Samsung, like most other TV manufacturers, has a ton of new TVs on show at CES. Normally though, these are primarily destined for the US leaving us to just wait and see whether we’ll ever actually get our hands on them. I’ve been round the Samsung booth and had a look through all the models that are definitely heading to the UK, and been given a few release dates.
Samsung is one of the few manufacturers to split its efforts between Plasma and LCD screen technologies. This year, it’s shaking up its naming convention to something far more logical. Series 4 is the basic entry level which a normal person can both afford and fit inside their house, Series 7 are the kind of screens that you’ll need to remortgage your house twice over to afford both the screen and the necessary lounge extension, but for early adopters, these are the sets that are paving the way to the future of HDTV.
The Series 7 range consisting of the 750 LCD and 750 PDP and the only one to bridge both LCD and Plasma technologies, are also sporting Samsung’s latest exciting chassis designs. It has been christened by Samsung as the Touch of Colour (ToC) design and it’s basically an injection of colour in to the resin surround on the chassis. It isn’t particularly ground breaking and hopefully it isn’t such a strong sheen that it will put off would be buyers fearing it will clash with their expensive leather sofas, but it certainly does look rather smart when stacked along side fifty other sets in the Samsung booth. There are three colours heading to the US, but UK customers will only get the choice of red (called Rose Black).
The 750 LCD and Plasmas also sport 1GB internal flash storage, which is basically Samsung’s answer to the digital content delivery mechanisms being touted by most of the rival TV manufacturers. 1GB isn’t very much, I hear you cry, and you’re right. Samsung doesn’t actually expect the technology to help shift many units this year, so it’s keeping the storage down to help keep the price at something reasonable, but a few years down the line, Samsung product managers are confident that we’ll be seeing the first TVs with massive built-in hard disc drives.
To coincide with that, the sets come equipped with Ethernet connections and Samsung is currently in negotiation with Reuters to deliver news, weather and other data updates direct to the sets via RSS. The idea being that soon TV sets will be acting as rivals to ordinary PCs by giving them basic but usable functions.
A further and much more immediately relevant part of this is the DivX and MPEG4 support that is enabled in the series 7 sets, allowing you to plug any normal USB drive straight into the set and enjoy immediate playback. These sets are expected to start landing on UK shores sometime between April and May of this year.
CES 2008 Special
Read all our coverage from the show in our CES 2008 category