In recent times more and more users have been required to watch sports events and movies from their homes, instead of going out to watch them. Along with this shift, the home has become increasingly prominent as an entertainment space.
In light of this, Samsung Electronics has introduced The Terrace, a TV that is designed for use in outdoor living spaces. To talk about how The Terrace was brought from the planning stage to the development stage, and then on to being rolled out, Samsung Newsroom met with the product experts who were responsible for bringing The Terrace to fruition.
Below, Samsung Newsroom talks to Giuk Ted Lee (Marketing), BeomEun Kim (Product Planning), Dongoh Kim (Mechanics R&D), Juyong Kim and, Seunghun Lee (Enterprise R&D), to hear exactly what went in to realizing premier outdoor viewing with The Terrace.
Taking the Viewing Environment Outdoors
Research conducted by Samsung Electronics has shown that around 50 percent of American households have an outdoor living space such as a terrace or yard. What’s more, across a range of territories, the habit of watching sports and movies outdoors has been becoming more popular.
Speaking to this trend, BeomEun Kim, who was in charge of product planning for The Terrace, said, “Outdoor living spaces in which people can relax and entertain have been gradually growing more prominent. It was this trend that inspired us to come up with The Terrace, which offers the most optimal QLED viewing experiences in a range of outdoor conditions.”
And the outdoor TV market has been developing as well. As reported by market research publisher QY Research, global figures for outdoor TV sales – which stood at around 170,000 units in 2018 – are expected to hit 440,000 units by 2024. Giuk Ted Lee from The Terrace marketing team explained that, “When compared to the indoor TV market, the outdoor TV market previously sold more models that were smaller than 40 inches. However, from this year, the uptake of mid-to-large-sized TVs that are 55 inches or larger is expected to grow rapidly.”
Optimal Outdoor Picture Quality Through Synergy With Global No.1 Digital Signage Technology
When it comes to the outdoor viewing experience, few factors are more important than picture quality. According to Juyong Kim, who was responsible for picture quality development, when viewing a TV outdoors it is difficult to make out what is on the screen with a brightness level lower than 1,000 nits. He emphasized that The Terrace delivers a maximum of 4,000 nits and an average brightness of 2,000 nits, which is three times brighter than the brightness levels offered by indoor TVs. This allows users to enjoy vivid images with original picture quality, even when the TV is viewed in broad daylight.
Thanks to Samsung’s leadership in digital signage market, in which it maintained the number one position globally for 11 straight years – The Terrace team was able to deliver an optimal outdoor viewing experience. Seunghun Lee, who was in charge of overall product development, related that, “Digital signage, by its nature, must be equipped to maintain its performance while being subjected to a range of different environmental factors. Our experience in developing digital signage has proved extremely helpful in identifying and applying the optimal brightness levels for outdoor TVs.”
The Terrace additionally includes the ‘Adaptive Picture’ feature, which allows users to enjoy optimized picture quality that adapts to the surrounding environment. With Adaptive Picture, artificial intelligence analyzes illumination levels in real-time and automatically adjusts screen settings, increasing brightness during the daytime and reducing glare at night and on cloudy days.
The Terrace is also equipped with anti-reflection technology. When watching TV on sunny days, sunlight reflected by the display panel and other surfaces can cause discomfort for viewers, and glare can distort color and picture quality. Thus, The Terrace was designed to minimize discomfort caused by glare even in environments where light is coming from multiple directions. Seunghun Lee explained that this improvement in visibility was achieved by equipping the screen with surface-treated film to reduce glare.
Durability That Withstands the Elements – Water, Dust and Heat Protection
When developing an outdoor television, the issue of exposure to the elements is a key concern. Hence, The Terrace had to undergo rigorous testing during its development phase. Giuk Ted Lee reiterated that, “The Terrace was initially launched in North America, and will be released in a host of other markets soon. Because the outdoor TV will be expected to withstand a broad range of environmental factors, our simulations tested it in the harshest conditions and a range of climates.”
Particular attention was given to water and dust protection, which are essential features for an outdoor TV, as small particles and liquids can enter the device through even the tiniest gaps if it is not properly sealed. Certified with IP 55 water and dust protection, The Terrace maintains its performance even in rainy or dusty conditions.
Dongoh Kim from the R&D team said, “All areas where individual parts connect were protected with special materials. We have also sealed all of the gaps in the enclosure with waterproof tape and rubber seals. To facilitate the open cell structure, a thin layer of special adhesive was applied between the front of the enclosure and the cell that composes the TV screen.”
Heat resistance is equally crucial for outdoor TVs, given that they are exposed to direct sunlight. Thus, the development team enacted numerous ways to ensure that The Terrace remains heat resistant, even under infrared and ultraviolet light. Although one of the most common means of protecting a TV from heat is through the use of a vent, the team had to explore different solutions, given that the inclusion of vents could have impacted the TV’s water and dust resistance.
The team considered multiple heat resistance solutions for the outdoor television. This led to the development of The Terrace’s sealed enclosure technology, which distributes internal heat over the entire product without the need for a heat sink. The result? An outdoor TV that maintains the highest standard of performance up to an external temperature of 50°C.
Smart Features to Deliver Unique Viewing Experiences
So how was the user feedback following The Terrace’s launch? Giuk Ted Lee commented that, “The Terrace has been garnering great feedback from consumers in the North American market. Sales levels are good, and the reviews from users are positive as well.”
While this feedback is encouraging, many markets still exist in which consumers are unfamiliar with outdoor televisions. We asked for tips on how to leverage The Terrace to empower users in every market to use the product to its full potential. BeomEun Kim noted that, “One of the advantages of The Terrace is that it can be easily connected to a smartphone. For instance, users can connect their phones via Bluetooth while listening to music, and the ‘Music Wall’ feature will display a series of patterns on the TV that complement the music. The ‘Multi-View’ feature also allows consumers to continue using their phones while also using them to watch content on their televisions, delivering a whole new experience.” She added that the ‘Tap View’ feature allows mobile content to be mirrored on the TV screen with a single tap of the bezel.
Despite being pioneers when it comes to the new outdoor television segment, the team responsible for bringing The Terrace to fruition is already up for a new challenge.
“The level of interest in outdoor TVs has been steadily growing. Our next goal is to introduce an outdoor TV that is portable, and can be brought along for activities such as camping trips,” the team related.
We look forward to seeing what is next for Samsung Electronics as they look to continue expanding the definition of what a TV can be.