CNET selected Samsung's wireless plasma as thebecause a) it represented the first of its kind that we'd seen anywhere, and b) "wireless [anything new]" is always cool.
Now the company has confirmed it's shipping a pair of the wire-free panels, in 50- and 58-inch screen sizes, this November. The FP-T94 series improves upon the 1080p resolution FP-T84 series by moving the forest of connections--three HDMI jacks, two component-video inputs, and so on--from the back of the TV to the back of a separate wireless base station. As a result, the only wire dangling from the panel itself is the power cord. This arrangement could potentially save hundreds of dollars in installation fees for people who want to wall-mount their HDTVs, because not having to run interconnects through the wall makes such installations much simpler.
Based on what Samsung told us at CES, the panel and the base station communicate using the 802.11n wireless standard at speeds up to 150Mbps--plenty for 1080p video, for example. The company is currently claiming a range of 200 feet, down from the 300-foot range they touted at CES, but still respectable. Aside from wireless connectivity, the FP-T94W series has the same specs as the wired FP-T84 series, which allows an easy estimation of the "price of wireless." The wireless models cost $600 more than their cable-bound counterparts.
Models (estimated selling prices)
We're looking forward to reviewing the wireless plasma when it hits the market.