Samsung announced the "death of the idiot box" today with the Australian launch of its 2011 Smart TV range, which offers web browsing, internet TV and downloadable apps.
The company has announced a total of 41 televisions with over half offering "smart" functionality as well as 3D capabilities.
"Today we change Australian living rooms forever with the launch of Samsung's Smart TV", said Samsung's Lambro Skropidis.
The launch concentrated on the company's flagship televisions, theand "LED" models and the D8000 plasma, which Samsung is releasing in April 2011.
The web-connected TVs offer an "All Search" function which searches home network devices, Facebook, Google and video-on-demand services. This is designed to complement the new Social TV app which lets you view Twitter, Facebook and Google Talk in a sidebar — while watching TV.
The TVs also offer downloadable apps in what the company claims is the "world's first HDTV-based application store" and lists choices in categories like sports, entertainment, information, games and social networking.
"Smart TV is the death of the so-called 'idiot box'", said Brad Wright, Samsung's group product manager of consumer electronics.
BigPond Movies and BigPond TV are new additions to the 2011 line which enables movies-on-demand as well as "live" channels streamed via the internet.
Telstra's Ben Kinealy demonstrated the BigPond features at the launch, and announced the new "AFL Game Analyser" application.
The AFL app enables fans to watch played games in their entirety and skip to highlights on a timeline. The app follows in the footsteps of last years's NRL Game Analyser and is also compatible with 2010 Smart TV models.
Kinealy said that in the coming months various Telstra features would be aggregated into a central place on the Smart TV — into what he called a "lite".
TVs with access to the web will feature an integrated web browser controllable via the remote — no mouse is currently planned. In comparison, LG's Smart TVs will offer the Magic Motion remote which functions like a Nintendo Wii-mote.
Thewill be available in 55-inch (RRP $4,699) and 60-inch (AU$TBA) models, while the is available in 46-inch (AU$3,199), 55-inch (RRP $4,099), and 60-inch (AU$TBA) formats.