ZohnG6demoWendy Zohn, proprietor of Value Electronics in Scarsdale, N.Y., shows the store’s demo room for the LG 65-inch Signature OLED TV that went on sale for pre-orders Saturday.

Consumer electronics retailers around the country kicked off the 2016 TV marketing season with a handful of events timed to capitalize on the Super Bowl.

On the manufacturing end, the primary players were South Korean rivals LG and Samsung, which used the occasion to introduce some of their most anticipated products of the year — LG’s 65-inch Signature 4K OLED TV and Samsung’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player.

As previously reported here, LG is heralding the arrival of its acclaimed 65-inch Signature 4K UHD OLED TV with limited pre-launch sendoffs targeting nine specialty A/V dealers and national A/V accounts. Although the official kickoff of the campaign was slated for today (Monday, February 8th), a few of the dealers started things early with low-key demo events for important clients in regional markets.

Read more on the product launches and pre-launches after the jump:

LG provided nine dealers 15 units of the now officially priced $7,999.99 OLED 65G6P Signature TV for in-store demos, which began Saturday Feb. 6th at Scarsdale, N.Y. A/V specialty boutique Value Electronics. That store gave customers a peek at the set in a lifestyle vignette in the store’s showroom. On Monday (Feb. 8th) all of the pre-launch dealers were slated to start showing off the TV and taking pre-orders.

Nine select LG retail accounts including: Best Buy, P.C. Richard & Son, Fry’s Electronics,  Abt, Brandsmart, Bjorn’s, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Video & Audio Center and Value Electronics were given a total of 15 demo models of the 65G6P this week and had the opportunity to place opening purchase orders with the first allocations shipping by the end of February. The early allocation will precede by one to six weeks availability of the model at all LG authorized dealers around the country.

The LG Signature TV model is certified as an Ultra HD Premium display by the UHD Alliance, and supports the industry-standard HDR format (HDR 10) and the DolbyVision HDR format. Also included is LG’s webOS 3.0 Smart TV platform to quickly and easily find and view programs.

Meanwhile, LG’s pre-launch event for the 65-inch Signature 4K OLED TV (a 75-inch version is slated for later in the year) will set-the-table for a national rollout of the TV and other 2016 LG 4K OLED TV models at the end of March and early April.

Like Value Electronics, Los Angeles-area retail chain Video and Audio Center had a pre-, pre-launch event for the Signature TV, this time on Super Bowl Sunday, when it hosted a private party for key clients to show off the new flagship display. LG’s Signature 4K OLED TVs have a new “picture-on-glass” cosmetic design that shows a picture on both the front and rear of the very thin sheet-of-glass-like screen. The LA launch event was timed around LG’s Super Bowl ad shot by directors Ridley and Jake Scott and starring Liam Neeson.

Samsung85004KBlurayVideo and Audio Center, which is often used by top manufacturers to host national product launch events, also got the weekend started early by staging the national launch on Friday of Samsung’s new $399 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, model UBD-K8500 (pictured above). It is the first such player to use the new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format, promising bit rates of up to 100 Mbps, 3840×2160 pixel resolution, high dynamic range, a wide color gamut and the ability to access both HD and 4K UHD streaming services. The player, which quickly sold out at the chain’s Santa Monica store,  is expected to be available nationally next month.

At the Ultra HD Blu-ray player event, customers were shown UHD Blu-ray Discs of The Martian and Kingsmen: The Secret Service from Twentieth Century Fox playing on new 4K UHD TV models on sale at the store. Those 4K UHD discs will be among 100 such titles expected from various studios by the end of the year. Fox’s early titles for $29.95 a piece.

A Video and Audio Center spokesman would not comment on the number of Ultra HD Blu-ray players sold during the event.

Other leading manufacturers and retailers are busily moving out remaining 2015 models with a variety of sale prices, and bundle offers appearing across the country this week.

The following is a list of some of the manufacturer-directed TV promotions currently available. Links have been included to purchase the items on Amazon:

Sony is offering a couple of big-screen Super Bowl deals including its 2015 flagship 75-inch 75X940C full-array 4K UHD LED TV with HDR support, at a limited time $5,999 promotional price.

Sony is also offering a special on its VW40ES projector for $1,999.

Samsung said it is offering its best deals on an SUHD TV since Black Friday at authorized Samsung retailers and on its Samsung.com shop. Deals include:

A bundle package offering the choice of one of the following: a bonus 40-inch H5003 TV; a bonus flat sound bar (HW—J550/551); or $300 off the regular price of a curved sound (HW-J6000, HW-J6500, HW-J7500, HW-J7501 or HW-J8500). The offer applies to the purchase or one of the following Samsung TV models: a 55-inch JS9000, 60-inch JS9000 or a 55-inch JS9500 curved SUHD TV.

Additionally, consumers get a free Western Digital My Passport Cinema so the customer can enjoy two HDR movies.

LG is celebrating its first-ever Super Bowl TV commercial by offering a range of special promotional deals both before and after the game on popular models in its 2015 Full HD and 4K Ultra HD OLED TV and 4K LED LCD TV lineups.

The sale prices are being offered now through Feb. 13th to tie in with the LG OLED Super Bowl commercial.

During sale period, LG’s flat OLED 4K Smart TV (model 65EF9500) and curved OLED 4K Smart TV (model 65EG9600) will be available for $4,999 each ($4,997 on Amazon), — $1,000 off of the normal $5,999 selling price, the company said.

Both models offer a wide color gamut and will present high dynamic range, but only the EF9500 series model will accept HDR content from external source devices like next generation Ultra HD Blu-ray players. To see HDR on the EG9600 model, viewers will have to stream HDR-encoded content from supported streaming services, like Amazon or YouTube.

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Following the Super Bowl, LG has sweetened the deal by expanding the offer to bundle in at no extra cost a choice of the 43-inch 43UF6400, or an LG $697.99 LAS855M Sound Bar, or an LG $597.99 LAS851M Sound Bar, or a $300 gift card.

In another dealer LG is offering its 55-inch flat OLED 4K Smart TV (model 55EF9500) or the LG curved OLED 4K Smart TV (55EG9600) at $2,999 each – $1,000 off of the normal $3,999, selling price, during the period. The same HDR condition mentioned for the 65-inch models above applies here.

Those deals were expanded to throw in a choice of a 42-inch 42LF5600 LED LCD TV, or a 43-inch 43LF5400 LED LCD TV, or an LG $267.99 LAS551H Sound Bar, or an LG $169.99 LAS454B Sound Bar or a $200 gift card.

LG is also offering its Color Prime 4K UHD Smart 3D LED TV (65UF9500) at $2,499 ($2,497 on Amazon), — a $2,000 savings off of the normal $4,499 retail price; and the LG 70-inch 4K UHD Smart LED TV (70UF7700) at $2,499 ($2,497 on Amazon) — a $1,500 savings from the normal retail price. The Color Prime model supports a wide color gamut but does not display HDR.

LG is also offering its Full HD 1080p curved OLED Smart TV (55EG9100) at $1,999 ($1,997 on Amazon) — $500 off of the normal selling price.

The 55EG9100 deal was sweetened to also throw in a choice of an LG LAS454B Sound Bar or a $100 gift card.

By Greg Tarr

 

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