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Samsung's two firsts: Blu-ray player and massive LCD TV

Samsung has plenty of cool products on its CES stand in Vegas -- in fact, the company takes up what is probably the biggest stand of the show. Crave singles out Samsung's Blu-ray player and 82-inch LCD for attention

Everything out here in Vegas feels twice as big -- buildings reach into the sky, an average car can carry ten people, and we won't even talk about the Americans. It's something that Samsung has taken to heart in designing its stand at CES -- it's impossible to miss, stretching out across the Convention Centre. The company's flagship 102-inch plasma may have been beaten by an inch over at Panasonic's stand this year, but the company had new super-sized LCD screens and a Blu-ray player to make up for it.

The BD-P100 will be, the company claims, the first Blu-ray player to hit the market in March. Speak to anyone at the Pioneer side and they'll tell you the same thing about their player, but either way we don't expect there to be much Blu-ray content available in March, nor should we expect to see any player in the UK until a few months after. Heck, the Blu-ray alliance said it had only finalised the format's specifications yesterday, making it sound like a few guys down the pub are behind the whole thing, as opposed to some of the world's most powerful tech companies. While Pioneer's player is $1,800 (£1,000) though, Samsung's is set for $1,000 (£570). Not exactly an impulse purchase, but a price that might tempt a few people wanting to take full advantage of their shiny new hi-def TV.

Across the stage, Samsung also boasts the world's largest LCD. While this is an accolade that seems to change hands on a monthly basis, Samsung has enough experience to know that size is no longer enough. You now need to have a big-screen TV that's capable of great picture quality, so it's made the LN-S8297DE TV compatible with 1080p and given the panel an 8ms response time. Without price details, Samsung might as well say it'll make you a cup of tea as well, but the company promises it will be available to buy sometime this year. We'll try to get one in for review, but we'll need somewhere bigger than our office to test it. Any takers with a big enough living room should get in touch now.

Visit our CES 2006 Special Report for more coverage. -GC