By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Samsung will next week begin the next TV revolution, releasing panels that not only have internet connectivity for widgets and apps, but also an open internet browser for consumers to surf the web. Called Smart Hub, this interface will take over from the Internet@TV platform that was introduced with Samsung’s first 3D TV range.

The Korean behemoth is no stranger to leading the market: over the last two years it has pioneered LED TV and 3D TV, being the first to successfully market both technologies. Sony might disagree with the LED TV credit, but Samsung was the brand that made it the force it is today. Now it is Smart TV, with Samsung taking the nascent IPTV story to the next level with its impending release.

In an interview with Appliance Retailer magazine, Samsung group product manager of consumer electronics Brad Wright said this internet connectivity was one of four ‘pillars’ underpinning the new TV range. The other three are 3D, design and the processing technology inside the TV. This first pillar, an internet browser, lets Samsung overcome the common consumer gripe with 3D: not enough content.

“I don’t see there being an issue with content at all from a Smart TV point of view,” said Wright. “[Samsung’s] 6600 series and above LED Smart TVs will have an internet browsing capability, so that gives people as much content as there is on the World Wide Web, and I think we all know there is no shortage of what people can do online these days.”

Click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter

In addition to an internet browser, Samsung’s new TVs will also feature BigPond TV, YouTube, Facebook and other apps, both built-in and available to download.

This year will also see a trickledown effect in Samsung’s range, with more 3D and Smart TVs available in a range of sizes and at different price points.

“We have a lot more SKUs [stock keeping units] this year than we did in 2010 in 3D and also in Smart TV,” Wright said. “There will be greater penetration into the midrange of our products, so in the Smart TV areas we’re starting with our 50Hz LED range, and then in 3D, we’re actually bringing 3D into the 100Hz realm.

“So this year we will actually have five series of LED and three series of plasma that will have 3D capability, so definitely that technology is becoming more accessible to greater parts of the consumer space.”

Samsung’s new range will be officially launched on Wednesday next week. Check back on that day for all the news from this release. You can also get live updates on Twitter by following @Patrickavenell.

The full interview with Brad Wright will appear in the April issue of Appliance Retailer magazine.