These Are the Only Cables Coming Out of Samsung's New TV

Images: Nicholas Stango/Gizmodo
Images: Nicholas Stango/Gizmodo

The idea is so simple it’s kind of amazing no TV maker thought of it before. A TV mounted on the wall should, theoretically, look gorgeous, but the tangle of cords jutting out of the back of the TV, pushing it away from the wall and then dangling down to wherever the cable box, PS4, and Wii U reside, is ugly. So Samsung did something that strikes you, innately, as both backward and forward thing—it moved all the ports of the TV.

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The Q9 television is Samsung’s 2017 flagship TV. It’s thinner than a card pack, more than three times brighter than your smartphone (around 2000 nits vs the average 500-600 of a high-end phone), and it fits at least 6 ports worth of inputs into a cord the width of a fishing line.

That’s the power cord and Connect cord side by side.
That’s the power cord and Connect cord side by side.

The minuscule cord is translucent, making it less visible against a bare wall, in case you don’t decide to just tape it down and paint over it. It will connect to a unit like Samsung’s current One Connect Box, which includes USB 3.0, coax, and multiple HDMI ports.

While the tiny cord is outstanding, and left a gaggle of tech reporters astounded when revealed, Samsung would prefer you focus on the front of the TV. It’s using a new formulation of quantum dot technology to better mimic the colors and contrast of an OLED TV, without the price or potential for devastating burn in.

Illustration for article titled These Are the Only Cables Coming Out of Samsung's New TV

Samsung has been mum on what precisely changed between the quantum dots in its old SUHD TVs and the new Q line. Instead preferring to talk about smaller pixels and higher color volume (Samsung is claiming the Q9 will render 20-percent more colors than the 2016 SUHD sets did). In practice I couldn’t say much, at least in the super controlled settings of tonight’s press event. The TV does appear to pull off blacks nicely, and the colors, as with previously quantum dot displays, continue to pop impressively. There’s little of the “halo” effect that can occur when a very bright light source is set next to a very black part of the screen. But there’s also none of that wow factor that we’ve seen in years past. This picture improvement appears marginal at best.

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Samsung hasn’t announced availability, but expect the Q9, and the less expensive Q8 and Q7, which have uglier finishes, larger port replacement cords, and curved options, to appear in stores in the spring. As for price, Samsung hasn’t dropped any numbers yet, but previous flagship TV sets from Samsung started at $3000.

Senior Consumer Tech Editor. Trained her dog to do fist bumps. Once wrote for Lifetime. Tips encouraged via Secure Drop, Proton Mail, or DM for Signal.

DISCUSSION

Neat idea, but it gives me pause regarding input latency (still a big deal for gamers like myself). Judging from the “translucent” cord, I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts it’s just a straight fiber optic cable with custom transceivers in either end of the dongle, and increased power input/output from the TV and OneConnect box in order to support it. Now don’t get me wrong, fiber optic is pretty awesome (especially for the speeds of HDMI 2.0a), but the conversion to/from fiber optic at either end adds latency. Not much, all told, but if they cheaped out on it in favor of aesthetics, it could be a deal breaker for gamers on the new sets.

All that being said, I would still love one for my KS8000 if they make one, assuming it tests out with minimal added latency. Namely because I can’t drill holes in my apartment walls for cable runs, and because the OneConnect box is mounted in such a way that the big, heavy, copper cable can sometimes come loose as it hangs down from the bottom of the box behind the TV.