After being announced during CES 2023, Samsung is about to start selling its Apple Studio Display competitor next month. The 27-inch ViewFinitiy S9 monitor features a 5K display with a 99% DCI-P3 and 218 PPI.
With more saturated and vivid colors with crisper details, the Sout Korean company says this monitor offers “smart color calibration designed for creative professionals,” which is an industry first. “Users can conveniently customize the screen for precise settings without expensive, complex calibration equipment whenever they want. Using the SmartThings app, users can choose to calibrate in the Basic mode for a quick and easy adjustment of white balance and gamma setting, or they can use Professional mode for complete control of color temperature, luminance, color space, and gamma settings.”
Users only need to point their smartphone camera at the monitor to calibrate the display. Once it’s done, they can view a report detailing the adjustments made and the Delta E color accuracy,
Like Apple Studio Display, the ViewFinity S9 offers a matte option to limit light reflection and glare on the monitor. It has Thunderbolt 4 and Mini DisplayPort inputs and USB-c ones as well. The Thunderbolt 4 compatibility allows users to charge devices with up to 90W of power and transfer data reliably at speeds up to 40 Gbps.
Unlike Apple Studio Display, which offers a 1080p webcam, this monitor comes equipped with a built-in 4K SlimFit camera that connects via a pogo pin without additional cables or equipment. Samsung says the camera delivers “crystal clear quality for video calls” on apps like Google Meet.
What makes the ViewFinity S9 display unique is the ability to use Smart TV apps when you’re not using the monitor to work. A report says Apple is working on a similar approach with a future display, but the availability is still unclear.
With so many similar features – with a few extra points – Samsung’s Apple Studio Display competitor will also be available for less than Apple’s option: $1,599.99 vs. $1,799. In addition, the South Korean company has a cheaper option, the Samsung M8 monitor, which launched in June.
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[Interview] Beyond the Screen: Samsung’s Sound Device Lab Explains How Audio Shapes the TV Viewing ExperienceBy Samsung Newsroom
Sound has the power to transform how we enjoy visual media, from movies to TV shows. Premium audio brings content to life by invoking emotions — complementing what is on screen and sometimes even foreshadowing what will come next. Sound adds depth and texture to the narrative, enhancing the viewer’s connection to the story unfolding.
▲ One of Samsung’s industry-leading anechoic chambers in Suwon is used to accurately evaluate the audio performance for various products.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with Sunmin Kim and Seongsu Park from the Sound Device Lab within the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics to discuss the importance of audio in delivering a superior viewing experience as well as Samsung’s latest innovations in sound and picture quality.
▲ Samsung’s sound engineers explain why audio is so important for the TV viewing experience and introduce some of the latest features based on artificial intelligence (AI).
Bringing Content to Life Through Sound
“Sound plays a very important role in making the content we consume immersive,” said Sunmin Kim, Head of the Sound Device Lab, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. Be it romantic films, funny TV shows or even live sports broadcasts, Kim believes that a majority of the emotional impact from visual content is delivered through sound. “For example, it’s often the background music and sound effects that make horror films more terrifying. If you were to turn off the sound, many scenes wouldn’t be as scary. In fact, you may even find some scenes to be funny.”
▲ “The Sound Device Lab is committed to developing optimal solutions that deliver sound just as artists intended,” said Kim, Head of the Sound Device Lab, Visual Display Business.
“Film, TV and music directors are all artists. And what’s important to me is that they work to amplify stories through sound effects and music,” said Kim. “The goal here at the Sound Device Lab is to deliver content to viewers as the artists intended.”
This can be a daunting task because production and viewing environments tend to vary significantly. Seongsu Park, who oversees speaker development and audio evaluation in the Sound Device Lab, shared some of the challenges his team faces.
“Audio for movies and TV shows, in general, are mixed to a reference level of approximately 85 decibels (dB), equivalent to volume levels found in a movie theater. However, at home, many viewers watch the content at lower volumes. According to our research, many TV viewers reduce the volume to around 60dB, and some even to 20dB, to avoid disturbing neighbors,” explained Park. This means that dialogues that would have been audible in the mixing studio may be indiscernible in the living room. Engineers must consider additional differences in consumers’ viewing environments such as curtains, furniture and other elements that might absorb or deflect sound waves.
▲ “We’ve moved on from front-facing speakers to speakers all around the TV,” said Park of Samsung’s Visual Display Business.
