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post #1 of 17 Old 03-24-14, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Samsung Releases 2014 Product Information, Part 1

Late last week Samsung Electronics released key pricing and availability information for its 2014 home entertainment lineup. Today, we’ll feature details about the company’s television offerings in the first of a two part product preview series. Its no secret that the Ultra High-Definition (UHD) display arena is shaping up to be a high-stakes cage match pitting major manufacturers against one another, each one aligning their resources and focusing their energies on specific technologies and design characteristics. One of Samsung’s chosen weapons is a radical physical feature that has raised eyebrows (and curiosity) among enthusiasts: curved displays.


In the words of Samsung’s media relations department, their curved display design is meant to “deliver a bold theatrical experience and fundamentally change the way the world views TVs.” They claim the screen curvature creates a panoramic effect that makes images appear bigger and more “true-to-life” without limiting seating positions and viewing angles to maximize performance. The reality of this effect remains to be seen, particularly as it relates to viewing sports (which has been a major selling point of HD flat panels over the past ten years). Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too much longer before real world (home users) begin to assess the validity of Samsung’s claims.

For the 2014 model year, Samsung is rolling-out four new series of UHD televisions (three curved, one flat), which practically doubles its UHD offerings from the previous model year. Of course the mere mention of 4K resolution kicks critics into gear, quickly pointing out that 4K material hardly exists and that early adopters risk buying equipment that may become obsolete due to standards that are in their infancy. Samsung has several answers to these claims loaded in their PR chamber, ready to fire. The first is the inclusion of onboard upscaling on all Samsung UHD TVs. The company says their proprietary four stage upscaling process can take Full HD, HD, and low-res sources and make them appear to be near-UHD quality. Second, the company is releasing a 1 terabyte box-top UHD Video Pack featuring Paramount Pictures films (including Night at the Museum and X-Men Origins). The Video Pack will be available in April for $299, with a second Video Pack release slated for later this year. And third, Samsung has designed their UHD displays with the brains housed in an exterior box. If UHD standards change, users can simply upgrade their box and enjoy the fruits of the latest technologies.


The headliner of Samsung’s UHD offerings is a mammoth 105-inch curved beast, loaded with 11 million pixels stuffed into a 21X9 aspect ratio. This particular unit has yet to be priced, but should be expected to come to market sometime after June. The company’s curved (wall-mountable) U9000 series is slated to be released in March, featuring a 55-inch model for $3,999.99 and a 65-inch model for $4,999.99 (Samsung says a 78-inch model will also be released later this year for $7,999.99). This series features Samsung’s Auto Depth Enhancer which utilizes zone specific contrast adjustments for a greater sense of depth (Samsung goes as far as to say it has a 3D effect). The next step down is Samsung’s curved U8700 series, featuring two screen sizes (55 and 65-inch models). Pricing and release dates are still unknown, but should be available later this spring. And last, but not least, is the flat U8550 series, featuring 50-inch ($2,499.99), 55-inch ($2999.99) 60-inch ($3,499.99), 65-inch ($3999.99) and 75-inch ($5,999.99) models. Look for the 55 and 65-inch models to hit stores first (March), with the others to follow in May.

Samsung isn’t limiting its curved design to UHD TVs, introducing the curved standard HD H8000 series. The series features 48-inch ($1,999.99), 55-inch ($2,499.99), and 65-inch ($3,399.99) models that will rollout this coming spring. Rounding out it’s standard HD offerings, Samsung is releasing the flat, 240Hz, H7150 series with 55-inch ($1,899.99), 60-inch ($2,199.99), 65-inch ($2,699.99), and 75-inch ($3,999.99) models.

Check back soon for Part Two of our Samsung product preview.




Image Credits: Samsung, gigaom.com

Last edited by Todd Anderson; 03-24-14 at 04:01 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-24-14, 09:00 PM
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Re: Samsung Releases 2014 Product Information, Part 1

Todd, thanks for the very nice write-up.

We're expecting the 55" and 65" HU8550 and HU9000 series by the end of next week. They will likely be included in our 2014 Flat (and Curved) panel Shootout evaluation event.

Hope you can join us.

-Robert

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Family room LG 65" G6 OLED, Gym KRP-500M, Bedroom 65" B6 OLEED, Living room Panasonic 65" VX300
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-25-14, 12:10 AM
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Thanks for the write up! I'm hoping in the next couple months to purchase one of these gorgeous tv's. I'm definitely going to go with a 65" but I'm not sure if I should go with the curved or flat screen yet. I'm curious to hear the reviews on the curved models, and to see one in person.
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-25-14, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Samsung Releases 2014 Product Information, Part 1

Quote:
pddufrene wrote: View Post
Thanks for the write up! I'm hoping in the next couple months to purchase one of these gorgeous tv's. I'm definitely going to go with a 65" but I'm not sure if I should go with the curved or flat screen yet. I'm curious to hear the reviews on the curved models, and to see one in person.
That's the big question: how will these curved screens play to the public. The PQ might very well be extraordinary...but what about the esthetic appeal of one mounted on a wall? Consumers are picky!

