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Samsung Updates AV Plans

New York – Samsung disclosed plans for late-August shipment of its first TiVo-enabled DirecTV decoder, September shipments of its first HTiB system to use three front speakers to create a 5.1-channel soundfield, and its second Klipsch/Samsung co-branded system.

In DTV set-top decoder boxes, Samsung said it is on schedule to deliver its first TiVo-enabled DirecTV decoder at the end of August. The $499-suggested SIR-S4120R will be the first DirecTV/TiVo product to incorporate a 120GB hard drive, said Chris Cudina, national sales and marketing manager for digital set-top boxes.

The addition will also make Samsung one of the few manufacturers with a complete lineup of DirecTV digital set-top decoding devices, Cudina said.

In HTiBs, the company plans September shipments of a system that will use proprietary DSP and speaker designs to deliver a 5.1-channel soundfield through two L-R satellite speakers and a center channel, said Claude Frank, director of digital/audio products. Each L-R satellite speaker will contain separate driver complements for the front and surround channels, with the surround drivers angled to reflect off a side wall. A subwoofer will be included. Pricing wasn’t disclosed. The size of the soundfield’s sweet spot wasn’t available.

The company’s second Klipsch/Samsung-branded HTiB is due in September at a $599 MAP to complement the existing model’s $999 MAP. The new model will feature lower power, use a passive subwoofer instead of an active model, and feature 5-disc changer compared to the current system’s one-disc player. Both feature DTS ES, whose rear-center channel is delivered in virtual mode, but not Dolby Digital EX.

The original Klipsch/Samsung system is available in regional chains, Sears, J&R, and Vann’s and will be picked up by P.C. Richard.

In other audio news, the company:

  • Reversed its plans for offering a DVD-AV player this year but said it’s considering universal SACD/DVD-AV players for next year. The company’s first HTiB equipped with universal player is targeted for shipment late this year or early next.
  • Might add DVI or HDMI outputs to HTiBs next year, following this year’s launch of a DVD player that upconverts DVD video into two HD formats and uses an HDMI output to transfer the video to an HDTV screen.
  • Plans to add the Ogg-Vorbis compressed-audio format to portable audio players, HTiBs, and standalone DVD players next year. These devices already decode MP3 and Windows Media Audio (WMA) files burned to CD.
  • Delayed shipments of its first HDD headphone stereo to up the storage capacity to 15GB from 10GB, drop the price from the initial suggested $429, and revamp its cosmetics. September shipments are planned. Pricing was unavailable.

‘The format is starting to proliferate,’ said digital audio marketing manager Mark Farish.

In other video news, Sasmung said it is offering a next generation DVD recorder based on the DVD-RAM/DVD-R disc formats. The new unit carries a new low $499 suggested retail and offers the Time Slip function for the simultaneous playback of a program while it is being recorded.

Samsung continues to stick with the DVD-RAM format because of its cost-effectiveness compared to other recordable DVD formats, said JR deSouza, marketing manager for the digital audio/video product group. He added that the company has seen strong demand for its previously announced DVD-HD931 DVD player, which features a direct digital connection with DTV sets via DVI-HDCP and built-in Faroudja DCDi up conversion circuitry for selectable output of 480p, 720p or 1080i video signals.