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Samsung's new ambient mode provides a reason to leave your TV switched on

Samsung Q7F. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung Q7F. (Source: Samsung)
This week Samsung was showcasing their 2018 Smart TV lineup including a new ambient mode that displays relevant information, models with local lighting zones to improve dark and light parts of a scene, specialised power and data cables, and Bixby integration.

Samsung has unveiled their 2018 TV lineup at a first look event in New York, with the focus being on QLED, UHD, and ultra-large models. Jong-hee Han, President of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics, says their new models are “designed for today’s consumer who is mindful of the aesthetics of their space” and contain “features that offer more freedom to decide where and how the TV can be best enjoyed within the home.” In other words, while the large display panels are imposing, everything else surrounding them (bezel, stand, etc.) is designed to be as minimalistic as possible.

One of the most exciting features is Samsung’s new ‘Ambient Mode,’ not to be confused with the Ambient Display used on smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S9. The base functions of Ambient Mode include the ability to play music and display the time, weather, news, and traffic information. Wall mounted TVs can be set to mimic the wall surface behind them to create a more seamless look, something which the thin bezels help make possible.

Other features include ‘One Invisible Connection’ featured on the high-end QLED in the product line of Q7 and higher (excluding Q8F). The principle here is that Samsung uses a single cable up to 15 meters long for power and video/audio, and this cable is easier to integrate or hide within an existing home setup than multiple cables, even if the latter involves heavy use of zip-ties. The Q8F and Q9F use Direct Full Array panels which use zone backlighting to improve light and dark parts of a scene via local dimming and brightening. Finally, select models are receiving Bixby integration as part of Samsung’s initiative to spread their virtual assistant across their smart-device portfolio.

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Samsung Ambient Mode showing images while mimicking the wall. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung Ambient Mode showing images while mimicking the wall. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung Ambient Mode playing music. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung Ambient Mode playing music. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung Ambient Mode showing an image while mimicking the wall. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung Ambient Mode showing an image while mimicking the wall. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung Ambient Mode showing temperature and date while mimicking the wall. (Source: Samsung)
Samsung Ambient Mode showing temperature and date while mimicking the wall. (Source: Samsung)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 03 > Samsung's new ambient mode provides a reason to leave your TV switched on
Craig Ward, 2018-03-11 (Update: 2018-03-11)
Craig Ward
Craig Ward - News Editor
I grew up in a family surrounded by technology, starting with my father loading up games for me on a Commodore 64, and later on a 486. In the late 90's and early 00's I started learning how to tinker with Windows, while also playing around with Linux distributions, both of which gave me an interest for learning how to make software do what you want it to do, and modifying settings that aren't normally user accessible. After this I started building my own computers, and tearing laptops apart, which gave me an insight into hardware and how it works in a complete system. Now keeping up with the latest in hardware and software news is a passion of mine.