Press Release: Samsung Unveils the Super OLED TV – The Ultimate in Picture Quality
CES Best of Innovations Award Honoree features elegant design, dual-core processor and Smart Interaction technology
LAS VEGAS – January 9, 2012 – Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. today unveiled its 55-inch Super OLED TV, a masterpiece that will be acclaimed by home entertainment and design enthusiasts alike. The OLED TV will be produced from a single pane of glass and uses Samsung’s Super OLED technology to deliver the ultimate in picture quality and thinness.
Super OLED technology eliminates the need for a color filter as the OLED pixel unit comprises self-emitting RGB sub-pixels laid directly on the display panel, each emitting its own light. The technology is also able to differentiate varying degrees of blacks and shadows, so that users can enjoy unparalleled detail even in the darkest of scenes for the ultimate TV experience.
“Samsung has had a long and successful history of creating innovative OLED products, including mobile phones, digital cameras and tablet PCs. Today, we are proud to extend our OLED leadership to the TV category with this spectacular 55-inch Super OLED,” said Hyunsuk Kim, executive vice president, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “By incorporating true-to-life picture quality with ultimate speed and vividness, Smart Interaction, Smart Content and ultimate thinness, Samsung is delivering the ultimate TV today.”
The Samsung Super OLED TV, a Best of Innovations Award Honoree at 2012 CES, will be on display at the 2012 International CES, booth #12004, in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) from January 10-13, 2012. It will be available commercially worldwide this year.
The Ultimate in Picture Quality and Design
Samsung’s Super OLED TV represents the culmination of Samsung’s latest engineering technologies, and marks a new era of minimalistic design.
It features unmatched vivid and true-to-life picture quality in both 2D and 3D, with significantly improved color accuracy compared to conventional LED TVs. Since light output on the Super OLED is controlled on a pixel-to-pixel basis, the truest blacks and purest whites can be achieved.
Further, the Samsung Super OLED offers faster response times than LED, virtually eliminating motion blur even in the fastest-moving scenes.
Because Super OLED technology features self-emitting RGB sub-pixels which do not require a backlight, the TV weighs significantly less than a standard LED TV.
The design of the Samsung Super OLED is an engineering feat that provides a breathtaking form factor that blends into any environment. The Super OLED was also recognized by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) for its flawless design.
When powered on, a bright, vibrant picture illuminates the screen from edge to edge. When turned off, the TV appears like a framed piece of luxurious floating glass; when hung on the wall, it more closely resembles a work of art than an electronic device.
Intuitive Controls and a Camera with Smart Interaction Technology
Consumers can use Samsung’s new Smart Interaction technology to easily manage their TV experience. By using Voice Control, Motion Control and Face Recognition features to complement the remote control, users can turn the TV on or off, adjust the volume or activate selected apps through speech. They can also use voice to activate the search function in the web browser and “tell” the TV what they are searching for.
The Super OLED’s built-in camera recognizes movement in the foreground to enable intuitive control, and two unidirectional array microphones recognize voice at an incredibly accurate rate. Noise cancellation technology helps to separate any background noise from the users’ commands.
Richer Content for Outstanding Entertainment
The Samsung Super OLED TV is equipped with Samsung’s new dual core processor, which allows users to run multiple apps simultaneously for a faster, uninterrupted experience, as well as a smoother web browsing experience.
The Super OLED TV also offers the latest improvements to Smart Hub, Samsung’s integrated destination for access to all types of content from a single screen. The interface has been updated for easier navigation and faster performance. With a new tabbed web browser, users can conveniently open multiple pages at a time for an improved web experience.
Additional first-of-its-kind signature services such as Family Story, Fitness and Kids will allow users to get more out of their TV experience, and help foster closer connections between friends and family members.
Samsung’s AllShare Play offers a seamless way for users to access, manage and share content through cloud storage and access that content on supported smartphones, tablets, cameras, computers or TVs, regardless of their location.
Please visit our booth to experience this future technology firsthand. Samsung’s product line will be displayed January 10-13 at booth #12004 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Full details, video content and product images are available at the Samsung microsite at: www.samsungces.com. The press conference will also be streamed live from : www.samsungces.com, www.global.samsungtomorrow.com.
Samsung took the chance at CES to announce a number of new products and introduce some already familiar outside the US.
Briefly, they were:
• Smart TV, with a promise that models bought now will in future be upgradeable through a simple add-on part;
• 3D content for TVs;
• the 5in Note “phablet” (a phone/tablet), introduced in the UK in October 2011 but new to the US;
• Wi-Fi enabled cameras;
• a (very impressive) 55in Super OLED TV;
• a new ultrabook;
• an app winner who devised an app intended to run across Samsung Smart TVs, tablets and phones, who won 0,000.
