How 'smart' do you think the humble television set that we take for granted today can be, if given the right mix of hardware and services? Well, Samsung thinks that it can be smart enough to completely change the way average consumer looks at their television sets. In a media event held at the company's showroom at VivoCity today, the Korean electronics giant unveiled its latest lineup of Smart TVs, which are reportedly capable of offering users just that. VR-Zone brings you the coverage.
With most of our digital lives getting more and more entwined with the technological marvel that we call the Internet, it should be of little surprise that the average consumer is starting to demand full Internet connectivity in just about every single consumer electronic device that he or she makes use of on a regular basis. After all, if smartphones could do it, there should be no reason why other devices can't, right?
Of course, merely attaching a 'smart' moniker to existing consumer electronic devices is not going to be enough to convince consumers that an OEM's products are capable of delivering a decent media consumption experience. Rather, consumers also want to be treated to a large ecosystem of services that are expected to come standard with the 'smart' label. And this is precisely what Samsung has done for its new range of Smart TVs.
Speaking at the event's opening address was Irene Ng, president of sales and marketing for Samsung Asia, who described how Smart TVs will change the way users consume media content in the post-PC era.
"The Smart TV will open a whole new world of entertainment options. However, it is not about bringing the Internet into the TV; we want people to experience a 'lean-back' experience, which is one where you can sit in your living room and enjoy the various entertainment options a Smart TV has to offer," she said, while adding that users do not need to worry about their TVs turning into PCs any time soon, thanks to Samsung's partnership with SingTel and Starhub.
"SingTel and StarHub have jointly collaborated with Samsung and created apps for the TV. These apps open up a whole world of entertainment options without needing to connect to any set-top boxes. This is going to be the future of TV and revolutionize the way we watch TV. It's no longer just a box; it's now a gateway to online media consumption," she added.
Lionel Ong, Samsung's Product Manager for television sets, spoke about the company's plans and strategies for 2011.
"The plan is to give consumers a more immersive viewing experience using our Smart TVs, which centre around three key pillars: design experience, 3D experience and Smart experience. And if you will recall, we had only three 3D-capable TVs in our lineup last year. However, it will be a different case this year, for we plan to have only three TVs which are not 3D-capable. This means that more than 60% of our lineup consists of 3D-capable TVs this year," he said.
Ong also added that Samsung will release 3D-capable Smart TVs which utilize both LCD and plasma technology in order to ensure consumers with a preference for either technology will not miss out on the company's Smart TV services.
"This allows us to provide consumers with a product lineup which delivers both the 3D and Smart experience," he said.
Lastly, Samsung's Product Manager for Audio-Visual products, Irene Chia, unveiled the company's new line of home theatre systems and Smart Blu-ray players, with the latter capable of most of the interactive features available in the aforementioned Smart TVs.
"We have extended our 3D lineup to even more models. In 2010: we had only three A/V products which featured 3D capabilities; in 2011, we will have seven models. Samsung is putting 3D into two times more A/V models than it did last year," she said.
Lastly, Irene also revealed that that selected models of Samsung's upcoming Smart Blu-ray players will be capable of converting existing 2D movies into a 3D signal suitable for use on most existing 3D television sets. This feature will be exclusive to the BD-D8500 and BD-D7500 series, as shown in the presentation slide below.