Samsung UN55B7000 LCD HDTV First Impressions Review
It's hard to draw too many conclusions from our limited hands on at CES, the signs for the UN55B7000 look good.
Connectivity & Media
Audio & Video Ports
The demo units of the UN55B7000 that we on display at the Samsung stand had their ports concealed, and Samsung didn't want us taking the port cover off for fear of industrial espionage. However, our crack journalistic instincts lead us to believe that under the cover are 4 HDMI Ports, an antenna port, 2 USB ports, a handful of analog inputs, a headphone socket and an Ethernet port. But, of course, all of this is subject to change between now and when the product is revealed. One interesting thing to note here is the rather neat cable holders that re built into the case and the port cover, which hold the cables in place.
A nifty port cover doubles as a cable router on the back of the LN 55B700*
Media & Other Connectivity
Like most of the other manufacturers, Samsung are looking beyond just video as a source of content for their TVs. The first big feature here is the Internet@TV system, which allows the display to run Widgets, small programs that grab data from the Internet such as stock prices, news feeds, photos, etc. So, if you want to keep track of your falling stock portfolio while watching Teletubbies, you can. The Widget system was created by Yahoo, but it is an open system that anyone can write Widgets for, so other sources of data may be possible as well. There is already a Widget that allows the viewing of YouTube videos, for instance. The UN55B7000 also supports playing back video, photos and music from USB devices such as hard drives or thumb drives, but there are no built in media card readers. There is, however, support for the new DLNA wireless standard, that allows devices such as PCs and media centers to wirelessly stream media to the TV. This will require an additional wireless adapter, though.
As you can see from the photo above, the ports are not best placed for easy access. You won't for instance, be able to easily plug in a device such as a camcorder or portable media player without having to rotate the screen around for easy access. Some displays put a selection of the ports on the side of the screen for easy access, but all of the ports on the UN55B7000 are at the rear.
Samsung declined to give us much in the way of specifics on the speakers built into the UN55B7000; they did not provide the wattage or number of speakers. We do know, however, that the speakers are located on the bottom of the display, pointing downwards, and that there is a subwoofer built in. Given the rather weak built-in speakers that we usually see on TVs, we look forward to seeing if this addition makes for beefier sound without having to invest in an external speaker system.
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