Samsung Electronics claims that it is the world’s largest provider of LCD TV’s and that to gain share going forward their TV offerings have to be better than their competition as price is not going to be a big enough differentiator.
Speaking at the CES 07 Expo in Las Vegas Samsung executive David Steel claims that the battle going forward in the flat screen TV market is set to get tough as several vendors deliver new technology to market.
Among the new offerings from Samsung was a double-sided 2.22″ wide LCD that shows different images on both sides of the same screen for mobile applications, a 70″ diagonal, full-HD LCD TV panel for the home, and an 82″ diagonal, digital information display (DID) for public settings.
Samsung’s new 2.22″ double-sided LCD – being exhibited for the first time at CES 2007 – is the first product to display two different images back to back in an ultra-thin mechanical package. It is 1mm slimmer than typical display modules (3.85mm) used in mobile phones, enabling truly differentiated multimedia handset designs. Other commercially available double-sided LCDs simply consist of two panels placed one on top of the other that can only display the reverse image of identical screen content.
Samsung has also introduced the largest (70″ diagonal) full-high-definition LCD for consumer television applications. As well as new 40″ and 46″ diagonal screens. Also on show was a new 52″ diagonal LCD TV that reproduces full HD video images at 120Hz with enhanced motion picture response time (MPRT). The 52″ panel will be produced later this year at the company’s new 8th -generation LCD manufacturing operation that is 50% owned by Sony.
For the lucrative DID market, the company will demonstrate several products that enable system designers to mount giant LCD panels adjacent to each other with minimal distance separating the display’s active viewing area. These include a 46″ diagonal touch-screen DID, a 40″ diagonal model with narrow bezels left and right, a 46″ diagonal panel also for use with narrow bezel designs, as well as 57″ and 82″ diagonal DIDs.
Samsung has also introduced flash-memory-based ultra-mobile PCs and a high-def camcorder at their press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today, along with a new Blu-Ray player.
Samsung’s new Q1P ultra-mobile PC which is set to be sold into vertical markets in Australia exchanges the traditional hard drive for a 32-Gbyte solid-state disk, creating a sort of hybrid laptop/media player. The device weighs 1.7 pounds and lets users watch videos and play music without booting up Windows. The Q1P uses solid-state storage, which will make the Q1P more durable for applications like public safety, according to the company. But while Samsung also touts the SSD’s improved boot times and says it’s “capable of reading 300 times faster” than hard drive equipped models, PC Magazine believes that performance differences will probably be “minimal.”
The SC-HMX10 high-definition camcorder also may be more radical than practical, as it records high-def video to 4 Bytes of flash memory.
Samsung also introduced the BD-P1200 “second generation” Blu-Ray player, which will play high-definition DVDs in full 1080p resolution, the highest high-def currently available. It will come out in March for US$799. It is expected in Australia by midyear and could well sell for sub $1000.
The company’s new 58″-inch wireless, 1080p plasma TV is radical from the TV perspective. Costing US$5,499 and supposedly shipping in September (their last wireless model never shipped), it connects to home entertainment devices through 802.11n wireless and contains a memory card slot, USB 2 and RS232 connectors to hook up to PCs and other digital devices.
The three new SlimFit CRT HDTVs are radical in terms of price. Although CRTs are an old technology, they trade off a quality picture for a bulky exterior, and Samsung’s new CRTs aren’t as bulky as regular CRTs, coming in at about 16 inches deep. The 27-inch model, available in April, will list at only $549 – which means HDTVs may be selling for under $500 soon.
Next, Samsung announced the SP-P310MEMX Pocket Imager. Radical in size, it’s a tiny, 1.5-pound DLP projector that measures only 5 x 3.7 x 2 inches. The 800×600 projector has been available overseas for a year or so, but is new to the US; it will cost $799 starting in February.
Samsung’s new LCD TVs are less radical, but more practical. All of Samsung’s new TVs have 1080p resolution and 3 HDMI inputs so customers can connect high-def cable boxes, DVD players, PCs or game consoles. The company showed 40-inch, 46-inch, 52-inch and 57-inch LCD TVs with “LED local dimming,” which uses LED backlights where the TV can adjust the brightness of each individual light. According to PC Magazine TV analyst Robert Heron, this makes for terrific blacks and a wide color gamut. Samsung didn’t announce prices for these TVs, which are appearing in July 2007, but Heron estimated that they’ll be expensive.
A little more down to earth are Samsung’s new LCD-backlit DLP (rear-projection) TVs, at 50 inches, 56 inches and 61 inches. Those will cost as little as US$2,399, bringing better color and fewer image artifacts to a larger audience. Samsung’s new, $3,799 50-inch plasma is also very inexpensive for a 1080p plasma display; here, Samsung is touting an anti-reflective film on the screen that they say enhances black levels and reduces glare off the shiny glass screen. Heron said that FliterBright technology “worked well” when he saw it in a demo last year. A 58-inch version will cost $4,999 when the two displays come out in September.
The Samsung CLX-3160FN multifunction color laser printer is also eminently practical; a 45-pound office workhorse that also scans and faxes. Samsung’s innovation here is its relatively small size – about 18 inches on a side. The printer offers high resolution 600×600 dpi printing at a relatively low cost, at $599.99. It’s designed for home offices upgrading from multifunction inkjet printers, Samsung said.
Samsung also announced a wide range of MP3 players and digital cameras at the press conference. They include the K3, an iPod Nano-like slim flash memory based player with a glowing touch screen and support for Microsoft WMA-compatible subscription services like Yahoo! and Napster. It will be available in March and cost $119 for a 2GB model and $169 for a 4GB model. The company’s many digital camera releases include the S1050, a 10.1 megapixel, point and shoot camera with image stabilization and a low $299.99 price. An 8-megapixel version, the S850, will cost only $199.99
All pricing is in US dollars and do not reflect Australian pricing.