By James Wells in Melbourne

MELBOURNE: Samsung will unveil over 40 new products to over 100 retailers this evening at its ‘Come Fly With Me’ 2006 AV Roadshow at the Carlton Crest Convention Centre, reinforcing its ability to tell the entire high definition (HD) story to retailers and consumers.

According to Samsung Electronics Australia general manager – corporate marketing, Kurt Jovais, the new range of LCD and plasma televisions, which are complemented by the brand’s home theatre and audio products, provides the brand with a unique position in the marketplace.

“HD is a big deal right now,” Jovais told a media conference in Melbourne this afternoon.

“There is lots of confusion among consumers at the moment with over 96 per cent having a misconception of what HD is and where they can get an HD signal from. It is clear that manufacturers and broadcasters are not doing enough to learn about what HD is.

“To make it accessible and easy for the consumer to understand, we are offering an integrated HD experience with HD-ready televisions including plasma and LCD TVs with built-in HD tuners from 26-inches to 50-inches, our Hypervision DVD player that upscales DVDs to HD, and to complement this our virtual nine-channel surround sound home theatre system,” Jovais said.

“The digital entertainment landscape is undergoing an unstoppable transformation and we are excited to lead the revolution in digital convergence and HD. We pledge to bring about a richer and more dynamic way of life with our breakthrough research and insight into the future of home entertainment.”

Samsung turned over $US560 million in 2005, an 18 per cent increase on the year before. Samsung claims leadership in the South-east Asian and Oceania region with over 22 per cent of sales, which rose from $US7.3 billion in 2004 to $US8.9 billion in 2005. Through its leadership in semiconductors and LCD manufacturing, the company announced $US57 billion in global earnings and $US78 billion in consolidated sales.

The hero product to be launched this evening is the Samsung R7 series of LCD televisions with built-in high definition tuners in 26-inch, 32-inch and 40-inch sizes. Other features include hidden bar type speakers, control buttons located on the sides, swivel stand and high gloss coating on both sides of the panel. Available in a high gloss black finish, this product will also be available in a white gloss as an event model.

The R7 features a gaming mode that optimizes the television for high definition gaming with products, including Samsung’s HD gaming partner, Microsoft Xbox 360.

Also featured at the roadshow tonight will be the M Series LCD TV, which is currently available in 32-inch and 40-inch sizes. The M Series has a 5,000:1 contrast ratio for subtle shading and detail, an 8 millisecond refresh rate for fast action sports, and a 92 per cent colour gamut.

“We have seen explosive growth in the demand for LCD TVs in the region lately and the market potential in South-east Asia is expected to hit US$2.4 billion by 2008. In fact, in January this year, our R5 Series has hit the million mark in unit sales a year after its introduction in February 2005. With the upcoming World Cup and the timely launches of the new M and R7 Series, we are confident of capturing the surge in the sales of LCD TVs generated by the World Cup craze,” Jovais said.

Other products included in the showcase will include the D7 plasma television with built in high definition tuner in 42-inch and 50-inch sizes. This television features a High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connection which delivers 100 per cent reproduction of video and audio signals when connected with compatible devices.

Also on display is the Samsung HT-P1200 home theatre system, which offers virtual 9.1 surround sound to complement the high definition sensory experience.

The other hero home theatre system on display is the HT-XQ100 wireless-ready home theatre system which allows the user to listen to various multimedia files via its USB Host Plug & Play support.

Samsung also displayed an mp3 audio range including the scratch resistant YP-Z5 with 35 hour battery life and proprietary DSNe technology, which was the winner of the iF Design Award.