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Samsung to deliver affordable curves in Australia

Samsung’s curved screen artistry at IFA 2014.
Seamus Byrne/CNET

BERLIN — Brad Wright, director of audio visual for Samsung Australia, told CNET that curved TVs are already outselling flat TVs by 60 percent in the high-end market.

So far there are just four curved TVs available from Samsung in Australia: The 55-inch and 65-inch models of the HU9000 and the H8000 . As such, these models are drawing a lot of attention compared to the wider range of high-end flat screen models.

Two new curved models will now join the market for the Christmas rush: One giant UHD model and one 55-inch Series 6 option.

Samsung’s whopping 105-inch UHD Curved TV is dazzling in the flesh, and its confirmed price is just as dazzling, coming in at a cool AU$150,000. Wright told CNET there is already keen interest from the types of buyers who have that sort of money to spend on a TV, and they’re expecting to sell the first units in Australia very soon.

Perhaps the most exciting launch from Samsung for the TV category is the 55-inch H6800 Full HD Curved TV. The first wave of curves were focused on the high-end Series 8 and Series 9 range, so this new Series 6 curve will be interesting to see in the market. It is, in most respects, a curved version of the H6400 LED TV. Samsung is set to offer the H6800 for AU$2,149, likely to bring curves very close to cracking the $2,000 mark in stores.

The H6800 will be available internationally in a 48-inch version also, but Samsung’s Wright told CNET the Australian market sweet spot is 55-inch so that will be the only model coming to our country.

All the latest models will be available from early October.

Samsung had few answers at this stage about the Ultra HD content services that were announced at IFA. Studios will be working on delivery services based on the new SCSA content delivery and protection format and Samsung announced it will be working with this standard for downloadable content.

Wright told CNET this is “still a story being written” with much of this information very new even to the Samsung team at this show. Wright did argue Samsung’s use of physical upgrade kits — first the Evolution Kit and now One Connect box on the latest TVs — should give buyers more confidence than competitor offerings. Should critical software or hardware requirements change to support SCSA or other Ultra HD standards, Samsung will be able to offer a physical upgrade via upgrade boxes within their given five year upgrade life cycle.

And be sure to check out the rest of our IFA 2014 coverage right here on CNET.

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