By STF News
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Any idea if/when sound modes will be available for external speakers as well? My old Toshiba dumb TV could do it just fine, why can't my new 4K QLED Samsung box? I am tired of having to keep turning the volume up and down to compensate for the dynamics of most movies... Thanks.
[Interview] How Samsung Electronics Endeavored To Deliver Immersive TV Experience Through Finest SoundBy STF News
Samsung Research1 America’s Audio Lab has been working towards its mandate of ‘taking Samsung’s audio technology to the top of the industry’ since its foundation. From making improvements in the pure audio sphere to building leadership in advancing TV sound technology, the Audio Lab has surprised the entire industry with innovative solutions including the Q-Symphony and OTS (Object Tracking Sound) technologies.
Following the release of the HW-S800B Ultra Slim Soundbar for Samsung’s QLED TV line-up, which was unveiled earlier this year at CES, Samsung Newsroom spoke to Ema Souza Blanes at Audio Lab of Samsung Research America. She is the person behind the process for product validation and research that includes countless listening tests, all of which are conducted to deliver the best possible immersive viewing experiences with the finest sound.
▲ Ema Souza Blanes at Audio Lab of Samsung Research America
1. Briefly tell us about yourself and your role in the Samsung Audio Lab.
I am a French audio engineer, and after graduating from the engineering school Arts et Métiers ParisTech (ENSAM) and the Paris-Saclay University, I joined the Samsung Research America’s Audio Lab in Valencia, California. My role with the Audio Lab is to run listening tests for product validation and overall research purposes.
2. What is a new or recent trend happening in the soundbar industry?
Immersion is a topical subject in soundbar development, with the inclusion of more advanced audio technologies such as Dolby Atmos in home audio. Soundbars have also naturally followed the TV design trend with the intent of blending into the home décor with a sleek and discreet build. Though, despite these new slim designs, sound quality and immersion yet remain at the heart of soundbar development.
3. Samsung has recently released the ultra-slim soundbar HW-S800B. What were some of the primary objectives for this model?
The design process of the HW-S800B was dedicated to combining all aspects of these recent trends into one product. We aimed to develop a soundbar that blends seamlessly with discreet screens such as The Frame, which challenged us when it came to customization and optimization due to its slim design.
4. The soundbar’s depth and height are 1.6” x 1.5”, which is a difficult size in which to include all amplifiers and multi-channel speakers. Can you describe some of the challenges you faced during the development process?
Most soundbars in the market that are designed to be slim or small typically have a weaker integration of the subwoofer to the soundbar. The result is a colored sound, especially when it comes to voices. The challenge was to avoid this effect and to ensure that voices are maintained in the center of the sound field. This required custom soundbar transducers and a design capable of low crossover frequency to the subwoofer.
5. We noticed that the subwoofer appears different from past models. Can you elaborate on this difference?
Most subwoofers feature a port to enhance the bass response. Since the HW-S800B’s subwoofer has a smaller enclosure which limits the port size, we recognized that this would cause turbulent air motion, resulting in distortion and less bass. This constraint was addressed by designing a custom passive radiator in place of a port and a long-excursion 6.5” woofer that is able to displace as much air as a larger woofer.
6. Similar to other premium Samsung soundbars, this model features a wireless connection between the soundbar and TV along with Dolby Atmos sound technology. Why should consumers want these capabilities?
Samsung’s 2022 soundbars come with Wireless Dolby Atmos connectivity, a wireless Smart TV-to-soundbar connection in which both the screen and soundbar speakers deliver an incredible audio experience with no distracting cables. It allows for smoother on-wall mounting setups by minimizing the number of visible cables. Nobody wants their homes cluttered or disorganized, and we are living in a time, in which more consumers are eyeing products that perfectly blend their sophisticated, personal style in and out of the home with technological innovation for a better, connected experience. I believe our soundbars exemplify this desire that we’re seeing in the consumer electronics industry.
7. Samsung’s Q-Symphony sound technology has also significantly improved in the past year. What are some of the upgrades over the previous version?
