Thursday, March 26, 2015

Samsung GXtv (1996)


Original ad published in the September 1996 issue of EGM 2 (no. 27).

Press to enlarge or download in higher resolution.

Gaming's first dedicated TV highlights the importance of sound


Before Samsung became the mobile giant it is today, the Korean manufacturer was better known for its relatively cheap—but sometimes less than stellar—home appliances. This has all changed today thanks in part to a massive leap in technology and some smart branding, though Samsung has retained some of its economic appeal (save for their overpriced Galaxy cell phones). In the 90’s, observant gamers found a very good piece of Samsung hardware in the TV monitor you see here: the GXtv.

This was basically a 13-inch video game monitor with some impressive speakers. It featured various composite AV inputs and outputs, but sadly no S-Video input. The highlight of the contraption was its curios design. AS you can see from the pictures below, the gamer could fold the speakers to create a sort of plastic shell that would cover the monitor. In 1996, Samsung’s GXtv sold for 300 US dollars and was labelled by EGM as the first TV designed for video games with very good overall quality. Here's a nicely written review.


Original ad published in EGM's 1997 Video Game Buyer's Guide 
(late 1996).

Read bellow to download the full HD version of this ad

This would have been a very sought after collectors item if not for the omission of the very desirable S-Video input, which I suppose Samsung left out due to budget reasons. The speakers on this thing were absolutely astounding. It made playing any video game or watching normal TV a much more captivating experience. The monitor itself, as far as I can see, feature son discernible bump in quality relative to other TV’s of the era.

I clearly remember buying a normal TV around the same time of the release of the GXtv and thinking S-Video was in fact important for my SNES. Magazines would routinely feature comparisons with side-by-side images of a normal composite signal and the punchier S-Video. There is a clear difference between both. It’s a shame Samsung did not include at least one S-Video input here. I ended buying an even cheaper JVC model with one of those inputs and in fact still use that TV today for my retro gaming devices.

As for the ad itself, you’ll notice that the publicity is divided in two: a vertical page with an eye and the horizontal version which includes a lot more technical detail. Both are interesting and cater well to gamers. Very 90’s, very flashy. Very Sega-like. The horizontal version features the important technical spec of the awesome speakers. Samsung knew it was the best feature of this product and they correctly placed that information as the header of the ad.

Download or view the high resolution image of Samsung's GXtv.





 Samsung GXtv print ad copy (vertical)


GXtv

Hyper-Amplify your performance. Play it wide open.
Coming in September
Samsung

 Samsung GXtv print ad copy (horizontal)

21 watts of sound power
740 miles per hour
aimed right at your eardrums

Video game TV hyper amplified sound and graphics

  1. power stereo surround sound and built-in subwoofer
  2. graphics enhanced video graphics
  3. multiple multiple system hook-ups
  4. low emission 13” color screen
  5. 181-channel stereo tv

stereo

play wide open
play it wide open

Samsung
for more info, dial
1 800 so simple

1 comment:

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