By Samsung Newsroom
Small enough to be held in one hand while boasting a sensational design, The Freestyle has gained attention in the portable projector market since its launch in 2022. Samsung recently released The Freestyle 2nd Gen, an upgraded portable projector that is making imagination a reality.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with Wonki Kim from Lifestyle Team, Seongwon Seo from Picture Quality Solution Lab and TJ Kim from Future Planning Group of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics to hear about the characteristics and development of The Freestyle 2nd Gen.
▲ Smart Edge Blending demonstration video
No Compromise for ‘Smart Edge Blending’
Smart Edge Blending is one of the biggest upgrades in The Freestyle 2nd Gen. The feature seamlessly merges projections from two The Freestyle devices to create a large screen for pictures and videos. By connecting the two devices to the SmartThings app and synchronizing the video output with a photo of the projected screens, users can enjoy a full-screen experience from anywhere.
“Edge-blending is a sophisticated technology that usually requires dedicated hardware and software to manually control each pixel,” said Seongwon Seo. “In line with the easy-to-use concept of The Freestyle, we engineered Smart Edge Blending to help first-time users easily blend screens wirelessly, without a dedicated device or help from an expert.”
▲ Smart Edge Blending can be used through the SmartThings app.
When Smart Edge Blending is activated, the connected smartphone will engage with The Freestyle portable projectors in real time. Content sync and adjustment processes take place automatically via communication between the devices. “Screen alignment can easily be done using the SmartThings guide when a user captures a picture of the projected screen. The analytic algorithm will analyze the span and overlap of the patterns at eight main points on the setup screen and then adjust the projection on each device,” he explained.
▲ The Freestyle 2nd Gen with Smart Edge Blending on display at IFA 2023
Smart Edge Blending was born out of user pattern analysis. “We found that consumers tend to use The Freestyle as a highly portable personal screen in whatever space they are in — whereas the living room TV would be for fixed, communal use. In fact, there were many cases where single households would purchase several projectors,” said TJ Kim. “When you have more than one device, why not combine them?”
By connecting The Freestyle devices, users can enlarge their screen by up to 160 inches and enjoy a 21:9 screen ratio with no further manual adjusting. Speaker capacity is doubled and intensified with the choice of dedicating the left and right stereo sound output to each device to create a more immersive audio experience.
▲ (From left) TJ Kim from Future Planning Group and Seongwon Seo from Picture Quality Solution Lab
“What’s charming about Smart Edge Blending is that it can be expanded not just horizontally but vertically as well,” said Seo. “This feature is even more useful with the rise of vertical content such as Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. Most consumers are used to viewing ultra-large horizontal content at movie theaters but are not quite familiar with ultra-large vertical content. But it’s actually quite nice once you try it.”
Nonetheless, there were challenges during development. The original plan was to only support still images, since video requires extensive computing power and real-time alignment. In early stages, the setup also required a high-resolution picture of the projection as well.
▲ Seongwon Seo from Picture Quality Solution Lab explains how the complex Smart Edge Blending technology was built for anyone.
“It is an extremely difficult task to get two wireless devices to continuously be in sync. While The Freestyle development first started with still images, we couldn’t give up on videos because that’s what more consumers prefer watching with our device. Using a wire to hook up the devices was unthinkable given the highly mobile concept of The Freestyle. We supported the engineers until, one day, they managed to achieve the unthinkable,” said TJ Kim.
“Writing an algorithm that can analyze low-resolution images is a very demanding task — but we felt a sense of relief when we finally succeeded,” he added. “At first, it seemed impossible to minimize the margin of error between the two projections. The strict internal standard doesn’t even allow a single-pixel margin of error. Our breakthrough ultimately resulted from an assumption model that could accurately determine the state of projected setup patterns from low-resolution pictures.”
Staying True to Concept While Adding Fun
Through Samsung Gaming Hub, The Freestyle 2nd Gen supports gaming — a content form that was once unimaginable to enjoy on a portable projector. The addition of Samsung’s cloud gaming platform frees users from the limitations of consoles, wires and fixed screens such as smart TVs and monitors. “Gaming is one of the entertainment types that really highlights the portability of The Freestyle,” shared TJ Kim. “Users can now enjoy games through Samsung Gaming Hub anytime and anywhere, without a console.”
▲ Visitors at Samsung’s IFA 2023 booth test cloud games available on Samsung Gaming Hub with The Freestyle 2nd Gen.
Updates were made for added sustainability. “The light source life has been extended from 20,000 to 30,000 hours,” said Wonki Kim. “With 30,000 hours, The Freestyle can support a demanding eight hours of use per day for 10 years.” The Freestyle’s remote control was also upgraded to a SolarCell Remote that can be charged with sunlight or indoor lighting, eliminating the need for disposable batteries.
