Samsung Connections 

The latest Samsung TVCI news, tips and events. Stay connected and get ahead.

Samsung Connections 

The latest Samsung TVCI news, tips and events. Stay connected and get ahead.
Smarter Living by Design

By Jim Mayo



As promised in the last edition of Connections, we want to introduce our newest Experience Center in the U.S., Smarter Living by Design, which is located in Dallas, Texas.


We also want to share with you our vision for bringing all of the magic of our product portfolio – The Wall Lux, 8K and 4K big screen TVs, The Frame, Soundbars, Enterprise-Grade digital signage, and Smart Things – the entire range that we offer in the CI channel, to designer showrooms across the country so design-build professionals and their clients can experience the amazing world of Samsung.


Many of you know that we have existing Experience Centers and Executive Briefing Centers in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Irvine, California that are available for use by our authorized dealer network. Before I go into detail about our newest experience center located in Dallas, Texas, Smarter Living by Design, let me give you some background on our thought process and how we see these Experience Centers directly benefitting our authorized Integration-Channel partners.


  • The vast majority of custom installation professionals don’t have showrooms in their offices. There are many reasons why this is so, and while I won’t go into details, you all know that the cost associated with maintaining a cutting-edge showroom space is prohibitive. But you still want to entertain your design-build partners and customers and demonstrate how technology works and the fun of owning home immersive entertainment. So the Samsung Experience Centers are there for you for when you want to host an event or bring clients in to see the very latest technology.


  • In the luxury residential world, it is standard practice for homeowners who are remodeling or building a new home to get on a plane and go to a major city to see the latest design trends. Whether that is for furniture or kitchen appliances or tile and custom cabinetry, these homeowners are already scheduling trips with their design-build team. And another standard practice is for the homeowner to also tour technology design centers, because technology impacts every square foot of the modern home. So we want to be there for you and deliver the Samsung experience to your customers.


  • We also plan to host events ourselves, where we can bring in top design-build professionals and their clients to learn more about how Samsung should be a part of every modern residence. From hosting events to lunch-and-learns to luxury galas, our team will be working to get the word out to the design-build community that Samsung offers more options and more innovation than any other technology vendor.


These are just a few examples of why we are looking to expand the footprint of our experience showrooms and support your efforts in integrating Samsung into each and every project you commission. This brings me to the Dallas Market Center and our newest Experience Center, Smarter Living by Design.


The Dallas Market Center serves retail buyers and interior designers from around the world who seek a wide range of home décor products from leading manufacturers and emerging brands. Its expanding open-daily design marketplace, the largest in North America, spans approximately two million square feet and features furniture, decorative accessories, floor coverings, wall art, residential lighting, and home technology. Its residential lighting marketplace and twice annual trade event, Lightovation, are also the largest in North America. The marketplace hosts global trade events including the upcoming Dallas Total Home & Gift Market as well as specialized design events throughout the year, such as Dallas Design Week, that attract thousands of members of the design community from across the country and Latin America.


Smarter Living by Design includes a selection of best-in-class brands spanning home technology categories from premier lighting, sound and appliances, to artificial intelligence. The showcase is the first to unite advanced technology from Europe, Asia, and the U.S. in order to demonstrate how technology can seamlessly and stylishly integrate into the modern home.


Not only will designers be able to source top home technology brands, but they will be trained about the basics of smart-home applications and have installation assistance should they need it. The showroom, open daily, will also host events and seminars to educate designers and retailers about broader advancements in smart-home technology, and offer ideas of how to integrate them into upcoming projects.


As technology advances, the needs of the design clientele are changing, and the interior designer needs to have an active role in understanding, planning, and executing smart-home technologies. Smart-home is also a potential profit channel for designers to work in collaboration with experts from the custom integration industry. The idea behind this new experience is to turn designers into smart-home thought leaders and ultimately help their businesses reach new heights.


Keep in mind that the results of a study that Coldwell Banker did recently with CNet found that homes that incorporated smart-home technology sold two times faster than a traditionally built home. So please plan to visit one of our Experience Centers and start to use these assets to capture the imagination of your clientele. More are on the way!

Utilizing Samsung Experience Centers

With the addition of Dallas’ Smarter Living by Design Showroom and Experience Center, Samsung continues to create new ways for consumers, design-build professionals and our CI channel authorized dealers to experience Samsung products in the flesh. There really isn’t a better way to experience 8K resolution or the immersive awesomeness of the Wall Lux than a comfortable, aesthetically designed environment – seeing is believing!


These Experience Centers are there for you to utilize – whether you are brining clients in to show them the latest technological marvels, or hosting lunch-and-learns for designers, or hosting gala events to heighten your company’s visibility in the market; we stand ready to partner with you and support your efforts.


