Smart designs for connected television

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In 2011, Samsung plans to provide its customers with a wide range of digital solutions which will help them to benefit from the manufacturer’s fast expanding Smart television. Anna Ryland reports.

Opening the Samsung Forum 2011 in Budapest, Seok-pil Kim, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics Europe, said that 2010 was the most successful year ever for the company. In Europe, Samsung became the market leader in several product categories, including television, home cinema and side-by-side refrigeration. In 2011, the company will aim to become the number one in all CE categories, with a particular focus on business-to business and the IT market. At the same time, however,  Samsung will be making a considerable investment in internet television, expanding the applications and connectivity of its Smart TV.

A panel of experts, representing Samsung’s content partners – BBC, LoveFilm and French Telecom – confirmed that the coming months will prove the customer appeal and the potential of connected television. BBC general manager of On Demand, Daniel Danker, quoted the BBC research showing that while the peak viewing of linear television is 8pm, the peak consumption of on-demand television is 10pm – reflecting the preferences of the time-short consumer. The growing popularity of on-demand television was also confirmed by LoveFilm’s group digital officer, Lesley Mackenzie, who said that while accessing BBC iPlayer through a PC increased by 17% in 2010, accessing it using a television set grew by 187%.

In 2011, Samsung will expand the capability of many of its TV models, including 3D and Smart features in a broader range of LED, Plasma TV models and Blu-ray players. All Samsung’s flagship LED and Plasma TVs will feature the Smart Hub giving customers access to TV programmes, movies, games, music and pictures. Its Search All function will facilitate search and access to chosen content, not only on a TV, but across the Internet and on any connected storage, PC or mobile devices within the home network. The second Smart Hub function, Your Video, will deliver content recommendations based on a user’s viewing history.

It was also obvious that design will be a priority for Samsung in 2011. Not only will its top-of-the range models, the LED D7000, D8000 and full PDP line-up, feature ultra-slim bezels, that become nearly invisible when the TV is turned off, but its middle and lower range models will sport a bezel design which previously was featured only on the higher-end panels.

Taking convergence once step further, the manufacturer announced that there will be sharing of content between its two main businesses –TV and mobile. Samsung’s new LED-D7000 and D8000 TVs will both incorporate a feature that allows TV broadcasting to be transmitted wirelessly to a Samsung Galaxy device (Galaxy S2 and Tab 10.1).  Users watching content on the connected Galaxy device will have the ability to zap channels, enjoy live TV broadcasting or even watch a DVD or Blu-ray disc, while another user can continue enjoying the content on the TV.

At the Budapest Forum, Samsung also unveiled its 2011 line-up of 3D Blu-ray disc players, including the ultra-slim BD-D7500 and the BD-D8900. On display were also four models of 3D glasses from the entry to premium level. The premium 3D glasses have been co-designed with the ‘Silhouete’ brand. They weigh only 28g, making them the world’s lightest active 3D frames. One of the models of 3D glasses is prescription-ready with special prescription lenses, while another model has a special temple design that connects to the top of the LCD frame for a greater range of movement.

Smart domestic appliances

In the white goods arena Samsung unveiled a number of market firsts.

The capacity of its EcoBubble washing machine, featuring the unique eco technology, has been extended to 10kg and 12kg, making its 12kg model the largest washer on the market in the standard 60cm footprint. 

The Dual Cook Steam oven is the world’s first. It offers the choice of splitting the oven cavity in half to simultaneously cook two dishes at two separate temperatures with the option of using steam technology. The oven features a 1 litre capacity water tank, enough to steam cook for up to one hour, and comes with a special steel and glass tray for food steaming.

On display was also a unique portable induction hob intended for cooking or warming on the table while sharing a meal or entertaining in the Far Eastern style.

Samsung also introduced a new product to its 60cm refrigeration range – the G Series combi fridge freezer – that maximises the interior space, offering up to 400L capacity in a standard footprint on a 2m high model (the series is also available in 1.85 m and 1.92m sizes). The G series is A++ energy rated and is equipped with ten digital sensors continuously assessing the temperature and humidity levels and managing the compressor in order to save energy and deliver the best cooling environment.

New in Samsung’s floorcare portfolio were 2-in-1 cordless stick cleaners and a collection of eco and high power canister cleaners which will be launched in the UK in the second half of 2011.

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