Samsung Lowers SUHD Price

Samsung is preparing to launch a new ‘affordable’ SUHD (quantum dot LCD) TV in the USA and called the JS7000. As with the company’s other SUHD models, the JS7000 will feature a wide colour gamut (WCG) and UltraHD resolution.

The TV, in 49.5″, 54.6″ and 60″ sizes, will have a contrast enhancer and local dimming functionality, with an edge-LED backlight. Samsung says that this enables limited high dynamic range (HDR) functionality.

Samsung’s Ultraclear panel is said to reduce reflections and improve viewing angles (although these have not actually been shared). The TV is a smart model, running Samsung’s Smart View 2.0 platform on a quad-core processor. It also has a slot for Samsung’s Evolution Kit.

All three models share specifications. They have a 120Hz motion rate and two 10W speakers. Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth connectivity are built in. HDMI (x4), component, composite, RJ, USB (x3), RJ45 and RS232 ports are featured. An ATSC/Clear QAM tuner is built in.

Prices are $1,300 (49.5″), $1,600 (54.6″) and $2,100 (60″). Samsung told us that there are no plans to launch the TV in the UK.

Analyst Comment

There’s only one reason that Samsung would reduce the price and that is because it’s not selling enough. However, introducing a lower end version with edge-lighting will surely detract from the SUHD branding, which has so far meant HDR as well as WCG. Of course, the US market is notorious for just buying TVs on price alone, but the move may also explain why Samsung’s staff showing HDR at the SES event a few weeks ago were careful to point out that SUHD is a “high end” product.

While on the subject of Samsung and SES, we have heard a rumour (unconfirmed) that the companies are disagreeing about the need and speed for adoption of 120Hz refresh rates. SES is said to want to push ahead (as it improves sports coverage in UHD) as its customers include Sky and other Pay TV operators who depend on sport. Samsung, on the other hand (and this was made clear by John Adam of Samsung at the SES event) sees considerable cost and technical issues to be overcome in the sets before adopting 120Hz. If the HDR and WCG features are hitting price resistance already, this position is understandable. (BR)