“The new digital dividend opens up many possibilities for new channels with UHD” Nacho Monge, Samsung.
The market of smart tvs has evolved a lot and very fast in recent years, with new technologies in panels, operating systems, connectivity, image formats, resolutions and even screen shapes.
What will the coming months bring us? In SamaGame we have been able to speak with Nacho Monge, Marketing Manager of Samsung Spainwithin the framework of the Casa Decor art and interior design fair in Madrid, who has advanced us some of the trends that will hit the shelves soon and his vision of the smart TV concept for the coming years.
SamaGame: What are the most valued aspects right now by the consumer when buying a television?
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Nacho Monge: The consumer, if we forget the price, which is the first thing he asks of us, wants the best image quality and a large format television. And this is where SUHD has a great differential, first because it is capable of reproducing colors in a much more real way than what is in nature and how the director wanted to create it, together with the 1,000 Nits HDR. SUHD must be understood as a new technology that is not simply LEDs, but nanocrystals that improve color and that is what is really impacting the consumer.
SUHD has a great differential, since it is capable of reproducing colors in a much more real way than what is in nature.
If we add to this that SUHD televisions can enter from the outset in a very competitive way compared to other technologies, they make it, today, one of the preferences of consumers.
SamaGame: In the color technology part, there has always been a debate about saturation, especially when you want to make television more spectacular by showing it in demonstrations in shopping malls, fairs, etc. Do you think you have reached the balance between fidelity and spectacularity of the image?
Nacho Monge: Yes, it is true that in the past the industry has been guilty of saturating some colors to increase the spectacular. What happens with SUHD is that what comes first is reproduce it as it is in nature and for that Samsung is capable of reproducing 96% of the DCI pattern, with which the result is colors very similar to reality and to what is seen on movie screens.
SamaGame: Since last year we have been talking a lot about HDR and we have the same problem as with 4K: where is the content available? When is it a realistic forecast that we will start to have this type of content available?
by the end of 2016 we will have around 100 titles on Blu-ray UHD with HDR
Nacho Monge: There are many ways, for example the latest generation phones can record in HDR, but of course, it is an amateur video and very traditional. Second, Samsung through its UHD Blu-ray will play HDR content, such as the movie “The Martian”. And then there is streaming. The conversations we have with Netflix is that in the second half of 2016 it will be able to play content in UHD with HDR.
SamaGame: Gaming functionality is a bit hidden on your TVs, as is the case with GameFly. Are people really using it? Do you see yourselves in the video game business?
Nacho Monge: Well, we integrate the gaming experience through smartTV and video games they are one more leg of smartTV. GameFly’s catalog is quite relevant, with good quality similar to Playstation 2 or 3 and our approach is like a first console. A family that has a 7 or 8-year-old son and is looking for a first console with good quality games but without reaching the level of super-PC games.
I think we are in a first phase working with GameFly and there is still a long way to go, since as you have said, the penetration of the service in Spain is relatively small, unlike in other countries, such as the United States or the United Kingdom.
SamaGame: You are trying to get the Administration to bet on a higher broadcast quality, such as 4K, on conventional channels. What can you tell us about it?
Nacho Monge: We talk to the different local administrations about how to improve and develop the television industry. It is clear that in our neighboring countries there has been a retune, what is called TDT2. The new digital dividend opens up many possibilities for us, either to create many more channels with the current quality or to create new ones channels with UHD with HDR, etc. It is an interesting moment, although we do not know when it will arrive, since it requires a significant investment, both on the Administration side (antennas, transmitters and others) and in the user’s home.
An important piece of information: The analogue blackout occurred in Spain in 2005, but there are still 2 million homes where the main television continues to use an external DTT, so this park of televisions must be renewed and when DTT2 comes it will open a great debate, although I believe that at least before 2 years we will not be able to go to this new standard.
SamaGame: Samsung’s best-selling ranges are the 6000 and 7000 series. What would you highlight about these ranges and how competitive do you see them?
Nacho Monge: Basically Samsung this year makes a firm bet on UHD. Bet on televisions with two types of designs: curved and flat. We understand that curved technology is much more immersive, but also that there are consumers who prefer a flat model. For this reason, at each price point, the consumer will always find two variants, the flat one and the curved one. In UHD we see several levels. We see a more entry-level series such as the 6000-6100, a more mid-range one such as the 6400-6500, which are the best sellers, and then the high-end series, which is the 7000, where we bet on SUHD.