New York — Samsung is bringing the price of its Blu-ray-equipped home theater in a box (HTiB) systems down to a $549 street price with the launch of three new models, including the industry’s first surround bar with embedded Blu-ray player.
All three were shown at International CES.
Other opening-price Blu-ray HTiBs announced this year include a Sony model at an expected everyday $600,
a Panasonic model at a suggested $599 and a $699 JVC model consisting of a surround bar with outboard Blu-ray player.
Samsung’s opening-price BD HTiB is the street-priced $549 HT-BD1250, a 5.1 system that shipped in March. Samsung’s surround bar is the $799-everyday HT-BD8100, a wall-mountable 2.6-inch-deep unit available in July with virtual surround technology and wireless subwoofer. The third Blu-ray HTiB is the $799 HT-BD7200, which is the company’s first BD-equipped HTiB with 2.1-speaker system and virtual surround. It will be available in June.
They replace three predecessors priced at $799, $999 and $1,499. The latter two offered 7.1-channel speaker complement.
All three new models decode all Blu-ray surround formats. All three are also the company’s first BD-equipped HTiBs with BD Live capability, and they’re the company’s first HTiBs to stream video from NetFlix and music from Pandora’s Internet music service. They stream the Internet content via wired Ethernet port or optional Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 dongle at $79. All three also stream music, video and pictures from a networked PC, and all three feature Samsung’s Smart Volume technology, which maintains a consistent volume level when switching between sources.
All three are also the company’s first BD-equipped HTiBs that include iPod dock. The $549 system and $799 model with 2.1 speakers also bear the Works With iPhone designation. It was unclear whether the surround bar also bears the iPhone designation.
Other features of the $549 BD1250 include FM tuner, wireless-ready surround speakers, 1,000-watt output, 1080p up-scaling, USB Host, and playback of MP3 and WMA music files and DivX and MPEG-4 video files. It also comes with JPEG viewer. It offers selectable 24/60 fps playback from Blu-ray discs.
The 400-watt BD7200, designed for small rooms or bedrooms, comes with 23.6-inch-tall left-right speakers, wired subwoofer, FM, selectable 24/60 fps playback from Blu-ray discs, 1080p up-scaling, USB Host, and playback of MP3 and WMA music files and DivX and MPEG-4 video files. It also includes JPEG viewer.
The 300-watt BD8200 surround bar is designed for flat-panel TVs with screen sizes of at least 40 inches, comes with 5.8GHz wireless subwoofer with 100-foot wireless range, and delivers a 5.1-channel virtual surround field. Additional details were unavailable.
Watch for updates later today for updates on Samsung’s TV lineup.