Samsung has announced that the first production run of its BD-P1000 Blu-ray Disc player, which includes all players now in use and in stores, has an error in the programming of a Genesis chip used in the design. A noise reduction feature in that chip which cannot be user defeated has apparently been set to a level high enough to noticeably soften the image—an error that could account for the mixed reports on the player and the Blu-ray Disc format that have been published to date, here and elsewhere.
LCD flat panels may be the hot ticket in the TV market these days, but plasmas shouldn't be counted out by any means. For example, they offer superior off-axis viewing and generally better black levels. Not only that, large plasmas are often less expensive than LCDs of similar size.
Samsung has redesigned its smart remote for 2014. It offers voice, motion, and direct control as before, but with enhanced usability. The Smart Hub feature it controls now will let you surf the web as you watch TV and multitask in a split screen mode. Manufacturers have determined that most TV viewers are surfing the web on their computers and/or using their smart phones to talk, text, or surf as they watch TV. The show was alive with redesigned Internet TV features to satisfy this increasingly ADD social trend.
I tried to get a glimpse of Samsung’s curved 105-inch 2.35:1 widescreen TV on the show floor, but in the Samsung booth was packed and the area around the set inaccessible. But I got a later look at a closed-room Samsung demo. On the left here, to provide a size perspective, is Samsung’s Mike Wooda one-time regular at Home Theater who has now forsaken balmy Southern California for the cold, windswept snowdrifts of the Garden State, where Samsung has its U.S. headquarters. On the right is current Sound & Vision editor in chief Rob Sabin.
A casual glance at the Samsung HL-S5679 rear projection television might suggest that it is just another new 1080p set. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but the market is now flooded with them. Some are indifferent, some are good, and a very few are outstanding. But another television with a screen, lens, small imaging chip of some sort, and projection lamp isn't exactly news, particularly in our current, flat-panel-happy marketplace.