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Samsung Details AVRs, 3D HTiB, AVR/Speaker Packages

3/23/2010 07:09:00 AM Eastern

RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J. — Samsung
outlined more details about its 2010
home audio lineup, which incorporates
multiple company firsts.

The lineup includes the company’s first
A/V receivers (AVRs), first 3D-capable
Blu-ray home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB)
system, first Blu-ray HTiBs with embedded
Wi-Fi, and first AVR/home theater
speaker packages.

Other highlights include the adoption
of 3D-capable HDMI 1.4 inputs and outputs
on the selection’s three AVRs and
two AVR/speaker packages. The products,
however, do not support HDMI
1.4’s Audio Return Channel (ARC), a
spokesman said.

Five new Blu-ray HTiBs include the
company’s first 3D-capable system, which
is expected to retail at an everyday $899.
The four other new Blu-ray HTiBs are
priced from $499 to $999. The HTiBs
will join a carryover soundbar-style Bluray
HTiB, the HT-BD8200, with embedded
Blu-ray player and virtual surround.

Shipments of various products are
scheduled for March through May. Some
of the details were provided at International
CES. Here are the latest details
provided by Samsung:

Blu-ray HTiBs:
The five new HTiBs
will expand the company’s Blu-ray HTiB
selection to six in 2010. Only two DVDequipped
HTiBs will be offered this year.

All five are the company’s first to be
compatible with Digital Living Network
Alliance (DLNA)-certified networked
products to guarantee the ability
to stream pictures, video and music from
a DLNA-certified networked PC. In the
2009 lineup, Samsung’s Blu-ray HTiBs
were not DLNA-certified
but were able to
stream pictures and
music from a networked
PC, a spokesman
said.

Three of the five
HTiBs are the company’s
first with embedded
Wi-Fi, and one
comes with included
Wi-Fi dongle. Previously, the company
offered optional Wi-Fi dongles for
its Blu-ray HTiBs.

The five systems are also the company’s
first HTiBs to access Samsung’s upgraded
Internet@TV service, which enables
the downloading of apps from the Samsung
Apps store to expand the selection of
broadband-streamed content. More than
20 apps are expected to be available by the
end of March to access content from such
providers as AccuWeather.com, the Associated
Press, Blockbuster, Netflix, Picasa,
Pandora, Rovi, Travel Channel, Twitter,
USA Today and Vudu.

All Blu-ray HTiBs feature a no-grille
speaker design, decoding of all authorized
Blu-ray surround formats, BD-Live capability
and Samsung’s new Crystal Amplifier Pro technology, said to deliver accurate
sound reproduction and minimal noise interference.

The HTiBs start with the $499 HTC5500
5.1 system with iPod/iPhone dock.
The $ 649 HT-C6500 5.1 system
also features a dock but
adds two HDMI inputs,
built-in Wi-Fi and
embedded 1GB memory.
At $799, the HTC6730W
features builtin
Wi-Fi and a pair of
wireless surround speakers.
The $899 7.1-channel
HT-C6930W offers
those features plus
3D capability and 3D-capable
HDMI 1.4 output that lacks audio return
channel (ARC) capability.

The 5.1-channel $999 HT-C7530W
features a Touch of Color (ToC) design
and fi nish that complements the company’s
ToC HDTVs. It comes with included
Wi-Fi dongle, two wireless surround
speakers, two HDMI inputs and 1GB
embedded memory.

Surround bars:
This year, the company
is launching a surround bar in two different
colors for use as a TV add-on. The
black and silver versions both retail for an
everyday $349. These models lack embedded
Blu-ray or DVD player but feature embedded
Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 decoders,
virtual surround technology and digital
optical input to connect to a TV’s audio
output. They lack video-input switching,
turning that function over to the connected
TV. They also come with included wireless
subwoofer, Samsung’s ToC finish, and optional
$149 wireless iPod/iPhone dock.

They will join an existing surroundbar
whose color selection will be paired
to one from two.

AVRs: The company’s first AVRs are
the $299 5.1-channel HW-C500, 7.2-
channel $399 HW-C700 and $499 HWC900,
all with four 3D-capable HDMI
1.4 inputs, 3D-capable HDMI 1.4 output,
iPod/iPhone docks and Crystal Amplifier Pro technology.

Decoding of all Blu-ray surround formats
starts at $399, and the $499 model
adds video up-scaling. Additional details
weren’t available.

The $399 model is available in silver
or black, and the other two are available
in black. All but the HW-C900 ship in
March. Availability of the HW-C900
hasn’t been announced.

AVR/speaker packages:
The $399
HW-C560S consists of the HW-C500
AVR, included iPod/iPhone dock and 5.1
speaker system. The $549 HW-C770BS
features the HW-C900 AVR with decoding
of all Blu-ray surround formats, iPod/
iPhone dock and 7.1 speaker package.