The Sound Device Lab found solutions in the form of hardware and software innovations. From the hardware side, multiple smaller, specialized speakers were introduced to provide surround sound. The software side tuned these speakers to form a balanced audio experience and remixed the sound signals to ensure key sound factors are delivered to viewers.
From Few, Front-Facing to Many, Everywhere-Facing Speakers
TVs are usually limited to their set form factor when producing sound. Recently, this limitation has become increasingly restrictive for sound engineers as TVs have become slimmer from both the front and side. “In the past, huge front-facing stereo speakers were on each side of the TV screen. Current TV designs deny such placement,” said Park. “We were forced to dig deep.”
▲ TV designs have become thinner and slimmer, forcing sound engineers to get creative.
The Sound Device Lab responded to the challenge by developing multiple smaller speaker units for its TVs and placing them away from plain sight. By arranging these units in different directions and coordinating the audio output, the team was able to simulate surround sound.
This technology is further pushed in models that feature Neural Processing Units (NPUs), such as the Neural Quantum Processor found on select Neo QLED TV models, by unlocking features such as Object Tracking Sound (OTS). OTS identifies picture and audio objects on the screen in real time before matching, tracking and coordinating multiple speakers to create a dynamic three-dimensional soundscape.
▲ The latest Samsung TVs utilize a number of distributed speakers to offer a more 3D-like sound.1
To support slimmer bezels and flat-to-the-wall TV designs, sound engineers also had to reduce the physical size of the speakers. Speakers operate by physically pushing out air, so in many cases, speaker performance is directly affected by size. As the Sound Device Lab could not physically enlarge the speakers, it instead focused on the range of movement.
“Let’s say the moving range of a speaker driver is 100. Using 50-70% of that range was considered to be sufficient. To respond to slimmer TV designs, however, we raised that range to 80-85%,” explained Park. “As we fit smaller but more efficient speakers in our TVs, we were not only able to accommodate the slimmer design, but we also ended up improving the collective sound performance.”
▲ A wide range of speakers are strategically positioned in recent Samsung TVs, including up-firing and side-firing hidden center speakers as well as woofers that bounce deep bass off the walls.1
Creating Perfect Balance From Every Angle
While adding speakers resulted in a more immersive and dynamic audio experience, it posed another challenge. Sound engineers had to fine-tune and balance the multiple speakers to achieve a perfect blend of sound. With many speakers operating at differing frequency ranges and all facing different directions, tuning them to work in unison as a single balanced unit became exponentially difficult — but it had to be done.
The effort started with gathering accurate data. In anechoic and semi-anechoic chambers, the Sound Device Lab members measured TV sounds from 323 different points, covering the entire range of TV viewing, for each of the settings until the frequency and volume balance was optimal. After that, they took each model to listening rooms and simulated various real-life living room settings to ensure the speakers were tuned to perfection.
▲ Direct sounds, sans echoes and reverberations, are measured and tuned at a total of 323 points by adjusting TV angles. This is an essential process in tuning each unit to an optimal sound balance.
▲ (Clockwise from the top left) The images represent the following: (1) a graph measuring Sound Pressure Level (SPL) by frequency band at a specific angle, (2) SPL in a specific frequency space, (3) SPL by distance for all frequency bands and SPL by frequency band at an angle from a specific direction and (4) a graph combining measurements from all 323 points. This is the process of finding a “Target Curve” that ensures even sound distribution within the human hearing range, tuning each speaker to deliver excellent sound quality from any angle.
As the global TV market leader for 17 consecutive years, Samsung remains committed to innovating the TV experience. So, what’s next?
“I was shocked when a colleague told me that the volume keys are the most frequently pressed buttons on a TV remote. This signals a clear inconvenience. So, it has become a vision of mine to remove the volume buttons completely from the remote control,” shared Park, expressing his desire to enable Samsung TVs to automatically adjust the volume based on surrounding noise.
“Great technology produces and delivers accurate sound,” said Kim. “We will continue to incorporate our long-running expertise with newer technologies such as AI to create as close a reference sound as possible.”
In the next part of this series, Samsung Newsroom will explore the role of AI in elevating audio performance and sound experiences.
1 Speaker locations may vary by model.
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It’s render season, people!
As reported by MySmartPrice, renowned leaker OnLeaks has released a number of new renders showing off what the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will look like. According to the report and the renders, the new Classic will “feature a rotating bezel around the circular display.” It also says that the “Pro” name is going away in favor of the new “Classic” name.
