N.J. - Samsung unveiled more
details about a broad array of new home audio products, including the company's
first A/V receivers (AVRs), first 3D-capable Blu-ray home theater in a box
(HTiB) system and first Blu-ray HTiBs with embedded Wi-Fi.
The first-half selection also includes the company's first
AVR/home-theater speaker packages and a new surround bar.
The home audio selection includes three AVRs and two AVR/speaker
packages, all with HDMI 1.4 inputs and output to support 3D video. The new
surround bar connects to a TV's optical digital output and delivers virtual
surround sound. 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.
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 systems are the company's first to be compatible with Digital Living
Network Alliance (DLNA)-certified networked products to guarantee content
sharing. Three 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 Accedo Broadband, AccuWeather.com, the Associated Press,
Blockbuster, Fashion TV, Netflix, Picasa, Pandora, Rovi, Travel Channel, Twitter,
USA Today and Vudu.
All models feature a retro, 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 HT-C5500 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 HT-C6730W
features built-in Wi-Fi and a pair of wireless surround speakers. The $899
7.1-channel HT-C6930W offers those features plus 3D capability, and the
5.1-channel $999 HT-C7530W features a Touch of Color (ToC) design and finish
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 again offering 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 design, and optional $149
wireless iPod/iPhone dock.
AVRs: The company's
first AVRs are the $299 5.1-channel HW-C500, 7.2-channel $399 HW-C700 and $499
HW-C900, all with four 3D-capable HDMI 1.4 inputs, 3D-capable HDMI 1.4 output,
iPod/iPhone docks and Crystal Amplifier Pro technology. It wasn't clear whether
the AVRs support HDMI 1.4's Audio Return Channel (ARC).
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.
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.
Also new in audio are two portable media players. The R1 features
2.4-inch touchscreen and ships in April in 8GB and 16GB versions at an expected
everyday $149 and $179, respectively. It comes with stereo Bluetooth, FM radio
and voice recorder.
A portable media player without a touchscreen is the R0, also due
in April in 8GB and 16GB versions at $99 and $129. It features a MicroSD