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Samsung Updates Plans For A/V Lineup

Samsung disclosed plans for a 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 retail 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 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, digital/audio products director. 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 retail to complement the existing model’s $999 retail. 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 & Son.

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.

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 recorder, 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 1,080i video signals.