Ever buy a new TV and then get bummed a year later when your formerly state-of-the-art set seems about as fresh as an open container of month-old yogurt? Samsung feels your pain. It hopes to take some of the sting out of obsolescence anxiety with a new add-on module, the Evolution Kit, which can improve the performance of and add features to your older TV. (And by older, we mean select 2012 Samsung smart TV models).
The Evolution Kit is a small, rectangular module that slips into a slot on the back of the TV. Housed in the device is an upgraded main processor, plus a faster graphics processor, which should speed up Web-based activities such as browsing, as well as multitasking when using apps with TV in a window on the screen. The kit will also enable older sets to enjoy the same features as newer models. So basically the Evolution Kit turns 2012-model TVs into 2013 sets.
Samsung also says it will be able to enhance Smart Interaction features such as voice control and motion control, which didn't wow us in its first iteration. Each subsequent year, owners will be able get the latest services offered on newer Samsung's smart TVs.
We wrote about the Evolution Kit at last year's CES. The news at CES 2013 is that Samsung is showing the final design and announcing that the Kit will be available early this year.
At Samsung's press conference, scheduled for later today, I'm hoping to get more specifics about how much the Kit will cost—I'm guessing $200, but that's really only a guess—and specifically when it'll be available for purchase.
Check out the rest of our CES 2013 coverage.
—James K. Willcox