Samsung may have only just put its S-Series Ultra HD TVs on sale recently, but the company isn’t slowing down, revealing it has new models – big and small – due in September. Presenting at the pre-IFA Global Press Conference, Samsung confirmed that it has larger and smaller versions of its UHD S9000 sets running at 4K resolution for IFA 2013 later this year.
The company wouldn’t be drawn on exactly how large or small the new models would be, only referring to the 85-inch “entry level” S-Series set currently available. That leaves plenty of room for those with smaller rooms to find a model to fit, though whether they’d have sufficient space to make the most of the high resolution remains to be seen.
There’s also the question of content, something which even Samsung concedes that is significantly lacking unless you’re relying on upscaling. Broadcast UHD shows aren’t expected until 2016 at the earliest – Samsung pointed out that the decoding and tuner standards aren’t settled upon yet, which means they can’t yet build them into the TVs with any confidence – while physical content will probably land in 2015.
Streaming or downloading might be the answer, though it’ll demand a fat internet connection. Again, though, there are issues surrounding that, not least the fact that the HEVC codec likely to be used – the successor to the MPEG4 codec currently prevalent – isn’t yet standardized for UHD 3D at 60fps.
In short, “currently there is no television which is compatible with the upcoming UHD standards” Samsung admitted, its own included. However, the firm is relying on its Evolution Kit to fill that gap down the line, a slot-in box that will add an upgraded processor, graphics chip, connectivity and more, bringing older sets up to speed with technology released after they’ve gone on sale.
So far, though, we’ve only seen Evolution Kit plans for the 2012 range, granting them the same specs as the 2013 line-up; it’s unclear how far back Samsung will retroactively be polishing old products. We’ll be at IFA 2013 in September to find out how the new size Ultra HD sets slot into the new range.