As part of Samsung's big roll-out of its 2011 product lines, the electronics giant unveiled a slew of accessories for your HDTV and home theater, including a few pairs of 3D glasses and new devices that bring more connectivity into your living room.
Trying to reach consumers who haven't created a home network yet, but own a Samsung HDTV or Blu-ray player with Internet capabilities, the company is getting into the router game with the CY-SWR1100. Yes, Samsung is selling a router. It's making things as easy as possible by bringing instant Wi-Fi access to your Samsung set from the router just by plugging in a USB-based wireless adaptor. Alternatively, you can place the CY-SWR1100 within a foot of your Samsung connected HDTV or home theater device to set up wireless access, then you're free to move the router anywhere else in the house. The router will be available this month for $149.99, while the WISO9ABGN Wireless LAN Adaptor requires an additional $79.99.
Like Panasonic, Samsung is also getting into the Skype game with its new CY-STC1100 Smart TV camera. It claims that it allows the user to sit wherever he or she wants in the room without blurriness or bad lighting being a problem. It can record video for chats at 720p HD resolution at 30 frames per seconds and includes four built-in microphones to capture audio up to 13 feet away. The CY-STC1100 is also due this month for $169.99.
Once you have all that good connectivity in your home theater space, you'll need a way to input text for the apps being shown on your TV. The RMC-QTD1 (pictured) takes the approach the Boxee Box does with its remote and puts standard controls on one side and a full QWERTY keyboard on the other side. Samsung adds many more control buttons, however, along with a tiny LCD screen. While it comes standard with "premium" Samsung HDTVs, including the D7000 and D8000 LED series and the D8000 plasma line, it will also be available separately next month for compatible sets at a price of $99.99.
Even though people aren't flocking to 3D HDTVs as manufacturers and retailers had hoped, that isn't stopping Samsung from pumping out more active-shutter glasses. Most notable are two pairs that are prescription-ready, meaning prescription lenses can be clipped on them a la clip-on sunglass lenses. According to Samsung, the SSG-3300CR's compact size makes them "ideal for kids" -- though the $179.99 price tag isn't particularly child-friendly -- while the SSG-3700CR is cited as "the world’s lightest pair of active 3D glasses" for $219.99. The company has also unveiled the $199.99 CY-SWC1000A, a wireless device that can recharge up to four pairs of 3D glasses at a time.
By now you should have learned that $5 HDMI cables you can find online are just as effective as the $50-and-up ones they sell at Best Buy, but in case you haven't, Samsung has some new ones it's willing to sell you. The cheapest is a one-meter cord that costs you $59.99, and if you want a "high-speed premium" cable of the same length, it will set you back $99.99. These have apparently been "optimized" for 3D picture quality and "exceed the quality standard for signal transmission." Still, I'd take my chances with the $5 cable first.