Samsung is making a big deal of it plans for smart TVs this year, especially after the ES series saw a very encouraging response by consumers last year. The key highlights of their smart TV strategy are Interactivity – which allows consumers to lean back, Design – which looks like pieces of art, category defining Premium Plasma TVs and software and hardware upgrades to take the TVs to a new level. This means the ecosystem to build and sell apps on just got bigger.
Samsung is also the only company that has Evolution Kits which allow both the hardware and software of some existing TVs to be upgraded. They also said that all 2013 Samsung Smart TVs will support this, so consumers who buy new televisions will be protected by for a few years.
Smart TV Apps
Samsung said that there are now 1000+ apps for its smart televisions, out of which 250+ target the Indian consumer. Samsung is betting on the increase in broadband and smart TV penetration for the popularity of these apps to grow. They will that these apps will have a seamless experience on a bigger screen and just as consumers adopted smartphones apps they will also adopt apps on TVs.
The smart TVs are Linux-based and are developed by one of three ways. The first is in-house by the Samsung teams in Gurgaon and Bangalore. The second is when these teams work in partnership with content firms to develop apps and lastly they hold contest and workshops for students.
Samsung introduces 20 new televisions
Samsung Electronics today announced the introduction of 20 new television models across its flagship Smart TV Series 8, 7, 6 as well as the LED TV Series 5500 and 4500.
The F8000 and F7500 are the first Samsung televisions to feature a quad-core processor and will be available in 46”, 55” and 65” screen sizes and have an ultra-thin profile along with a quarter-inch thick bezel. Intelligent viewing creates an optimized picture quality based on the source content. These TVs also have advanced Smart Interaction which responds to motion and voice in a better way.
The Smart Touch Control, which comes free with series 7 and 8 TVs, replaces keys with by a touch pad, on which users can simply write the channel number they want and flip and scroll the screen.
The 2013 Smart Hub provides consumers with an easy way to organize and navigate personalized content through an updated interface and dynamic thumbnail previews within three newly designed panels: Apps; Photos, Videos & Music; and Social. The Apps panel of Samsung’s Smart Hub allows users to display up to 30 app icons on one page. The social panel has support for all social networking sites and also Skype.
Samsung also introduced the Evolution Kit for select 2012 Series 7, 8 and 9 Smart TVs. The Evolution Kit provides both software and hardware updates that include access to the 2013 Smart Hub. It also converts the set’s dual-core CPU to quad-core, resulting in faster internal processing speeds. Though an exact pricing was not announced, Samsung officials say they expect it to be priced at around Rs 17,000.
The Samsung current Smart TV range is available in screen sizes between 32” to 65” priced between Rs 37,900/- to Rs.367,500/-.
Samsung also showcased its first Ultra High Definition TV (UHD TV), the 85S9 for the first time in India. The 85S9 offers four times the resolution available on existing Full HD displays. This 85-inch TV will be launched in the second half of the year and pricing will be announced closer to availability.
Five new Plasma televisions across 43”, 51”, 64” screen sizes were also introduced in Series 8 priced between Rs 35,500/- to Rs 209,900/-.
It also announced the Samsung Joy TV range which consists of various TVs that were developed in India by SRI, Delhi and Samsung R&D center, Bangalore with the Indian consumer in mind. Samsung LED TV Series F5100, F4800, F4100 provides easier connectivity options through its key feature – ConnectShare Transfer – which allows consumers to share content between devices via USB, eliminating the need for a computer. This series will have TVs from 22” to 46” across Series 4 and 5 and will be priced between Rs 15,900 to Rs 76,500/-. The Joy series does not have any smart capabilities.