By Samsung Newsroom
Samsung Electronics announced a new update for Samsung TV Plus,1 its widely-used free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service. The latest version of Samsung TV Plus introduces user interface (UI) enhancements and new features, aimed at streamlining content discovery and elevating the user experience (UX). This update has been applied to cover 2,500 channels+ across all 24 countries where Samsung TV Plus is available.
▲ The latest Samsung TV Plus update features new features and a user interface (UI) overhaul to allow for better content discovery
New UI Dedicated to Expanding Content Discovery
The new Samsung TV Plus update includes a redesigned home screen to provide an overview of content available for viewing, in addition to popular titles and recently watched content.
The updated UI also features newly added categories on the left side of the home screen to include sections such as Live TV, Movies/TV Shows, Music, Kids and Settings, and more. Each category offers a broad range of content that can be easily accessed at any time.
Additionally, region-specific tabs have been added based on each region’s content catalogue and user preference to meet the needs of different markets:
Music tab for the U.S., Australia, New Zealand Kids tab for the U.S., Europe, Brazil, Mexico, India News tab for India with multilingual support
▲ A Kids tab has been added to the U.S., Europe, Brazil, Mexico and India markets
Streamlined Channel Navigation
The updated interface features larger UI elements to improve the browsing experience, allowing users to easily navigate through an ever-expanding library of TV channels. Moreover, users can log into their Samsung accounts to easily access their favorite channels in one place at the top of the channel guide.
▲ Channel navigation becomes more intuitive with the new Samsung TV Plus update
Enhanced VOD Experience
The latest update also expands the Video on Demand (VOD) offerings and features of Samsung TV Plus. Now, users can access VOD from the channel guide, enabling instant playback of select programs without having to wait for a specific episode to come on the channel.2
The new “More Like This” feature offers content suggestion based on users’ viewing history, providing tailored content discovery that aligns with their preferences.
▲ The latest Samsung TV Plus update includes a variety of VOD content
“Over the past year, we have witnessed a 60% increase in global viewing time on Samsung TV Plus — a testament to the platform’s expansive content library and user-friendly design,” said Yonghoon Choi, Executive Vice President of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We will continue to evolve and enhance our services to provide a more intuitive and enjoyable viewing experience for our users.”
For more information on Samsung TV Plus, please visit www.samsung.com.
About Samsung TV Plus
Samsung TV Plus is Samsung’s free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) and video-on-demand service which offers over 2,500 channels globally as well as thousands of shows and movies on-demand spanning news, sports, entertainment, auto, design and more. One of the first FAST platforms from a device manufacturer, Samsung TV Plus is directly integrated into all 2016-2023 Samsung TVs, available on Samsung Galaxy mobile devices and Samsung Family Hub refrigerators on selected regions.
1 The latest update, Samsung TV Plus version 5.2, will be available on all Samsung Smart TVs released in 2019 or later.
2 If content is available for both linear channel programs and VOD.
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[Interview] Redefining On-Screen Experiences: A New Era of Content Production With The Wall for Virtual ProductionBy Samsung Newsroom
For 14 consecutive years, Samsung Electronics has led the commercial display market with its innovations.1 This year, the company has set the standard for displays once again with the release of The Wall for Virtual Production (IVC Model) — an ultra-large MICRO LED-based display customized for virtual content production. Lauded for its unmatched color capabilities, pristine high definition, and black seal technology for ultra black levels, The Wall for Virtual Production was unveiled at Infocomm 2023, the largest audiovisual tradeshow in North America, and the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2023, a premier exhibition for broadcasting and media in Europe.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with Chan Hyoung Park, Vice President of Visual Display (VD) Business at Samsung Electronics, Mark Taylor, European Head of LED at Samsung Electronics, and developers Sanghoon Oh and Hyun Ji to learn more about the inspiration for the display and the future of film production.
Increased Content Immersion and Reduced Production Costs
Virtual production is a method of filmmaking that combines computer-generated imagery with live-action footage to create next-level content. The use of both physical and digital elements gives filmmakers the ability to visualize imaginative scenes in new ways.
