Samsung's new TV lineup promises a world of possibilities

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LAS VEGAS—While Samsung’s press conference at CES on Monday focused on both Wi-Fi-enabled cameras and a line of smart home appliances, the main focus was on the stunning new selection of smart TVs. Upping the ante on last year’s designs, Samsung’s 2013 models are all designed to deliver a maximum amount of content with a beautiful design and intuitive user interface.

Boo-Keun Yoon, President of Samsung Electronics, stressed the company’s commitment to deliver a full-fledged content experience to consumers looking for simpler ways to find and enjoy their favorite movies, music, and television programs.

With the constant stream of content from a variety of sources, Samsung is responding to consumer’s demand for having their devices be more connected and fluid, as well as the demand for having an additional screen. Consumers need a better way to navigate, access, and discover content—to this need Samsung’s line of smart TVs has evolved with its latest flagship TV the LED F8000 with S-Recommendation and Voice Integration technologies in an attempt to address these needs.

Available in sizes up to 75 inches and with a bezel of less than a quarter inch thick, the LED F8000 has an arch stand that makes the set appear to float in air. The first set to offer support for HEVC, Samsung designed the F8000 to deliver what it hopes is an amazing picture, spectacular design, and an incredible UI. It’s also the first smart TV to feature a quad-core processor that switches between online streaming services, apps, and live television three times faster than previous sets.

Samsung has entirely redesigned its user interface to be both more visually appealing and easier to navigate. Five panels organize content and entertainment: Smart Hub, the first screen, shows you what is playing on live TV with recommendations and time remaining until air. The second panel displays movie and TV shows that are available for streaming, condensing a variety of streaming services into a single search, while the third panel provides access to photos, videos, and music from your collection. With enhanced gesture control, you can zoom in to images using your hands alone.

The fourth panel shows trending videos from social networks and Skype and the fifth is a launchpad for smart TV apps such as Netflix, Hulu, Redbox, and Amazon Instant. It also displays several apps for multicultural content and features T-Commerce, which allows viewers to find items featured in television shows and purchase them through their televisions. For example, while watching New Girl, you could find out who designed Jess’s outfit and buy it.

The S-Recommendation feature acts like an entertainment assistant, suggesting content you might enjoy and helping you to easily find the shows and movies you’re looking for. Search for movies by your favorite actor, or ask aloud: The F8000 uses voice controls to allow you to verbally select a program or ask for movie suggestions. The TV can acknowledge simple commands, understand natural language and full sentences, and even reply to you. In the video that Samsung showed at the press conference, users spoke into the remote control in order to select a program.

Also debuting at the press conference was a 55 inch OLED with Multi-View’a system using 3D glasses and earbuds to allow two viewers to watch entirely different content at once—and an Ultra High Definition television with an array of speakers built into the frame to provide an immersive audio experience. Available up to 110 inches, the super-size S9000 set can also convert high-definition content to Ultra High Definition and offers four times the pixels available on 1080p resolution sets. Samsung also showed off its Samsung Evolution Kit, a package that allows users to upgrade their older (2012) sets to include the new features, in order to, in the words of Yoon, “transform a great TV into a timeless TV.”

For more blogs, stories, photos, and video from the nation's largest consumer electronics show, check out our complete coverage of CES 2013.

This story, "Samsung's new TV lineup promises a world of possibilities" was originally published by PCWorld.

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