Samsung Goes Big, Indoors and Outdoors
Samsung’s big event for 2020, held last week, was titled “Life Unstoppable Conference 2020”. I was about to write that it was held in Seoul, but since it was virtual, it could have been anywhere.
Two of the products announced were particularly interesting. The first was a system to get a 4K display of up to 130 inches – that’s 3.3 metres! – into your home. The other was to get large 4K displays – 55, 65 and 75 inches (140cm, 165 cm and 190cm) out of your home and into your backyard … kind of.
Let’s go big first. Since 130-inch TVs aren’t really doable for all kinds of practical reasons, Samsung’s big indoor experience is delivered by an ultra-short throw laser projector named The Premiere. Well, two of them actually. The LSP9T is for displays of up to 130 inches, while the LSP7T is good for “only” 120 inches.
Samsung talks mostly about the Premiere LSP9T. An ultra-short throw projector is a wide unit that sits very close to the foot of the screen (or above it, if that works better for a permanent installation). Some cleverly designed mirrors and lenses spread the light widely to fill the screen, somehow preserving the correct geometry. Being so close, there are no problems with viewers casting shadows. Samsung says that the projector offers 4K resolution, ideal for such a large screen.
The light engine is unusual. Samsung says that the “Premiere LSP9T is the world’s first HDR10+ certified projector with triple laser technology,” and adds that it delivers “revolutionary contrast details” and a peak brightness of up to 2,800 lumens.
So-called laser projectors in the consumer space could probably better be termed laser/phosphor projectors. They mostly use a single laser, which most definitely is not shone at the screen. It typically fires onto some phosphor which is excited into glowing a bright pure white. The rest of the projector is essentially a standard LCD or DLP design.
But three lasers? In a short-throw design (so they aren’t going to shine in anyone’s eyes). Perhaps this design does fire them directly at the screen. We’ll keep an eye on this one.
The Premiere projectors also have sound built-in: “powerful built-in woofers and Acoustic Beam surround sound”.
There’s no pricing information yet on The Premiere projectors, but Samsung Australia says that they will be available in Australia “within the coming months”.
Meanwhile, Samsung is also going outdoors with the three The Terrace 4K QLED TVs and The Terrace Soundbar. But we should be clear. Samsung still recommends, “installation undercover, protected from direct sunlight and severe weather”.
Even so, the TVs and soundbar receive an IP55 rating. The first digit – 5 – concerns dust. That rating doesn’t promise that no dust will get in, but that it won’t interfere with operation. The second digit is for water: 5 means that its safe with low-pressure water jets, aka rain. The TV remote is IP56 rated. Even better.
Samsung stresses that those ratings do not mean that the equipment is waterproof. The TVs come with a dust cover for when they’re not in use.
In addition to rain, two outdoor challenges to any TV are a much brighter environment and a wide temperature range. For the latter, Samsung says that the TVs are fine to operate in temperatures from -30 to 50 degrees Celsius. That ought to cover things nicely.
You cope with a bright environment by making a bright TV. Samsung says that The Terrace TVs can deliver 2,000 nits. That’s stunningly bright. Keep sunlight from shining directly on the screen, and you should never have any trouble seeing what’s happening on-screen.
As you’d expect, the TVs are fully up to date with smart stuff. They can show you Netflix, YouTube, Foxtel and Disney+ and support the Alexa voice assistant along with Samsung’s own Bixby. Plus Bluetooth. Of course.
The Terrace 4K QLED TVs are priced at $5,999 for the 55-inch version, $7,999 for the 65-incher and $10,999 for the 75-inch one. The Terrace Soundbar will be available for $1,299 and all should be available from October 2020.
Stephen Dawson started writing full time about home entertainment technology just weeks before the DVD was launched in Australia. Since then he has written several thousand product reviews amounting to millions of words for newspapers and magazines around Australia.