▲ Virtual production can reduce production costs and post-production editing time as filmmakers can view results in real time by utilizing a ultra-large, high-definition LED display.
As virtual production enables filmmakers to overcome the limitations of physical sets or environments, an increasing number of ultra-large, high-definition LED displays are being incorporated into production — saving time and cutting costs during post-production editing. Unlike chroma key green screens, which require image compositing and color correction during post-production, LED screens for virtual production can seamlessly display a breathtaking background behind moving actors.
LED walls, such as The Wall for Virtual Production, offer advantages against both these methods. With these screens, producers are able to efficiently make edits to video in real time, whilst actors experience better immersion because of the lifelike, ultra-high definition images.
▲ Mark Taylor underscores how virtual production screens increase the level of immersion for actors during filming.
Mark Taylor, European Head of LED, explained how these features make virtual production an attractive form of film production. “If producers were to add a lot of effects post-production, it takes a long time and the cost can be lot higher. But a lot of it’s actually being done in-camera. With LED walls, actors can crucially interact with the video behind them, making the experience much more immersive,” he said. “In addition, because LED is its own self-emitting light, you can put that in much brighter environments than projections, and you don’t have to use camera settings and lighting to compensate for that, resulting in more flexibility.
Adoption Throughout the Film and TV Industry
Virtual production techniques are becoming increasingly popular because of their specific advantages. Large-scale blockbuster films that require heavy visual effects began shifting to virtual production during the pandemic, and many studios have continued to use it since. Likewise, various OTT platforms have followed this trend to further market growth.
To usher in the era of virtual production, CJ ENM — a leading entertainment company in South Korea — teamed up with Samsung to install The Wall Virtual Production Stage in Paju, South Korea last May. Measuring over 1,000 inches, the custom oval display set a remarkable precedent for the next era of film and TV production and paved the way for future virtual production technology.
▲ CJ ENM Virtual Production Stage, where The Wall Virtual Production Stage is installed.
As adoption continues throughout the industry, market size is forecast to reach a value of approximately $700 (by when?) million and annual growth is predicted to be around 18% through 2030. With applications expanding to advertising and live commerce, virtual production will set a new standard for production across various sectors.
▲ The Virtual Production market is expected to grow 18% YoY globally through 2030
Optimization of Virtual Production Studios
The Wall for Virtual Production is equipped with the latest visual technologies such as newly developed LED elements and ultra-anti-reflective film so the darkest colors show up clearly on screen even under the brightest production lights. Each screen module is built to a 4:9 ratio, slimmer than the conventional 16:9, to help reduce the angle between cabinets and thus prevent video distortion from light reflections.
“In the early stages of developing The Wall for Virtual Production, we wanted to ensure the product was suitable for diverse studio environments,” said Samsung developer Hyun Ji. “We accomplished this by creating a display that can be installed in numerous orientations such as being hung or stacked with other screens. This flexibility allows productions to adapt the screen to their sets. In addition, we’ve prevented screen distortions by reducing the product’s length and eliminating light reflection by applying ultra-anti-reflective film for more natural videos.”
▲ The Wall for Virtual Production modules are compatible with both hanging and stacking structures to fit production needs
The modular nature of The Wall for Virtual Production allows it to be constructed in a variety of forms ideal for any environment — from a perfectly flat screen to up to 6,000R curvature. Additionally, the width can be extended by any length while the height can range from 9m to 13.5m (up to 10 modules hung or 15 modules stacked). To keep the weight evenly distributed, Samsung developed a uniquely patented structure to ensure the display is stable.
“With the leveler-style supporting structure applied, the weight of the modules is evenly distributed among the cabinets,” explained Ji.
To minimize distortion when cameras are connected, The Wall boasts the highest industry refresh rate of up to 12,288Hz for unparalleled image quality. Samsung developer Sanghoon Oh explained how this refresh rate is ideal for studio production. “By achieving this impressively high refresh rate, we’ve minimized screen distortions that occur when subjects overlap or when horizontal lines form due to camera movement,” he said.
