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Samsung Unveils 55'' OLED TV, Voice Command

1/10/2012 12:01:00 AM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — Samsung is showing at International
CES that it’s ready for any Apple TV challenges by
presenting its first 55-inch FullHD 1080p OLED TV
set.

Dave Das, Samsung TV product marketing VP, said
the OLED set will ship to retailers at some point later
in 2012. Pricing was not determined.

Unlike some other approaches to large-screen
OLED development, Samsung said its set will uses
individual red, green and blue pixels, allowing a nearsheet-
of-glass (less than 0.3 inches deep) panel
depth. Circuitry such as tuners, inputs and power supplies
will be housed in an outboard box to enable the
ultra-thin dimensions.

Panel life and power
consumption were said to
be comparable to moreefficient
LCD TVs, but the
technology affords richer
and more accurate color
saturation, and improved
viewing angle and motionblur
reduction to LCD.

“It will be priced at a premium
to our top-of-the-line
LED,” Das said.

As for the rest of the TV
line, the 2012 premium-series TVs will incorporate
Samsung-made dual-core processors with multi-tasking
flexibility and a proprietary new Smart Interaction
feature that uses an integrated camera and microphone,
enabling voice control, motion recognition and
facial-feature recognition.

“This will open up a whole new level in the way
consumers interact with their TVs,” Das said. “So, for
example, the facial-recognition feature could be used
to automatically log you into Skype without the need
to enter your username and password, or you could
control or wakeup your TV with your voice, by simply
saying ‘TV on.’ ”

The technology puts Samsung a step ahead of Apple
before it even enters the TV space. Voice-control
features had been hinted as a key new capability in the
allegedly forthcoming Apple TV products.

The system would also enable voice-to-text to audibly
enter a web browser search, Das said.

Users could also control certain TV functions using
simple hand gestures to, for example, scroll up or
down in an onscreen menu.

Das said Samsung expects its TV app developer
community to come out with a host of apps that can
utilize the new capabilities.

The camera will also allow an onscreen mirror function
so users can see a picture of themselves overlaid
on image of a pro-golfer taking a swing, for example, to
make self adjustments to a swing.

All 2012 Samsung smart TVs will include built-in
web browsers and Wi-Fi
connectivity.

The company is also upgrading
its DLNA-based
All-Share system in select
TV models from last year to
a feature called All-Share
Play, which will allow sharing
content between devices
both in and out of the
home.

Das said 3D continues to
be priority for Samsung in
2012. The company continues
to support active-shutter 3D glasses technology
in both its LCD and plasma TV lines, and this year it is
including at least two pairs of Bluetooth active-shutter
glasses with most 3D TVs it sells, and four pairs with
some step-up series models.

Samsung’s 3DTVs will be compatible with new 3D
universal standard active-shutter glasses in 2012.

Samsung also announced a new streaming 3DTV
service being undertaken with NBC Universal. The
production company will convert some of its shows
to 3D in post production using help from Samsung to
make 3D content available for online streaming.

As for SKU assortments, Das said Samsung has
reduced the number of CCFL-backlit models to six for
2012, while slightly increasing the number of LED SKUs.

In addition, the company is adding a new LED step
segment between CCFL LCD models and slim-design
edge-lit LED models with Micro Dimming technology.
The new LED models will be LED array backlit displays
without local dimming technology.

The LED step models will have a thinner profile than
CCFL LCD TVs, lower power consumption, better
brightness and better color saturation, but at a more
affordable price point than was previously possible.

Meanwhile, plasma SKU counts will be comparable
to 2011, Das said.

During its CES press conference Monday, Samsung
awarded a $100,000 check to Dennis and Linda
McLain and the Goodwill Community Foundation,
for winning the company’s Cross-Device App Developers’
TV Challenge. The winning app, called “Let’s
Play Stop,” was chosen from 22 entries, and is a quiz
challenge game that uses a tablet to input answers to
questions shown on the TV screen.