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Samsung today introduced its 2017 lineup of QLED televisions, which the company bills as having the “best picture quality — ever.” While the Q7, Q8, and Q9 displays are markedly improved, Samsung has also added an “invisible connection” cable with functionality akin to Google’s Chromecast, letting you display content from your phone, tablet, and other “peripheral” devices on the big screen.
At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Samsung announced its foray into QLED TVs, or televisions with displays using quantum dot technology. The subtleties of what makes one display better than another may rest in the eye of the beholder, but Samsung claims that its new televisions can reproduce “100 percent color volume,” or, to put it another way, show all the colors at any level of brightness.
But people aren’t necessarily buying televisions just based on the display these days, so if you’re going to offer a top-of-the-line screen, you need to let viewers watch whatever they want. That’s why Samsung has added its Chromecast-like feature, which was leaked last week with screenshots from the publication of the company’s refreshed iOS Smart View app.
Anyone with access to Samsung’s Smart Hub and the Smart View app can now begin watching live TV shows or videos on-demand from over-the-top services on a phone or tablet and then beam the content to their television to continue watching it on a big screen. The updated Smart View app will display notifications about when your favorite shows are airing and where you can watch them.
As noted by Variety, this isn’t Samsung’s first effort to provide a Chromecast-like experience, as it once tried to leverage its acquisition of Boxee, though that project was ultimately scrapped.
Though there was no mention of bringing this new functionality to the company’s older TVs, it would be great if that were to happen. The Chromecast-like connectivity makes the company’s whole ecosystem more desirable, although whether that will actually lead to improved sales is hard to say.
The new QLED TVs also support the updated “TV plus” service, which just added streaming content from Fandango, along with personalized sports and music sections curated for viewers.
“2017 will mark a major paradigm shift in the visual display industry, ushering in the era of QLED,” said Hyun Suk Kim, president of Samsung’s visual display business, in a statement. “With the advent of QLED TV, we provide the most true-to-life picture on screen. We have been successful in solving for past inconsistencies in the viewing experience and consumer pain points, while redefining the fundamental value of TV.”
Pricing and availability of the newest QLED televisions were not immediately revealed.