At a press event aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, Samsung unveiled its largest TV to date, a 75-inch 3D TV in its flagship ES9000 LCD TV series. But despite the impressive size of the TV—the largest readily available model, apart from Sharp's 80-inch models—most attendees appeared to be more captivated by another of the set's feature: the ability to hurl an assortment of brightly colored birds across the screen using hand movements.
That's because Samsung is offering a special version of the popular Angry Birds game as a free download to owners of voice/gesture controlled LCD and plasma TVs. (Angry Birds will be available later this month to owners of ES7500-, ES8000- and ES9000-series LCD TVs, as well a E8000 plasmas.) To get the 75-inch model when the set arrives at specialty retailers in August, though, you'll have to part with some serious green: $10,000. Samsung says it will offer another app with animated Angry Birds content later in the year.
Despite its jumbo size, the 75-inch ES9000 set is remarkably svelte, with a rose-and-gold-colored super-slim bezel that's less than a third of an inch wide. Of course, the set is loaded with features, including Samsung's Smart TV features, which include Smart Interaction (gesture and voice control), Smart Content (some premium and exclusive content targeting specific niches, such as families and fitness), and Smart Evolution (an optional hardware/software upgrade kit that will be available next year).
The TV also has a pop-up webcam built into the top bezel, which retracts and becomes disabled when not in use for gesture control or Skype calls. That presumably addresses concerns about what was actually being recorded by earlier models when the TVs weren't being used for gesture control or Skype calls.
Like other Samsung 3D LCD TVs, the ES9000 uses active 3D technology and comes with four pairs of active-shutter glasses. The TV also includes a dual-core processor, an LED backlight, and a new feature called Sound Share, which uses Bluetooth to connect the TV to the company's Series 6 and Series 7 wireless audio docks.
Samsung held the press event at the Intrepid Museum, on NYC's West Side, to kick off its sponsorship of SpaceFest, a five-day celebration of the new space shuttle Enterprise pavilion at the Intrepid.
—James K. Willcox