Taking Ultra HD to 'Super' levels

Samsung shows us why it’s the world’s leading television brand with its latest flagship, the JS9000

Samsung SUHD Main

What makes an Ultra HDTV even better? No prizes for guessing.

It’s Super Ultra HDTV, if you’re to believe Samsung. It’s been a little over a couple of months since we’ve been ogling the Nano crystal-fortified telly and we have no doubt whatsoever that it is worthy of its “super” moniker. We’re yet to come to terms with UHD, so is SUHD something we need, we hear you ask. There are a few nifty features that set it apart from standard UHD.

One connect to rule them all

The headliner is the High Dynamic Range (HDR) feature that is part of the spec on the upcoming UHD Blu-Ray discs. No other UHD on sale until now has met this specification. Samsung is one of the founding members of the UHD specifications, so that’s no surprise either, but HDR will truly make UHD worth it. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the increased resolution that makes UHD more crisp and colourful than standard HD. It is also the enhanced colour gamut and luminance levels, and that is possible with the new specs of UHD.

We don’t want to coach you in a physics degree, but the world of UHD is akin to the plot of Jupiter Ascending if you don’t know the basics. HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 are the two specs that need to be adhered to if you’re looking to be future proof. Samsung’s SUHD is the first in this breed again, and unique to the brand is the One Connect box, an external hub for all connections. Only a single master cable runs from the One Connect box to the panel itself, reducing clutter and, more importantly, making upgrades as simple as swapping the old One Connect box for a new one!

S stands for spiffy

As expected, the usual smattering of Samsung peripherals is present, including gesture and voice control, both of which we aren’t big fans of. They simply require more effort and pose inevitable agony as opposed to a nonchalant press on the remote control through good ol’ infra red. The app variety is rich and this is one of the best Smart TV platforms out there. And now that it runs on Samsung’s very own Tizen OS, it’s snappier than ever.

Samsung is an active 3D adopter and while it does offer more detail than the passive variety, there are moments where crosstalk and bleed are visible. Not to the point of giving up on 3D, but it’s still not 100% flawless. It’s 2D performance is nothing short of stunning, though. Using micro-dimming and auto depth-enhancer, it makes Interstellar look as real as Christopher Nolan wished it would on home video. Skin tones hit the perfect balance and the colour gamut on the Samsung-provided material is off the charts. HDR isn’t available on regular content yet, but a few demo clips copied on a Samsung-branded hard drive are an optional accessory with this telly, and worth the premium if you want to wow your audience.

Hey good looking?

Samsung has done a stellar job with the design too. The chamfered front edge lends depth to the image and the back too has been designed in a ribbed pattern so even the punished ones can have a worthy view. The elephant in the room really is the curved nature of its screen and while it didn’t hurt us, it never seemed to add anything either. Also, if you want a top-shelf Samsung 4K TV, you don’t really get a choice as they’re all curved these days. But there’s no denying that SUHD is here to stay and if you haven’t invested in a 4K TV yet, you’re the smart one. As standards crystallize and the finer nuances of UHD gain more momentum, we will see the true worth of 4K, besides the increased pixel count. There is a world beyond 3840x2160, and this TV proves it.