Samsung has advanced the promise of the true ‘smart’ TV this CES, with models that integrate a browser for PC-like web surfing. Previously, the connected TV relied on simple apps and widgets as a means of accessing select web-based content, but this new feature will expand IPTV entertainment options by allowing unfettered access to the riches of the entire web.
Available on most of Samsung’s new LCD, LED and plasma models above 40 inches, the feature complements Samsung Apps, the world’s first HDTV-based apps store. In Australia, current apps include BigPond Movies and BigPond TV, AFL and NRL TV, plus the ABC’s iView catch-up TV service.
Expected to be available for sale in Australia from April, Samsung’s 40-odd new television models range from 19 to 65 inches, with a 75 inch model to come somewhere down the track if the prototype on display at CES is any guide.
Many models will exhibit Samsung’s 80 percent thinner bezel, a design feature that effectively increases the screen’s display area by reducing the size of the frame. In the flagship D8000 and D7000 LED models, for instance, the 0.2 inch wide bezel means that viewers can enjoy a larger picture without increasing the perimeter dimensions of the set. In the 58 inch D6500 plasma, the slimmer bezel translates into a whole extra inch of viewable screen area.
And 3D, the buzz of last year’s CES, has not been overlooked either, with Samsung introducing the feature to more TV models and integrating its 2D-to-3D conversion technology into a Blu-ray player (BD-6700) for the first time. The company has also redesigned its eyewear to look better and fit more comfortably over prescription glasses, and with a view to making 3D accessible to more budgets (and increasing its market dominance in the area), is on the record as saying it “aims to reduce the cost of a 3D entertainment system – 3DTV, Blu-ray, 3D glasses and content – in 2011 by more than two-thirds”.