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CONSUMER ELECTRONIC SHOW / CES 2010

Samsung Piles On The Pressure At CES 2010

By David Richards At CES In The USA | Thursday | 07/01/2010

Samsung today rolled out an impressive line up of TVs including new LED and 3D models. It also took a big risk with the launch of an Apple-like application store that will deliver applications to large screen TVs, PCs and mobile phones.

Just before the Samsung press conference today, I met up with David Steele, the Vice President of Samsung's US operation; prior to that he was VP of Marketing for Samsung as well as the former head of the company's mobile operations.

I asked him whether he thought Sony would dominate in the 3D TV market he said "no". He then said, "Just look at what we have got to offer and then work it out for yourself. I am really impressed with what we are delivering today."

A few minutes later, Steel set in process an impressive roll-out of new innovations from a company that is looking to turn over $400 billion in consumer electronic products by 2020.

Among the new products launched today was a complete 3D home entertainment system and LED TVs with screens as thin as a pencil.

The company also unveiled its own app store with plans to offer games, movies and software for multiple devices, including TVs and Blu-ray Disc players as well as mobile phones.

The 3D home entertainment system includes high-definition 3D TVs, the BD-C6900 Blu-ray Disc player and an audio system to be sold together or separately. Samsung has also allied with Dreamworks Animation and Technicolor on promoting content for 3D home entertainment.

Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of Dreamworks, called Samsung's new 3D LED (light emitting diode) TVs "stunning" and showed off the Blu-ray Disc version of the 3D movie Monsters vs Aliens. He said that while studios produced only 10 major 3D movies in 2009, four of them were among the top 10 films of the year.

Samsung's 3D home entertainment centre will be available later this year. Consumers interested in stand-alone 3D high-definition TVs, however, will not have to wait so long. The company has built 3D capability into a range of new flat-panel TVs that will be launched in Australia in time for the 2010 World Cup.

The LED TVs with 3D capability include Samsung's LED7000 series and above, plasma TVs in the 7000 series and above and 750 Series LCD TVs. For people who want to watch regular 2D television shows in 3D, Samsung has included a 3D chip with auto-conversion technology that renders 2D content into 3D in real time.

The company also sells active shutter 3D glasses.

Samsung also showed off its thinnest LED TV ever at the CES event, the LED9000 series, which is just 0.3-inches (7.6mm) thick. When a Samsung worker turned the big-screen TV sideways, cheers came from the audience at the CES press conference.

Samsung's LED TVs turned out to be a surprise hit for the company last year, with 2.5 million sold globally. Samsung forecast it will sell 10 million this year. LED backlights have replaced CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp) backlights in many LCD TVs. LED offers better color saturation and power savings than CCFL technology.

Samsung also used its CES conference to announce its own app store. The Samsung Apps store is already up and running on the Web but apps for TVs won't be available until July, according to the Samsung Apps Web site.

The company hopes to attract software developers with an open developer program and an SDK (software developer kit).

"If you think it's fun to develop apps for a 3-inch screen, let me show you this 55-inch LED TV," said Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics USA.

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