Samsung launches new 3-D smart TVs
Published : Feb 17, 2011 - 18:22
Updated : Feb 17, 2011 - 18:22
Says firm’s next-generation 3-D focus will move from programming to services

Samsung Electronics, the world’s No. 1 flat-screen television maker, plans to release a new series of full high-definition 3-D smart TVs, upping the ante in its rivalry with LG Electronics.

Yoon Boo-keun, president of its visual display business, said Thursday that it will present the new television sets on Friday, changing the TV paradigm to one that embraces users’ participation.

He also said this is an initial step the company has taken to practice “human digitalism” ― digital technology that is truly aligned with the most fundamental human desires ― a concept introduced previously at the electronics trade show in Las Vegas, featuring four key words as guidelines ― access, align, amaze and act.

Samsung’s product display event comes a day after its major competitor LG Electronics unveiled its own 3-D TV, which is also equipped with the “smart” functions, however, uses the passive shutter glass 3-D display.

“This year, Samsung Electronics not only offers ordinary 2-D TVs, but a 3-D TV set which also enables a full surrounding sound system,” he said in a press event held at the company’s digital media research center in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province. “Our consumers will be able to enjoy the 3-D services with the best picture quality and without experiencing inconveniences.”
Yoon Boo-keun, president of the visual display business at Samsung Electronics, speaks to reporters about its new 3-D smart TVs at the firm’s digital media research center in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, on Thursday. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

The new 3-D TVs, dubbed “Smart TV D7000 and D8000” series, which use the active shutter glass 3-D display, features the simple and thin minimalist design named “secret,” according to Kevin Lee, vice president of the product strategy team at Samsung.

He also said that it intends to be cross talk-free and flicker free, which were noted to be major issues with previous models released last year.

“The 3-D TVs are not television that could present 3-D services, they are actually televisions that can also provide 3-D services,” he said. “That’s why we putting our focus on displaying full high definition pictures since this needs to be in place to view images that feel real.”

Key features of the new 3-D smart TVs are that the country’s online portals like Naver gives people the search result depending on the program they watch, leaving it up to the people to decide whether to read that certain information.

People could also access the social networking service while watching TV programs, its officials said.

Samsung App Store, the first global online application market for TVs, is also being used by about 500 firms around the world and currently has up to 400 TV applications from 120 different countries registered on the market, said Yoon.

The electronics giant also plans to introduce 50 different 3-D programs ― which include movie previews and documentaries ― within this year by launching its new 3-D video on demand service.

When asked to compare the 3-D smart TV strategies of Samsung and LG Electronics, Yoon downplayed its rival’s efforts to go with the passive shutter glass 3-D display, calling it a technique of the past.

“The passive shutter glass method is a skill developed back in 1935 and nothing has changed since then, except that the cost has gone down,” he said. “Not as many players in the global market, including those in Japan, are currently going for the passive method since there would be problems occurring with picture quality for large TVs.”

He also expressed confidence that customers would reveal their preference soon.

“Why don’t we let the market decide at the end of this year?” he said. “I believe we would have to ask whoever to take the responsibility when the figures come out later.”

Samsung Electronics plans to sell up to 45 million unit of flat-screen TVs, including 12 million units of smart TVs and 10 million units of 3-D TVs, this year, while LG Electronics is aiming to sell around 40 million flat-panel TVs to reduce the gap with its rival Samsung.

By Cho Ji-hyun (