Smart TV killed the 'idiot box': Samsung

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Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury

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.

smart tv

The Samsung D8000 plasma features Smart TV functionality (Credit: CBS Interactive)

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, the D7000 and D8000 "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 "T-Box 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.

The Samsung D8000 LED will be available in 55-inch (RRP $4,699) and 60-inch (AU$TBA) models, while the D7000 LED is available in 46-inch (AU$3,199), 55-inch (RRP $4,099), and 60-inch (AU$TBA) formats.

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ArthurP posted a comment   

Internet usage can be expensive using my netbook with wireless broadband at $149 at 12GB for 12 months. Free internet on TV would definitely suit those on a low budget, trying to survive on an annual income of less than $25000 per year of which I am currently receiving as a labourer. I will soon receive a 50 inch Panasonic plasma FullHD under $1000 I bought in full cash. I can't wait to use Skype to make video calls to my brother in United States who I haven't seen for ten years. I live in Australia::


SamuelG posted a comment   

Don't worry, I'm wearing my tin foil hat!


EmmaB1 posted a comment   

"SMART TV" means more peering into our privacy. No thanks. I use which has been out for a couple years. No ads and No privacy peering issues.. Don%u2019t trust these smart tv providers. They store all of your activity forever and will soon know more about you than you do about yourself.

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