We caught up with two of our local manufacturer representatives in the Texas-Oklahoma-Louisiana-Arkansas (TOLA) region to discuss how they plan to support the Samsung CI channel dealer base by encouraging and supporting the usage of the new Smarter Living by Design Experience Center.


Cliff Clarke is a partner and Managing Director of Lucas Sales Group. Since 1956, Lucas Sales Group has provided manufacturers a way to connect to consumer electronics dealers and retailers specializing in custom installation services throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana.


Lucas Sales Group provides unparalleled service to dealers including business development, technical and sales support, order entry, and all areas in between. Their primary goal is to help dealers reach their full potential and grow their manufacturers’ brands in the territory. 


Dale Pugh is the CEO and President of Elite 3 Pro and brings his passion and fresh ideas to our industry. Dale’s understanding of custom, commercial and retail electronics provides dealers with new ideas and techniques that benefits all of Elite 3 Pro’s partners.


Elite 3 Pro was established in the fall of 2005 to provide superior product representation for the CEDIA channel. They recognized a need for representation that would best support the ever-changing technology landscape, specifically with the continuous convergence occurring between residential, commercial and IT sectors. Their ability to understand and manage education in this evolving industry allows for quality expansion and newly identified opportunities for all of their partners.  


TOLA Reps is a newly formed entity founded by Cliff and Dale. Although their firms still operate independently, this entity allows them to align communication efforts, double the size in support staff and collaborate on territory activities so that they can effectively scale and support all things Samsung related within the Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas markets. Simply put, this translates to more opportunities for training and hosting events and providing an unmatched level of support for servicing authorized Samsung dealers.


Connections: Design showrooms from leading technology companies are growing across the country. How do you see the new Smarter Living by Design center serving the individual CI channel dealer and the design-build community at large in your territory?


Cliff: One of the biggest benefits from my perspective, is that consumers and the design-build community now get to benefit in seeing the most expensive products, the cutting-edge technology, in a comfortable environment so they can make informed decisions. And, Samsung’s showroom gives visitors a perceptual concept of how these products can integrate into their own particular spaces they are designing for.


The typical office space for a dealer that doesn't have a showroom isn’t really conducive to presenting and capturing the excitement of The Wall, The Frame or big screen 8K products. By allowing consumers to see these products in a great atmosphere lends credibility to the dealer and to the products. Many of these products are aspirational and wealthy clients like to touch and feel and get wowed.


And architects and interior designers get to have visceral contact with the technology and Samsung the brand.


Dale: I think it boils down to how as an industry we look at the business model of the CI channel today. Dealers want to do more with less. So that means less demo inventory. When you have a technology company like Samsung that has invested in this neutral space that incorporates multiple technology solutions, this allows the CI dealer to use it as an extension of their business. And this is what sets Samsung apart from their competitors.


It also means that this Experience Center serves as a catalyst for new opportunities, especially light commercial. It’s a multi-facetted approach for dealers to showcase the commercial products that Samsung offers, especially digital signage and commercial-grade displays, and bring developers and builders in to give them a hands-on experience. Because commercial projects represent significant investments by the developers and they want to see and experience the products they are going to be investing in.


Connections: How does TOLA Reps plan to use the Dallas-based Smarter Living by Design Experience Center?


Cliff: We have already been doing distributor events and have commitments from seven or eight manufacturers who want access to the space for training purposes. And presenting continuing education courses (CEC) to the design-build community is another great opportunity – all of these events give us the ability to talk about Samsung and introduce the brand in the best light possible.


We have four reps in Dallas and the space really serves as a second office for them. Instead of meeting at a Starbucks, now we have the opportunity to bring dealers in and give them hands-on training and really dive into topics like positioning Samsung with their clients and the design-build community.


Our goal is to have bi-monthly Friday 11 am to 2 pm training days where dealers can swing by according to their schedule and we can all discuss how to continue to drive our businesses. It gives us the ability to increase the knowledge base of our dealers.


Dale: We have our team in Dallas who are using the space continually. But for my immediate team down here in Houston, and our other team members across the region, we are communicating to our dealers that this is an incredible new resource for all dealers to take advantage of.


There are a lot of integrators where the majority of their installs are what we might consider typical business opportunities. But every once in a while you might find yourself involved with a commercial project where you’re dealing with a bank, a MDU or even a large office complex. The Samsung experience center is really the only opportunity to demonstrate all of Samsung's latest technologies – from The Wall to digital signage to outdoor solutions. It’s not just a cool space, but the best resource tool to assist in securing those large project opportunities.


Connections: What advice do you have for Samsung dealers, regardless of their size and reach, concerning the new Smarter Living by Design Experience Center?


