Samsung at CES 2017: 5 key highlights

It’s been a tough year for Samsung, what with its exploding Galaxy Note 7, as the brand was only too keen to admit at the start of its CES 2017 press conference (touché). But the proceeding tone was, rightfully, very much one of ‘onwards and upwards’, and as usual the Korean tech giant had plenty of new products to present, from flagship tellies to robot vacuums.

Among the chatter of Samsung’s purchase of Harman and its implications for car innovation, and the development of IoT (Internet of Things) products and virtual reality, there was plenty to say about various new AV goods. And four letters in particular stuck out…

1) QLED is king

The three Samsung flagship QLED TV ranges sit at the heart of the brand’s CES 2017 AV campaign. Claiming to be a more advanced version of the quantum dot technology used in Samsung’s SUHD models, QLED promises to deliver better colours, higher contrast and improved viewing angles. We’ll soon see…

For now, only two flat (the Q7 and Q9) TVs and a curved Q8 model have been announced, but as shipping is due to start in February we expect more news on screen sizes and prices soon.

The trend to only announce premium models at the press conferences continued here, so there was no word on the rest of Samsung’s 2017 TV line-up. All that was confirmed was that every 2017 set will be a Smart TV – we should hope so too!

MORE: What is QLED TV? How the next TV tech compares to OLED

2) 'Q Style' design

Samsung hasn’t just shouted about the picture quality of its QLED TVs, mind you. Designed to look as beautiful off as they do when turned on, they feature slim physiques (albeit not quite the to the extent of LG’s recently unveiled Signature OLED W TV), barely-there bezels and a choice of two stands: a rotatable Gravity stand, and the easel-inspired Studio stand.

In order to make wall-mounting a less daunting prospect, Samsung also has a new no-gap wall mount bracket designed to be easy to install in just a ‘few steps’.

And lastly, in an effort to keep cables out of sight, Samsung will be using just one thin, transparent optical cable to connect its TVs to the separate One Connect box, which houses all the connections.

3) Mystery 'Lifestyle' TV

The conference also offered a sneak preview of a telly that Samsung said “will transcend the definition of an electronic device and become a true lifestyle product”.

Other than a picture of the ‘Lifestyle’ TV (pictured above), which essentially looks like a photo frame in disguise, confirmation that it will come in 45inch and 65inch sizes with a selection of interchangeable frames, and a brief mention of it winning a CES 2017 Best of Innovation Award, not a lot more detail was given. Consider us thoroughly intrigued…

MORE: CES 2017: Samsung takes aim at OLED with three QLED TV ranges

4) Delivering a 'unified experience'

Samsung’s words, not ours. The brand seems to be on a mission to connect everything to everything – even smartphones to fridges. In the AV fold, the new smart remote that will be bundled with select 2017 tellies has been designed to also control ‘most’ sources that can connect to the TV.

To make smartphone TV control appealing – and yes, to keep you connected – its new Smart View app (for iOS and Android) has been designed as an extension of the Samsung TVs' Tizen-powered interface, for a more seamless control experience.

5) A ‘one-stop service' for 4K and HDR content

The QLED TVs and the UBD-M9500, Samsung's recently-unveiled sophomore Ultra HD Blu-ray player, isn’t where the brand’s support of 4K and HDR ends.

With Amazon, Netflix, YouTube and Ultra HD Blu-rays supplying high quality content in increasing quantities, Samsung has decided to do us all a favour by launching a ‘one-stop service' for searching, buying and watching 4K and HDR content from multiple sources on one platform. TV Plus is only available in the US at the moment, but the idea is that it will eventually be rolled out to other countries. Interesting.

MORE: Samsung unveils UBD-M9500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player

MORE: CES 2017: news, highlights, best new products

Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.