Robert Zohn might be able give you a few insights (see above)...if not from trade show exposure, but also from their incoming stock.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-25-14, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Samsung Releases 2014 Product Information, Part 1

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Robert Zohn wrote: View Post
Todd, thanks for the very nice write-up.

We're expecting the 55" and 65" HU8550 and HU9000 series by the end of next week. They will likely be included in our 2014 Flat (and Curved) panel Shootout evaluation event.

Hope you can join us.

-Robert
Thanks, Robert. What date is the shootout scheduled for?
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-25-14, 07:25 AM
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Re: Samsung Releases 2014 Product Information, Part 1

I don't think a curved display is a good idea for most consumers. You have to sit too close to a 55 or even a 65 inch display for a curved display to have any benefit. I'm thinking that curved displays are the new gimmick in display technology. And sometimes I think the manufacturers don't even think before they design a new product.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-25-14, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Samsung Releases 2014 Product Information, Part 1

Mech - A very reasonable statement...which makes it curious that Samsung has put so many eggs in the "Curved Basket," so to speak. It will be interesting to watch this play out...
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-25-14, 10:59 AM
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Re: Samsung Releases 2014 Product Information, Part 1

Quote:
pddufrene wrote: View Post
Thanks for the write up! I'm hoping in the next couple months to purchase one of these gorgeous tv's. I'm definitely going to go with a 65" but I'm not sure if I should go with the curved or flat screen yet. I'm curious to hear the reviews on the curved models, and to see one in person.
I also prefer flat panels over curved, but the curve does add beauty to the overall design of the TV and can help reduce reflections when viewing on center or off axes up to 20 degrees. It also adds value to our immersive experience and enhances our peripheral vision when viewed up to 9" from the screen.

Buyers also need to know that the curved HU9000 series is Samsung;'s flagship model and has two exclusive picture enhancement features that are not in any other UHD series. They are the Auto Depth Enhancer and PurColor, which Samsung says add more detail to most shades of color. At this moment my guess is these two picture performance upgrades will not add any value for video enthusiasts.

Another consideration is the $1k price variance between the flat HU8550 and curved HU9000 series.

We'll be testing these models for consideration to be included in our 2014 Shootout evaluation event and as I find out more we'll update this thread.

-Robert

Quote:
Todd Anderson wrote: View Post
Thanks, Robert. What date is the shootout scheduled for?
No date set yet, but likely mid June.

-Robert

Quote:
mechman wrote: View Post
I don't think a curved display is a good idea for most consumers. You have to sit too close to a 55 or even a 65 inch display for a curved display to have any benefit. I'm thinking that curved displays are the new gimmick in display technology. And sometimes I think the manufacturers don't even think before they design a new product.
I agree. Curved screen should be reserved for panels above 75" and even 75" is small for a curved screen to have much advantage in the added immersive experience of the wrap around feeling.

-Robert

Value Electronics, Authorized Factory Direct dealers for LG, Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, Elite, Denon, Marantz, Krell, OPPO, Sonance, Definitive Technology, Artison, Leon Speaker Systems & more

Personal equipment:
Video: 2 theaters, Sony's VPL-VW5000ES, 2nd theater, JVC RS66
Family room LG 65" G6 OLED, Gym KRP-500M, Bedroom 65" B6 OLEED, Living room Panasonic 65" VX300
Audio receivers: Pioneer Elite, SC-09; Denon, AVR-7200WA, Marantz SR7011
Pre-pro: Marantz AV8802A w/7&5 ch amps
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-25-14, 04:05 PM
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Thanks for clarifying Robert, I appreciate it. Im curious to see how those 2 picture enhancements affect the picture quality, I was reading that that the depth enhancement is supposed to give the tv a better, I guess u can say 3D affect according to Samsung. I'm really looking forward to hearing about the shoot out, and the results.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-25-14, 07:57 PM
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Re: Samsung Releases 2014 Product Information, Part 1

Robert,

Thanks for the great information. I look forward to checking out one of those curved screens when they arrive in the store in my area! The prices (while not cheap) are lower than I would have guessed for such a specialty product. And over the next year I bet it gets even better. I just need my old flat screen to last just a bit longer until I can spring for a new one.

-Mike
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