The report also speculates that the Galaxy Watch 6 Classic will feature multiple strap options, a likely feature that is popular with most smartwatches these days.
The Galaxy Watch 6 Classic is expected to debut at Samsung’s Galaxy Unpacked event this summer. It’s still unclear when the event will kick off, but the last event in 2022 happened at the beginning of August, so it’s likely that this year will be close to the same.
I’m personally still good with my Apple Watch Ultra, but that’s also because the Classic is definitely not being sold as an adventure device. It looks like a pretty sick watch, though, so I’m sure people in the Samsung ecosystem will be really happy with the level of style the company could bring to it.
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Samsung has announced a new iteration of its Apple Studio Display rival. The 2023 Smart Monitor Samsung M8 received multiple upgrades and feature enhancements from the previous generation.
The South Korean company says its Apple Studio Display competitor offers 4K resolution with HDR10+ support and 400 nit brightness with color coverage up to 99% sRGB color gamut, which brings “all content to life in brilliant color for content creators.”
While Apple Studio Display offers 5K resolution, which is ideal for Macs, the new Samsung M8 monitor is still a solid option, mainly because it provides two different sizes: 27-inch and 32-inch displays.
Samsung also slimmed the bezels, so it looks even better than a standard M1 iMac. The company says this Apple Studio Display rival has a flat, super slim back of 11.39mm thick. It offers a height-adjustable stand with tilt, and the screen can now rotate 90 degrees to view long documents in portrait orientation. In addition, it’s possible to put it on a wall mount.
The Samsung M8 monitor also offers smart TV-like features such as Samsung Gaming Hub and popular streaming apps like Prime Video, Netflix, and YouTube, and users can connect, control, and manage smart devices through its built-in SmartThings Hub.
Image source: Samsung The Apple Studio Display competitor offers built-in voice assistants, including Bixby and Amazon Alexa. It also has a built-in mic, offers a removable, magnetic camera with FHD resolution, and video conferencing features with Google Meet and other apps. It even features a Center Stage-like feature called Auto Framing, which keeps users in the center of the frame, even when they move.
This monitor also can wirelessly connect to Apple devices to view content from an iPhone, iPad, and Mac on a bigger screen. Samsung even enhanced the interface of the M8 monitor, so mouse and keyboard control functionalities now work with SmartThings and Smart Hub.
Lastly, it offers four ports. Users can connect completely to the smart monitor without any adapters to charge devices, transmit data, or make the most of a multi-screen setup.
The Samsung M8 monitor will be available this June in Warm White, Daylight Blue, Sunset Pink, and Spring Green colors. It costs $699.99 in the 32-inch version and $649.99 in the 27-inch version, basically 1/3 of what Apple charges for the Studio Display.
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By Samsung Newsroom
▲ (from left) Sarah Larsen Tobin, Vice President of Home Entertainment Marketing for Samsung Electronics America, talked about “More Wow Than Ever + Connected Living” with Martha Stewart, well-known American businesswoman and the Queen of Domestic Arts; Carl Nassib, American professional football player; and Rosario Dawson, who played Lara in Men in Black II, at Samsung 837, Samsung’s newly reopened experience store in New York on April 4.
Unbox & Discover 2023: A Closer Look at the Global Launch Event
Samsung’s subsidiaries worldwide have begun Unbox & Discover (U&D) 2023 in April to unveil new models in local markets and take preorders for new products. After a three-year hiatus from hosting the event in-person due to the pandemic, Samsung held its first offline U&D event to showcase its latest innovations.
Major subsidiaries around the globe, including the U.S., Australia and Singapore hosted the event at special venues, bringing key retailers, media and influencers together to demonstrate the innovative experiences of Samsung 2023 TV models, centered on its Neo QLED 8K.
This year’s U&D event theme was “Global One Launch”. All of the participating subsidiaries hosted events simultaneously around the globe, with both in-person and virtual components. Samsung Newsroom is taking a closer look at Unbox & Discover 2023, which provided rich customer experiences at landmarks around the world.
▲ Samsung Electronics America’s U&D held at Samsung 837 was filled with media and influencers. The subsidiary broadcasted the event on its official website for those who weren’t able to attend.
