuracy – that essentially allows for the near-elimination of issues such as light bleed and blooming, granting Neo QLED TVs the ability to achieve near-OLED contrast levels and shadow detail without sacrificing brightness.
How Mini LED and Neo QLED makes video look even better
Whether you’re watching sports, catching up on the latest movies, or binge-watching television shows, Samsung’s Neo QLED range sets out to improve your viewing experience in every way.
Samsung’s top Neo QLED models are powered by the company’s own Neo Quantum Processor 8K technology, which uses AI and deep learning to optimise and upscale video on a frame-by-frame basis¹. That means your shows, movies and sporting events will always look as good as they possibly can – even if they’re coming from a lower resolution source.
This is particularly important as screens get bigger, making the rougher qualities of lower definition content even more pronounced. Thankfully, the AI upscaling tech behind Samsung’s big-screen Neo QLED TVs does a fantastic job of cleaning up older and lower-resolution content.
This, combined with Mini LED technology, ensures you’ll literally be able to see more of your chosen content, thanks to the inclusion of incredibly small light emitting diodes which provide incredible detail and contrast, allowing you a chance to spot what’s lurking in the shadows on your screen.
Neo QLED televisions also boast a 200Hz motion rate, giving you impressive motion and smoothness – a feature that reduces distracting judder in order to make the viewing of TV sporting events, in particular, as close to being there as possible.
Neo QLED tech takes gaming to the next level
Video games have become a major driving force in pushing TV tech to new heights, with next-gen consoles such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X taking advantage of the latest HDMI 2.1 specification to bring fast frame rates at high resolutions.
Thanks to HDMI 2.1’s ultra-high data transfer rate, gaming consoles can now deliver up to120 frames per second (fps) gameplay at 4K resolution, along with the technical capacity to achieve 8K/60fps gameplay from a PC... should your gaming rig be up to the challenge, of course!
True HDMI 2.1 functionality is built into every one of Samsung’s new Neo QLED TVs, granting gamers access to cutting edge features such as variable refresh rate (VRR) functionality and auto low-latency mode (ALLM) – both of which are found in a dedicated Game Mode, complete with an all-new Game Bar which offers quick access to your fps and input lag information, along with the ability to tweak settings like screen position, game-specific HDR and motion settings, the level of detail visible in black areas of the display, and more.
Samsung’s 2021 TVs improve audio performance
HDMI 2.1 not only brings incredible visuals – it also brings eARC (enhanced audio return channel) support, which allows for the transfer of uncompressed, full-resolution audio in high-end formats such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X to supported soundbars and receivers.
And, just like with standard ARC functionality, it also allows users to output all connected audio sources through a single cable, meaning less fumbling around with a remote.
Additionally, the Neo QLED range’s audio systems have also been significantly enhanced, offering the most immersive audio of any Samsung television to date, with the company’s Object Tracking Sound technology coming together with high-quality directional speakers to provide a realistic surround sound effect². There’s also an optional Active Voice Amplification mode, which will ensure that the dialogue of a scene is never overpowered by any ambient noise in the space around the TV.
Smart functionality and design that fits your lifestyle
For many Australians, it’s important that any new television fits seamlessly into the home environment – both in terms of aesthetic and functionality. Samsung knows this all too well, which is why its new 2021 Neo QLED models combine incredible thinness and tiny bezels (particularly in its top-end 8K QN900A model, which sports a near bezel-less design) to create the perfect choice for any living room.
And, with built-in Bixby voice control, along with complete smart connectivity support that covers Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple AirPlay 2, Samsung’s Neo QLED TVs will also slip harmoniously into any smart home ecosystem and play nice with your other compatible smart devices.³
To find out more about Samsung’s 2021 Neo QLED range, click here (opens in new tab).
¹ Availability of 8K content is limited. Picture quality of upscaled content will vary depending on quality and resolution of source content.
² The quality of sound effects may vary depending on the source content, installation and environmental characteristics (e.g. ceiling).
³ Voice commands recognise English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese and Korean. Not all accents, Dialects and expressions recognized. Supported languages may differ between Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant. Amazon, Alexa and related logos are trade marks of Amazon.com inc or its affiliates.