Samsung VP on TVs: 'The discussion about picture quality will become obsolete'

Who cares about picture quality? Soon, nobody, according to Samsung, which has announced more details of its forthcoming Frame TVs.

Describing its quantum dot tech as a “huge leap forward” at the IFA Grand Press Conference in Lisbon today, Michael Zoller, Vice President, Head of Visual Display Europe at Samsung, then delivered a modest claim about the company’s QLED-branded LCD TVs. 

“QLED with quantum dot and 4K HDR content is delivering the greatest picture quality and experience you will ever have on any TV,” he said. “But I won’t dwell further on picture quality because we believe that with the launch of QLED the discussion about picture quality will become obsolete.”

“Don’t misunderstand; of course we know that picture quality is very important and is the foundation of the TV, but we have now reached a level where the improvement will become less and less visible.” 

Samsung's Frame TVs will be sold in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes

Samsung's Frame TVs will be sold in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes

Initial reviews of Samsung’s QLED TVS – such as the 65-inch Samsung QE65Q9FAM/QN65Q9FAM – are positive, though Zoller’s presentation at the event was followed by data from GfK that suggested that OLED TVs are doing well compared to these big screen LCDTVs.

“Up until now the industry has been driven by bigger TVs, but something very interesting is happening,” said Paul Gray, Principal Analyst at IHS Technology. “OLED TV prices are the same as a premium LCD TV that’s 10 inches bigger … it’s becoming a compelling option to go for an OLED rather than a bigger LCD.” 

For instance, said Gray, 65-inch OLED TVs out-sell 75-inch LCD TVs despite prices being the same. OLED tech is being embraced every TV brand bar Samsung in 2017.

Samsung’s claims about picture quality’s demise as a reason for choosing a TV were followed by an announcement that its Frame TVs, unveiled at the CES in January as prototypes, will be on sale very soon. 

The design-led QLED TVs, which have been created to look like works of art when switched-off, are a clear attempt to rival LG’s Signature Series W7 OLED TVs. 

Zoller announced that the Frame TVs will sell in Europe by the end of May, and then roll-out across the globe. They will be available in both 55-inch and 65-inch sizes, with an RRP of €2,200 ($2,350, £1,840, AUS$3,125).

The Frame TVs will go on sale in Europe by the end of May

The Frame TVs will go on sale in Europe by the end of May

Other details, such as resolution, were not shared, though Zoller did announce the Frame TVs would be easy to hang on a wall and have only one cable. They're a reaction to Samsung’s research that found that 30% of Europeans hang a TV on a wall, but 70% would like to. 

Along with a mount that allows the TV to sit flush to a wall, the Frame TVs will have an ‘invisible cable’, though he did neglect to mention the power cable.

The accompanying video also showed several images of Frame TVs hung way above eye-level in living rooms. Now that’s a rookie mistake if ever we saw one.

“There is so much more than resolution, size and picture quality,” concluded Zoller. “So be prepared to talk less and less about picture quality and more and more about your life and your style when it comes to televisions.”

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Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and He also edits two of his own websites, and that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),