Meet Samsung’s 2017 Quantum Dot QLED 4K High Dynamic Range TVs for CES 2017

by on January 3, 2017

Stephan Jukic – January 3, 2017

While we can’t yet unlock official details about Samsung’s new 4K TVs for the start of 2017 for public release, there’s plenty of information of a pretty reliable nature spinning around the web already about what are reportedly going to be called QLED, or Quantum Dot TVs. These models are slated for presentation at CES 2017 by the Korean manufacturing leader.

The new Quantum Dot/QLED TVs from Samsung are expected to be a new and highly advanced generation of high dynamic range 4K models which will reportedly supersede the capabilities of Samsung’s already stunning 2016 SUHD HDR TVs by a whopping 50%. More importantly, the new televisions are reportedly going to solve many of the issues that have traditionally plagued LCD 4K display when it comes to color, viewing angles and most importantly, black levels, which have always been a weak spot in the LCD display landscape when compared to the blacks delivered by OLED TVs.

In terms of peak brightness, Samsung is reportedly claiming a new “HDR 1500” standard for their new 2017 SUHD TV replacements and this alone gives us plenty of reason to be excited due to the HDR display potential it offers. The 2016 SUHD TV lineup of models like the flagship KS9800 and the remarkably identical KS9500, KS9000, KS8000 and KS8500 all promised what Samsung called “HDR 1000” display brightness technology, referring to these TVs’ ability to put out 1000 cd/m2 of peak brightness and in all fairness, Samsung more than delivered on this promise for the 2016 models. They not only managed 1000 nits, but actually even surpassed it, with every single one of the KS-Series SUHD TVs being capable of reaching as high as 1400+ nits of peak brightness in sections of their display. This made them some of the very brightess HDR LCD TVs of 2016 and it greatly contributed to their overall ability to deliver a stunning HDR picture quality for high dynamic range content.

Thus, if HDR 1500 is just the promised specs of the 2017 Quantum Dot TVs, we hope to see these new models over-deliver just like their 2016 cousins did.

Additionally, the expectation is high that the QLED TVs offer even further wide color gamut coverage enhancements thanks to their more refined quantum dot display technology and other factors and even if they can’t deliver deeper blacks than their 2016 SUHD cousins, superior brightness and color performance will definitely go a long way towards creating perception of rich black levels. One other thing we’d also love to see in the new Samsung premium TVs is full-array LED backlighting across the board. In both their 2015 and 2016 SUHD TVs, Samsung installed full-array LED backlighting in only the priciest flagship models, opting for edge-lit displays in the rest of each year’s SUHD TVs. With Full-array backlighting, a 4K TV can deliver a much stronger level of local dimming for onscreen content and as a result also offers superior picture quality and black level performance.

Our first indications of a new and dramatically improved line of 2017 flagship TVs from Samsung came from the Korean website ETNews, which reported that Samsung Electronics had applied for several trademarks whose names are distinctly revealing to say the least. These consist of the aforementioned “HDR 1500”, “Q HDR” and “Real Black”.

Quantum dots in a liquid solution. They will see more sophisticated use in 2017's Samsung 4K TVs

Quantum dots in a liquid solution. They will see more sophisticated use in 2017’s Samsung 4K TVs

The specific technical details of what these names mean are still open to interpretation but with HDR 1500 we can assume a bigger, literally brighter version of HDR 1000, which is already well-known.

And as for the Q HDR, it obviously refers to the use of quantum dot technology in a more involved and refined way as a means of delivering HDR color gamut in the new TVs. “Real Black” is pretty self-explanatory in what it covers but we are curious about how the technology behind the name will actually affect real, extremely accurate and practical black levels in these new 2017 LCD TVs. The wording of “Real Black” suggests the ability to deliver genuine perfect blacks of the kind found in OLED 4K TVs but we’ll see if Samsung can actually deliver such a thing with LCD display technology regardless of the technical wizardry it uses. Currently, even the very best LCD TV displays with full multi-zone local dimming can manage black levels of about 0.015 cd/m2 or slightly deeper but this still doesn’t compare to the outstanding genuinely real black levels managed by OLED display, which sit at 0.0005 nits or even lower (almost unmeasurable and imperceptible brightness for the human eye).

The reporting from ETNews also claims performance boosts of as much as 50% in the Quantum Dot TVs over their 2016 SUHD cousins. This is a major improvement claim indeed and we suspect that it’s mostly based on the peak brightness these new TVs are expected to have.

As for other features like smart TV functionality and connectivity, we definitely expect to see a new version of Tizen in the 2017 models and we’re hoping to see some more connectivity options as well, though the same configuration of four HDMI 2.0a ports and a couple of USB 3.0 ports is most likely due to its practicality.

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  • The Impaler
    January 4, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Is this Samsung’s version of an OLED or is it just another LCD panel?


    • Stephen
      January 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      Hey there, no, these TVs are full LCD models with LED backlight arrays. They use new technologies to dramatically improve picture quality, black level and local dimming but their display panel design is nothing like that of OLED, which still beats them at creating perfect blacks and pixel-perfect local dimming.


