Samsung at CES 2011: Smarter Life starts here

Joined-up thinking: that was the lasting impression from Samsung’s CES 2011 press conference.

We saw TVs with slimmer bezels allowing larger screen sizes within existing enclosure dimensions; sleek Blu-ray players designed for wall-mounting; those lightest-ever active shutter 3D glasses designed to appeal to the whole family (and spectacle wearers); and connectivity, connectivity, connectivity, from the company’s Smart Hub content-handling on TVs, systems and players to its One Foot Connection.

Sony may have claimed to reinvent the TV in its show, but Samsung says it’s re-imagined its range, with screen bezels just 5mm wide looking like slim picture frames.

You’ll find these narrow bezels on the company’s new flagship LED-lit LCD 3D models, the D7000 and D8000, where they allow larger viewable picture area without making the TV itself any bigger.

And the concept is carried through into the plasma range, which extends to 16 new models across six ranges. Here it’s called Plasma+1, simply because each TV has a screen an inch bigger than last year’s model. A 42in becomes a 43in, all the way up to a 64in in place of last year’s 63in.

The D8000 3D LED Smart TV range (above) features a brushed metal bezel and an improved version of the company’s Quad Stand, and is supplied with the touchscreen TwinView Touch remote handset, complete with a 3in screen on which content can be viewed.

It uses improved LED backlight scanning and Micro Dimming for better blacks and contrast, comes complete with new Bluetooth-connected 3D glasses, and has built-in Wi-Fi able to access content via Samsung Wireless Link, DLNA or the new One Foot Connection technology. This allows any wireless device within a foot (around 30cm) of the set to be connected at the touch of a button.

The D7000 range (above) is also a 3D LED Smart TV line-up, and comes with a 5mm black bezel around the screen. Auto 3D Format Setup gives automatic detection of the 3D TV system in use, and the range also offers Samsung’s Smart Hub content access.

Below that sits the D6500 range, which has a more conventional 12mm bezel, but uses a couple of strategies to reduce power consumption. 3D Peak Algorithm gives a 15% reduction while increasing brightness by 20%, Samsung says, while Motion Adaptive Dimming Algorithm gives a further 20% power consumption reduction. There’s also an Energy Saving Mode, adjusting the backlight level to give even greater savings.

The D8000 3D Plasma Smart TV series offers similar functionality to the D8000 3D LED range, while below that sits the D6500 Plasma range (above), sharing Samsung’s system on a chip processing for 2D-to-3D conversion.

The 3D Blu-ray range flagship is the ultraslim BD-D7500, said to be the world’s thinnest at just 28mm tall. It can be used free-standing or wall-mounted, has 2D-to-3D conversion, streaming capability and built-in Wi-Fi, and again shares the One Foot Connection system. It even has an HDMI input to allow daisychaining of devices, and features Ultra Fast Play, giving a three-second start-up time.

Other 3D models in the range include the stylish BD-D7000, with a hidden slot loading mechanism, and the entry-level BD-D6500 (above). Both models have Wi-Fi, One Foot Connection and streaming capability.

Streaming and Wi-Fi also feature in Samsung’s line-up of 3D Blu-ray home cinema systems, which includes a unique cubic modular package, the HT-D7100, a slim sound bard design and what’s claimed as the world’s first internet-ready 7.1-channel AV receiver with Blu-ray built-in.

The HT-D7100 has wireless HD Video transmission and a wireless subwoofer, and offers a range of layout options. It incorporates Wi-Fi, and has AllShare to allow digital devices to be synced, and their content shown on the TV screen.

Similar facilities are available in the more conventional, but still striking-looking high-gloss HT-D6750W, a 7.1-channel system which offers Advanced Vertical Surround Sound built-into to the front floorstanding speakers. The rear speakers in this system, as well as the subwoofer, use wireless transmission.

The HW-D750 soundbar (above) uses 3D Audio Depth Rendering to give a more immersive effect, and has a wireless subwoofer.

Finally, the HW-D7000 combines 7.1-channel AV receiver, 3D Blu-ray player and Wi-Fi/DLNA.

And we haven’t even got started on Samsung’s sexily ultraslim ZX310 notebook (above), the fabulous tablet/notebook hybrid TX100 (below), TV accessories, the new Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab…

And we haven’t even got started on Samsung’s sexily ultraslim ZX310 notebook (above), the fabulous tablet/notebook hybrid TX100 (below), TV accessories, the new Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab…

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.