By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Samsung today launched the N8 range of full HD LCDs which it says are positioned for the entry-level market, and has backed its new venture with statistics showing 23 per cent of consumers say they plan to purchase an HDTV in the near future.

In April this year, Samsung commissioned the ‘HD and Full HD Study’ study on consumer awareness regarding HD technology, revealing growing awareness of and demand for HD technology.

“One of the most stand-out statistics for Samsung highlights that a substantial 23 percent of consumers say they plan to purchase an HDTV in the near future,” said Samsung Electronics Australia senior product manager – audiovisual, Evan Manolis.

Samsung believes it is now crucial not only to communicate the benefits of HD technology but to provide the latest products at an affordable price, hence its N8 series, which starts at RRP $3,599 for a 40-inch full HD panel.

“The survey found that, despite substantial intention to buy, there is still a high level of consumer confusion, with 49 percent of people believing DVD is high definition. When only seven percent of people can accurately identify which content sources are HD it’s an opportunity for Samsung to take a pro-active approach in educating consumers,” said Manolis.

The number of Australians who say they own an HDTV or set-top box increased 28 percent in the last year.

Samsung said the survey suggests educating consumers on HD TV could help boost HD products sales, and the brand will roll out targeted marketing initiatives during the rest of the year to this end.|

“Samsung works very closely with its retail partners to ensure retail staff can effectively explain not only the products but the benefits of key technologies such as full high definition. This is backed up by in-store displays that bring high definition vision to life on Samsung’s HD TVs. Samsung has also produced ‘What is HD?’ and ‘What is Full HD?’ inserts in consumer magazines, retail catalogues and online,” said Manolis.

The new N8 LCD series includes two models, the 40-inch LA40N81BDX (RRP $3,599) and the 46-inch LA46N81BDX (RRP $4,599), both featuring 1920x1080p resolution, claimed 10:000:1 contrast ratio, three HDMI inputs with CEC and Movie Plus imaging technology.

Until now, Samsung’s only full HD range has been its flagship M8 series models.

Samsung is not the first brand to position full HD panels at these price points, with Sony’s Bravia range launched this month starting at RRP $3,499 for a full HD 40-inch W series model.