Samsung has announced a new feature coming to its Smart TVs designed to optimise the picture based on the amount of ambient light in the room. If that sounds at all familiar, it’s likely because it’s something that your smartphone does every minute of every day.
Ambient light sensors built into the borders around the screen, or in pricier border-less handsets – underneath the screen itself, measure the amount of light around you and adjust the brightness. This is designed to preserve battery life, while still ensuring that you can read everything on-screen when looking at your phone in direct sunlight.
So, that all makes sense on a smartphone… but what is the point in a 4K OLED set? While there might not be any battery life to preserve, Samsung says the technology will enable its Smart TVs to adjust the picture to ensure optimum viewing in all light conditions.
HDR, which stands for High Dynamic Range, content is usually designed to look its best in a dark room, which makes sense as this picture standard is often associated with Hollywood blockbusters. However, as more and more shows race to embrace HDR and people’s viewing habits change, Samsung has looked to find a way to adjust the HDR picture to get the same viewing experience in the middle of the day.
Samsung hasn’t confirmed which Smart TV models will benefit from this latest innovation, but it has confirmed the feature will be available “globally” and will be included in “upcoming QLED TV products.”
Dubbed HDR10+ Adaptive, Samsung has confirmed TVs with this option will continue to work with Filmmaker Mode, a display setting that debuted last year and is designed to disable post-processing effects, like motion smoothing, to show content as accurately as possible. Motion smoothing has been chastised by a number of prominent A-listers, including Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, Wolf Of Wall Street), Edgar Wright (Baby Driver, Shaun Of The Dead), and James Gunn (Guardians Of The Galaxy) to name a few. So those who want to see their blockbusters as the creative teams behind them believe they should be seen will be pleased about this announcement.
Compared to Dolby Vision – another standard used by the industry to bring more colours and fidelity to the screen – HDR10+ isn’t quite as widely supported by streaming services. That said, Samsung, comfortably the largest television manufacturer on the planet, is behind the technology, which could definitely ensure more widespread adoption in the coming months and years.
Amazon Prime Video is one of a few that supports HDR10+ as standard. Meanwhile, Apple TV, Netflix and Disney+ all support Dolby Vision.
“As consumers spend more time at home, Samsung has been looking for ways to enrich consumers’ entertainment experience in the comfort of their homes,” said Younghun Choi, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung. “We are delighted to offer smart picture quality solutions that will enhance consumers’ at-home HDR viewing experience, bringing an original-quality cinematic experience to our consumers around the world.”