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3D, Blu-ray Get Samsung Audio Focus


Samsung’s 2011 audio lineup will include
an expanded selection of 3D-equipped Blu-ray
home-theater-in-a-box (HTiB) systems, the company’s
first 3D Blu-ray HTiBs with 2D-to-3D conversion, more
soundbars, and the company’s first Blu-ray-equipped
A/V receiver.

In launching six new Blu-ray HTiBs, Samsung is expanding
its Blu-ray HTiB selection to six from five. All
six will feature 3D, up from three systems in 2010. Four
of the new systems will be the company’s first 3D Bluray
HTiBs with 2D-to-3D conversion.

With the launches, Samsung will expand HDMI outputs
with audio return channel to all Blu-ray HTiBs. Like last
year, three Blu-ray HTiBs will feature dual HDMI inputs.

All HTiBs feature FM tuner, iPod/iPhone dock, and
USB port. Like last year, three come with included
wireless-surround speakers
Also like last year, all Blu-ray HTiBs feature DLNA
certification to stream content from DLNA PCs and
other DLNA-certified devices, and all continue to access
Samsung’s app store to download more than 110
apps, including game apps and apps that stream audio,
video and other content via the Internet from such
streaming sites as NetFlix
and Blockbuster.

The new models, however,
add new search and
recommendation features.
The new search feature, for
example, lets users enter
the name of a movie, and
the HTiB searches across
DLNA-connected devices
and app-delivered streaming services for the content.

Likewise, a recommendation feature recommends
video content from DLNA-connected sources and Internet
streaming apps based on past viewing habits.

Five of the six HTiBs feature embedded Wi-Fi or included
Wi-Fi dongle. A Wi-Fi dongle is optional on the sixth.

All Blu-ray HTiBs ship in March for in-store April
availability at prices that haven’t been announced. Last
year’s 3D Blu-ray HTiBs started at $549 MAP.

The Blu-ray HTiB selection includes one 7.1-channel
system and a 2.1-channel “cubic-design” system, which
incorporates proprietary virtual surround technology.

The cubic-design HT-D7100, which sits in the middle
of the Blu-ray HTiB lineup, consists of a main chassis,
two speakers and a subwoofer that form a cube when
the main chassis is stacked on top of the subwoofer
and the speakers are placed to the left and right. The
main chassis incorporates FM, 3D Blu-ray player, 2Dto-
3D conversion, embedded Wi-Fi, decoding of HD
audio codecs, proprietary virtual-surround technology.
Like the other Blu-ray HTiBs, the cubic system features
Samsung’s app platform and the new search and recommendation

In last year’s line, Samsung didn’t offer a 2.1-channel
HTiB with virtual surround but did offer a soundbar with
5.1-channel decoders and virtual-surround technology.

In the 2011 lineup, 5.1-channel surround decoding and
virtual-surround technology appear in two soundbars.

The 40-inch wide HW-D450 soundbar, like its precedessor,
features wireless subwoofer, FM tuner, two
optical digital inputs, one pair of analog stereo inputs,
USB input, and no iPod dock. The new model adds
performance enhancements. The previous model came
in silver or black. The new model will be available in
black and possibly in silver as well.

The company’s first soundbar with HDMI inputs and output is a 46-inch model due in black (HW-D550) and
in silver (HW-D551). They feature wireless subwoofer, two
HDMI inputs, one HDMI output with audio return channel,
optical input, analog stereo input, Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder,
and proprietary virtual surround technology.

All new soundbars ship in March for April in-store

In AV receivers, all three
new models, including the
7.2-channel HW-D7000
A/V receiver with embedded
3D Blu-ray player, feature
HDMA inputs, HDMI
output with audio return
channel, and decoding of all
HD audio codecs. The audio
return channel function
expands to three AVRs from one in the 2010 selection.

The HW-D7000 Blu-ray A/V receiver, which features
seven channels of amplification, adds embedded Wi-
Fi, access to Samsung app downloads, and the new
search and recommendation functions available in the
Blu-ray HTiBs. Pricing wasn’t available.

The two other new AV receivers are the opening-price
5.1-channel HW-D500 and the step-up 7.2-channel
HW-D700. Their prices were unavailable, but their predecessors
started at $299 MAP. The new AVRs ship
in May and will be available the same month in stores.

The 5.1-channel HW-D500 and 7.2-channel HWD-
700 will also be available as part of a package that includes
the AVRs and home theater speakers.