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Samsung Pitches Curves: Spring Crop of UHD Sets Bows

Fox UHD Content Deal Announced

March 20, 2014 By Nancy Klosek
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Samsung Electronics used the curvy confines of New York City’s spirally designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as the venue for unwrapping its latest UHD and curved TV product lineup Thursday, along with new audio line additions.

It also announced an expansion of its earlier partnership with 20th Century Fox that will establish what it called a “secure and sustainable” UHD content delivery system via Samsung’s Smart Hub platform in its UHD models.

Fox was one of the studios whose content is being included on a preloaded 1TB UHD Video Pack announced at CES, and Mike Dunn, president of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, was on hand for the latest partnership announcement. The Video Pack device contains Fox movie titles including Night at the Museum, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and The Counselor, and will be made available to consumers this spring as the new UHD sets roll out.

Joe Stinziano, executive vice president, said Samsung had tripled the number of supersized models in its lineup in the last three years and had enjoyed a 50 percent market share in sales of UHD TVs last year. “The ramp-up of UHD awareness is increasing steadily,” he said in explaining the company’s focus on that set technology.

Research shows consumer preference for curved over flat screens and also their willingness to pay a premium of several hundred dollars for that form factor, said Dave Das, senior vice president.

A total of 13 UHD models will comprise Samsung’s lineup, and will include six curved UHD models; there are also three curved LED models shipping. Das said that the curved UHDs will start at under $4,000 (for the HU9000 55-inch model). A flagship 105-inch curved UHD, pricing as yet undetermined, will be shipped in the second half of the year, he said. The newest models are rolling out over the next three months, and in May, the HU8550 50-inch flat UHD model will hit retail shelves at just under $2,500.

As part of its UHD educational effort at retail, Samsung is deploying merchandising displays to around 2,500 dealers across the country, said Das.

In audio, the company added models to expand its Shape wireless multi-room system. The M5 multi-room speaker, a smaller version of the earlier introduced M7, can be used in combination with the larger unit for a multi-room effect, and can tether wirelessly with Samsung soundbars like the new HW-H750 ($799.99) which features vacuum-tube technology.
 

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