Samsung, the Company who led the charge spruiking 3D TVs 18 months ago, is set to launch a new Smart TV this week that is $2,200 more expensive than their current model.The new 200Hz 55″ Samsung Smart TV model has a 5mm bezel design and a Skype camera built in. It is listed at retailers in Australia with an RRP of $3,999, while retailers sell the current model Samsung Smart TV for $1,799.
The new TV comes with what Samsung is calling Smart Interaction, and a dual core processor, along with micro dimming and Wi Fi built in.
And if that is not enough, the 3D capable TV which has 1920 X 1080 resolution also has motion and voice control, along with gesture control and face recognition.
A Harvey Norman Smart TV catalogue obtained by SmartHouse has revealed that Samsung is also launching several other TV models this week, including a $3,899 64″ Smart Plasma TV also with dual core processor; this will result in Samsung competing head on with both LG and Panasonic in the Smart TV market.
24 hours after Samsung launch their new Smart TV offering on Tuesday, LG is set to launch a similar offering along with a clever new voice activated remote that allows users to talk to their TV, giving it commands via the new remote control.
Also in the Harvey Norman catalogue is a new LG 55″ Smart TV that is listed at $2,999 which is $1,000 cheaper than the Samsung offering.
It comes with their brand new voice activated remote and has 3D depth control and sound zooming, as well as smart share and Wi Fi, web browsing and an 8,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio. Missing is a dual core processor.
Missing from the Harvey Norman TV guide is any reference to Panasonic or OLED TVs, despite Panasonic releasing a new range of Smart TVs earlier this week.
With TV sales falling during the past 12 months, the big question for vendors is whether consumers will go out and fork out thousands on a new Smart TV.
This month Panasonic, LG and Samsung have expanded their line-up of movies on offer via the introduction of content supplied by Telstra Big Pond Movies and Quickflix as well as catch up TV using the highly popular ABC iView service.
According to Foxtel, Samsung will shortly release an application that allows consumer to access Foxtel content; however this will cost consumers a monthly subscription fee.
Owners who purchased a Samsung Smart TV last year or a 3D TV the year before will be able to access the Telstra Big Pond and Telstra TV service by purchasing a $275 Telstra T Box.
The Samsung ES8000 LED Smart TV, which combines voice recognition with gesture control and also be accessed via a smartphone or tablet, will offer this service, in addition to Panasonic and LG equivalents.
A recent TV research study revealed there appears to be little interest among consumers for Smart TV technology.
According to ABI Research consumers continue to rank price, display technology and screen size as the most important considerations in their TV purchase decisions, which senior analyst Michael Inouye of ABI Research believes “All of which conspire to make differentiation in the TV market increasingly difficult.”
New features including Internet connectivity, and 3D have not yet yielded the spark in demand TV manufacturers were counting on to help generate deeper margins, ABI said.
The 3D feature remains the least important feature cited by consumers when asked about TV purchase intent and a higher percentage of respondents claimed to have no interest in a 3D-ready TV, (42% versus 39%).
Global research Company DisplaySearch claims internet-connected TV shipments (units shipped to stores) would reach 138 million globally by 2015, accounting for almost half (47 per cent) of all flat-panel TVs sold globally.
The former Samsung Marketing Director Lambro Skropidis, who recently took on the role as General Manager of Marketing at LG, claims when it comes to Smart 3D TVs, LG has overtaken Samsung in what is shaping up as a battle of the two big Korean brands.
(Tomorrow we will bring you a full interview with Skropidis who talks about his new product range and how LG has overtaken Samsung in the 3D smart TV market which he says is “growing”.)
The new Samsung Smart TV range will be launched on Tuesday night followed by the LG range on Wednesday night.