January 5, 2005 3:58 PM PST

Samsung's big-screen plans for CES

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Samsung has a bigger picture in mind when it comes to selling consumer electronics products in 2005.

The company plans to demonstrate a 102-inch plasma screen TV at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It also will unveil plans to bring to market a number of big-screen televisions, including an 80-inch plasma screen TV and another with a 57-inch liquid crystal display, as well as several new music players and DVD players or recorders.

The company, which has been working to make a bigger name for itself in electronics, will attempt to woo consumers by offering televisions with bigger screens and better pictures and, at the opposite end of the spectrum, smaller music players that run longer on their batteries. The products, it believes, will help position it as a top brand for consumer electronics, an executive said.

Although the transition between traditional cathode ray tube TVs and newer, flat-screen TVs such as plasma screens will take time, Samsung's latest gear falls into some of the hottest-selling consumer electronics market segments.

Samsung's 2005 102-inch plasma screen demonstration, along with its plans to ship an 80-inch plasma screen and a 57-inch LCD screen TV, underscore its efforts to be a technological leader in the fast-growing digital television space, said Jim Sanduski, vice president of marketing for the Visual Display Products Group at Samsung Electronics America.

"A few years ago, you could have called Samsung a fast follower...but now, the difference is that Samsung is a leader, and we're no longer looking to others in terms of where the market is going," Sanduski said. "We're trying to lead the market in directions that we think (it) will respond to."

Although he acknowledges that Samsung may not sell large numbers of 57-inch LCD TVs, for example, the company does expect to sell many of its smaller 23-inch, 26-inch, 32-inch, 40-inch and even 46-inch LCD models, Sanduski said. It expects the same from its plasma TV and projector lines as well.

The company will kick off its TV blitz in March, when it launches the first of several new LCD TVs models. The first three, its 32-inch LNR328W, 40-inch LNR408D and 46-inch LNR460D, will sell for $3,499, $4,999 and $12,999, respectively. Its 57-inch wide-screen LCD TV, the LNR570D, will cost $17,999 and come out in June. Samsung says that along with larger sizes and other new features, the sets offer faster response rates, which allow them to show fast-moving images such as car racing footage without blurring.

Samsung plans to deliver its HPR5072, a 50-inch high-definition plasma TV priced at $6,999, a little later. The set, designed to become the main attraction in living rooms, will offer features such as a

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