Bringing sharper movies and sounds into homes

Samsung is aiming to level the playing field for Middle Eastern entertainment buffs, who previously had to endure lower audio quality than those in other markets.

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  October 29, 2005

Samsung has righted a consumer injustice. Last year, Middle Eastern home theatre enthusiasts could not enjoy the sound quality their relatives in Europe or the US did when watching the same movies at home, as the region did not have proper high definition kit. This year's award-winning system, the HTP 1200, neatly sidesteps 2004's problem by using high definition multimedia interface (HDMI) that transfers the high definition signal from the source, such as a DVD, to the screen. Last year's digital video interface (DVI) only allowed regional viewers to see high definition images while missing out on the same sort of sound quality. "This is where home theatre comes into its own," says Makarand Phadke, sales and marketing manager, Samsung. In a home theatre, you are surrounded by sound from five different speakers, compared to a normal TV's two. This is important when you need to know if the action is taking place, or snow falling, to your right or left or even behind you. The movie makers take all the facilities of a movie theatre into account when they produce films. Their skills are faithfully transmitted to a DVD but are lost when reproduced on a regular TV screen. "Furthermore, with a home theatre sitting on the floor it vibrates, so if you are watching "Gladiator" you are there in the Arena with the warriors," Phadke continues. "With normal TV there's no depth or dimension. A home theatre gives you a complete 3D experience." The enjoyment, however, was not as complete as it could have been last year in the region, with the lack of high definition signal. The techno fix of switching from the limiting digital video to HDMI helped Samsung's flagship home theatre system win Europe's EISA award last month. In another first, the firm introduced USB host play, which allows any USB device to connect directly to the home theatre with a PC. "Text files, videos...are accesed as if it were a DVD menu," Phadke explains. No other company matches it, and are stuck offering, what for Samsung is last year's technolgy.

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