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I saw Samsung's CES 2024 deluge of new TV tech and these 4 products impressed me

Samsung unveiled a new OLED TV with a unique feature, a new product line to expand on The Frame, a transparent Micro-LED with a lot of wow factor, and a breakthrough projector.
Written by Jason Hiner, Editor in Chief
Samsung 2024 QLED TV
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

The innovations happening in the TV space are making content more immersive to consume than ever and the world's leading TV maker led the charge at CES 2024 with meaningful upgrades across its top devices, the launch of new product lines, and two first-in-the-world breakthroughs.  

Also: CES 2024: What's Next in Tech

I got to go eyes-on with everything Samsung unveiled in Las Vegas in its new lineup of TVs, computer monitors, and home entertainment devices and these are the four things I was most excited to share with you. 

1. S95D OLED TV's new "glare-free" matte finish 

One of the simplest 2024 upgrades was also the most impressive to see in person. Samsung's new "Glare Free OLED" that it's bringing to the top-of-the-line S95D OLED makes this TV the best one to look at in the entire Samsung lineup. When you combine the beautiful contrast and vibrant color of Samsung's QD-OLED technology with the new matte finish, it produces a TV that is a pleasure to watch from any angle and in the brightest or darkest rooms. 

Also: Samsung unveils 2024 TVs with AI features that you'd actually want to use

Instead of being a giant black mirror like most of today's TVs, the matte finish on the S95D disperses and softens the light from lamps and windows into a minimal glow that's overpowered by the brightness of Samsung's OLED display. 

My buddy David Katzmaier from CNET did a test where he held up a phone with a completely white screen in front of the new matte S95D and then in front of last year's S95C. Last year's model was like a mirror reflecting back the shape of the phone, while the new glare-free model softened the light into a minimal round glow. ZDNET's Kerry Wan and I did a similar test using the flashlight from Kerry's phone -- with even more intense light -- and got a similarly pleasing result. 

With the effectiveness of this new matte finish and Samsung's already-great QD OLED technology, I'm confident the S95D will be a top contender for best picture quality in the world among all TVs in 2024. 

Samsung 2024 S95D OLED TV with matte screen
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

2. The Premiere 8K projector 

Samsung announced the world's first 8K wireless ultra short throw projector, and I spent a good deal of time soaking it in at Samsung's First Look event at CES. In the demo area, it was projected onto a 150-inch ambient light rejection (ALR) screen that makes a projector's picture look like a regular TV with its thin black frame around the edge, and is also reminiscent of being at the movies because of the size of the picture and the glare reduction you get from ALR. The result was a very cinema-like experience, and even though projectors can never match the contrast and dynamic range of OLED or QLED, the vibrance of the picture quality was very strong. 

Also: Xgimi's new IMAX Enhanced projector is an entertainment beast, but wait until you see 'Aladdin'

For this new generation of projectors that we're seeing from Samsung and its competitors, 8K makes a lot of sense because they are bringing 100-inch and larger TV displays to a lot more people. And at that size, the extra level of detail and sharpness you get with 8K starts to make a notable difference in picture quality. 

Even at 150 inches, the Premiere 8K projector only had to sit 12 inches from the wall to project an image that large. With its stylish wooden finish, it's also one of the best-designed ultra short throw projectors I've seen. That matters since it's a big rectangular box that often sits awkwardly in your living room. It also comes with a matching One Connect box that you can place somewhere else in the room because it's wireless -- so you don't have to run a bunch of HDMI cables to that awkwardly placed projector box.  

Samsung Premiere 8K projector
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

3. Music Frame 

Building on the success of The Frame TV -- which turns a TV into a classic work of art or a family photo album when you're not watching something -- Samsung unveiled a new product line at CES 2024: the Music Frame. This product can serve as a hidden speaker to improve the sound of your home cinema experience or offer a much more aesthetically pleasing kitchen speaker than an Amazon Echo or Apple HomePod. 

Also: Samsung has its own line of video game controllers now. Here's the first model

This product masquerades as a standard picture frame and you can slip a photo or a piece of art into it. But it's very thick and has the look of a deep shadowbox, except that the photo or artwork is at the front, and it hides two sound woofers behind it at the back of the frame. You can use two Music Frames to create left and right speakers or a set of rear surround sound speakers that can pair with a Samsung soundbar and TV to create Q-Symphony intelligent surround sound.  

Music Frame also has a similar frame style and colors to The Frame TV and could match nicely in a room where they were used together.  

Samsung Music Frame
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

4. Transparent Micro-LED display 

Samsung showed off the world's first transparent Micro-LED display and the demo was spectacular -- even if a little gimmicky for something that won't be a viable product for a while. On a slab of glass about an inch thick, the demo unit ran all kinds of flashy content from fireworks going off to vibrant paint splashing out of cans to sports infographics displaying on screen. The colors looked more intense and the display more transparent than competing transparent OLED screens from LG, which have been around for a few years. 

Also: I saw Samsung and LG's new transparent TVs at CES, and there's a clear winner

That makes sense since Micro-LED is the display technology that will likely supersede OLED one day for the highest quality TVs. Samsung has been working for years on Micro-LED, which is best known for its place in The Wall, the absolutely massive and exorbitantly priced TV system that is mostly used in commercial installations like stadiums, car showrooms, large corporate conference rooms, and retail experiences, for example.  

So why would anyone want a transparent TV or display screen? In the home, it would probably be little more than a virtual fish tank or perhaps a place to show the family calendar, leave messages, and play a slideshow of family photos. Perhaps that will make sense a decade from now when these displays are manufactured at low cost. But today, like The Wall, it will likely be limited to uses like high-end luxury boxes in stadiums where the glass to watch the game can also light up with player information, data points from the game, ads, and notifications. When it gets far cheaper, it could eventually be used to replace glass in public spaces such as bus stops and train stations to show the schedule and live updates.  

Samsung Transparent MicroLED TV at CES
June Wan/ZDNET
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