Samsung will be holding a press event tomorrow morning in New York City, and according to our sources at Samsung, the focus will be on Samsung’s Smart TV product. We’re told that a performance or two will accompany the Smart TV and home theater announcements in addition to a full presentation from Samsung executives.
Smart TVs, particularly Samsung’s (005930) last few generations of flat screens, can be hacked to give attackers remote access according to a security startup called ReVuln. The company says it discovered a “zero-day exploit” that hackers could potentially use to perform malicious activities that range from stealing accounts linked through apps to using built-in webcams and microphones to spy on unsuspecting couch potatoes. Don’t panic just yet, though. In order for the exploit to be activated, a hacker needs to plug a USB drive loaded with malicious software into the actual TV to bypass the Linux-based OS/firmware on Samsung’s Smart TVs. But, if a hacker were to pull that off, every piece of data stored on a Smart TV could theoretically be retrieved.
LG on Monday announced the beta release of its own iCloud competitor, dubbed LG Cloud. The service allows users to manage and consume all types of content across Android smartphones, PCs and smart TVs. “Most companies today only see the cloud as a storage device or in the case of YouTube or Flickr, only for one type of content,” LG’s Home Entertainment President and CEO Havis Kwon said. “LG makes the devices that millions of people watch content on so we can set a new yardstick for ease of use by setting up our own cloud service. Tomorrow’s consumers don’t want to go to one cloud for music, another cloud for video, another location for photos and yet another cloud for their office files. In the end, our solution is about making life more convenient.” LG Smart TV or smartphone owners may be eligible to receive 50GB of free LG Cloud storage for six months. The company’s cloud service will be offered in both free and paid versions, with each member allotted 5GB of free storage. Read on for LG’s press release. More →
Samsung on Tuesday announced the pricing and release dates for its 2012 lineup of LED and Plasma TVs. The company will begin shipping new HDTVs this month in the U.S., beginning with the LED 6-series and higher, and the Plasma 6-series and higher. Samsung’s fifth-generation of Smart TV’s feature improved picture quality, dual-core CPUs for faster app launching, integrated cameras and microphones, new “Smart Touch Remotes and Smart Wireless Keyboards,” a new WebKit-based browser, voice controls, gesture controls and facial recognition. “Our goal with this year’s models was to truly redefine what a TV can be while providing unprecedented choice to the consumer,” Samsung America’s Senior VP of Home Entertainment, Joe Stinziano said. “We have delivered the incredible picture quality and beautiful design that consumers have come to expect from Samsung, as well as seamless connectivity, several new ways to control the TV and exclusive services.” Read on for Samsung’s press release with launch dates and pricing.
As Google’s vendor partners prepare renewed efforts to push HDTVs and accessories that showcase Google TV, a new report suggests that they have their work cut out for them. First introduced at a press conference in late 2010, Google TV has not seen the success Google had hoped for. The CEO of Logitech, one of the first vendors to launch a Google TV product, went as far as to call its Google TV-powered Revue a gigantic mistake that cost the company dearly. Now, in more than a year on the market, all of Google’s partners have combined to sell fewer that 1 million Google TV devices according to a recent report. Read on for more. More →
Samsung was the No.1 flat panel TV vendor in 2011 and despite a seemingly imminent threat from Apple, the company is not concerned much about the “iTV.” While speaking with Pocket-lint, Samsung’s AV product manager Chris Moseley explained that TV sales are driven for the most part by picture quality and in that respect, Samsung can’t be touched. ”We’ve not seen what they’ve done but what we can say is that they don’t have 10,000 people in R&D in the vision category,” Moseley said. “They don’t have the best scaling engine in the world and they don’t have world renowned picture quality that has been awarded more than anyone else.” Read on for more. More →
Samsung has developed a new universal remote control for its televisions and home theater accessories that ditches dozens of buttons in favor of Siri-like voice command support and a touch pad. As Apple reportedly readies an assault on the TV industry, established vendors such as Sony, LG and Samsung looked to cut the Cupertino-based firm off at the pass during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. All the big names at this year’s show added voice controls and gesture support to their flagship HDTVs, and now Samsung has taken the wraps off its new voice-controlled universal remote, Nikkei’s Tech-On blog reports. The device allows users to speak commands in many cases rather than typing on a keyboard or pressing buttons, and it uses a combination of Bluetooth and infrared connectivity to improve reliability. While Samsung hasn’t yet stated exactly which devices will be compatible with its new remote, it did say TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray players and other accessories will be supported. More →
There is no clear cut winner or loser at the Consumer Electronics Show but if there was, Samsung would easily be a top contender for the crown. The South Korea-based consumer electronics giant came to CES 2012 with guns blazing, showing off everything from new televisions, ultrabooks and smartphones to a revolutionary new washing machine. Yes, a washing machine. Samsung had a gigantic booth packed to the brim with cutting-edge tech, but the stars of this year’s show in our eyes were Samsung’s new Super OLED HDTVs. The only word that can possibly describe them is gorgeous. They’re unbelievably slim, incredibly bright, and they produce colors unlike anything we’ve seen on a TV before… but we’ll let the pictures do the talking. Our CES 2012 booth tour featuring Samsung follows below.
