We're walking the acres of booths at the CES 2013 so that you don't have to. Here are some of the highlights of a trip around the Samsung showcase.
110-inch Ultra HDTV
We're walking the acres of booths at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2013 so that you don't have to. Here are some of the highlights of a trip around the Samsung showcase.
Samsung has one of the biggest booths at the show, and with one of the biggest televisions ever to hit CES, it needed the real estate. But more than just TVs caught our eye, with a new 2D/3D camera lens amongst the highlights.
This might look like a dog's breakfast, but it's actually Samsung's amazing OLED TV in multi-view mode. Special switchable glasses with built-in ear buds let viewers watch two separate programs at once. The incredible speed of the OLED panel means that there is no blurring or crosstalk. Both separate programs can also be watched not only in 2D, but also in 3D. The 3D alone on OLED was a revelation, with none of the jitter or discomfort experienced on standard LCD 3D TVs.
Alongside the amazing colours and contrast on the Samsung OLED, the company also showed off a new curved OLED prototype. Samsung suggested that this subtle curve could give you a more immersive experience, particularly with 3D content. But we mostly see this as a proof of concept for all kinds of shaped-surface OLED screens in the future.
The new NX300 digital camera is Samsung's flagship for this year's range, and it is a quality camera. What caught our eye most of all was a new lens available for the NX300 and compatible with all forward cameras in the NX series — a 45mm 2D/3D hybrid lens. The lens shoots true 3D images and video without requiring commitment to a specialised camera with dual lenses. Instead, a clever internal system triggers alternating LCD filters. The effect in demo footage and a demo live feed from the camera was very impressive.
Last year, Samsung promised a new upgrade kit for buyers of its high-end TVs, granting the opportunity to give your 2012 television a 2013 brain transplant. This year, the Evolution Kit has arrived to make good on that promise. Samsung stated that when you buy an Evolution Kit-compatible TV, you will have five years of upgrade compatibility. Expect the Evolution Kit to cost somewhere in the AU$250 range.
The new Smart Hub 2.0 reduces the clutter and confusion of last year's hub. Now you'll find a range of screens dedicated to different ways that you might want to use your TV. Now when you switch on, you arrive at the On TV screen, which presents all shows that are currently live to air and coming up soon — an EPG integration that Samsung assured us will be ready for Australians at launch. The Social Hub is now also more useful, letting you target things like trending videos on your social networks so you can see the kind of social content that's best suited to when you're sitting in front of the television.
The world has focused more and more on LED LCD TVs, but, like other TV manufacturers, Samsung still sees a market for plasma. With great quality and a great price compared to LED, it should definitely remain in consideration for big-screen home-theatre enthusiasts.
Touch isn't just for new laptops, and Samsung showed off its 10-point multi-touch monitor to prove it. The monitor slides smoothly between full upright view for traditional computing and a lowered angle for more touch-intensive or creative uses. Just add Windows 8.
We won't be seeing it in Australia anytime soon, but a demonstration of 4K content being streamed via Netflix suggests that the industry is well underway in building the necessary technology to deliver Ultra HD content. Just be careful of those download quotas!