CES: Samsung to Debut Hardware Upgrade Module for Connected TVs

Looking bring new features to Internet-connected TV customers -- without forcing them to buy a brand-new set -- Samsung Electronics at next week’s International CES will show off a hardware module for its 2012 Smart TVs that will provide the same capabilities as 2013 models.

Samsung will sell the Evolution Kit for between $200 and $300; the South Korea-based company is expected to announce specific pricing and availability next week at the Las Vegas show.

The company’s Evolution Kit, announced a year ago, attaches into the back of select 2012 Samsung Smart TV models. The module provides additional processing and memory to provide faster Internet browsing speeds, enhanced voice and motion controls, and app multitasking while watching TV, according to Samsung.

With the upgrade, last year’s models will be able to run Samsung’s new 2013 Smart Hub interface, which displays five different panels with a mix of content including live TV, video on demand, apps and Web pages.

“Evolution Kit has opened a new era of Smart TV and completed a true Smart TV with its innovative concept, which fits in the rapidly changing IT trends,” Sunny Lee, Samsung’s executive vice president of visual display sales and marketing, said in a statement. “Consumers can enjoy the latest features and services every year without having to purchase a brand-new set.”