CES 2007: 2nd-gen Blu-ray from Samsung

New MP3 players and networked TVs also imminent

Samsung disclosed new kit including a second generation Blu-ray player and two new MP3 players. The company also pledged to consolidate its position as the number one TV manufacturer globally with new plasma and LCD models plus a new DLP offering.

For the most part the new products were iterations of existing models, rather than the talk of the town, but it's clear that Samsung is becoming rather good at the markets it dominates.

Samsung also talked up its TVs in terms of home networking. It introduced a new technology, called AnyNetPlus. This uses HDMI to provide easy control of home entertainment via a single remote.

Also using AnyNetPlus is the new BD-P1200 Blu-ray player. The new machine is both improved in both design and function from the first generation model. It now has Ethernet connectivity - something other manufacturers delivered in their first generation models - plus is fully backwards compatible with DVD and CD. Dr Steel also said the image processing was now near-Hollywood quality.

Samsung also said it would be putting Bluetooth into its TVs at some stage - images can be wirelessly printed or Bluetooth headphones can be used. Dr David Steel, vice president of the company's digital media division, also said the company would be implementing 802.11n technology for wireless connectivity and streaming between its TVs and other kit such as its Blu-ray player. Dr Steel said Samsung would be going to great lengths to ensure that it didn't cause problems with content protection.

Dr Steel took us through some of the new TV tech the company is implementing to keep its TVs ahead of the game. Contrast is improved by a new technology called Super Clear.

Another, called Local Dimming, can selectively turn off the backlighting on some areas to improve black representation - a regular criticism of LCD technology. There's also better provision for moving pictures, with a 120Hz frame rate while Wide Colour Enhancer technology further improves colour representation.

All the new ranges include full support for 1080p. Dr Steel was pleased to report the DLP models had now been shrunk to 10 inches in depth.

The new TV ranges are as follows:

  • LCD TVsLNT4065F 40-inch, LNT4665F 46-inch and LNT5265F 52-inch
  • Plasma TVsHPT4264 42-inch and HPT5064 50-inch
  • DLP TVs
  • HL-T5087S 50-inch, HL-T5687S 56-inch and HL-T6187S 61-inch

Finally, the company announced two new flash-based MP3 players. The K3 is thin, with a 1.8-inch OLED display and is available in 2, 4 or 8GB capacities.

The T9 is a media player with up to 30 hours of audio and six hours of video playback on a single charge. The T9B adds Bluetooth to the mix.

Both models are available in up to 4GB versions and feature MPEG4 playback, 1.8-inch LCDs, text viewer, photo viewer, flash games, FM radio and recorder plus compatibility with music subscription services.

Dr David Steel took us through the new products after Gee Sung Choi, CEO of Samsung digital media outlined his expectations for 2007. The product announcements followed a bizarre musical introduction that was cut amateurishly short.

Samsung's market position is enviable. In Europe the company maintained first position with 17.7 percent market share. And globally Samsung is the number one TV brand with a 15.2 percent market share.

Gee Sung Choi also lauded the success of Samsung's first-to-market Blu-ray player and the Q1 UMPC as well as the CP300 affordable colour laser printer. He also talked about the new mobile phone successes and the K5 MP3 player launched in Europe at September's Internationale Funkausstellung ( IFA ) expo in Berlin.

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