Processing speed was revamped too. Compared to the first model, The Freestyle 2nd Gen’s memory has been expanded to speed up signal processing and remote control response. By testing usage scenarios during development, the device’s UI and UX were improved immensely to make the projector accessible to anyone.
▲ Wonki Kim from Lifestyle Team underscores compactness, portability and usability as the reasons behind the popularity of The Freestyle among young people.
Screens Everywhere as a Strategy
With the vision of “Screens Everywhere, Screens for All,” The Freestyle 2nd Gen prioritizes portability and mobility to enable users to experience the benefits of a movable screen.
“Although it’s clearly a hassle to set up, the tripod has become such a natural part projectors — so much that no one thought twice about it,” said TJ Kim. “We envision a projector without a tripod or other accessories. That’s how The Freestyle 2nd Gen came to life.”
▲ The Freestyle 2nd Gen on display in a caravan at IFA 2023
The creators behind The Freestyle continue to dream. “As we work to achieve ‘Screens Everywhere, Screens for All,’ we’re constantly planning innovations around Samsung’s projector lineup — The Freestyle and The Premiere. Our goal is to move beyond simply targeting the existing market and present a new screen experience for everyone,” shared Wonki Kim.
“We plan to continue addressing the limitations of space and strengthen connections among various Samsung devices to generate meaningful synergy,” added TJ Kim.
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By Samsung Newsroom
Samsung Electronics, a global leader in the TV industry for 17 consecutive years, has been propelling its commitment towards sustainable tech through a series of new features. The latest AI Energy mode on SmartThings is a prime example of Samsung’s commitment to Everyday Sustainability. It works by leveraging the TV’s built-in processor and sensors to analyze the viewing environments and automatically adjusts relevant settings to save energy.
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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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Unbox & Discover 2023 in Brazil Presents Bigger Screens, Game-Changing Partnerships, Personalized Display Solutions and MoreBy Samsung Newsroom
Samsung Electronics held its latest Unbox & Discover 2023 on June 6 in Sao Paolo, Brazil, introducing the latest Smart TV and Soundbar portfolio alongside an exciting collaboration with the e-Sports giant, LOUD. This partnership is set to connect Brazilian gaming fans with the latest in e-Sports and provide ultimate gaming experiences through the all-new Neo QLED 4K Gaming TV.
▲ WW Kim, President of the Consumer Electronics Division at Samsung Electronics Brazil, welcomes attendees to Unbox & Discover 2023
At the core of Samsung’s partnership with LOUD is the concept of providing screen options that match the preferences of every user — a goal that is also at the heart of the new 2023 TV and display solutions portfolio. There is something for everyone in Samsung’s latest lineup: From the Neo QLED 8K category that features the apex of screen technologies for revolutionary viewing experiences to the Crystal UHD TV that marries ultra-high-resolution screen quality with design elegance.
▲ Samsung Brazil’s collaboration with LOUD will feature two squads of e-Sports athletes as well as influencers representing Samsung in various competitions and events
Bringing Brazilian Fans Closer to the Community They Love
Featuring screen technologies for optimized gaming performance, Samsung’s TV lineup helps game enthusiasts all over the world make the most out of the games they love. As such, it’s a natural choice for Samsung to partner with Brazilian professional e-Sports and entertainment organization LOUD to help gamers access even more of their favorite titles.
The partnership is set to showcase a range of focused campaigns and exciting activations with two squads of local gaming influencers going head-to-head at fan-favorite games made even more compelling with the outstanding performance of Samsung’s latest TVs and monitors.
The Neo QLED Gaming TV squad will consist of pro gaming athletes from LOUD’s VALORANT team while the Odyssey Squad will include local League of Legends influencers.
Unique Functionality for Fluid Display Experiences
Another highlight from Unbox & Discover 2023 was the announcement of the Samsung Neo QLED 4K Gaming TV (QN90C), a new member of the Neo QLED 4K lineup available in 43-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch models. Fitted with an enhanced Neural Quantum Processor 4K that features AI and 20 neural networks exclusive to Samsung and a Super Ultra-Wide screen available in multiple formats, users can enjoy premium gaming experiences even when upscaling content.
With up to 144Hz1 in the 43- and 50-inch models, the TV’s panel Mini LEDs create the ideal viewing environment to watch and play with maximum fluidity. The Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro2 feature also ensures high performance during matches, with low response time and 4K images on any of the four HDMI 2.1 ports.
