It's been a few CESes since we've seen a "world's biggest" something, and while the Samsung UN85S9 doesn't have the world's biggest 4K (UHD) screen this year, it does practice a bit of one-upmanship on the LG competition by being a whole inch bigger.
It's also quite a bit more expensive. While the 84-inch LG and Sony 4K TVs retail for $20,000 and $25,000, respectively, Samsung will sell the UN85S9 for a cool $39,999. It will be available for preorder on Samsung's Web site at the end of March.
The most striking thing about the S9 is the design: this is a floor-standing television mounted on what looks like an artist's easel and the TV is designed to tilt up and down.
Under the hood the S9 also differentiates itself from LG and Sony by offering the rare full-array local dimming backlight, which could improve its picture quality compared to their edge-lit local dimming configurations. Its 3,820x2,160 Ultra High-definition resolution is the same, for what it's worth.
Like Samsung's other high-end 2013 TVs, the S9 TV features upgraded smarts with improved voice interaction and a quad-core processor to speed things along. Meanwhile, the Smart Hub application has been enhanced with more content -- movies, videos, and music -- and a new TV program guide. This augments Samsung’s new S-Recommendation engine, which lists suggested content in thumbnails at the bottom of the screen.
The S9 offers a number of connectivity options, including Samsung Smart View, which streams content between the TV and a Samsung mobile device, and AllShare has now been extended to incorporate Samsung's "smart" appliances, enabling monitoring of air conditioners and washing machines from the TV screen.
Speaking of connectivity, Samsung's easel design prompted the company to rethink the necessary cabling ports. They're housed along the bottom and cables can be "channeled" to a removable module. That module is actually upgrade-able, a la the company's Smart Evolution kit, to accommodate future 4K hardware requirements. According to a Samsung representative, future upgrades may include the ability to accept 4K resolutions at 60Hz, something other 4K TVs lack.
The 85-inch Samsung UN85S9 television
Updated March 21 with official pricing and availability and other details.