Samsung Brings Web, 3D to Flat Panels
With InfoLink consumers can get their news, weather, sports and stocks during commercial breaks.
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April 24, 2008 by Rebecca Day

Samsung is in New York this week showing off to the press its lineup of TVs, appliances, video still cameras, camcorders and audio gear for 2008. Among the highlights are Samsung’s full-featured TVs, which the company is packing with premium add-ons to separate its line of DLP, plasma and LCD TV from low-priced competitors.

“Eight years ago, we were entering the wonderful world of HD and it was like eye candy,” said Jonas Tanenbaum, vp of flat-panel marketing. “Now the quality is so good we take it for granted so at Samsung we’re providing more technical enhancements such as 1080p and 120 Hz.” He said the features add $200-$300 to the retail price as premium add-ons.

The company demonstrated its InfoLink RSS service which is another way Samsung hopes to differentiate its flat-panel TVs from price-oriented models in the market. InfoLink TVs show icons for news, weather, sports and stocks in the upper left corner of the screen while consumers watch TV. During commercial breaks or boring passages, you can highlight a category and get news headlines, stock quotes or weather forecasts at the touch of a button. Select a news headline and you can read the text of a semi-transparent article on screen while still viewing the TV program in the background.

Content is provided by USA Today and is customizable according to Zip Code for local weather and sports scores. Users track stocks from a list of NYSE and NASDAQ symbols, which they can store for easy recall.

InfoLink is available on Series 6 650 and Series 7 750 LCD TVs, and Internet connections can be wired or wireless. A $35 Samsung USB dongle called LinkStick will deliver wireless networking capability when it arrives in stores next month.

Samsung also showed 3D demos on its new DLP and plasma TVs. According to Steve Panosian, director of visual display marketing, Samsung plans to roll out 3D capability to LCD TVs next year as well. Panosian said Samsung’s goal is to have 3D capability built in to TVs next year. Currently, TVs have to be connected to a PC to be able to play back 3D content.

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