By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Samsung demonstrated of its 2007 television, video and home theater lines, which were distinguished with an expanded assortment of models with 1080p capability in a lifestyle setting, here, recently.
In addition, the company which recently announced plans to market later this year, demonstrated a second-generation Blu-ray Disc player — model BD-P1200, which will be available in June at a $799 street price.
Additions to the unit include a restyled cabinet, an Ethernet port for future firmware updates and Silicon Optix's Reon-VX HQV video processing. Outputs include HDMI v1.3, and the unit will output all common high-definition formats including 1080p. In addition, users can select 24 fps rate for movies in the 1080i and 1080p modes.
Other features include HDMI-CEC, for integrated system operability using a single remote.
The LCD TV line featured an expanded range of 1080p models, and new feature assortments. In total, Samsung is offering 28 LCD models across five series starting with the entry-level 42 series.
Samsung has added what it is calling a 53/54 "Bordeaux Plus" series of highly styled smaller screen LCD TVs in the 19-inch ($479), 23-inch ($799), 26-inch ($999), 32-inch ($1,399) and 40-inch ($1,899) screen sizes in the glossy black 53 series. Pearl-white options are available in the 19- ($479) and 23-inch ($799) screen sizes in the 54 series.
The 32- and 40-inch 53 series HDTVs feature a 178-degree viewing angle panel and an 8,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. A new wide color mapping algorithm is said to optimize a color's hue to that of the NTSC standard. Other features include three HDMI-CEC connections, a USB 2.0 port and a swivel stand.
The 42 series is billed as the entry 720p line and includes the 23- ($699), 26- ($899), 32- ($1,199), 42- ($1,699) and 46-inch ($2,499) screen sizes.
The 32-inch and above LCD TVs also include three HDMI inputs for simultaneous signal transfer of audio and video from digital devices.
The company's expanded 1080p assortment covers two nationally distributed series in the first half with two additional series planned for the second half. All offer three HDMI v1.3 inputs and are x.v.YCC enhanced color compatible.
The entry 61, 1080p series includes the 40- ($2,299) and 46-inch ($2,699) screen sizes. Models add HDMI-CEC interoperability, Samsung's wide-color enhancer (in addition to x.v.YCC) and 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratios.
The step-up 65 series includes the 40-($2,499), 46- ($3,199) and 52-inch ($4,299) screen sizes, and adds a 15,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, USB 2.0 connectivity and three HDMI v1.3 inputs.
Jonas Tanenbaum, Samsung's flat-panel display marketing VP, said the two additional 1080p LCD TV series coming later this year will each include the 40-, 46-, 52-and 57-inch screen sizes.
One series will feature Samsung's 120Hz technology and the second will feature LED backlighting, both of which will substantially eliminate motion blurring artifacts.
"There will be a definite migration to 1080p this year in large screen LCD TV," Tanenbaum said, adding that virtually all models larger than 46 inches will offer the resolution this year, with 46-inch models also making a rapid transition away from 720p.
As for potential price competition in 1080p from second- and third-tier players, Tanenbaum said he does not expect any "sea level changes in Samsung's go-to-market strategies this year."
"We feel we have a winning combination of value, performance and design," he added.
The plasma line features four series, leading off with the currently shipping 54 series of 720p models in the 42- ($1,599) and 50-inch ($2,499) screen sizes. Models, which are available for national distribution, include Samsung's FilterBright technology for improved picture performance in well-lit spaces with reduced false contours and dither noise, and 15,000:1 contrast ratios. All plasma models this year include three HDMI v1.3 inputs.
The 64 series plasma models are earmarked for regional distribution and add about a $100 price step to the 54 series models. Models add even more advanced Ultra FilterBright technology for improved black level performance, even in well-lit environments.
Plasma models with 1080p resolution will be offered in the 74 and 84 series. These all offer 15,000:1 contrast ratios and have been upgraded with 18-bit video processing for more natural colors. In addition all three include HDMI v1.3 with support for x.v.YCC expanded color gamut source material.
In the 84 series, the 50-inch model ($3,499) features a side-firing cabinet design and USB 2.0 input. It will ship at the end of May at a $3,499 suggested retail.
In September, the company will add to the 84 series a 58-inch screen size ($4,699), said Bill Dickey, plasma marketing senior manager.
The new flagship 63-inch 1080p PDP, which ships in May at a $6,499 street price, will be carried under the 74 series. The unit features a bottom-mounted speaker design Ultra FilterBright technology, and USB 2.0 input.
Samsung is also offering a remote controlled motorized mount for its flat-panel models. The Auto Wall Mount system for select 2007 plasma (42- and 50-inch) and LCD (40-, 46- and 52-inch) HDTVs will carry a $799 MAP and includes a competitive margin for retailers, company executives assured.
The mount allows a display to be tilted from 15 degrees to 20 degrees in multiple directions and a safety sensor prevents the TV from touching the wall or anything that may interfere with the display while in motion. Samsung will offer a $100 discount on the mount price when bundled with a compatible Samsung TV.
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