Expanding Partnerships With Creators in America
Samsung Electronics America introduced the Samsung Neo QLED 8K and 4K, highlighting upgraded features and larger screen sizes. The company added an ultra-large 98-inch model to the product lineup and unveiled more sophisticated, groundbreaking technologies like Auto HDR Remastering and 8K AI upscaling. Amongst other media, TechRadar highly praised the QN900C, the top Neo QLED 8K model, for its industry-leading picture quality, saying “There were many moments while viewing when I silently uttered “wow,” and that’s certainly not something I find myself doing with every TV I test.”
Samsung Electronics America plans to actively partner with various creators for a series of digital content to show how Samsung home entertainment products enhance connectivity and personalize experiences that improve our daily lives.
Samsung Electronics America has also launched a limited time offer to celebrate U&D. Customers who buy the QN800C or QN900C from the official Samsung website or at select retail stores by April 16 will be given a free 32-inch Frame.
Modeling the Samsung Lifestyle in Australia
On the other side of the globe, Samsung Electronics Australia hosted the offline U&D event and targeted key retailers, VIPs, media and influencers at WatersEdge in The Rocks, Sydney. To illustrate its “Screens for every Experience” theme, Samsung Electronics Australia demonstrated its lineup throughout different rooms in a model home. Various scenarios were played out to show visitors how Samsung TVs can integrate seamlessly into users’ lifestyles.
▲ Jeremy Senior, Vice President from Consumer Electronics of Samsung Electronics Australia explained Neo QLED 8K technology to visitors
▲ Influencers attended the event to see the new lineup and share content in real time across social platforms. They enjoyed hands-on time with the 2023 Samsung TV lineup and experienced various Calm Tech scenarios via SmartThings.
▲ Samsung Electronics Australia shared interactive content to its social media channels that reflected the demonstrations at the event.
▲ Aaron Mcnamara, Head of Product, AV from Samsung Electronics Australia explained the picture quality and features of Samsung OLED to highly engaged attendees
▲ Briellyn Turton, a renowned interior designer and stylist in Australia, hosted the U&D event, introducing various user scenarios to visitors
Creating Buzz at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore
▲ Samsung Electronics Singapore organized U&D 2023 for retailers, media and customers at Marina Bay Sands from April 4 to 6. Visitors took part in a docent tour of the event set up, which included eight zones. Following the tour, visitors took to social media to share their experiences with new products.
▲ As part one if its virtual event, Samsung Electronics Singapore posted a snapshot of the event in real time on its official Instagram account. In the story, Dennis Jang, President of Samsung Electronics Singapore, introduced Neo QLED 8K to attendees (right).
▲ Visitors were welcomed with a docent tour focused on the picture quality and features of Samsung Neo QLED 8K. Twenty-eight media professionals who joined the event said that demo zones helped them better understand TV features. In particular, visitors enjoyed the Home Cinema booth and Sustainability booth, which showcased scenarios of ultra-large TV screens at home along with Samsung’s sustainability efforts.
▲ At Singapore U&D 2023, the CEO of National Gallery Singapore and a Dolby Atmos representative gave a speech on the partnership with Samsung Art Store and their efforts to improve users’ audiovisual experiences.
Intimate Experiences With Screens Across Europe
European subsidiaries, including Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, Hungary and Serbia, also hosted the U&D event on and offline, catching the attention of local media. The subsidiaries hosted a countdown timer for U&D on their websites starting on April 5 to drive excitement and conversation leading up to the event.
▲ On April 5, Samsung Electronics Hungary brought ten media professionals who focus on tech, lifestyle and interior design to a local restaurant to provide them with first-hand experiences of the 2023 Samsung TV lineup.
▲ Samsung Electronics Hungary provided media with an intimate experience to wow the crowd and give new products’ design the proper space to standout.
▲ Media and product reviewers also experienced Samsung’s soundbar, the Q Series, which was released last year as the company’s top premium model. Samsung is also marking its ninth year in a row topping the global soundbar market by sales.
▲ On April 5, Samsung Electronics Serbia invited local media professionals to showcase 2023 TV lineup and Lifestyle TV lineup.
Telegraf, a renowned local media outlet said, “This is an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with a large number of new devices at once, to see the entire Bespoke ecosystem. New TV devices also look impressive. ‘Home cinema’ is something that is more and more interesting to both us and the readers.”
Unbox & Discover, Samsung’s global launch event, provided insights into this year’s product portfolio to a global audience, with customized experiences for each local market. The event provided a platform for attendees to hear from product experts and see the innovative product lineup for themselves ahead of their global roll out.
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