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Samsung Debuts 46W LCD TV, Thin DLPs

One of the world’s largest LCD-TV panels (46W-inches) and some of the industry’s thinnest rear projection DLP displays, highlight an expansive 2004 television line at the Samsung booth (Central Hall 11027), here.

In DLP, Samsung will show a new dual performance level assortment that drops the 43W-inch screen size from 2003, while increase SKU counts. In 2004, DLP rear projection displays will be offered in the 46W- 50W-, 56W- and 61W-inch screen sizes.

Additionally, Samsung will offer two models in the 50W- and 56W-inch screen sizes, that feature a “pedestal” cabinet design, and include Texas Instrument’s latest HD2+ 1280 by 720 widescreen chip, which is said to improve contrast ratios to 3000:1. Other models employ TI’s new .55-inch 720p DVD chip with a 1,500:1 contrast ratio.

All DLP models include HDMI-HDCP digital inputs and the company’s third generation DNIe image enhancement circuitry.

Jim Sanduski, Samsung visual media products marketing VP, said the highlight of the DLP lineup is a new vertically mounted light engine design, which allows a significant reduction in cabinet depth. In 50W-inch models, for example, the current 17-inch cabinet depth will shrink to under 12-inches, making DLP a stronger competitor to more pricey flat-panel displays.

Explaining the dual-performance level positioning, Sanduski said DLP models shipping in the first half of the year will be HDTV monitors, and in the second half of the year, the company “will drop in cosmetically identical models with integrated ATSC tuning.”

Base level monitors ship in between March and May and will carry suggested retail prices of $3,499 (46W-inch), $3,799 (50W), $4,299 (56W), and $4,599 (61W). Pedestal-style monitors will be priced at $4,499 (50W) and $4,999 (56W). The latter two will ship in June.

Integrated versions will add ATSC tuning, a CableCARD slot for one-way plug-and-play capability, and both 1394-DTCP and HDMI-HDCP digital interfaces. The step-up packages will carry a $500 premium over monitor-only versions.

Projecting micro-device-based displays (including DLP and LCoS) models to represent up to 30 percent of the market in 2004, Samsung will begin to de-emphasize its CRT-based rear-projection offerings, Sanduski said.

“In rear-projection television, our focus this year is on micro-display systems, so we will trim our assortment of CRT-based models,” Sanduski said.

Samsung will drop the 55W- and 65W-inch CRT rear-projection screen sizes, leaving only the 16:9 42W- ($1,399), 47W- ($1,499) and 52W-inch ($1,699) models, with the 42W- and 47W-inch models designed for table-top placement. All will ship between April and May as HDTV monitor-only models, although Samsung will add one integrated ATSC model later in the spring. That unit will omit cable plug-and-play capability.

In flat-panel products, Samsung will introduce its fourth-generation plasma line with improved brightness and contrast ratio performance. Brightness levels increase from 800 to 1,000 cd/m2, while contrast ratios jump from 1,200:1 to 3,000:1. Also included is the latest DNIe image enhancement technology.

Plasma models in the 42W ($4,999.99) and 50W-inch ($10,999.99) sizes will offer step-up models with a new styling design. Samsung will also carry fully integrated HDTV plasma sets in the 50W- and 63W-inch screen sizes this year.

Another first for the company will be the addition in June of a 50W-inch wireless HD plasma display — HPP5091 ($12,999.99 suggested), which will link to networked signal sources via 802.11a Wi-Fi technology. It will offer and a 1,366 by 768 HDTV resolution with HDMI input.

In LCD, Samsung will add a 20-inch 4:3 screen size, joining the current 15- and 17-inch 4:3 screen sizes, in the first half of 2004. The 20-inch model will offer EDTV picture performance.

In widescreen LCD, Samsung will add the 26W- and 46W-inch screen sizes to join the current 17W-, 22W-, 32W- and 40W-inch screen sizes.

Shipping in July is the LTP468W 46W-inch LCD TV ($19,999.99), which is billed as one of the largest in the industry. It will display full 1,920 by 1,080 progressive resolution, has a 600:1 contrast ratio, a 500 cd/m2 brightness level, a 12ms response time, and includes HDMI-HDCP input.

The company will also add a 17W-inch DVD LCD TV combo unit ($1,399.99, July).

In CRT direct view, Samsung will drop its remaining curved tube products, shifting to all flat-faced CRTs for both analog and digital series. Analog screen sizes will include 14-, 16- 20- and 27-inches, ranging in suggested retail from $169.99-$499.

Samsung will also offer three TV/ DVD/VHS combo models in the 16- ($379.99, June), 20- ($399.99, April) and 27-inch ($549.99, April) 4:3 screen sizes.

Digital CRT direct-view monitors will add the 26W-inch 16:9 screen size ($799.99), joining the 30W-inch 16:9 screen size ($1,099.99) , and the 27- ($799.99) and 32-inch ($1,099.99) 4:3 screen sizes. All will ship in April.

Samsung will also introduce integrated HDTV-grade direct view CRT models. Those models will add ATSC tuning capability for a $100 premium over the price of monitor-only versions, Sanduski said. However, they will omit CableCARD plug-and-play capability.