▲ Hyun Ji (left) and Sanghoon Oh who worked on the development of The Wall for Virtual Production
Aside from the impressive scale of the display, Samsung applied innovative software solutions to The Wall for Virtual Production to ensure visuals are replicated seamlessly on screen. The company equipped the display with Generator Locking (Genlock) to synchronize the screen and camera’s video signals as well as Phase Offset to adjust any delays between the camera and screen.
Oh explained how Samsung’s industry and technological expertise has helped the company perfect its products. “Samsung can respond to various market demands efficiently because the company designs and produces its own hardware — including LED modules, cabinets and S-Box (a dedicated video player) — as well as its own software solutions — such as LED Signage Manager (LSM) for LED operation control and Virtual Production Manager (VPM) for virtual production,” he said.
The Next Era of Content Production
Unveiled earlier this year, The Wall for Virtual Production has already garnered attention from industry professionals and creatives alike. “Although we’ve just begun, we’ll work to strengthen the product’s competitive market edge and lead the industry,” said Oh.
Equipped with industry-leading technologies, The Wall for Virtual Production will enhance not only the production process but the production environment as well.
“The Wall for Virtual Production maximizes digital effects while also simplifying and speeding up the video production process,” said Chan Hyoung Park, Vice President of Visual Display (VD) Business. “The display has the potential to change the film and TV landscape by reducing costs and creating a more efficient industry.”
▲ Chan Hyoung Park explains how The Wall for Virtual Production will redefine industry standards for production.
Combining extraordinary technological features with imaginative digital and visual effects, The Wall for Virtual Production is poised to lead a new era of content production.
1 Samsung has been the No.1 selling digital signage brand for 14 consecutive years by Omdia (IHS) 23 Q2 Smart Signage History+Forecast report. (Note: Consumer TVs, along with Commercial Lite and Hospitality TVs used for signage, are excluded.)
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By Samsung Newsroom
The “crown jewel” of ultra-high-definition content is video. It’s not just about sharp, vibrant image quality; it’s also about elaborate frame-by-frame and pixel-by-pixel work. In a single video, you can see the creator’s careful balancing of contrast and color, as well as the aesthetics that go into every little detail.
This is especially true for “picture quality demo” videos, which showcase the display’s full specs, capabilities and their potentials. When creating a picture quality demo video, it’s all about the details. This is why ultra-high resolution monitor should be used to create elaborate demo content.
Samsung Newsroom met with various artists who are using ViewFinity S9 to talk about how technology affects their creative process and artwork. The art professionals include DEVSISTERS who emphasized the importance of monitors in 3D design; OIMU which delivers the beautiful Korean names of colors; and Mike Perry, who suggests a new perspective with graphics design. In this last installment of the ViewFinity S9 Story series, Samsung Newsroom sat down with CEO and VFX Supervisor Seungmo Kim of RABBIT WALKS to explore how he pushes the boundaries of display.
▲ CEO and VFX Supervisor Seungmo Kim of RABBIT WALKS
Established in 2010, RABBIT WALKS has grown into a professional 3D content studio, having directed over 1,400 commercials, brand films and much more. The professional visual content company is developing various solutions for digital media with its industry-leading technological prowess, specifically in live streaming CG(Computer-generated Graphics) using game engine and 8K or higher-resolution content.
Q: Tell us a bit about your role at RABBIT WALKS.
I oversee content direction and visual effects, with a primary focus on ads and picture quality demo videos for digital signage. For picture quality demo reels, it’s important to understand a display’s technology to make the most of its capabilities. So, I spend a lot of time and effort into understanding monitors while creating demo content. I am checking the picture quality pixel by pixel and making fine adjustments frame by frame to push the refresh rate to its limits. Through this harsh process with a precise directing, I can provide a different kind of visual catharsis to audiences.
▲ An extra-large scale OOH(out-of-home) advertisement created by RABBIT WALKS
Q: What is the role of a monitor in picture quality demonstration?
A picture quality demo video is designed to showcase the full specs, features and capabilities of digital signage. Given that these demo videos for large signages should be produced in ultra-high resolution, the monitor’s resolution matters a lot. The importance of screen resolution increases at trade shows like CES, ISE and InfoComm, where there are larger digital signages, often connected to each other, reaching resolutions as high as 20K.
