Samsung out to steal the 3D TV thunder
By Darren Quick
April 13, 2010
The roll-out of 3D TV has begun in earnest and Samsung is hoping to capitalize on consumer interest by being first to market in several territories. The company’s 3D sets have been available in Korea for over a month, have recently appeared for sale in the U.S. and European markets, and yesterday Australian availability was announced for next week. So with consumers now actually able to grab the new tech off store shelves, we thought it was time to give a brief summary of what Samsung has on offer.
Take Your Pic of Screen TechnologiesSamsung seems to be subscribing to the old saying not to put all one’s eggs in one basket. It is offering consumers a choice of TV technologies with the availability of LCD, edge-lit LED LCD and plasma 3D units. The lines to look out for when looking for a 3D capable Samsung TV are the 2010 Series 7 LCD, Series 7 and 8 plasma lines, as well as its 7, 8 and 9 Series LED units. Some are available now with all lines expected to be on the shelves in most markets by next month.
Regardless of screen technology all models offer Full HD 1080p with 240Hz refresh rates and feature 2D to 3D conversion that is designed to help offset the lack of genuine 3D content by converting existing 2D content to 3D. That’s the intention anyway, but as you’d suspect the reality is a little different. It does add depth to 2D content, but the effect isn’t as dramatic as watching native 3D content and results will vary based on what you’re watching.
Internet ConnectivitySamsung is also pushing its Internet@TV feature enabled by the TV’s built-in Ethernet or wireless-ready (with an optional dongle) Internet connectivity. The widget-based service is designed to make accessing online content via the TV easy with downloadable applications for YouTube, Twitter, Skype, Accuweather, Getty Images, Picasa, and Texas Hold’em Poker just to name a few.
All of Samsung’s 3D TVs are also DLNA certified - although Samsung has decided to coin its own less tech-sounding moniker “All Share” – which means it’s easy to stream content from any DLNA PC, camera or mobile phone. If you don’t have a DLNA certified PC to stream from, don’t worry. Samsung’s ConnectShare Movie means you can just copy a movie (or photos or music) onto a USB thumb drive or HDD and plug it into the TV’s USB port.
While most of the 2010 3D units from Samsung share a commonality of features there is one difference worth noting. It can be found in the LED offering in the form of a Multimedia over Internet Protocol (MoIP) capability that makes it possible to conduct Skype video calls over the TV with the use of an optional Skype webcam that sits snugly on the top of the TV.