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CES 2011: Samsung Expands 3D, SmartTV Lines

LAS VEGAS – Samsung (booth 12006) used its traditional International CES-eve press conference to demonstrate its growing leadership roles in both the 3D TV and connected TV categories, by unveiling broader product assortments and greater Internet apps and content offerings in 2011.
The main emphasis in the home entertainment area of the company’s booth this year is on 3D and SmartTV capabilities, said John Revie, Samsung home entertainment products senior VP.
The company’s active-shutter 3D playback feature – this year including Bluetooth instead of IR linking – will be extended to 80 percent of the company’s LCD models and 85 percent of its plasma SKUs. The company will also offer some level of connected streaming to nearly 90 percent of its 2011 models.
SmartTV with Samsung Apps will be available in two performance levels, with step-up models offering more extensive search capabilities.
TV lines include more than 14 LCD and plasma series.
In LCD TV, Samsung will offer screen sizes ranging from 19 inches to 65 inches, with the majority of its models transitioning to LED edge lighting this year. Advanced models will add LED edge lighting with new Micro Dimming Pro technology to boost black-level performance to better even full-array LED backlighting approaches, said John Revie, Samsung home entertainment products senior VP.
Among the first-half LCD TV series this year will be the entry 450, 550 and 650 series with CCFL backlighting. Pricing will be announced later.
This steps to the 4000 (720p) and 5000 (1080/60Hz) LED edge-lit series, stepping to software-based driving LED edge lighting in the 6000, 7000 and 8000 series.
The 6000-series sets will employ software-based local dimming techniques to enhance black levels and contrast, while the 7000 and higher series with 240Hz frame rates will employ a hybrid local dimming approach using both software and mechanically driven dimming techniques for optimal black-level performance.
The highlight of Samsung’s LCD TV line at the show will be the UND8000 series, which is to include four models in the 46-, 55-, 60- and 65-inch screen sizes.
All have 1080p/240Hz LED edge-lighting, 3D capability and what the company is calling “the world’s first Internet-enabled touch-control TV remote.” Key set features include a 0.2-inch-wide metal bezel design, Micro Dimming Pro circuitry and Bluetooth-linked 3D glasses. It will also add the advanced Smart TV package featuring built-in Wi-Fi, Skype video calling, Samsung Apps Store access, a full web browser, media search with an advanced recommendation feature, and connected media storage devices including networked PCs and mobile devices.
The UND7000 LCD series, which is slated for first-half delivery, includes the 46-, 55- and 60-inch screen sizes, all with 1080p/240Hz 3D panels, LED edge lighting, Bluetooth-linked 3D glasses, the Advanced Smart TV feature package from the UND8000 series, 0.2-inch ultra-slim bezels and a reduced cabinet width design.
The UND6400 series models are billed as “eco-friendly” 1080p/120Hz 3D edge-lit LED models employing the company’s double-rate frame transition technology for smoother and sharper images.
Screen sizes include 32, 40, 46, 55 and 60 inches, and key features encompass the Advanced SmartTV package, Bluetooth 3D glasses, a 15 percent power consumption reduction, 20 percent brightness boost, reduced toxic materials use and a reduced cabinet size.
The sets all use Samsung’s Motion Adaptive Dimming algorithm technology to reduce power consumption up to 20 percent by controlling the LED brightness, according to motion vectors in the picture.
In plasma TV, the company will again offer 20 SKUs, including a 720p 2D-only series, a 720p 3D-capable series, three series with 1080p resolution and less than 3-inch cabinet depths, and three 1080p series with ultra-slim panels approaching the thickness measurements of the company’s edge-lit LED LCD TVs.
This year’s plasma lines also offer full Energy Star compliance and have been redesigned to offer an additional inch of viewable screen size by reducing the bezel width while keeping the outside perimeter measurements the same. Samsung calls the advancement its “Plus One Strategy.”
So, in 2011, a 63-inch set last year becomes a 64-inch screen size model, a 58-inch set becomes a 59-inch model, a 50-inch set becomes a 51-inch model and a 42-inch set becomes a 43-inch model.
The PND8000 series will be the flagship of 3D plasma line, offering the 64-, 59- and 51-inch screen sizes. All feature 1080p resolution Advanced SmartTV package and new touch-control TV remote. Other features include an ultra-slim 1.5-inch panel depth and enhanced cosmetics.
The D6500 series includes the 51- and 59-inch screen sizes, both with 1.5-inch ultra-slim panel depth, 1080p 3D capability and advanced Smart TV connectivity package.