Samsung is looking to leverage its leadership in televisions to get a leg up on the burgeoning smart home field.
The company, as part of its push to get Super high definition sets into homes, said Tuesday that it would offer a free device to buyers of 2016 models that would let them to control over 200 compatible devices in their home, like baby monitors and kitchen appliances, from their television.
The device would let owners of the TV dim lights, change the thermostat, and start the dishwasher if they are tied in with Samsung’s SmartThings smart home system. Additional details were not disclosed.
Samsung is the leader in the flat-screen TV field. In 2014, the most recent figures available, the company had a market share of 29.2%, a 2.5% jump from 2013, according to IHS DisplaySearch.
As it often does at CES, the company tweaked its chief competitor LG, by bragging about the picture quality of its own sets. While LG showed off its OLED sets earlier in the day, Samsung sang the praises of its Quantum Dot display, which it says has a better color range and results in more life-like images.
Image quality is a big battleground as manufacturers continue their push to make 4K the new high definition standard. And this year, all of Samsung’s sets will support HDR—high-dynamic range imaging—which improves the contrast and colors on sets.
That’s especially important when customers watch TV with the lights on or in well-lit rooms. While most people do that, previous high-end sets have always been demonstrated in dark rooms.
While some might argue that the sets on display this year are incremental upgrades from previous sets, Joe Stinziano, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics America, says the company “has been building to this.”
To further encourage adoption, Samsung hinted the price for the sets (which, along with the release date, is never disclosed at CES) would be a bit lower than previous high-end models.
“These are not entry level products, but they’re not stratospheric,” says Stinziano. “We’re going to sell a significant number of units.”
Some big Hollywood studios are backing the company. Samsung also introduced a 4K UHD Blu-ray player, which will be out in March. Warner Bros. And 21st Century Fox have committed to delivering 100 4K UHD discs this year—and will begin releasing the high quality discs simultaneously with DVD and traditional Blu-ray versions for new blockbuster releases, including Mad Max Fury Road and The Martian.