Lean back and enjoy

Samsung kicks off its annual South-East Asia, Oceania and Taiwan Forum in Jakarta with a slew of smart devices, including giant TVs.

IT IS the month of March and it’ll be raining products from tech giant Samsung. The South Korean company showcased an array of products at its annual forum which promise larger than life experiences.

This year’s offerings is led by the flagship F8000 LED TV, the first Samsung TV to feature a quad-core processor — that is a chip with four brains — for quickly launching apps, online services and movies.

Available in sizes up to 75in, the F8000 has an ultra-thin profile, a quarter-inch thick bezel and a wave-like Arc stand that makes the TV look as if it is hovering in the air.

Equally impressive was the huge 85in 85S9 UHD (ultra high-­definition) model, which was ­displayed ­prominently at the ­company’s ­exhibition hall. As this is a UHD TV, it has four times the resolution of HDTVs on the ­market.

The TV has a Timeless Gallery design which essentially makes it look like a huge photo frame on an easel stand but it’s just not for show, as the 2.2-channel speakers are built into the surrounding bar of the easel frame.

Samsung is committed to ­developing products that enable consumers to “discover a world of possibilities,” says Gregory Lee, Samsung Asia president and chief executive officer.

“Asia is a dynamic region and ­consumers today are looking for technology that will not ­complicate their lifestyles but enrich and empower them,” he says.

Beyond pushing buttons

A world of possibilities in the Smart TV space translates to better and enhanced searches, navigation and control.

The redesigned Smart Hub ­interface, for instance, helps to make the viewing experience more ­intuitive, and simplifies the ­navigation process. The updated interface provides dynamic ­thumbnail previews within three newly designed panels:

* Apps: Easily download and install apps, some of which are exclusive to Samsung TVs.

* Photos, Videos & Music: Enables access to personal content stored on various AllShare devices in one place.

* Social: Allows the user to view popular video content shared across social channels.

The UI is designed to work seamlessly with the built-in enhanced voice control and ­gesture features.

The latest version of the voice control offers improved ­usability and accuracy — including the ­ability to understand about 300 different commands (up from 50 commands in 2012), and to ­control multiple apps at once.

In addition, it is also capable of understanding full sentences and natural language like: “I feel like a little Game Of Thrones right now.”

The gesture control now includes a flip motion to easily move between Smart Hub panels, and a thumbs-up gesture to “like” ­something on Facebook.

The remote control has also undergone a few transformations; most prominently the missing ­numpad. In its place, a touchpad which allows a user to use his finger to scribble numbers to change the TV’s channels.

With these improvements, ­consumers can now have more fun navigating and controlling their TV than ever before, claims the ­company.

Not left out

Consumers who bought a Samsung Series 7, 8 or 9 2012 Smart TV are in luck because the TVs can be upgraded not only with the latest software but also ­hardware.

At the event, Samsung ­showcased the Evolution Kit which it claims will turn last year’s models into 2013 Smart TVs with hardware ­enhancements such as ­processor, memory and graphics chip.

By plugging the Evolution Kit device into the back of a Samsung Smart TV, consumers can enjoy faster web ­browsing and will be able to use apps while watching TV, it says.

The kit also includes the 2013 Smart Hub and enhanced Smart Interaction features such as voice and motion control.

The idea behind the Evolution Kit is to allow consumers to enjoy the latest features and services every year without having to purchase a brand new TV according to the company.

To complete its offerings, the company also unveiled its flagship 7.1-channel home theatre system, the HT-F9750W.

It is powered by a Gallium Nitride amplifier with 1,330-watt of massive power to give users pure, natural sound. It’ll also come with a Blu-ray ­player that will be able to up scale content from 1080p to UHD and wirelessly stream content from ­computers.

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