Cliff: Samsung has invested heavily in this space, and it’s available to any dealer at any time to bring your customers there to increase your sales. Especially – and most importantly in my opinion – your average selling price (ASP). Bringing customers into a comfortable space and showing them how the Q90 series clearly outperforms the Q60 product, gives your customer the knowledge necessary to make the decision to go for the best-in-class product.


We have a dealer in Dallas who is partnering with D Magazine and putting on a large gala event that is going to attract the top builders in the market. My message to our dealers is that TOLA Reps is here to partner with you; we have experience in running events in the space, in marketing the event to get attendees to show up. All of our experience is there for you to take advantage of. Get in touch with your local TOLA representative and let’s brainstorm on how you can increase your market exposure by tapping into the Better Living by Design showroom.


Dale: The best advice I have for all Samsung dealers is to experience this showroom for yourself. When we bring dealers through the space it's as if the light turns on and they realize right away that it's not a big room with a bunch of TVs hanging on the walls. Instead, it's actually a lifestyle experience center showcasing some of the coolest products for any home or commercial application. The presentation of the space flows really well from room to room and application to application. In my opinion, it's bigger and more elaborate than any independent demonstration space I've experienced in the Texas region.


Also, let's not forget, given that it's in the World Trade Center of Dallas, the heart of the interior design community, thousands of interior designers travel to the Dallas Market Center every year for endless reasons. If any dealer has a designer traveling to the Dallas Market Center, I would suggest encouraging those designers to see this space for themselves. I believe It will help them to better understand how technology can be woven into the interior space and that it won't take away from what they're trying to achieve with the internal aesthetics of the home or building. Even if the dealer couldn't attend during that time, they could make arrangements with their Samsung rep or factory contact to schedule a personal tour.


It’s so much more. Once you expose your clients or design-build colleagues to how the various technologies come together to provide a seamless experience, I think you’ll find that the reaction will be one of amazement and you will have clients wanting to move forward with your company as the solutions provider.


We want to be there, every week, supporting our dealers and utilizing the space. We encourage every dealer in the territory to host meetings, put on events and expose their clients to the latest, greatest tech.


To arrange a visit or schedule the use of the space, please contact your Samsung regional representative.


ESPN's Native 4K Sports Telecasts

Samsung and ESPN have begun to present ESPN’s first live native 4K sports telecasts. And that is going to have huge ramifications for consumers looking to upgrade their big screen TV in time for the holidays. By bringing awareness to 4K hi-definition TV viewing, consumers are going to be setting their sights on a 4K TV purchase – as a minimum! – when they hear the sportscasters for ESPN wax poetic on how great the hi-definition big screen TV experience is.


Here’s the back story on how this college football season’s partnership between Samsung and ESPN took shape. By aligning ourselves with ESPN and college football, Samsung begins to represent the 4K reference point in big screen TVs. Understanding how the partnership works will go a long way for you and your sales team to discuss TV purchase, upgrades and retrofits with your customer base. Here’s how it has taken shape this fall:


ESPN began to deliver select regular season college football games in native 4K resolution in October as part of the “Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week.” This “Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week” live telecast marks the first in a package that includes six college football games this season, as well as a 4K feed that will be part of ESPN’s “Megacast” presentation of the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on January 13, 2020. 


This marks ESPN’s first foray into fully produced live, native 4K sports programming. Upcoming “Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week” game schedules will be determined and announced on a week-by-week basis and will be available at


“After months of planning and technical testing, we are excited sports fans can watch 4K UHD College Football games as part of the Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week,” said Jodi Markley, EVP, ESPN Content Operations and Creative Services. “As 4K technical resources and workflows become more readily available, we will continue to grow this standard across our operations. 4K images are stunning and we look forward to sharing them with fans.”


Added Grace Dolan, Vice President, Marketing, Home Entertainment at Samsung Electronics America, “Driving innovation in 4K creates a deeper and more meaningful impact on the way consumers experience the content they are passionate about. This is why teaming up with ESPN for the Samsung QLED 4K Game of the Week is such a pivotal point for the TV industry. Being able to experience true, native 4K college football games live on ESPN for the first time ever is a game changer. With a variety of super large screen size options, stunning picture quality, dazzling colors and ultra wide viewing angles, Samsung QLED TVs allow fans to enjoy 4K college football action like they’re actually at the game with their friends from the comfort of their homes.”


Said Rita Ferro, President, Disney Advertising Sales, “Innovation is a hallmark of The Walt Disney Company and Samsung. As the leading TV manufacturer in the world, Samsung was a natural fit to help us deliver college football in native 4K, and their ongoing involvement in these productions will help us continue to build upon what we can bring to fans and advertisers as the 4K boom really begins in earnest.”


Tim Gibson, VP Video and Application Marketing, AT&T, added, “It’s been a momentous year for us as we continue to innovate and deliver the best in sports in vibrant 4K HDR, and we’re excited to give college football fans even more content options with ESPN.”


