By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CES 2014 Las Vegas – Samsung used its 2014 International CES press conference to underscore a huge focus on Ultra HD TV (UHD), more than tripling the number of SKUs from 2013, while stressing specialized contributions to overall picture quality, future-proofing and feature performance.
In UHD TV, the company unveiled four curved-screen LCD UHD TVs, all with LED edge lighting, in screen sizes of 55, 65, 78 and 105 inches, the latter with a 21:9 aspect ratio and 5120x2160 resolution. The three smaller screen sizes will ship in April at $xxx, $xxx, and $xxx. The price and ship date of the 105-inch model wasn’t announced.
The company will continue to offer a 55-inch curved OLED UHD TV introduced in 2013.
Separately, the company demonstrated a bendable 85-inch LED-LCD UHD TV as a proof of concept. Motors push both ends of the screen out, enabling future consumers to adjust the screen’s curve to improve the viewing angle for people sitting off to the side of the TV.
Samsung did not say when the technology would come to market.
At the same time, the company continued to go toe-to-toe with Apple by unveiling new mobile smart devices including…..
New to UHD this year will be 10 LED LCD TV SKUs in three model series, offering an increased range of screen sizes from 50 to 110 inches.
Each UHD series is differentiated by design style with the top of the line U9000 LED LCD TV series offering curved screens, joined by a series of conventionally styled flat-screens, and a pair of Samsung floor-standing very-large screen easel-style UHD LCD sets, like the 85-inch S9 model introduced in 2013.
As for UHD picture quality improvements, Samsung has focused on: detail, upscaling, color and contrast performance, adding new gamut-mapping algorithms for truer-to-life colors, object-based contrast enhancement that adjusts contrast by picking out the subject of the frame from both the background and foreground; and source-signal-analyzing Quadmatic Upscaling technology.
Samsung is updating its Quad Core processors to Quad Core Plus processing that adds such benefits as Instant-On picture viewing and Last-Viewed-Page default cue up in web browsing and other apps.
Samsung will continue to play up its future-proofing capability in 2014, by offering a new One Connect box solution. This year’s UHD sets, and the new One Connect box for prior UHD models, add HDMI 2.0, HEVC H.265 and HDCP 2.2 support, but still to come will be new UHD broadcast and Blu-ray specs that must be accounted for when they arrive, Samsung said.
As for core-line LCD TV offerings, 720p and Full HD LED models are covered by nine model series in screen sizes ranging from 19- to 75-inches, including new 48-inch and 28-inch glass cuts.
Samsung also continues to offer both 720p HD and Full HD plasma TV in 2014, offering added value at both the entry and high-ends of the assortment, and carrying screen sizes of 43-, 51-, 60- and 64-inches. The highlight, coming around the second half of the year offers the picture quality of last year’s award-winning F8500 plasma series, in a scaled down feature package designed to hit attractive price points.
As for home audio, Samsung is showing wireless multiroom audio incorporated into soundbars, HTiBs and a Blu-ray player.
The new audio products include a second Shape speaker, one sound bar, two Blu-ray HTiBs, and one Blu-ray player, all equipped with Wi-Fi.
In the fall, the company plans to ship a Shape adapter that connects legacy sound systems to a wireless Shape network.
The new Shape products will join a $399-UPP Wi-Fi-equipped Shape speaker and $49-UPP Shape Hub available since October.
In other audio developments, the company will: expand its selection of core soundbar models to seven from five, including its first under-TV speaker; expand its selection of large floorstanding Giga music systems to three from two; and launch four new 3D Blu-ray HTiBs.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.