Samsung South East Asia & Oceania Forum 2012


Smart LED & Plasma TVs

Outsmarting The Competition

Let's start with these slim beauties, shall we? Samsung's ultra-skinny and distinguished OLED screens featured during CES 2012 were nowhere to be seen, but what we did see are four spanking new LED-backlit and three plasma models from the Korean chaebol. The LED and 3D-capable models will range from 46 to 60 inches, while their plasma counterparts will span from 51 to 64 inches. The flagship ES8000 will offer Samsung's Micro Dimming features which the ES7500 series lacks. Do not confuse Micro Dimming with local dimming (typically associated with direct array LEDs) though. Samsung's Micro Dimming is essentially LED edge lighting coupled with a software controller that adjusts the backlights in different areas of the panel to improve black tones, color intensities, and contrast levels. That said, all HDTV units will hit our sunny shores by end March, save for the 60-inch ES8000 that's slated to arrive in sometime in the second quarter of the year. Samsung's Smart Hub has been entrenched in the market for two years now, so we shan't dive into the same details again. Instead, let us zoom in on the notable enhancements we've spied on the upgraded Smart TV platform. But first, here are some photos we've captured from Samsung's demo booths.

Samsung's flagship ES8000 LED TV model will tout 3D capabilities and a pseudo refresh rate of 800MHz, also known as Clear Motion Rate. Not to be confused with local dimming, the ES8000 will also feature Samsung's Micro Dimming function where the LED backlights and video signal are tuned to achieve peak white levels in areas of lower gradation.

This strange-looking stand is also known as the U-shaped stand. This metallic stand will be exclusive only to the ES8000 series. The ES7500 LED model as well as the E8000 plasma range will continue to carry the Quad stands as seen in 2011's models.

A new DLNA and IR based remote will be introduced with premium models like the ES8000 and ES7500. The minimalist remote also sports a touchpad and a microphone (for voice controls) to ease your Smart TV navigational woes. Will other TV makers adopt a similar design? <a href="http://www.hardwarezone.com.sg/tech-news-tv-remotes-advance-trackpads-voice-input-and-more-ces-2012">Here's how some of the other brands are evolving their TV controllers.</a>

Samsung did not neglect their PDP series either. Shown here are the new E8000 plasma TVs with a relatively slim profile of 1.5 inches. Other fittings include a Real Black Pro panel, 3D capabilities, a dual-core processor (like the ES8000) and a 'titan black metal' color scheme.

 

Samsung 2012 Smart LED and Plasma TVs: What's New? 
 

We didn't notice any major overhauls with Samsung's Smart Hub design. The biggest changes, however, are the various modes in which users may interact with their Smart TVs, such as the introduction of voice controls and gesture controls.
 

  • AllShare Play - Sharing media content such as photos with mobile devices (or the cloud) is now possible. Multi-tasking functions such as downloading apps (via Samsung Apps) while you're surfing the web is another stated function.
  • Tabbed Browsing - Web browser has been upgraded to support tabbed browsing. In other words, you can open multiple pages on the TV's web browser instead of having to refresh the browser for different web sites.
  • Smart Interaction - Users can now interact with their TVs in more ways than one. And that includes Motion Control, Voice Control, and Face Recognition features. Using the built-in camera, users are able to power the TV on or off, activate apps, or search for web content with a simple wave of the hand. Voice control is made possible via the two embedded unidirectional microphones. In retrospect, we wonder if this Samsung's bid to outrun Apple before the supposedly voice-controlled Apple TV display emerges. 
  • Evolution Kit - Comes in the form of a SD card-esque device which you can slot into the TV to upgrade its software and hardware properties. Samsung regards this as a means to future-proof your beloved TV set.
  • More Apps - Samsung also updated their apps portfolio to a total of 1,400 global apps and 313 localized apps for Singapore. 

We were given a demonstration on how Samsung's refreshed AllShare Play feature works. Essentially, this DLNA-based function enables users to share content between the TV and compatible Samsung mobile devices.

A Samsung spokesman showed us how you may control the TV's channels or volume levels simply by moving your hands. To activate the onscreen function, clench your fist and the TV ought to register the command.

 

Samsung's 2012 Smart LED & Plasma Line-up
Model Features Price Availability
LED 60ES8000
  • 3D + Smart TV
  • Micro Dimming
  • Full HD / CMR 800Hz
  • Super Narrow Bezel(5mm)
  • Silver / U-shaped stand
  • Light Effect (Deco)
  • Personal Video Recorder Ready
  • DTV Tuner Built in
  • Smart Hub
  • 4 x HDMI, 3 x USB, 1 x Ethernet port
TBA Q2 2012

LED 55ES8000

  • 3D + Smart TV
  • Micro Dimming
  • Full HD / CMR 800Hz
  • Super Narrow Bezel(5mm)
  • Silver / Quad stand
  • Light Effect (Deco)
  • Personal Video Recorder Ready
  • DTV Tuner Built in
  • Smart Hub
  • 4 x HDMI, 3 x USB, 1 x Ethernet port
$6,499 End March 2012

LED 55ES7500

  • 3D + Smart TV
  • Full HD / CMR 800Hz
  • Super Narrow Bezel(5mm)
  • Black / Quad Stand
  • Personal Video Recorder Ready
  • DTV Tuner Built in
  • Smart Hub
  • 4 x HDMI, 3 x USB, 1 x Ethernet port
$5,999 End March 2012

LED 46ES7500

  • 3D + Smart TV
  • Full HD / CMR 800Hz
  • Super Narrow Bezel(5mm)
  • Black / Quad Stand
  • Personal Video Recorder Ready
  • DTV Tuner Built in
  • Smart Hub
  • 4 x HDMI, 3 x USB, 1 x Ethernet port
$4,499 End March 2012
PDP 64E8000
  • 3D + Smart TV
  • Clear Image Panel
  • 3D Hyper Real Engine
  • Cinema Smooth
  • Wide Color Enhancer Plus
  • Web Browser
  • Skype on Samsung TV
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 4 x HDMI, 1 x Ethernet, 2 x USB
$6,499 End March 2012
PDP 60E8000
  • 3D + Smart TV
  • Clear Image Panel
  • 3D Hyper Real Engine
  • Cinema Smooth
  • Wide Color Enhancer Plus
  • Web Browser
  • Skype on Samsung TV
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 4 x HDMI, 1 x Ethernet, 2 x USB
$5,499 End March 2012
PDP 51E8000
  • 3D + Smart TV
  • Clear Image Panel
  • 3D Hyper Real Engine
  • Cinema Smooth
  • Wide Color Enhancer Plus
  • Web Browser
  • Skype on Samsung TV
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 4 x HDMI, 1 x Ethernet, 2 x USB
$3,999 End March 2012