The average living room these days is usually designed around a centrepiece – the television. Most bedrooms these days also pack one too in case you want to sneak in a quick peep at Westworld or the latest K-drama streaming online before knocking off for the night. When the TV is on, it’s invariably the edifice of entertainment and attention that it is meant to be – full of sound, sight and colour – but the proverbial elephant in the room is when the TV is off.
There’s an echoing silence. All you have to keep you company is a huge, black monolithic slab straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey looming in the dark staring at you. That’s not a pretty picture if you’ve just finished a marathon sitting of The Ring horror movies. Fortunately, Samsung’s latest QLED TVs for 2018 that are slated to launch in Malaysia this month aim to address that conundrum in a suitably handy fashion.
On top of offering higher brightness, crisper detail, deeper blacks and enhanced connectivity, Samsung’s QLED TVs for 2018 directly address the empty feeling when a telly is turned off in a room by introducing a rather novel Magic mode.
Magic mode? What sorcery is this?
Rather than turning the Samsung QLED TV off, you’re able to leave it on and set it on Magic mode where you can opt for it to display one of several aesthetic backdrops that would mimic the walls of your home, effectively making it like a transparent picture frame of sorts. By default, the new QLED TVs have a preloaded range of about a dozen backgrounds that fit most homes though if your domicile is the odd one out of the lot, you can take a picture of your existing wall and pipe it to the TV to complete the effect.
If staring at a wall, literally speaking, doesn’t quite appeal, you can optionally pick a preselected scenic background such as a depiction of a mountain range or even an abstract clock built up of metallic balls that gently roll around like drops of mercury. The general effect is less trippy and more Zenlike calm, at least from the modes that were demonstrated to media at a recent Samsung technical seminar in Asia.
Other Magic modes plug in more detailed information in the background ranging from news headlines and weather updates. Optionally, you can also turn it into a personal picture gallery by uploading pictures to the TV that it’ll display much like Samsung’s earlier ‘The Frame’ tellies seen last year. You can also get it to play soft music too. According to Samsung, the TVs will also have Bixby connectivity, allowing you to control music playback via voice commands.
The good bit? Apparently Magic mode only puts a tiny dent in your monthly leccy bill. According to Samsung in a recent technical seminar, the cost of leaving a QLED TV on in Magic mode three hours a day for a month is about USD$1 which is about RM4 give or take change; half the cost of a cuppa at Starbucks. That and Samsung’s QLED panels are free from the burn-in effect with extended usage; something you’d likely notice if you’re wont to tune into to news cable channels for extended periods of time with the channel logo and ticker tape at the bottom burned into the screen in older generation panels.
Mind the (Zero) Gap
While huge, slim and flat are hardly flattering adjectives when taken together, it’s actually a good thing in regards to Samsung’s new QLED TVs for 2018. Much like Samsung’s QLED TVs released last year, the latest generation of tellies bear a similar design with almost non-existent bezels that they’ve dubbed as the Zero+Frame Edge – they’re almost all display barring an ultra-slim smidgen on the sides to hold the panel in place, are waifishly slim when viewed on the side and boast of a completely flat back panel for the flatscreen variants; curved QLED TVs are available in the line-up too.
The slim nature of the new QLED TVs makes them ideal for mounting on a wall and the TVs come with an optional no-gap wall mount that lends the whole affair an effect akin to a wall-mounted picture frame when Magic View mode is turned on, making it appear that the panel is transparent.
The key to making the TVs that slim is that they move all of their connection ports and the processor out and away from the main panel into a separate box dubbed the One Connect Box. To connect this to the display panel, the new QLED TVs have an aptly named Invisible Connection Cable that hooks up to the One Connect Box.
Unless you’re actually looking for it, the cable is nigh invisible. While 2017 variants of the QLED TV had a similar setup, this year’s models are improved in that they’ve managed to combine both the power cables and the connections all into one while also strengthening its durability too; all you need to hook up to the TV and the One Connect Box is one single cable. Out of the box, the new QLED TVs ship with a 5-metre cable though a 15-metre length one is also available for purchase if your home setup needs one.
Better yet, the new TVs have been designed to make it an absolute doddle to install and setup – wall mounting it, hooking up the cables and getting it streaming all your usual content providers like Netflix can be done in a matter of minutes. Handy, that.
So, when are the new QLED TVs coming to Malaysia?
In a word, soon. Samsung will be officially launching the range at its coming official launch on 31 May 2018. In the official Samsung Malaysia website, the 75-inch and 65-inch Q9F TVs are listed though no prices have been announced for either model as yet.
Moving on down the line, the Samsung Q8C Smart QLED curved TVs in 65-inch and 55-inch sizes are listed as available for sale though with no official prices as yet. The Samsung Q7C Smart QLED TVs also appear on the site in 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch sizes. The entry level range dubbed the Q6F is listed as ‘coming soon’. In any case, we won’t have long to wait before we get to admire one in an up close and personal fashion. For more details swing by www.samsung.com/my