Samsung Outlines 2011 TV, App, Connectivity, 3D ‘Nth-Screen’ Strategy
Samsung’s Galaxy product family
Samsung president Tim Baxter holds up one of the new Galaxy Android-based players
The Q&A panel, l. to r.: Samsung’s John Revie, Tim Baxter, & Doug Albregts; DreamWorks’ Phil McNally; Samsung’s Reid Sullivan & Eric Anderson
Samsung is fielding 15 plasma models in 2011, and eight are pegged “ultra slim,” at 1.5 inches deep. The new Plasma + 1 design’s slimmer bezel adds an extra inch of viewable screen, effectively making a 50-inch set a 51-inch set, said Revie.
Other features peppered throughout the TV lines include: a function that recommends shows based on viewing habits; the addition of a full web browser on select 2011 models; and a QWERTY keyboard on the reverse side of remotes that when it is facing upward becomes active while the regular key array is simultaneously deactivated.
Samsung also announced that the expansion of its partnership with DreamWorks Animation would result in the inclusion of the 3D Blu-ray title Megamind in the latest 3D Starter Kit. Also in the Kit will be the complete Shrek collection and two pairs of 3D glasses.
The company has greatly expanded its Samsung Apps collection, according to Eric Anderson, vice president of Product and Content Solutions, from the dozen launched in the U.S. last March to more than 200 presently. Going forward, he said, besides being able to cherry-pick from even more apps, users will be able to create folders to better manage them. Additionally, customers can now download an app to turn their Samsung tablet or smartphone into a TV remote, and a feature he referred to as Twin View will allow content on either of these two devices to be transmitted to the TV for viewing on the larger screen.
Samsung’s newest lines of Blu-ray Disc players and Blu-ray home theater systems will offer 2D-to-3D upconversion capability for the first time ever, said Revie, and will also feature a snappier three-second boot time. Of note are the HT-D6730W Blu-ray system ($799.99; available now), which features a swivel-head speaker design for more immersive surround sound, and the company’s first A/V receiver with a built-in Blu-ray player, model HW-D7000 ($599.99; May).