In the 2021 TV models, Q-Symphony combined the power of the top speakers and the soundbar. The new Q-Symphony enhances the surround sound and feeling of immersion through channel separation technology. This enables the soundbar and TV speakers to work together with all the speakers on the TVs, including the top, bottom and side speakers, providing for an expansive, powerful soundscape.
8. Is there anything else we should know about the Audio Lab and your work?
Running listening tests is crucial to ensure the quality of our products. At Samsung, we work closely with our skilled listeners in various and rigorous listening tests where they give their opinion on our products including the comparison between our previous models. The HW-S800B is no exception and showed compelling results while also competing with much larger soundbars.
▲ Samsung Research America’s Audio Lab
1 Samsung Research, acting as Samsung Electronics’ advanced R&D hub, leads the development of future technologies for the company’s Device eXperience (DX) Division.
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On Thursday, Microsoft announced that the Xbox app for smart TVs will launch this month. Starting June 30th, a new Xbox app will be available within the Samsung Gaming Hub or the Media Hub on Samsung’s 2022 smart TVs. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to play hundreds of Xbox games via the cloud from the app without a console.
Xbox app launching on Samsung smart TVs
Samsung says the Xbox app will arrive on Neo QLED and QLED TVs and 2022 Smart Monitor Series. Through the Samsung Gaming Hub, Samsung TV and monitor owners will be able to stream over 100 games. You can see the full list right here, but it includes blockbuster titles like Forza Horizon 5, Halo Infinite, NBA 2K22, and Minecraft.
Providing you have one of the supported TVs or monitors, you can just log in to an existing Microsoft account to stream Xbox games over the cloud.
The Xbox app on Samsung’s TVs and monitors will support a wide variety of controllers at launch. That includes Microsoft’s Xbox controllers and Sony’s DualSense controller for the PS5. Xbox games will only be able to stream at a maximum of 1080p at 60fps. Considering the limitations of cloud streaming, this only makes sense.
Phil Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, shared the following statement this week:
Other major Xbox announcements
The Xbox app on smart TVs was just one of many announcements that Microsoft made on Thursday. The company also revealed that Xbox Cloud Gaming is coming to Argentina and New Zealand. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members in those countries can play games from the cloud today. They can also play Fortnite even if they aren’t members.
Additionally, Xbox Game Pass members will soon be able to play select games they already own from the cloud. Microsoft unveiled Project Moorcraft as well. This feature will allow Xbox Game Pass members to play demos of upcoming games.
Finally, Xbox Design Lab is adding a host of new customization options. There are new pastel colors and new Camo Top cases for Xbox controllers. Plus, Xbox Design Lab is coming to 12 new countries: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Taiwan.
If you want to learn more about the games Microsoft has in store for 2022, tune in to the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase on June 12th at 1 p.m. ET.
The post Xbox app for smart TVs will let you play games without a console appeared first on BGR.
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[Interview] Exploring Innovation in 2022 Neo QLED 8K: Optimizing Picture Quality Through AI and Picture-Enhancing TechnologyBy STF News
Samsung Electronics has been leading the TV industry for more than a decade with the latest technologies available on consumer TVs and screens. In 2022, Samsung has yet again secured the number one spot in terms of market share for 16 consecutive years.1 At the heart of Samsung screens is customer-centric innovation, which powers Samsung screens, including Neo QLED 8K, to deliver immaculate, true-to-life picture quality. Samsung Newsroom sat down with the engineers to provide a deep dive into the innovative features that make Neo QLED 8K the TV it is today, with next-level picture quality and one-of-a-kind features powered by artificial intelligence(AI).
▲ (From left to right) Engineers Younghoon Jeong, Younghun Jo at Hardware Platform Lab, Sangmin Lee, David Jung at Picture Quality Solution Lab of Samsung’s Visual Display Business
Quantum Matrix Technology Pro Delivers Ultra-Fine Contrast With Details in Darkest Blacks and Lightest Whites
Samsung has continued to pave the way forward in innovation for picture quality by applying cutting-edge technologies to its latest TVs. The newly released Neo QLED 8K is an upgraded version of its previous QLED TV and comes with a wide range of innovative features. At the center of this advancement is Quantum Matrix Technology Pro, which takes advantage of the enhanced 14-bit gradation for greater control of the miniaturized light source — the Quantum Mini LEDs. This allows the TV to control its lighting across an astounding 16,384 steps, which is four times greater than conventional 12-bit displays at 4,096 steps, providing true-to-life colors previously unseen.