So be aware that Samsung 4K and 8K TV products are getting massive exposure, especially with sports fans who are early adopters and passionate about their big screen TVs!

Sales and Distribution Resources

The scope of support – both from a sales perspective and a nationwide product distribution network – we have created for our CI channel dealers is nothing short of amazing. In addition to our sales and distribution resources, we also have four Design Centers that feature our complete array of products. These are perfect for showing clients or design-build partners the best that Samsung has to offer.


We continue to build and expand our reach across the country in order to better serve your needs. There are now more opportunities for training, regional representation that reaches down to the individual dealer, and a vast network of distribution and fulfilment centers to make life easier when you are in the business of just-in-time delivery.


To ensure that you are aware of all of the resources Samsung is providing the CI channel, we want to give you an update on each of the sales, representation and distribution resources available to you. Please reach out to any of these resources when you need assistance, want to schedule additional training, or are looking for local support when specifying or fulfilling client orders.


Design Centers

Dallas, Texas

Facility Contact:

Ryan Chicoine


Irvine, California

EBC Manager:

Irene Yoo


Samsung Headquarters – New Jersey

EBC Manager:

Vanessa Geneta


Washington, D.C.

EBC Manager:

Arum Lee


Dedicated Samsung CI Sales Team | Regional Managers

In addition to our national sales team, we have created a dedicated CI sales team that is broken into regions. Here are the Samsung sales personnel, by region:


Tim DiFalco – New England

Neal Grennan – NY Metro

Jan Rykus – Southeast

Jonathan Samborski – Florida

Ryan Chicoine – Southwest

Bill Bourke – California and Nevada

Jim Burgert – Pacific Northwest



Manufacturer Representatives

Manufacturer representatives are local resources that know the market and understand how vital education and training are. They are great partners for any CI channel dealer.


Atlantic Integrated - NY/NJ

Coresential - NC, SC, GA, AL, MS, TN

LK and Associates - Florida

AV Partners - California

House of Rep. - ME, MA, NH, RI, CT, N. NY

Hill Residential - S.NJ, DE, PA, MD, DC, VA

Elite 3 Pro - TX, OK, AR, LA

Orion Advanced Marketing - IL, WI

Marketshare - WA, OR, ID, MT

More coming in 2020!




Distributors give you the choice of will-call or ship-to options. Our distributors are fully stocked to support your needs. For dealer convenience, there are over 90 will-call locations in the U.S., so Samsung products are never far away!


21st Century Distribution







Davis Distribution Systems


Dow Electronics


Ingram Micro

Mountain West

MRI Premium Distribution

Pioneer Music Company

Sierra Select Distributors

UI Supplies



WAVE Electronics

Tech Tip of the Month

SnapAV introduced the recessed VersaBox™ at this year’s CEDIA EXPO. It is perfect for hiding the One Connect box and other accessories behind low-profile TV mounts. This solution has tons of great benefits, so let’s take a quick tour so you understand why you should be specifying this for a wall-mounted Samsung TV that features a One Connect box, where applicable.


VersaBox Pro Recessed Dual Layer Flat Panel Solution

This innovative product is the perfect companion to low-profile TV mounts. Constructed of durable sheet metal, this state-of-the-art box elegantly fits your equipment behind the TV in both residential and commercial settings. This box’s metal construction and UL listing ensure that it meets building codes across the U.S. It offers space for tons of devices, plus it features a handy knock out for dropping in a power management device. Completely customizable and incredibly easy to service, this product is a game changer when it comes to flat panel installations.


The VersaBox Pro can be installed just about anywhere you need it – whether that’s centered directly behind the flat panel mount or offset to either side of it. And thanks to its thin bezel, the arms of most fixed and tilt mounts can fit on top of it without any interference, allowing you to make adjustments as needed.


Flexible Design

The VersaBox Pro features a hinged, movable shelf that not only facilitates wire management, but lifts up and out of the way to make every piece of equipment accessible without tearing the system apart. For added convenience, the box’s door is also hinged and fully removable to provide the flexibility you need.


Stays Out of Sight

Designed to fit behind ultra-slim TVs and pair perfectly with flat panel TV mounts, the VersaBox Pro attaches cleanly into the wall, so homeowners never have to see it. The cover gets mounted flush with the box, providing a clean solution that keeps gear out of sight.


Fits Anywhere

Pre-construction, retrofit, commercial, or in-ceiling installations, the VersaBox Pro does it all. You can also screw the box directly to a stud using the holes on the sides to save a space during rough in, or use the included dog ears to retrofit the box to drywall or the ceiling.


So start specifying the VersaBox on every project that features a wall-mounted Samsung TV that features the One Connect box. Contact your local SnapAV representative for pricing and availability. And that’s your tip of the month!

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