First look at Samsung’s 2012 AV gear [Video]

It’s the season for AV manufacturers to show off their latest products for the living room before they hit the shelves in the spring. We caught up with Samsung for a demonstration of a new home cinema kit and a Blu-ray player and we also took a look at the Samsung DA-E750 audio dock, which signals the beginning of a new line of products for Samsung.

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How is the Samsung DA-E750 different from other audio docks?

The Samsung DA-E750 (pictured above) uses both a vacuum tube amplifier and a digital amplifier. While there are a number of similar valve audio docks around, this is a new category of products for Samsung and the first time we’ve seen a vacuum amp used on a dock from a mainstream living room AV brand.

Samsung says that the vacuum tube technology delivers improved and warmer harmonics. What’s more, the phase plugs that sit in the centre of the newly-designed glass fibre cone speakers help focus the audio and reduce interference.

There are two versions of the 100W dock: the E750 model that supports Apple iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches – as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note and S2 smartphone; and the E760 ‘Galaxy’ model that doesn’t support Appl products, but is compatible with Samsung Galaxy Tab tablets.

You can stream wirelessly to the dock using Apple’s AirPlay or Samsung’s All Share Play features, or dock them directly so that they can also be charged. There’s also an Aux port (for connection other players), a USB port (for flash drives) and Bluetooth.

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What’s new with the Samsung HT-E6750W home theatre system?

Samsung HT-E6750W

The 7.1 surround sound Samsung HT-E6750W also has valves for an improved audio performance. The glass fibre cone speakers seen on the DA-E750 audio dock also feature on the speakers of this home cinema kit, and Samsung claims that they provide improved mid and treble clarity.

The HT-E6750W (the W signifies that the rear speakers are wireless) provides users with access to the Samsung Smart Hub, where apps can be downloaded and a number of TV on-demand services, and social networking services can be found.

This year, the Smart Hub interface through the home cinema kit more closely resembles the interface of the Smart Hub when accessed through a Samsung TV. You can also watch content stored on your laptop, tablet or smartphone (or other DLNA device) wirelessly using the All Share Play mode.

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What about the Samsung BD-E8500 Smart PVR and its Blu-ray/DVD player?

Samsung BD-E8500

The Samsung BD-E8500 is a twin-tuner 500GB PVR with an integrated Blu-ray player. All models in the 8-Series feature the Blu-ray player, and the largest capacity model, the Samsung BD-E8100, has a 1TB hard disk drive.

The 500GB on the BD-E8500 offers room enough for 120 standard definition films, according to Samsung, but it can also be used to store photos or music. Music can be ripped directly from CDs or transferred via the USB port.

Content stored on the HDD can be accessed remotely on Samsung All Share Play devices over a 3G or wi-fi connection. Blu-ray discs and broadcast TV programmes can’t be accessed this way.

They can, however, be viewed on a secondary device, such as a Samsung Galaxy Note, S2 smartphone or Tab, when in the home and the products are able to communicate over the same wi-fi network. There are two options here: clone view, when the secondary devices shows the same content that’s on the TV; and dual view, when the handheld device places content from a different source – be that the HDD, a Blu-ray or the second tuner.

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