Shape Adaptive Light and Real Depth Enhancer Add Depth for Vivid, Lifelike Images
Newly introduced technologies, namely Shape Adaptive Light and Real Depth Enhancer, have taken the picture quality offered by Samsung TVs to new heights. These new features optimize contrast and produce clean and punchy images, adding a more realistic sense of depth to your screen.
Real Depth Enhancer improves picture quality by separating an object from a background. “Every image has an object and background with different requirements to bring out the optimal picture quality,” said Jo. “Real Depth Enhancer separates the object from the background to enhance the contrast of the object, making it look clear. In doing so, we can clearly distinguish the object from the background, creating a greater sense of depth and making the images pop.”
Shape Adaptive Light analyzes a scene and estimates the difference in the light layer by each section of a scene to control the light source. Shape Adaptive Light creates the effect of synergy with the latest Quantum Mini LED to precisely control and optimize the light source for an accurate contrast. “Simply put, it makes bright areas stay bright and the dark spaces around it stay dark. Additionally, the technology enables optimal contrast levels and allows details in the inkiest blacks, producing life-like picture quality,” said Jo.
Upgraded Neural Quantum Processor Allows Customized AI Upscaling for Any Given Scene
Technological prowess has allowed us to enjoy 8K picture quality from the comfort of one’s home. Although not all shows and movies are made in 8K, users are able to take full advantage of the latest TV tech Samsung has to offer. In fact, the real value of 8K TVs comes from Samsung’s AI upscaling technology, which offers next-level picture quality by analyzing the image in real-time and upgrading it to higher picture quality or even 8K, regardless of the original image quality. Neo QLED 8K raised the number of neural networks from 16 to 20 to strengthen the capability for image analysis and upscaling. Multi-intelligent AI networks from the Neural Quantum Processor improve not only images, but also cloud games in 8K resolution for seamless and natural gameplay.
“As the number of networks has gone up, we were able to upscale a wider range of content to deliver a better viewing experience for users,” said Jeong. “Samsung added neural networks to make the image of cloud games vivid and reduce noise. The neural networks immediately analyze a picture, optimize a network and upscale it to 8K so that users can enjoy a cleaner game image.”
Jeong shared Samsung’s ambition to provide a better viewing experience: “Samsung’s multi-intelligence AI network is set up to continuously expand, delivering optimal picture quality technology according to a viewing environment and the latest content trends.”
Samsung’s 2022 QLED TVs, the World’s First HDR Displays With ‘Pantone Validated’ Approval
Color is an important factor in evaluating a TV’s picture quality. Samsung has achieved 100% color volume since 2017 and displayed accurate and vivid colors. Samsung’s all-new 2022 QLED models, including Neo QLED 8K, became the world’s first HDR displays with ‘Pantone Validated’ certification. Pantone specializes in color and provides a global color standard, PMS (Pantone Matching System). The certification means that Samsung’s ability to accurately express colors is officially recognized. Neo QLED 8K was acknowledged for its accurate expression of 2,161 Pantone colors and 110 skin tone shades.
“Pantone Validated certification suggests that the color expression of Neo QLED 8K is almost on par with the colors we are able to detect with our eyes,” said Lee. “Technological advancements of Neo Quantum Processor, along with Quantum Dot material help our TVs accurately express more than 2,000 colors recognized by Pantone and also 110 skin tones, the most complicated and delicate colors.”
Smart Calibration — Automatically Calibrate and Optimize Picture Quality in an Easy and Convenient way
Samsung has been providing industry-leading picture quality through technical innovation. A classic example is Smart Calibration, which is embedded in the latest TV models in 2022.
