We're here at the Samsung press conference, soaking up the vibes. Hipster-friendly commercials are on a loop right now, and they've almost managed to get us jonesing for a K5 -- almost.
1:57 (PST) - "The show will begin in 3 minutes"
There are lots of black boxes to the sides of the stage, that no doubt house the goodies Samsung is prepping to show to us. We're just squirming out of anticipation.
2:00 - Here comes our MC. "Please turn of your cellphones, or place them in vibrate mode."
Ours is still on, we feel so naughty.
Introducing Gee Shung Choi, Pres & CEO of Samsung.
Gee is launching into the status-quo CEO talk, oh wait, he switches up and talks about content: Samsung is the official HDTV of the NFL.
"It doesn't matter which team you are rooting for, because Samsung will always be the winner!"
There a generous laugh from the audience, what else you got, Gee? World's best selling LCD TV Series, three million sales since last year. World's first Blu-ray player. Looks like Samsung hasn't given up its over love of world's x devices.
Here comes more: World's first UMPC, world's smallest color laser printer, world's slimmest phone lineup.
"Creating new lifestyles," featuring the K5 and DMB.
Goal for 2007: #1 in LCD, flat panel and digital TV, number one in home entertainment products.
And that's it for Mr. Choi, back to our bearded MC friend.
Now we've got Dr. Steel on stage, about to get into the nitty gritty.
Introducing Super Clear, which will improve contrast, and Local Dimming for turning off the backlight in certain parts of the screen for better blacks.
Contrast improvements for plasma: Ultra FilterBright -- 550:1 contrast ratio in bright rooms.
Samsung is aping Toshiba's 120Hz response time tech to reduce blurring on LCD (or did Toshiba copy Samsung? Too close to call). Samsung is also adding LED Backlight Scanning.
Color enhancements, and 1080p galore. Good stuff.
2:13 - "That's it for our standard TVs," now we're moving on to networked TVs: AnyNet, wireless, Bluetooth.
2007 will bring a wireless plasma TV, that will only need the power plug, and operate over 802.11n to communicate with the PC and Blu-ray players for HD content.
Auto-wallmount for pointing the TV in the right direction.
2:16 - Samsung pumps up the volume and features a video of Samsung employees praising Samsung design -- surprise, surprise.
"It looks great on the video, but seeing is always believing, so let's have a look at our 65 Series." Features most of those new specs the Doctor has been speaking of.
"Let's have a look at our 53 series." Quite a bit smaller than the 65 Series 46-incher, but with 8000:1 contrast, 3 HDMI and AnyNet Plus, it might just hit the consumer sweet spot.
Next is the 64 Series, featuring a 50-inch plasma, with those new plasma tech included.
They're also not giving up on DLP, with the 10-inch deep 87 Series.
"Very exciting products. Maybe if you stick around until the end, we'll give away some of them."
Here comes another video, pull out the earplugs. This time they're bragging about Blu-ray. "We are the leader and we will be the leader in the industry."
Announcing the second generation Blu-ray player for early 2007. The little black cover drops and the flash bulbs start popping.
BD-P1200, with HQV 1080p processing, AnyNet Plus and Ethernet.
Designed to complement the LCD series -- they really do look sexy next to each other.
New video, shows off those sexyDAPs from Sammy.
"Our MP3 lineup is starting to get that 'wow factor' we've been going for over the past few years."
"You might've seen the K3 player on blogs recently." Who? What? "But now get an idea of what it actually looks like."
Looks just like we thought, they really had us going there for a moment.
T9B co-op with Boston Scientific for bringing music to deaf people, sounds pretty neat.
2:30 - Samsung's showing off its A-VSB DTV tech via another loud video. Dang kids and their rock music.
And here's John Godfrey to show us all about it.
"Stronger, more verstatile and... mobile TV"
A tracking signal is sent in OTA TV data, which improves reception for A-VSB, but doesn't break backwards compatibility. The "lock-on" allows the device the avoid interference. "Turbo coded" signals are boosted so that mobile TV can be received at highway speeds and faster.
At CES Samsung will be showing off handheld TVs tuning into A-VSB on bus tours around Vegas, picking up a signal from a local TV station.
Of course, nothing's ready yet, but Samsung has a whole bunch of stuff planned, naturally. Perhaps we can finally get a few of those hawt Korean PMPs stateside.
The upgrade will cost somewhere in the range of tens of thousand dollars for local TV stations, and Samsung is hoping the open standard will be adopted as soon as the first half of 2007, with the first products emerging in 2008.
"Stay tuned." So clever.
Now they're bringing out a couple tables for a good old-fashioned sit-down Q&A session.
"Why are you sticking in the DLP market, with sales declining so markedly."
Turns out, DLP saw a bit of an uptick in 2006, and Samsung moves over 2 million units in a year."
More questions are helping flesh out more A-VSB deets. Turns out the technology is only an upgrade for ATSC broadcasting standards. No word on power consumption, but it looks like Samsung is planning on cramming this into everywhere T-DMB is currently. One advantage to A-VSB over T-DMB is that it's sharing bandwidth with existing HD signals without mucking them up too terribly much.
And that's it -- now where do we sign up for a bus ride?