▲ A 263-inch The Wall All-in-One plays demo content created by RABBIT WALKS at the entrance of Samsung Electronics’ booth at InfoComm 2023
Q: Can you tell us about your recent project using ViewFinity S9?
Recently, I created a wide8K picture quality demo content for a seven-meter display, designed to be viewed from just a meter away. At this distance, even the tiniest pixel can be noticeable, which is why I needed to check every detail and even the slightest noise. With ViewFinity, I found that previews closely mirrored the final product, which was really helpful.
When working on content with ultra-high resolutions, including 8K content and beyond, we often find that our monitors fall short in resolutions. Fortunately, the ViewFinity monitor features a 5K resolution which provides more space than 4K monitors without sacrificing details. It greatly enhances efficiency as it shows more areas. Honestly, it wouldn’t be easy going back to just 4K.
▲ Comparison between 4K and 5K on a working screen. Viewfinity S9 enables users to review 4K content in native resolution while simultaneously displaying neighboring work tabs
Q: What are your favorite features of ViewFinity S9?
I often just carry a monitor when filming outside on small scale productions, but the bright environment and light reflections can get in the way. So, it’s difficult to monitor in real time since it challenges me from checking details on site. More often than not, we would usually check minimally because of this.
The other day, I brought ViewFinity S9 to my filming location for monitoring, and its Matte Display reduced the light reflection and really improved my productivity. And, the screen itself was so bright that I could monitor the results than I expected. Thanks to the ViewFinity monitor, I could handle both filming and editing onsite.
▲ Kim says he enjoys taking Viewfinity S9 to outdoor production sites
Q: What sets the ViewFinity S9 apart from previous monitors?
I love the fact that ViewFinity supports Thunderbolt 4, directly connecting devices to the monitor like a hub.1 I would normally connect a hub to the laptop, and because there are often too many wires, we might accidentally trip over the cables.
Thunderbolt 4 enables ViewFinity S9 charge devices and plug various devices into the back of the monitor. We can connect important devices such as external drives, which was reassuring.
▲ Supporting various inputs, Viewfinity S9 allows for multi-tasking across a number of devices
▲ The Viewfinity S9 has Thunderbolt 4(90W), Mini DisplayPort and USB-C connectivity.
Q: How did ViewFinity S9 change your work environment?
In creating 3D content, CG renders often take a significant amount of time, making it challenging to do anything else at the same time. However, ViewFinity S9 offers the flexibility to engage in other activities, like watching streaming content,2 regardless of ongoing tasks on the PC.
I used to have different monitors for graphic works and watching streaming content. With ViewFinity S9, I can streamline and have one monitor that can be utilized for different purposes. Like me, for those who spend extended hours working on monitors, its versatility is a great advantage.
▲ Kim editing 3D graphics on a Viewfinity S9
Q: Are there any other features you enjoyed using?
Few 5K or higher-resolution monitors can pivot. ViewFinity, on the other hand, can be used both horizontally and vertically, which is very convenient. I recently create a vertical video and the ViewFinity S9’s pivot feature was really helpful. Now, I can see easily view and edit vertical and horizontal content by simply rotating the monitor. These ergonomic features, including height-adjustable stand and tilt capabilities, really help maximize productivity.
▲ Many graphic designers including Seungmo Kim, CEO and VFX Supervisor of RABBIT WALKS, say the pivot feature is very useful for their work
Q: As an expert in picture quality demo videos, what are your thoughts on the monitor?
Having used the ViewFinity monitor, I can safely say I like everything about the monitor. From its brightness and resolution to its vibrant colors. It’s an exceptional choice for creative professionals. A versatile monitor with great specs. I highly recommend it.
▲ “Once you upgrade, it’s hard to step back down. Honestly, it wouldn’t be easy going back to just 4K,” says Seungmo Kim, CEO and VFX Supervisor of RABBIT WALKS
1 Only Mac computers with Apple silicon introduced after 2020 are supported.
2 App availability may vary by country and separate subscriptions may be required. Requires internet connection and TV tuner is not included. You will need a Samsung Account to access the full range of smart features available through your device, including network-based smart services, applications such as games and streaming services, smart home functionality and many more.