Smart Calibration enables anyone with a Samsung Neo QLED to calibrate their screen by simply using their smartphone.2 This allows users to calibrate their TVs for superb image quality through a simple step-by-step process with the Smart Calibration feature within the Smart Things app. All users have to do is open the Smart Calibration feature within the SmartThings app and point their smartphone camera towards the TV, the SmartThings app will then simplify the process to optimize picture quality. Users can choose between ‘Basic Mode’ and ‘Professional Mode’ according to how accurately they want to adjust picture quality. Basic Mode offers a quick calibration within 15 seconds, while Professional Mode optimizes more details of the picture and takes only 5-8 minutes to complete.
“Picture calibration normally requires expensive equipments, such as a measuring instrument and pattern generator. Smart Calibration enables users to adjust picture quality easily and conveniently with just their smartphone. Samsung developed this solution to help everyone easily calibrate their screens and enjoy accurate images,” said Jung. “Professionals who work with colors like photographers tend to calibrate their devices quite frequently — once every three months or six months. While this isn’t required for ordinary uses, it will be great for users to calibrate their screens using Smart Calibration when they first purchase the TV or when moving the TV to a different location.”
Samsung Neo QLED 8K, the First TV To Receive ‘Eye Care’ Certificate by Top Global Certification Institutes
There is now more amazing content available via OTT services than ever before, and as a result, more and more people are spending their leisure time watching this content on TVs. Therefore, comfortable viewing experience is becoming an important factor influencing TV purchasing decisions.
The 2021 and 2022 Samsung QLED TVs, including Neo QLED 8K, won the ‘Eye Care’ certification from Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker (VDE) in Germany, a test & certification association. This makes them among the first TVs to be awarded a certificate specific to eye care. VDE’s ‘Eye Care’ certification includes ‘Safety for Eyes’, ‘Gentle to the eyes’, flicker level,3 uniformity4 and color fidelity5 assessments. ‘Safety for Eyes’ certification is assigned to products with the emission levels of blue light, ultraviolet rays and infrared rays that fall into the ‘Exempt Group’ according to the classification of emission limits set by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
‘Gentle to the eyes’ certification proves that the amount of melatonin suppression from a device meets the International Commission on Illumination (CIE) standard.
“As TVs become more of an entertainment hub in the home, there’s an increased demand for screens with top-tier picture quality that minimize eye strain. A comfortable viewing experience is quickly becoming a key factor in purchasing decisions, in addition to picture quality and performance. Neo QLED 8K, with its ‘Eye Care’ certification, meets these criteria, offering more comfortable watching experience to users,” said Jung.
Additionally, the Eye Comfort mode on Neo QLED 8K adjusts the screen’s brightness. It limits blue light to provide a more pleasant viewing experience, all done automatically by the TV’s Neural Quantum Processor. “AI technology automatically adjusts a screen’s brightness and color temperature according to a viewing environment so that users can comfortably enjoy their favorite content on their TV,” said Lee. “After sunset, you will see significantly warmer colors and reduced brightness, while during the daytime, the screen will be brighter and more vivid.”
AI technology To Provide Perfect Viewing Experience With Minimal Effort From the Users’ Side
As displays get larger and the technology for enhancing picture quality improves, so too does the standard for good picture quality. “The ultimate goal of advancing our technology in picture quality is to enable our TVs to automatically adjust their own picture quality to its optimal setting, producing a lifelike image. We will continue to develop cutting-edge technology to offer true-to-life picture quality to our consumers,” said Lee.
“Our users’ overall viewing experience is just as important as accurate color and sharpness,” said Jo. This means it is essential to help users conveniently enjoy the best picture quality. “We consistently strive to create a viewing experience where users can simply enjoy content anywhere, in any environment. Samsung is committed to advancing AI technology to provide perfect picture quality with minimal effort from the users’ side.”
1 According to data released by market research firm Omdia
2 Requires Galaxy S, Note, Z Flip or Z Fold series models released after January 2019, or an iPhone that supports Face ID. Supported models may differ depending on the situation. For more information, please check the product manual at samsung.com/support.
3 According to International Electrotechnical Commission(IEC) standard
4 According to International Standard Organization(ISO) standard
5 According to Information Display Measurement Standard(IDMS) standard
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