The 2015 edition of Samsung’s Evolution Kit brings HDR capabilities to the company’s 2014 TVs.
Samsung’s first Evolution Kit was launched in 2012. The device connects to the rear of a Samsung TV, upgrading its software and feature-set to lengthen a TV’s lifespan.
The 2015 version (SEK-3500U) upgrades the TV’s OS to Tizen, and adds VP9 decoding support. The addition of VP9 means that UltraHD YouTube videos can be displayed on the screens.
The major change, though, is the processing of the PQ format, which is used for HDR content. Although the compatible TVs are edge-lit (FP9000 and S9 from 2013, HU6900 and higher from 2014), and cannot reach the brightness required for full HDR viewing, owners have said that the HDR content is ‘a clear improvement’.
Samsung is selling the SEK-3500U in the USA now, for $400. It will also be released in Europe, for €340 ex VAT. A European release date has not been shared.