×

Samsung Unveils Futuristic Modular TV at CES

On the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Samsung unveiled what can only be described as a radical departure from the traditional TV business: a modular TV that can scale to any possible size, giving consumers the ability to buy as many bezel-less modules as they want to combine to a custom-sized screen optimized for their living rooms.

“Screens should not be limited by size,” said Jonghee Han, president of the company’s visual display unit. “Instead, they should blend into any home.”

Samsung still presented the new modular product the way TVs are traditionally being shown off at CES: with an ours is bigger than theirs attitude. The screen on stage measured a whopping 146 inches. It was billed as “The Wall,” with a spokesperson explaining that the company had built it with the size of a typical residential room height of 8 to 9 feet in mind.

But the company is clearly also thinking about giving consumers the ability to assemble much smaller screens, and possibly add to them over time. “This modular screen can transform into any size,” Han said. “This TV’s modular structure allows consumers to build the screen of their dreams,” added Dave Das, SVP of consumer electronics at Samsung Electronics America.

How big or small will that dream scale? Samsung wouldn’t say. The company kept mum on many details, including the size of the individual modules and possible resolutions in different configurations.

Samsung didn’t even let media inspect the device up close, especially keeping nosy photographers at a safe, multiple-feet distance. However, black scenes during the company’s demo video revealed what looked like a series of vertical tiles, measuring an estimated 4 by 8 inches each, or slightly larger than your average phone screen.

Samsung instead emphasized some of the technology behind the screen, including what the company calls MicroLEDs. These are much smaller than the LEDs used in traditional TVs, and also are supposed to be more power-efficient — which could be key to the product’s success, given that Samsung envisions it as a kind of video wall that shows ambient videos throughout the day.

There’s no word yet on how much this modular TV will cost consumers, but Das said that it will be commercially available sometime this year. The company promised further updates in March, when it plans to announce the commercial availability of its regular 2018 TV sets as well.

Samsung first showed off a modular TV on the CES show floor in 2016. However, back then, the company still treated modular screens as a concept for something that may or may not ever evolve into a product. Now, it seems like Samsung actually believes that it can find a market for such screens.

More Digital

  • Vaccination

    YouTube Yanks Ads From Anti-Vaccination Conspiracy Channels

    YouTube, under fire for facilitating the spread of conspiracy theories and other misinformation, said it will no longer serve ads on channels that espouse anti-vaccination rhetoric. The Google-owned video giant cited its advertising policy that bans “dangerous and harmful” content from eligibility in its monetization program. “We have strict policies that govern what videos we [...]

  • Evan Williams, Twitter founder (R) and

    Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Steps Down From Company’s Board

    Twitter co-founder Evan “Ev” Williams is stepping down from the company’s board, Twitter announced in a SEC filing Friday afternoon. Williams will depart from the board at the end of this month, according to the filing. “It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Ovano VPN App

    Responding to a continued backlash over its data collection practices, Facebook pulled the plug on its Ovano VPN app Friday. Ovano, which promised users an added level of privacy while using public Wifi hotspots, was used by Facebook for market research purposes. Facebook removed the app from the Google Play store Friday, and the company [...]

  • Smosh

    Smosh Acquired by Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment

    UPDATED: Smosh, the long-running YouTube comedy brand, has been acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning.” As first reported by Variety last week, Mythical emerged as the leading candidate to buy Smosh, which was left stranded after parent company Defy Media shut down without [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content