▲ An illustrative concept image of the all-new Neo QLED 4K Gaming TV QN90C
The Neo QLED 4K Gaming TV’s processor converts any SDR content to HDR using Deep Learning technology, ensuring all scenes feature accurate luminosity and brightness. In addition, FreeSync Premium Pro2 and Quantum Dot technologies deliver 100% color volume,3 while Dolby Atmos4 technology paired with Sound in Motion Plus2 offers truly immersive sound. Alongside these functionalities, the NeoSlim Design2 of the TV ensures cinematic, distraction-free gameplay experiences.
“I got to know about gamers and the products that serve both users looking for high-investment hardware and those who want more affordable options. The highlight of the event was LOUD’s sponsorship announcement with Samsung,” said Raphael Batista of Meu PlayStation. Paulo Barba of Barba Sou Eu added, “There was also a lot of emphasis on the gamers’ part, and I was happy to know that the presence of the Gaming Hub is so relevant today.”
The Next Evolution of Samsung Smart TVs and Display Solutions
▲ Unbox & Discover 2023 in Brazil introduced the latest TV and display products from Samsung, including interactive hands-on experience zones.
Apart from the Neo QLED 4K TV, Samsung’s Unbox & Discover 2023 showcased other products from the latest 2023 Smart TV and Soundbar product line, including the Neo QLED 8K, Samsung OLED and QLED TVs and Crystal UHD 4K models.
A major highlight of the lineup, the Samsung Neo QLED 8K5 features cutting edge innovation for large screens with outstanding sound performance from Dolby Atmos. The 85-inch model (QN900C) features groundbreaking Mini LED technology, 64 AI-powered neural networks in its Neural Quantum Processor 8K6 and SDR to HDR conversion for upscaling.
The Samsung OLED 4K (S90C) features 20 neural networks for optimal image upscaling and an AI-powered Neural Quantum Processor 4K that scans and improves on-screen brightness and depth for lifelike, 3D viewing experiences.
Among the new models announced as part of the UHD lineup, the Crystal UHD 4K (CU8000) is a stand-out Smart TV featuring Dynamic Crystal Color for new levels of color display in ultra-high resolution.
Samsung also showcased the latest smart features of its Lifestyle line, including the all-new 2023 models of The Frame, The Serif and The Sero TVs as well as The Freestyle and The Premiere projectors.
▲ Unbox & Discover 2023 attendees learn about all the latest innovations and products.
A Step Forward Into the Future of the Samsung Smart TV
Unbox & Discover 2023 attendees expressed excitement around the announcements, with many looking forward to experiencing the latest products and innovations set to bring premium viewing, gaming and entertainment to users of every lifestyle in the coming year.
▲ Unbox & Discover 2023 visitors receive first-hand information about the latest products.
“Samsung continues to bring new premium devices, offering more consumers the opportunity to choose between a Neo QLED or an OLED,” said Dante Baptista of Terra. “Samsung is truly consolidating its complete offering within the Smart TV space,” agreed Jacson Boeing of Mundo Conectado. “My experience with the S90C showed it to be a superior OLED product, further establishing Samsung’s leadership across many industry segments.”
Junior Nannetti of Loop Infinito echoed the excitement for the latest announcements. “This moment is an important one for the OLED segment as we are seeing industry leader Samsung enter,” they noted. “Ultimately what this does in the long run is offer consumers the power of choice.”
Stay tuned to Samsung Newsroom for the latest on Samsung’s all-new 2023 Smart TV and Soundbar lineup.
1 The refresh rate of the display will adjust based on the type of content or game being viewed.
2 Feature names may differ across regions.
3 The maximum brightness may vary depending on the model and size of the TV. Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker (VDE) has officially recognized Samsung’s QLED TV as the first TV in the world capable of producing 100% of the available color volume. Samsung’s QLED TVs are based on Quantum Dot technology.
4 To experience this, users must connect their Soundbar to their TV via HDMI cable, purchased separately. Wireless Dolby Atmos via Wi-Fi works with select Samsung 2022 TVs.
5 The Neo QLED 8K portfolio includes the QN900C model, available in a 85-inch version, the QN800C model, available in 65-, 75- and 85-inch versions and the QN700B model, available in a 55-inch version. Playback of 8K materials can vary by 8K streaming, connectivity and other decoding standards.
6 Viewing experience may vary by content type and format. Upscaling may not apply to Computer and Game Mode.
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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.
Don't Miss: Uber will now let you book a Waymo self-driving car through its appThe post Samsung Galaxy Watch 6 Classic leaks, but I’m still good with my Apple Watch Ultra appeared first on BGR.
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