Samsung brings another dimension to flat HDTV

Samsung introduced a pair of 3D-ready plasma HDTVs at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show.

Samsung's 3D ready PNA450P plasma Samsung

In the race to find that tiny inkling of a feature to differentiate one product from another, the lure of an easily recognizable term, like, oh, say, "3D," can overwhelm such petty concerns as actual real-world usefulness. Samsung introduced its first 3D-ready HDTVs last year in the form of a few DLP-based rear-projection models, like the HL-T5687S, but the company's 2008 PNA450P series are the first flat-screens to get 3D readiness. The series includes two models, the 42-inch PN42A450P and the 50-inch PN50A450P.

To get the extra dimension out of these models you'll need to purchase a 3D accessory kit that consists of, you guessed it, a pair of special glasses. If the kit needed for the DLP televisions is any indication, the plasma kit will cost $150 and consist of software that runs on a PC connected to the display. That's right; the only way to get the 3D effect on the DLP sets is to connect a PC that plays back the movie or game or whatever content you'd like to make 3D. Special drivers are available at $5 a pop for the few games supported, and no native 3D content is available as far as we know. That's where the questionable real-world usefulness comes into play.

The PNA450P plasmas include a few other notable features, such as new processing said to cut down on false contouring, reduce power consumption by 10 percent, and a new antiglare screen.

Samsung's 3D plasmas are scheduled to arrive in March; pricing was not announced at the show.

Samsung PNA450P key features (direct from the press release)

  • 3D ready (with accessory kit)
  • ACE2 algorithm reduced false contours
  • Ultra FilterBright antiglare filter
  • 18-bit processing
  • Three HDMI 1.3 inputs
  • "Hidden" bottom speakers
About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs and home entertainment gear at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."


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