Samsung's 2011 CE Blitz!

Introduction & HDTVs

Samsung SEA, Oceania and Taiwan Forum 2011

Last year, we witnessed a crazy dash by TV makers to plant the first flag in the 3D TV race. If you could recall details from Samsung's 2010 Forum, the Korean chaebol was first to market a string of 3D LED-backlit televisions such as the third-gen C7000 and C8000, plus stereoscopic models for their LCD and Plasma categories. Held at the Marina Bay Sands this year, Samsung continues to advance in their home entertainment and CE campaign with updates showcased during their regional forum. Their new line up includes fresh revisions made mainly to their 3D LED and Plasma HDTV series, plus key updates for their AV, digital imaging, and mobile devices category. As anticipated, the upcoming Galaxy S II smartphone and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab ended up stealing most of the show's thunder. Following a new "Smarter Life" ethos, Samsung hopes to create "smarter" products with more intuitive interfaces and enhanced connectivity. Here are some highlights from Samsung's media event.

 Mr Stanley Goh, Samsung's Regional Director of Trade Marketing, kickstarted the forum with a brief keynote speech. Those huge numbers reflect Samsung's total revenue (USD) chalked up last year. Samsung would also like to develop their market share in their B2B and digital imaging segments.

 As much as Samsung is known for their sexy and slim HDTVs, the real crowd puller would have to be the upcoming dual-core Galaxy S2, soon to be available to Android fans later this month. Apart from its impressive Super AMOLED Plus display, the S2 will also feature dual cams - a front 2MP and rear 8MP camera with LED flash.

Samsung's New AV Offerings

Mr Robert Vu, Samsung's Vietnam AV Business Director, in an effort to explain the "Human Digitalism" axiom, reiterated the dominant and central roles TVs are playing in our daily lives, as well as Samsung's emphasis on improved connectivity, usability and aesthetics. He also quelled myths revolving around Smart TVs, where the term is erroneously used to convey the impression of a TV with PC capabilities. Apart from their persistent push towards the 3D TV segments, Samsung's latest trend setter would have to their "Smart Hub" platform established across their 2011 line up of LED-backlit TVs, Blu-ray players and fourth-generation D8000 Plasma TV series. Essentially, the Smart Hub interface enables you to search, stream, and explore Internet content on Samsung's new genre of Smart TVs. Other new features include a "search all" feature for networked content, plus a web browser with full-browsing capabilities. 

Stereoscopic screens are clearly overshadowed by Samsung's recent underscoring of Smart TVs at this year's forum. In essence, a Smart TV enables you to connect, surf and stream content from the Internet. And as Mr Robert Vu would like to highlight, Smart TVs are NOT tellies with PC capabilities but HDTVs equipped with Internet and networking capabilities.

With Smart TVs, comes Smart Hub - Samsung's latest app-based user interface. Essentially, you get to surf and stream content from the big bad Internet from the comfort of your TV. With a remote app, you even get to wield compatible Samsung's mobile devices like the Galaxy Tab as the TV's remote. Soon to be available in Q2 is an Android app which enables you to stream live broadcasts from the TV to Samsung's mobile devices.

The new 3D-capable D8000 and D7000 series will lead Samsung's LED edge-lit segment, featuring a delightfully slim bezel of 0.2 inches. As for their plasma category, the D8000 (confusing, isn't it?) series will feature a "Plasma+1" aspect. Fundamentally, what this means is you get an inch more of screen estate due to the reduced bezel width. The D8000 plasma will come in 51 and 64 panel sizes. Other notable AV offerings include the more affordable 3D-ready D6600 LED series and flagship BD-8900A Blu-ray player with 3D playback and 1TB HDD storage. Still on the 3D theme, Samsung is also offering a "Total 3D Solution", which consists of the SSG-3700CR 3D active shutter glasses, complemented by the SWC1000A wireless charger to charge your eyewear when it gets weary.  

The fourth generation D7000 series boasts of a 5mm slim bezel framed by Samsung's semi-transparent Crystal design. The 3D-capable Series 7 will ship with Samsung's CMR 800Hz refresh rates, a HD digital tuner, and of course, the Smart Hub platform. The D7000 will be made available in 40, 46 and 55 inches.   

Dark skies and a crescent moon highlight the black-level prowess of the Series 8 (aka D8000) PDP. This 64-incher comes equipped with a Real Black Filter, web browser and built-in WiFi. As mentioned, it also touts Samsung's "Plasma +1" design with one inch more of screen estate.

Here is one Blu-ray player to rule them all. The BD-8900A hides a 1TB hard drive under its cold black shell which supposedly holds up to 240 hours worth of HD content. It is friendly with your 3D TV as well with its 3D playback features. Want one?

 Here's something really nifty, the SWC1000A. Designed like a top hat, the wireless charger enables you to charge up to four pairs of active-shutter glasses at one go. The SWC1000A is part of Samsung's so-called "Total 3D Solution".