New York - Samsung revealed the pricing of its 2011 home audio lineup, which includes the industry's first A/V receiver with embedded 3D Blu-ray player and a quartet of HTiBs equipped with integrated 3D Blu-ray players.
The selection also includes two
soundbars with wireless subwoofer, two more A/V receivers, and two
receiver-based HTiBs, or home-theater receiver/speaker packages.
In the 2011 lineup, the starting price for a 3D Blu-ray HTiB falls to $399 for the HT-D5300 from last year's $549.
Three step-up 3D Blu-ray HTiBs are the company's first 3D HTiBs with 2D-to-3D conversion. Those three are the $499 HT-D5500, $649 HT-D6500W, and $799 HT-D6730W. All four 3D HTiBs ship in March along with a 2D HTiB, the $399 HT-D5300. Details of the 2D model weren't released
The company has no plans at this time to bring two other Blu-ray 3D HTiBs shown at International CES to the U.S., citing lack of dealer demand.
With the HTiB launches, Samsung will offer HDMI 1.4a inputs and outputs and HDMI audio return channel in all 3D Blu-ray HTiBs. The top two models feature dual HDMI 1.4a inputs. Last year's models featured 1.4 inputs and outputs.
The 3D HTiBs have an FM tuner, stand-alone iPod/iPhone dock and USB port. Like last year, some come with included wireless-surround speakers.
All four Blu-ray HTiBs feature DLNA certification to stream content from DLNA PCs and other DLNA-certified devices. The top three models have embedded Wi-Fi, and the opening-price model accepts an optional Wi-Fi dongle. The top two models feature wireless surround speakers.
All four 3D HTiBs access Samsung's app store to download apps, including game apps and apps that stream audio, video and other content via the Internet from such streaming sites as Netflix, Blockbuster and HBO Go. Coming soon are casual game apps from Gameloft.
The new HTiBs add new search and recommendation features compared to their predecessors. 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.
The top model adds a front-height channel using proprietary Samsung post-processing technology. Each of the two front-height channels are delivered via separately wired front-height speakers attached to the top of the two front tower speakers. Each front-height speaker tilts up and down and is powered by its own amplifier channel.
The top model and the two below it in price also come with a new feature, 3D Depth Sound, to bring sounds forward when on-screen 3D action comes out at the viewer.
In soundbars, 5.1-channel surround decoding and virtual-surround technology appear in two models shipping this month with a wireless subwoofer. Both are the company's first soundbars with 3D Depth Sound.
One soundbar is the 40-inch wide HW-D450 priced at $349. It features Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder, wireless subwoofer, FM tuner, two optical digital inputs, one pair of analog stereo inputs, iPod/iPhone USB input and optional wireless iPod/iPhone dock. The new model is available in black.
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) at $499. They feature wireless subwoofer, two HDMI 1.4a inputs, one HDMI 1.4a output with audio return channel, optical input, analog stereo input and Dolby Digital 5.1 decoder.
In A/V receivers, the $599 7.2-channel HW-D7000 with embedded 3D Blu-ray player ships in May. The 7.2-channel HW-D700 at $399 ships in June along with the 5.1-channel HW-D500 at $299.
All three feature HDMA 1.4a inputs, HDMI 1.4a output with audio return channel, and decoding of all HD audio codecs.
The HW-D7000 Blu-ray A/V receiver adds 3D Blu-ray player, embedded Wi-Fi, 2D-to-3D conversion, access to Samsung app downloads, and the new search and recommendation functions available in the Blu-ray HTiBs.
The 5.1-channel HWD-500 and 7.2-channel HWD-700 will also be available as part of a package that includes the AVRs and home-theater speakers. The packages are priced at $399 and $549.