A major TV plasma war is set to erupt as Samsung, who have traditionally pushed LED TV technology over plasma take on plasma market leaders, Panasonic.
Samsung who are currently #3 in the Australian, plasma TV market behind Panasonic and LG, have today launched 10 new plasma models including a new 8 Series model that will come in 51, 59 & 64 inches. They will range in price from $2,599 to $4,299.
According to Paul Reid, the General Manager of Consumer at Panasonic, the battle will help grow awareness of Plasma which he claims is a “superior technology to LED” which is a category where Samsung has captured the “bulk” of their market share in the past year, he claimed.
“Plasma delivers a richer viewing experience as well as excellent energy efficiency,” said Reid.
Currently Panasonic has around 30 percent of the TV market with plasma making up the biggest share of their offering.
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Today Samsung has hit back, with a new range of sizes, that gives a viewable screen size that is one inch bigger than previous models, without increasing the overall TV’s outside dimensions.
Brad Wright, CE group product manager for Samsung, said that their plasma business had not grown as fast as their overall business, and that the introduction of new plasma models will allow them to take the fight up to Panasonic.
The new Plasma+1 pushes the boundaries of design, and brings in new sizes of 43, 51, 59 and 64 inches, adding sophistication and style to the mix.
Select models are also endowed with Samsung’s Smart Hub features, which include flash supported web browsing, social TV, which enables joining in the conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Talk, and importantly, what’s claimed to be the world’s first HTDV based app store, spanning sports entertainment, information, games and social networking, as well as 3D capability
Not to be outdone however, Panasonic is also launching a slew of apps for its Viera Connect 2011 range, for games and sport, but the launch has been delayed until May.
Samsung offering is comprehensive, however, with its local apps to include the BigPond Game Analyser for sports fanatics, BigPond TV and Movies, and a suite of NineMSN apps as well as ABC iView.
These can be personalised to the user’s preference, with the game analyser being particularly entertaining, giving interactive features that the user can action according to their choice.
Similarly the same interactive features can be viewed while watching programmes including Q&A and masterchef, with viewers being able to Twitter on the hop, and join in the conversation on live shows.
Meanwhile Samsung’s partnership with Telstra BigPond, also ensures that users on a BigPond network are able to stream content unmetered, while users on a metered network will also have that information brought to their attention when streaming content.
And with its adaptive streaming technology, launched late last year, the smart TVs adapt to current network capabilities within the home with picture quality fluctuating according to the available bitrate with no noticeable buffering, says Samsung.
And as 3D content becomes more prevalent, the company expects more consumers to opt for 3D features in their TVs. To this end, more of the company’s 2011 models feature 3D technology, making immersive 3D content more accessible than ever.
The Series 8 Plasma TV models are available in screen sizes of 51 inch (RRP $2,599), 59 inch (RRP $3,499) and 64 inch ($4,299) and come with 2D and 3D capability, while the Series 6 Plasma TV models are available in screen sizes of 51 inch (RRP $2,099) and 59 inch (RRP $2,999) and convert 2D content into 3D entertainment in real time.