Trendy TV today is big & loud

18th June 2018
Trendy TV today is big & loud
The Ambient Mode of Samsung's QLED TV... merging with the background when not in use

 Indian TV buyers are saying: bigger, brighter & louder is better. Canny makers like Samsung are listening --  and adjusting.
Bangalore, June 18 2018: Yes, there is a fortune at the bottom of the pyramid, to use  C.K. Prahlad's memorable  mantra.  But there's  gold at the  other end of the price rainbow as well -- in  a new  ultra premium category,  that upwardly mobile Indian buyers are embracing.  
This was never more apparent than at  the 2018 line-up of  India's  largest TV brand, Samsung.  Some 15 models have been launched last week, covering a wide price gamut -- from Rs 27,500  for  a 32-inch HD TV in a new, Made-for-India Concert series, to   10 times this amount for a 55-inch set  with  the proprietary QLED  technology. And here's the interesting bit: Most of the new  sets are in the  high end. Clearly, there are now enough upwardly-mobile buyers in India for whom  Rs 2 - 4 lakhs and change, is no big deal when it comes to a  dedicated home  theatre TV.
QLED, Samsung's  display invention,  based on  millions of  optical particles or Quantum Dots --  and its challenge to Organic  LED  or OLED  -- is now 18 months old. For its 2018 QLED TV range in sizes from 55  to 75 inches, the company has introduced  what it calls Ambient Mode -- for those who worry that for all the hours when it is not in use,  a large wall-mounted TV is a  rather ugly chunk of black. Using a mobile app, you can make the TV screen mimic and  blend seamlessly  with the wall behind the TV.   Alternately you can  programme it to display the weather  or personalize the background with your own photos.  This year,  QLED TVs can also be controlled by  S Voice. After voice assistants like Alexa and Siri, this was a development that  Samsung could delay only at its peril. The 8 QLED TV models currently on offer,   start at  Rs 2,45,000 and include  curved variants. The curved  TVs cost a little more than the flat equivalents. Many TV makers have abandoned  curved screens, but Samsung continues to offer them.  The top of the QLED line, currently available is the  65 inch Model 65Q8CN  priced at Rs 4,39,900. The 75 inch is not yet available 
The other striking trend in Indian TV buyers' preferences is their  embrace of 'smartness' --  merging TV and Internet in the same device -- and their readiness to pay  for ultra high definition or UHD, also known as 4K.  There's precious little live 4K TV to watch, yet buyers  are going in for 4K/UHD TV,  to future-proof themselves. Meanwhile the Internet connection ensures there is a lot of 4K streaming content  -- serials and movies -- available.
If you think paying a premium for QLED doesn't make sense (and  some experts will agree with you), there are  6 new models in Samsung's UHD range, more sensibly priced  from  Rs 65,000 up,  for similar screen sizes.  In 2018, it seems,  big, bold and beautiful  is the way to go! 
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Made in India, for Indians
Trendy, high tech TVs are fine -- but lakhs of Indians are just moving up from the old 20-inch CRT TVs and these canny buyers like value for money. Samsung has taken a year to design and make,   6 new TV sets in a "Concert" series for India. 
Piyush Kunnapallil , Samsung India's General Manager for the Consumer Electronics Business,  says research told them Indians like it loud -- so the new TVs have 4 speakers, not two ( at the four corners of the sceen)  each belting out 10 watts.  
They like to  access TV content with free apps on their phones and then play it on the TV --  so the Concert TVs have built-in Bluetooth.
And  Indians love to re-watch TV shows and movies, especially if  they are free -- so Samsung has tied up with multiple providers like Jio, Netflix, Big Flix etc to bring some 60,000 titles to  the Concert TV.  
The TV  comes in smart and non-smart versions, in 32, 43 and 49 -inch   models,  in the price band  Rs 27000 -- Rs 59,000.  Made for buyers who defiantly say: we are like that only!