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Samsung will take the stage in its home country later this week to unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Flip 5 foldables. This marks the first time the summer Unpacked event is being held at home rather than in an international market. It’s also the first time the mid-summer Unpacked press conference will take place in July rather than August or September.
I thought the arrival of Google’s Pixel Fold might have scared Samsung into moving up the launch event. But what if Samsung is really looking to deal with the iPhone ticking time bomb at home by looking to launch the new foldables as soon as possible?
Until this year, Samsung has had virtually no competition in the foldables space since the first Galaxy Fold. Samsung could take its time to upgrade the Fold and Flip each year without delivering massive redesigns. But Chinese vendors started putting pressure on Samsung in previous years. And some of those devices launched in Europe and other international markets in early 2023.
The Google Pixel Fold is perhaps the biggest threat to Samsung’s dominant position in the industry despite some of its obvious faults.
Samsung is responding to these threats with the kind of big Fold and Flip design updates we’ve been waiting for. The Fold 5 will be slimmer than before, thanks to a no-gap hinge. The Flip 5 will feature a large external display occupying almost the entire surface of one of the phone’s halves.
Google Pixel Fold smartphone unfolded. Image source: Jonathan S. Geller, BGR On top of that, Samsung set its Unpacked press event for July 26th, the earliest date ever. As a reminder, this Unpacked event used to be the home of the Galaxy Note series. And it used to happen in early September before Samsung detached it from the German IFA tradeshow. The reason Samsung went to early August was the iPhone’s early September launch which would routinely obliterate Note sales.
All that is to say that Samsung might be worried about increased competition in the foldables space. But the iPhone might be the real reason it’s focusing on the Korean market.
The big iPhone problem
Samsung might want to make an impression on a specific category of smartphone buyers in its home market. Per The Korea Herald, a new Gallup survey shows that young adults in the country prefer the iPhone overwhelmingly to a Samsung phone.
The study indicates that Samsung is the main smartphone vendor in Korea, with 69% of adults owning a Galaxy phone. Only 23% of respondents have an iPhone.
But younger millennials and Gen Z like the iPhone increasingly more than Samsung phones. In the 30-39 age group, 41% of respondents have an iPhone. The percentage goes to 60% in the 18-29 group.
Samsung vs. iPhone market share in Korea for different age groups. Image source: Gallup Korea via The Korea Herald This is a major problem for Samsung. These young adults are growing with the iPhone and the entire ecosystem of apps and hardware. Switching from iPhone to Android becomes increasingly difficult the more you use the products.
As a longtime iPhone user, I can attest to that. I’ve been on iPhone and Mac for over a decade, and there’s nothing to make me switch to a different combo. And I was in the 18-29 group when I started using Apple for my main computing needs.
The young adults who bought iPhone over Samsung cited Apple’s premium branding as one of the reasons. They’d buy the iPhone even if the same storage device is more expensive than the Galaxy S equivalent. For example, the 128GB iPhone 14 costs 1,250,000 won in the country, or $980. The Galaxy S23 is 100,000 won ($78) cheaper.
Various Galaxy Fold 4 and Flip 4 foldable phones. Image source: Samsung Apple Pay, which arrived in Korea earlier this year, is another factor that convinces young adults to buy iPhones.
The study also says that 85% of respondents say they are likely to stick with their current brand. That’s great for Samsung in the older groups. But if young adults stay with iPhone, we might be looking at decades of problems for Samsung. Especially if the teenage generation in Korea positions itself in favor of the iPhone. That wouldn’t be a surprise if their parents also use iPhones.
The unsung heroes in this survey are the older smartphone users who still have LG phones. LG is no longer making Android handsets, of course.
Samsung is apparently aware of the iPhone problem. The Herald says the Korean giant opened a flagship retail store in Gangnam last month, branding it a “playground for millennials and Gen Z.” The store is less than a kilometer away from Apple Gangnam store.
Don't Miss: Proton Pass finally lets you save credit card info with a new updateThe post The iPhone is a ticking time bomb in Samsung’s home market appeared first on BGR.
