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Samsung Unveils More DigitALL Video During CES

The world’s first 46-inch fully integrated LCD HDTV set, and a hard-drive-based MPEG-4 multimedia camcorder that fits in a shirt pocket, will highlight an expansive digital product lineup, slated to debut at Samsung’s CES booth this week.

Jim Sanduski, Samsung marketing VP, said the company would showcase a broad new line of flat-panel TVs as well as one of the industry’s broadest selections for fully integrated ATSC DTV sets.

In LCD TV, Samsung will “significantly broaden” its core lineup of 15- and 17-inch LCD TVs in 2003, introducing larger screen sizes in both 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, and reducing prices on existing screen sizes.

Nine LCD TVs are slated for 2003, including the 46W, 32W, 26W, and 22W, 16:9 screen sizes and a 20-inch 4:3 model. All widescreen models 22W-inches and larger will include DVI/HDCP inputs.

The flagship will be a 46W-inch widescreen TFT LCD panel (model LTN465W) with fully integrated ATSC DTV tuner and dual NTSC TV tuners. Slated for delivery in October at a $10,999 suggested retail price, the unit will add a QAM-compatible cable tuner for unencrypted digital cable programming. The Tantus LTN465W, and other select high-end models across different TV platforms this year, will include Samsung’s new Digital Natural Image Engine (DNIe), which offers video noise reduction, detail, contrast and white-tone enhancement for digital signal sources.

New LCD models will also allow viewers to view both TV and PC sources on the screen at the same time, via a multi-format PIP feature.

New LCD TVs will include the Tantus 32W-inch LTN325W, which ships in June at a $4,499 suggested retail price. The Tantus 26W-inch LTN265W will carry a $3,499 suggested price, and the Samsung 22W-inch LTM225W is now available at $2,999.

The 21-inch (LTN2035) 4:3 offers 640 by 480 enhanced definition resolution and ships in August at $1,699.

The current 40W-inch LCD TV will be replaced by the Tantus LTN406W in July at an $8,999 suggested retail price, down from the current $10,999.

New pricing in the 15-inch and 17-inch segments include the LTN1565 4:3 ($999, June); LTN1765 4:3 ($1,199, June); and LTN1785W 16:9 ($1,499, June).

In plasma displays, Samsung will refresh its current lineup and will add a second HDTV-capable 42W-inch unit. The new 50W-inch HPN5039 will be reduced $1,000 from the current model, to $8,999 in April, and the new 42W-inch EDTV model (SPN4235) will be reduced $1,000 from the current model to $4,499 in March. The HDTV 42W-inch HPN4239 will carry a $5,999 price in April.

New DLP rear-projection HDTVs will include two new screen sizes, both adding a thin-bezel design. Shipping in May will be the 46W-inch (Tantus HLN467W, $4,499) and 56W-inch (Tantus HLN567W, $4,999).

In integrated HDTV sets, Samsung will follow the aforementioned 46W-inch LCD TV, with a return to fully integrated CRT rear-projection HDTV sets. Models will be offered in the 52W-inch and 55W-inch, both with the 16:9 aspect ratio. Entry (HLN5529WH, $2,399, May) and step-up (Tantus HCN559WH, $2,599, June) models will be offered in the 55W-inch category. The Tantus version will include three component video inputs, built-in component shelf, 3D-Y/C comb filter and split-screen mode capability. The 52W-inch integrated (HCN529WH, $2,299) model will ship in June.

In HDTV rear-projection monitors, Samsung will offer 11 models, 10 of which will have the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. Screen sizes will include 65W, 55W, 47W and 42W. This year 3:2 pulldown has been added “as a core feature” along with a 15-point, one-button auto convergence system, two HD component video inputs, DVI/HDCP input and BBE sound enhancement.

Models in the step-up Tantus series will add a built-in component shelf, three HD component inputs, two-tuner NTSC PIP, 3D-Y/C comb filter and a first surface mirror. The lone 4:3 model has a 54-inch screen size (PCN541, $1,599).

In digital direct-view, Samsung will add a new Fine Pitch CRT for enhanced resolution to select models, and will transition both analog and digital models to all-silver cosmetics.

In May, Samsung will ship a 30W-inch fully integrated HDTV direct view set (TXN3085WHD, $1,499) with ATSC, NTSC and QAM tuning, DVI/HDCP, and two component video inputs.

In analog flat-screen direct-view television, Samsung will carry nine models, including the current 14- 20- and 27-inch screen sizes, and the new 16-, 24- and 32-inch sizes. Prices will range from $179 to $799. Samsung will drop the 13-, 19- and 36-inch screen sizes from its curved tube analog TV and TV/VCR combo lines.

In digital set-top boxes, Samsung will show a next generation ATSC decoder (SIR-T351), which adds a DVI/HDCP output and QAM tuning capability to the feature package of the current SIR-T151. The SIR-T351 will ship in April at a $499 suggested retail price. The company will also unveil a new 300 Series of standard-definition DirecTV set-top IRDs featuring a new security chip required by the satellite provider, said Chris Cudina, Samsung digital set-top box group senior marketing manager.

Select DVD players will include a “letter box eliminator” function that reformats letter-boxed movies to fill a 4:3 frame without image distortion.

Included in the line is the DVDP731M, which offers “Multi-Flash” compatibility. This is described as a built-in adapter for the Memory Stick, Secure Digital, SmartMedia and MultiMedia Card flash memory formats, enabling the use of digital image and music files through the player.

At the high end, the DVDHD931 will be offered to consumers “who are very serious about upgrading to digital TV.” The player will include a DVI/HDCP connector and will up convert and send out signals in the 480p, 720p and 1080i DTV picture formats. When used with DVI/HDCP DTV sets and monitors, the signals stay in the digital domain without D-to-A or A-to-D conversion.