The list of products announced and launched is very long, and involved what seemed like the entire cast of executives of Samsung’s US business, plus Boo Keun Yoon, president of Samsung Electronics, who opened proceedings, declaring that Samsung was “pushing boundaries” and that he was “very proud of where this company is today”. He said Samsung was the world’s No 1 TV brand, its sixth consecutive year (it’s not clear if that’s top-selling in TVs, or some industry award), and that in November, Samsung had sold 5.7m sets.
In the third quarter, Samsung had become the largest smartphone seller, and for 2011 had sold a total of more than 300m mobile phones (not just smartphones, but feature phones as well). It is the No 1 refrigerator company in the US for the third straight year (again, it wasn’t clear if this was in sales, or some industry award). “We are here to see the future of consumer electronics,” he said. “As a global leader, Samsung must go further. We see our role as making consumers’ life simpler, smarter and more enjoyable.”
• Smart TV: Samsung is developing its own smart TV systems which appear to be separate of Google TV, despite also being a partner for that. Some of the sets – specifically those shown in the promotional films that the presentation favoured (there were no demos of any products, apart from an onscreen showing of the Super OLED TV) – seemed to have Microsoft’s Kinect capability built in, as they showed motion and voice control, as well as internet searching powered by Microsoft’s Bing.
Samsung made much of its Smart TV platform, first launched in 2008, for which it says there are now 25,000 companies developing apps, and that by the end of January 20m apps will have been downloaded worldwide. (I have previously asked Samsung for details of the geographical distribution of app downloads, to see if it is concentrated heavily in its native South Korea. The company declined to give details.) The app library to run on Smart TVs is expected to grow by 60% this year. In its press release, Samsung suggests that the app download figure is presently 15m, and says it hit 10m in October 2011. No details on the number of sets used to download apps, or the average or median number of app downloads, was available. Samsung quotes figures from GfK saying that 1.4m smart TV units (of all platforms) have been sold in the UK.
• 3D content: Samsung is “committed” to 3D, said Yoon. Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, said that the company has sold more than 12m 3D TVs since introducing them in 2010. More than half of TVs that Samsung sells worldwide will be 3D-enabled. The company is working with content companies such as Universal to create 3D versions of existing content: the example cited was Battlestar Galactica, which will be available through Samsung’s Hub in 3D format.
• Games content: Angry Birds will be coming as an app to Samsung Smart TVs. The introduction was excruciating (Baxter pretending to talk to the animated bird on a screen projection) and there was no demo of how a family sitting in an average sitting room would control the cursor on a screen across the room.
• Joe Stinziano, senior vice-president of Samsung Electronics US, followed to announce the the 0,000 winner of a 5,000 contest to develop the app that could best be used across phones, tablets and smart TVs – from a shortlist of a music app, a photo-sharing app, and a social responsibility app. The photo-sharing app, called Party Shots, won.
• Buyers of Samsung Smart TVs will be able to upgrade them to faster processors using the “Smart Evolution” kit, which fits into a slot in the back of the TV and will ensure that sets aren’t left behind as processing power and demands increase.
• As maker of 90% of the world’s supply of OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels, Samsung is in a good position to show off a Super OLED TV – which it did: a 55in dual-core processor, 3D-enabled set with a very thin bezel. This product was demonstrated, and looked extremely impressive: even from many yards away, the vibrancy and contrast of colours was striking. No price or retail date was supplied.
• Having introduced the smart fridge (which the family can use to leave notes for each other), Samsung is now introducing the smart washing machine: you can program it from a distance to start a wash, and monitor the wash, and get an alarm when the wash finishes.
• The Samsung Note “phablet”, which includes a stylus (five years to the day after Steve Jobs said that styluses are too much trouble – they get lost) that is sensitive to 256 different levels of pressure, and which can be used to draw on the screen for subsequent screenshots and emailing to contacts. The US version of the Note, which will be sold through Verizon, will include LTE/4G networking.
• The “ultrabook” is the hot new category in the laptop space, at least as far as manufacturers are concerned; whether price-conscious buyers agree with them is as yet unclear. Samsung unveiled the Series 5 Ultrabook, available in 13in and 14in versions. It’s got a hard drive rather than an SSD, though there is a 16GB SSD in the standard model, and you can choose to have a 128GB or 256GB SSD drive as the main drive. Unusually for an ultrabook, it includes an optical disk drive – which is usually a weighty component that is left out. Prices and release dates were not given.
• Connected cameras with Wi-Fi.
• A “smart” Blu-ray player with DLNA capability for automatic playback of content when connected to home networks.
All in all, Samsung had a busy day, though the lack of demos was extremely noticeable, particularly on the voice- and/or motion-controlled TVs, where we had to rely on jolly films to “demonstrate” how things worked. It’s still extremely unclear how any grouping of people larger than one will be able to motion-control a TV set.
But what was noticeable was that the queue of journalists and analysts and others seeking to get into the press conference snaked down and around the interior of the building – indicating just how far the company has come in earning the world’s respect and interest in what it will do next.
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