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See Every Detail, Feel Every Moment: Samsung’s Ultra-Large Neo QLEDs Bring Content to Life Like Never BeforeBy Samsung Newsroom
Gone are the days of sitting nose-to-television in order to see every detail and every moment of the action. Now, larger TV screens are not popular for just avid cinephiles, but they are a popular choice and more accessible for more consumers than ever before.
As the size of the average screens at home has evolved, so has the technology within them. This provides users with greater detail, color and motion so content looks even more brilliant in this larger format.
Ushering in the Era of Premium Viewing With Neo QLED 4K
At the forefront of premium screens lie Samsung Neo QLEDs — with state-of-the-art Mini LED and Quantum dot technology that offers superb contrast and vivid, accurate color reproduction. The exceptional picture quality of the Neo QLEDs is even more evident when taken to a larger screen.
The QN100B 98” — Samsung’s Neo QLED 4K — offers consumers the pinnacle of ultra-fine light control thanks to Quantum Matrix Technology powered by a massive grid of Quantum Mini LEDs. This allows viewers to see every single detail on the screen, even in the darkest of scenes, with deeper color and contrast. Subtle nuances in light and color are analyzed and shifted scene by scene so that each and every frame is of the highest quality.
Beyond its unrivaled performance as a television for consumers’ favorite movies, shows and games, this screen has been praised by many industry experts and users as well. IMAX recently commended the massive 98” Neo QLED 4K for its performance in their critical reference environment producing a highly accurate precise image.
“After calibrating and reviewing this new model TV, I can tell you that we were excited to see how closely the image quality matches our reference mastering monitor that we use in post-production finishing work,” said Bruce Markoe, the SVP and Head of Post Production at IMAX Corporation. “We see value in using very large, high-quality displays in mastering content for IMAX Enhanced masters. Having a large sized screen with proper image quality creates the best way to apply and utilize our DMR technology during the mastering process.”
▲ Bruce Markoe, the SVP and Head of Post Production at IMAX Corporation
A reference monitor is a specialized display device used for color grading during post-production. Reference monitors must produce a highly accurate image so teams can create the most precise, high-quality output possible.
In order to provide an outstanding cinematic experience, IMAX films are produced with cameras up to 16K resolution, which means the mastering monitor used must be extremely accurate in order to accurately display the creators’ intent.
Elevate the Premium Viewing Experience With Neo QLED 8K
Stepping above and beyond the already high-performing Neo QLED 4K, consumers find Samsung Neo QLED 8K. These screens offer the dazzling picture quality users have come to expect from Samsung in even more brilliant 8K resolution. Powered by Neo Quantum Processor 8K, the state-of-the-art upscaling neural networks ensure that all content is displayed with utmost precision and immaculate picture quality.
As streaming platforms begin to offer content optimized for a larger 1.9:1 screen ratio, perfect for an immersive cinematic experience, having an 8K TV with premium picture quality is a sure-fire way to future-proof a home entertainment set up.
Premium TV Sales Are on the Rise With Neo QLED 4K and 8K
In fact, more content, better features and more things to do on your TV mean the trend of purchasing larger and larger TV screens is not simply expected to continue to even to grow. According to Omdia, the over-80-inch TV market is expected to grow from 2.8 million units in 2022 to 3.5 million units in 2023 — over 24%.
Samsung’s premium TV lineup has also helped solidify its leadership in the TV industry for an impressive 17 years. In 2022, Samsung sold a staggering 9.65 million units of QLED and Neo QLED TVs, bringing the cumulative sales to 35 million units since its QLED product launch in 2017.
Samsung also dominated the ultra-large TV segment in 2022, reporting 36.1% and 42.9% in terms of market share for TVs over 75-inches and 80-inches respectively.
“Neo QLED offers one of the most premium viewing experience for large screens over 75-inches, and we believe they are the future of home entertainment,” said Seokwoo Yong, Executive Vice President and Deputy Head of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “As more content and features become available to consumers, Neo QLED 4K and 8K TVs will help consumers get the most out of these new contents while providing breathtaking visuals packed with lifelike details.”
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