We saw a few new Samsung phones revealed during AT&T’s press conference Monday morning. Coming soon to AT&T’s smartphone lineup are the Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD, but the South Korea-based vendor has much more in store for us at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. Smartphones, tablets, computers, HDTVs and more will debut from Samsung this week at CES, and Monday’s press conference is where we’ll get our first live taste of what’s in store. The event is scheduled to kick off at 5:00 p.m. Eastern / 2:00 p.m. Pacific, so hit the break for all the action as it unfolds. More →
Reports have suggested for more than a year that Apple is working on a smart TV product, and those reports were firmed up last week when an excerpt from Steve Jobs’s biography revealed that the Apple co-Founder was indeed working on an Apple television. ”I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,” Jobs said according to biographer Walter Isaacson. “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud. It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.” In a note to investors on Monday, Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White said that the upcoming introduction of a smart TV represents a $100 billion revenue opportunity for the Cupertino, California-based consumer electronics giant. Read on for more. More →
Samsung will open its bada mobile operating system to other manufacturers and developers next year in an effort to “reduce its reliance” on Android, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. The South Korea-based company also hopes it can deploy bada on other devices, such as smart TVs. Samsung unveiled bada in late 2009 and has used the operating system on its Wave family of handsets. According to Gartner, bada currently has a 1.9% share of the mobile OS market. Samsung’s latest bada-powered handsets include the Wave 3, Wave M and Wave Y. “For Samsung to be successful with opening bada it will need to be launched in the United States market, because that is where the most powerful developers and consumers are found,” Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston told The Wall Street Journal. “If bada does not get traction in the huge U.S. market, then the odds will be stacked against success.”
LG struggled in 2010, but it’s slowly righting the ship in 2011. The firm reported its Q1 2011 earnings on Wednesday, and its operating profit of 131 billion won was the first positive return in the past three quarters. LG attributed the change to successful cost-reduction efforts and steady performance across all four of its businesses. The firm reported 13.2 trillion won in revenues, a 0.4% decline year-over-year. Its LG’s mobile communications business posted a loss of 101 billion won, an improvement over the 261 billion won loss the firm noted during the same period in 2010. Handset sales were down 9.2 percent year-over-year and 14.3 percent quarter-over-quarter, and the firm said it shipped 24.5 million phones, a 10% drop year-over-year and a 20% decline quarter-over-quarter. LG hopes the launch of its Optimus Black and Optimus 3D handsets will improve those figures during Q2. Despite shipping more televisions in Q1, the world’s second largest TV manufacturer attributed its 20.6% decline in home entertainment sales to slower demand and a decline in average selling price. LG’s home entertainment company posted an 82 billion won operating profit during the first quarter, which LG said was fueled by its line of 3D and Smart TVs, as well as cost cutting measure the company has taken. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Apple may be expanding its portfolio beyond just Apple TV to an actual “Smart TV,” according to Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. “Checks in Asia suggest Apple is working on a Smart TV prototype,” Huberty said in a note to investors on Friday. She also suggested that such a TV could help create a whole new Smart TV category. While there are already connected TVs that some manufacturer’s advertise as being “smart,” Huberty thinks Apple’s could include “TV/Video content, gaming, DVR as well as other features like apps and FaceTime.” By 2013, such a device could earn Apple roughly $4 billion for every 1% of the TV market it grabs, Huberty said. We think a cooler option might be for Apple to take the ATRIX 4G path and create a TV dock that would allow your phone to power services — and render them properly — on your home TV. It would certainly be a cheaper option. Either way, Infinity Blade rendered on the big screen? Count us in.