Samsung has put a big emphasis on LED-backlighting on this year's LCDs, and the UNB8000 series are the most souped-up models the company has at CES 2009. Here's a quick rundown of the feature set.
Key features of the Samsung UNB8000 series:
- 240Hz response time
- Slim design, about an inch thick
- Ultra Clear antireflective screen
- Internet@TV capable (Yahoo widgets)
- Built-in Ethernet
- Wi-Fi-ready, with purchase of additional adapter
- Energy Star 3.0 compatible
Pricing and availability of the Samsung UNB8000 series (estimated street prices):
Like the step-down UNB7000 series, the UNB8000 uses a so-called edge-lit LED backlight system, which lets it achieve such a thin cabinet depth. The downside is that it can't use the local dimming technology we liked so much on the A950 series. We've never tested an edge-lit LED display, so we're anxious to check it out in the lab.
From the specification sheet, the major step-up of these HDTVs over the step-down UNB7000 series is the 240Hz refresh rate. We've covered 120Hz technology extensively before, and we expect 240Hz to offer similar advantages. The major area for improvement is the associated dejudder processing, particularly eliminating annoying artifacts and making the processing look more natural.
The rest of the features are available on the UNB7000 step-down models. As mentioned, the sets are superslim, coming in about one inch thick, and also feature Samsung's "Ultra Clear" panel, designed to reduce reflection and increase contrast. Built-in Ethernet enables access to Samsung's new Internet@TV platform, giving users access to Yahoo widgets, which deliver content from services such as Flickr, Yahoo News, Yahoo Weather, USA Today, YouTube, Showtime, and others. The UNB8000 series is also Wi-Fi-ready, but you'll need to purchase an additional adapter. Finally, the sets are compliant with the new Energy Star 3.0 specification, although it seems like almost all the new HDTVs at CES are.
Of course, it's also likely that this series will offer different image quality from the other series, so you'll have to wait for our full review to see how it stacks up. Last year's Samsung LN46A950 was one of our highest rated LCDs of the year, so the UNB8000 series has high expectations.