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Samsung Adds HTiBs With 10.1-Channel Processing

LAS VEGAS – A variety of Samsung audio products intended for first-half shipment include the company’s first soundbar with tube amplifier, first HTiBs with post-processing technology to deliver a virtual 10.1-channel soundfield, and first HTiB with 4K2K passthrough and upscaling.

The company is also launching its first portable Bluetooth speaker.

In HTiBs, two models announced here incorporate DTS-Neo Fusion post processing to deliver a virtual 10.1-channel soundfield from 5.1- and 7.1-channel audio sources played back through a 5.1- or 7.1-speaker system.

The first-half lineup consists of the HT-F6500W and HT-F9730W HTiBs, HW-F550 and HW-F750 soundbars, and DA-F60 portable Bluetooth speaker. Pricing wasn’t available.

HTiBs: Both new HTiBs, the 5.1-channel HT-F6500W and 7.1-channel HT-F9730W, feature 3D Blu-ray playback, streaming audio and video services, access to Samsung’s app store, DLNA-networking, vacuum-tube preamps, and digital amplifiers like their predecessors, but the new models add DTS-Neo Fusion post-processing to generate virtual height and front-width channels. Both models are also the company’s first HTiBs to incorporate wireless Miracast technology, which incorporates Wi-Fi Direct and is certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Miracast lets users stream video from a Miracast-enabled smartphone or laptop to a TV display using WI-Fi Direct technology, making it unnecessary to connect through a home’s Wi-Fi network.

Both models also feature S-Recommendation, AllShare Play, and AllShare Cast.

S-Recommendation lets users enter the name of a movie, and the HTiB searches across DLNA-connected devices and streaming services for the content. Likewise, the feature recommends video content from DLNA-connected sources and Internet streaming services based on past viewing habits.

AllShare Play is Samsung’s DLNA-based technology designed to simplify the streaming of content from Samsung’s mobile devices to a Samsung TV. AllShare Cast is Samsung’s implementation of Miracast technology.

Both HTiBs also feature 900MHz dual-core processor and an algorithm that improves the visual quality of block-based low-resolution images.

The HT-F6500 HTiB comes with 5.1 speaker system, 1,000-watt output, two HDMI 1.4a inputs, and one HDMI 1.4a output with audio return channel.

The 7.1-speaker, 1,330-watt HT-F9730W HTiB features 4K2K upscaling and passthrough, wireless surround speakers, stereo Bluetooth, built-in Wi-Fi, two front tower speakers, and Samsung’s TV Sound On feature, which lets consumers switch from TV speakers to HTiB speakers at the press of a button. The 7.1 HTiB also adds ceramic polypropylene diaphragms to speed up speaker reaction time.

The models feature USB ports to play back audio and video from connected mass-storage devices, a spokesman said. They use Bluetooth in lieu of Apple pin connectors and Made For iPod/iPhone USB ports to enable compatibility with more mobile devices, he added.

Samsung’s 2013 HTiBs lack 2D-to-3D conversion.

Soundbars: First-half models are the HW-F550 and tube-preamp HW-F750, called the world’s first soundbar with vacuum-tube preamp. Both come with wireless subwoofer, 2.1-channel amplification, and delivery of virtual 5.1-channel surround from two-channel sources.

The HW-F550 features 310-watt output and proprietary 3D Sound Plus technology, which synchronizes the depth of the soundfield with 3D picture depth.

The F550 also features Smart On and Bluetooth-based SoundShare technology. Soundshare enables the soundbar to play back audio from select Bluetooth-equipped TVs without making a physical cable connection. The soundbar also streams music from Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Smart On technology enables a Samsung TV remote to turn the soundbar on/off and adjust its volume when connected via HDMI or Bluetooth.

The HW-F750 soundbar adds tube preamp to deliver warmer sound, the company said.

Bluetooth speaker: The DA-F60 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that streams the apt-X codec over Bluetooth and features NFC (nearfield communications) to enable one-tap Bluetooth pairing with an NFC-enabled cellphone.

It wasn’t clear whether, like some other Bluetooth speakers appearing at CES, NFC would also lets users tap the phone against the speaker to turn on the speaker and turn on the phone’s Bluetooth.