      • Jeff Scout
        January 28, 2017 at 4:34 pm

        You can’t say that for sure unless and until the technology is actually presented because truth be told while currently I completely agree that no LCD / LED television set on the market can compare and or compete with the infinite contrast ratio of the newer OLED television displays period……, however with that being said it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this new QLED technology from Samsung could potentially offer the same exact infinite contrast ratio of OLED if what they’re saying about the new display Technology which what I’m getting sounds as if the panels will actually be able to completely turn off certain zones of the display which would provide the exact same level of black contrast ratio as the OLED because that’s exactly what OLED does is they turn off the part of the display which has the black color spectrum although with OLED each individual pixel has the ability to turn itself off which is what creates the perfect infinite black contrasts ratio and so if SAMSUNGS new QLED can do the same thing albeit by a different method then it will also create the exact same infinite contrast ratio n perhaps even bettter as it could most likely provide a better color spectrum of blacks considering each zone or area could use a progressive scaling method where it can go from the brightest blacks down to the darkest blacks dynamically rather than OLED which simply turns the pixel completely on or completely off and so yea who knows for sure as well have to wait n see but ITS DEFINITELY A POSSIBILITY N MOST LIKELY A HIGH PROBABILITY THAT THE NEW SAMSUNG QLED TECHNOLOGY COULD MATCH AND OR EVEN EXCEED WHATS POSSIBLE ON THE CURRENT OLED TECHNOLOGY and truth be told they would most likely be vastly superior to the OLED televisions because they will retain all the benefits of ultra bright LCD / LED panels but without the issue of backlight and or edge lit negatives of current LCD/LED panels so yea it could potentially end up being a best of both worlds scenario AND SAMSUNG IS ABSOLUTELY THE LEADER IN ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY AS THEY ARE CURRENTLY AT THE FOREFRONT OF IT ALL and I am excited for the potential of these new QLED televisions because if we can get the same level of INFINITE CONTRAST RATIOS AS OLED BUT WITHOUT THE negatives of OLED such as substantially higher input lag for gaining, also automatic brightness limiters, etc……. where basically SAMSUNG INCORPORATES ALL THE POSITIVE POTENTIAL OF BOTH OLED & LCD/LED panels into one awesome new panel while at the same time eliminating the negatives of both OLED & LCD/LED then these new QLED television sets from Samsung will be the creme de la creme baby……….


        • Dave
          March 3, 2017 at 2:50 am

          Having just read your comments, I think you’ll now find that QLED is just a rehash of the same technology Samsung had last year and given that Panasonic, LG and Sony have all gone with OLED models, Samsung are just trying to market themselves out of a major whole by not having new technology, so contrary to your comment “AND SAMSUNG IS ABSOLUTELY THE LEADER IN ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY AS THEY ARE CURRENTLY AT THE FOREFRONT OF IT ALL”, I think you’ll find that they aren’t. Are you also aware that if you buy a Samsung TV, you could actually be buying a Sharp TV panel buy you are not told which panel you are getting when you buy the TV.


        • Techie Insider
          April 8, 2017 at 12:47 am

          Samsung die hard fan detected.

          Seems so ignorant to claim “AND SAMSUNG IS ABSOLUTELY THE LEADER IN ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY AS THEY ARE CURRENTLY AT THE FOREFRONT OF IT ALL”, whereby they are actually copy paste others technology into their own products. Just try to find all this details and you’ll know how ignorant are you.. first dual core processor phone, first quad core processor phone, first curved TV, first OLED TV, first quantum dot technology based TV, first always display phone screen, etc2..just name any technology, and see which one is Samsung own technology ~


  • Joe
    January 18, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    These aren’t the same QLEDs either. The TVs announced at CES2017 use QDs with a metallic component added. They are not the photo luminous liquids stated in this article. So now there are two things referred to as QLED but different.


    • Stephen
      March 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Hey there Joe, these QLED TVs which we refer to in this particular article are indeed the same ones introduced at CES this year and they incorporate metallic elements in a way that changes the composition of Samsung’s more traditional Quantum Dot material. The brand is a bit secretive about how exactly this process works but we can confirm that it has led to 99.% DCI-P3 Wide Color Gamut (as opposed to the 93 or so% of the 2016 SUHD TVs) and to much wider viewing angles while conserving those deep VA panel black levels and their attending contrast. If this article implies that the 2017 QLEDs now going on sale don’t come with this technology, then I apologize, the piece is being reviewed for its phrasing now.

      It’s also worth noting that the 2017 QLEDs don’t possess “true” QLED technology. Currently it’s still more of a marketing terms for what are essentially LCD TVs with improved quantum dot filters. Real QLED TVs would behave more like OLED televisions, with microscopic electroluminescent quantum dots in each pixel of the screen that are charged by electrons in a way that allows them to generate their own light and color without the need for any sort of LED backlight system. Samsung is still at least a couple years away from delivering a true “QLED” TV like this though. But if it did, you’d see a technology that’s as good as or possibly even better than OLED for TV display.


  • Gunnar
    January 24, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Hi, will the Samsung 2017 tvs be better in showing ordinary compressed sd/hd tv channels when it comes to artifacts such as ringing artifacts..?

    Kind regards Gunnar from Sweden.


    • Stephen
      January 30, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      Hello Gunnar. This I can’t answer for sure about the 2017 Samsung QLED TVs and other models until we review them in a month or two but presumably they will perform about as well as the 2016 TVs. Samsung has put work into improving its upscaling technology with the 2017 TVs, though much of this improvement is geared towards HDR simulation in SDR content.


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