What makes a TV great? While AV enthusiasts are quick to answer that question with “picture quality,” the reality is aesthetics and ease-of-use are crucial ingredients. Samsung took this into consideration when designing its 2017 QLED TVs, which possess features that make installation and operation a cinch: No Gap Wall-Mount, Invisible Connection cable, and One Remote.
Samsung’s No Gap Wall-Mount in action, here the TV is tilted down
Taken together, these features highlight Samsung’s commitment to designing TVs around the habits of viewers and creating designs that better accommodate their needs. For example, flush-mount installations with no gap between the TV and the wall are desirable because they offer a clean, finished look similar to a hanging painting.
Achieving a no-gap, cable-free look when mounting a TV is typically difficult and expensive as it requires recessing the TV mount within the wall. This can be a daunting task for a DIYer, to say the least. And if you hire a pro, the cost and hassle of an installation can be significant.
Plus, if you live in a house or condo with brick or concrete walls, running cables inside the wall is a non-starter. And even if your walls are hollow, you have to run a multitude of cables inside the wall in order to get a clean look, or else you wind up with an unattractive mess.
Samsung’s solution to achieving a clean on-wall look is novel and effective. First up is the 2017 QLED lineup’s No Gap Wall-Mount and Invisible Connection cable, taken together, revolutionize the TV installation process for both DIYers and professionals. I was able to get the job done—with a very satisfying result—in very little time and using nothing but a drill, stud-finder, and a level.
Installing the No Gap Wall-Mount and Sound+ soundbar adapter required minimal tools
The No Gap Wall-Mount works by locating the bracket within the QLED TV itself, allowing the display to lie flat against the wall and still retain the option to tilt. Plus it’s extremely easy to install, the entire process took me less than 30 minutes and would likely take a pro under 15 minutes.
Here’s the No Gap Wall-Mount tilting bracket on a 65″ Q9F QLED
Complementing the No Gap Wall-Mount is the Invisible Connection cable. This is a thin, flexible fiber-optic link that connects the display and the One Connect box that serves as a hub for connecting source devices like Samsung’s UBD-M9500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player, game consoles, streaming players, etc.
The “long story short” here is that by eliminating the need to connect multiple HDMI cables directly to a QLED display, and instead using the ultra-thin Invisible Connection cable, Samsung makes it possible to achieve a clean look with ease.
Another cool thing about the Invisible Connection is that the One Connect box has a built-in IR blaster that receives signals from the TV. This lets you place source devices together with the One Connect—even when it’s outside of remote control range—yet still control them using Samsung’s revolutionary One Remote.
When I tackled hanging a 65″ Q9F QLED TV using the No Gap Wall-Mount, I realized how much thought Samsung put into simplifying the DIY install experience. I rent, so cutting a large hole in the wall, and running cables and sidewall is not an option.
Aside from renters, folks with brick or concrete walls may find running cables is not be a very appealing option. And even homeowners with hollow walls may not wish to commit to a major project just to hang a TV. By contrast, Samsung’s approach allows for an incredibly seamless, attractive, easy, and notably fast installation that simply works.
Here’s the part of the No Gap Wall-Mount bracket that goes on the wall
Initially, I mounted the Q9F without a soundbar, because the look is very minimalist and striking—especially paired with a high-end sound system. However, when it makes more sense to use a soundbar rather than an AVR-based stereo or surround-sound system, Samsung’s No Gap Wall-Mount design still pays dividends.
Cleverly, a dedicated bracket attaches 2017 Sound+ soundbars directly to the QLED chassis—no need to drill more holes in the wall. In my case, I attached a HW-MS650 using Samsung’s optional kit.
The 65″ Q9F QLED along with the HW-MS650 soundbar and bracket
Sound+ soundbars are equipped with a power socket for connecting it to the TV using a cord supplied with the bracket. It allows you to use one power cord for both devices, again promoting a clean look to the install. Notably, the soundbar mount is compatible with almost any TV mount, not just the No Gap Wall-Mount.
The soundbar bracket came with clear instructions and all necessary parts
With the HW-MS650 soundbar connected, the performance of this Samsung outfit is commendable—especially when considering how little space it takes and how easy it is to install. But beyond that, it’s hard to fully appreciate what the company has done with its 2017 QLEDs if you do not factor in the way it’s One Remote ties the system together after it’s installed.
With the One Remote controlling things, the TV and soundbar function as one unit. Plus, the One Remote is very clever and is capable of identifying and controlling many of the third-party devices that you connect the TV, like cable boxes.
The Samsung One Remote will control a wide variety of devices
As mentioned earlier, even if you put the One Connect box far away from the TV—for example in a cabinet or closet—you can still control connected devices thanks to the built-in IR emitter on the One Connect box.
If you want to take the holistic systematic seamlessness up yet another notch, adding a Samsung UBD-M9500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player to the Q9F and HW-MS650 combo will do the trick. You will get a seamless visual experience as you navigate through Samsung’s Smart Hub UI on both devices using the One Remote. The visual consistency between the two blurs the lines between TV apps and an external source.
With a complete Q9F, UBD-M9500 and HW-MS650 system up and running—hanging attractively on the wall using the No Gap Wall-Mount and Invisible Connection—and the One Remote to control all, it’s clear that Samsung’s 2017 QLEDs are about more than just a pretty picture.
All photos by Mark Henninger