Samsung announced the pricing and availability of its 2010 TVs, including numerous 3D-compatible products. Here's a look at some of the highlights.
Samsung UNC7000 series LED-based LCD
Samsung has announced the pricing and availability of its 2010 TVs, Blu-ray players, and home theater equipment, including numerous 3D-compatible products. This slideshow covers the TVs, and was updated since its initial publication to add more information provided by the company.
Samsung's first and least-expensive 3D-compatible TV (aside from the PNC7000 plasma models), the UNC7000 edge-lit LED-based LCD offers a 240Hz refresh rate and all of the Internet features found on less-expensive models. A couple of 3D-specific tweaks are provided, including a depth adjustment that allows you to add more or less of a 3D effect with native 3D content. 2D material can also be "converted" to 3D using the built-in system. Glasses cost extra, but are required for 3D.
Model:UNC7000 seriesType: 3D-compatible edge-lit LED-based LCD TV
Screen sizes: 40, 46, 55 inches
Price (MSRP respectively): $2,000, $2,600, $3,300
Availability: March (May for 40-incher)
The glasses required for 3D viewing will work only with Samsung's 2010 LCD and plasma TVs. This version will require batteries, but the company will also offer rechargeable (SSG-2200AR) and kid-friendly (SSG-2200KR) varieties a bit later.
Samsung's most expensive TV for 2010, the 9000 series is exceedingly thin--although exactly how thin is still unspecified. The other big upsell is the included touch-screen remote, which can actually display the contents of the TV screen, so you can keep tabs on the game while you make a sandwich or use the bathroom, for example. This model (unlike as we previously reported) lacks the "precision dimming" included on the company's step-down UNC8000 series lineup.
Model:UNC9000 seriesType: Ultra-thin, 3D-compatible edge-lit LED-based 240Hz LCD TV with included touch-screen remote
Screen Sizes: 46, 55 inches
Price (MSRP respectively): $6,000, $7,000
The remote included with the UNC9000 series--and available as a $350 option for the 7000 and 8000 models of LED and plasma TVs, as well as the C750 non-LED model--has a touch screen to enable easier use of Internet functions. One big plus is the touch-screen QWERTY keyboard for text entry, although our first hands-on impressions were of a relatively small screen that made typing difficult.
When used with the 9000 TV, but not the others, the remote's dual-view function lets you watch TV on the touch screen. A headphone jack and USB charging capability are included.
Though the ultra-expensive 9000 models flaunt the thin chassis and touch-screen remote, the C8000 LED-based LCD is the company's video quality showpiece. It incorporates what the company is calling "precision dimming" (not "pinpoint dimming," as was previously reported). The LED backlight elements are arranged along the edges of the display, but can somehow localize their dimming to different parts of the image as needed. Company reps say it reduces many of the problems of traditional local dimming, such as blooming. Of course, we'll reserve judgment for when we can actually test one.
Model: UNC8000 series
Type: 3D-compatible "precision dimming" LED-based 240Hz LCD TV
Screen sizes: 46, 55, 65 inches
Price (MSRP respectively): $2,800, $3,500, $5,000
Availability: April (July for 65-incher)
The 6500 is Samsung's least-expensive LED-based LCD to incorporate the company's improved Internet@TV suite of interactive features with the new "Samsung Apps" platform. At launch, the company will offer Netflix, YouTube, Vudu video-on-demand, Blockbuster, Pandora, Twitter, Facebook, games, sports and weather, among others. It says by the end of the year that the platform will have over 100 different apps. A wired connection, or optional $80 wireless dongle, is required.
Not shown are a pair of secondary series, the 6300 and 6800. The 6300 lacks the apps, and we're not sure how the 6800 differs (although it's only available in 46 and 55 inches).
Model: UNC6500 series
Type: Edge-lit LED-based 120Hz LCD TV
Screen sizes: 32, 40, 46, 55, 65 inches
Price (MSRP respectively): $1,200, $1,700, $2,100, $2,800, $4,500
Availability: March (May for 32- and 65-inchers)
This is Samsung's least-expensive full series of non-LED LCDs to include the Apps platform.
Not shown are the company myriad less-expensive non-LED models, including the C630 (no Apps, but DLNA is included for streaming photos, video and music from a PC), C560 (just one 40-inch model with Apps), C550 (DLNA, no 120Hz), C530 (no DLNA but does include USB iput), C450 (32-inch with 1080p plus smaller 720p models) and C350 (32-inch and smaller 720p) series.
Model: LNC650 series
Type: 120Hz LCD TV
Screen sizes: 40, 46, 55 inches
Price (MSRP respectively): $1,100, $1,300, $2,100
Samsung's most-expensive plasma has what the company is calling a "Real Black" filter designed to improve black levels and contrast ratio in brighter rooms. It has no effect in darker rooms, from what we've been told, and is the only worthwhile difference between the 8000 and the less-expensive 7000 series. One non-worthwhile difference is the fact that the 8000 models include dejudder processing, similar to what's found on Samsung's 120Hz and 240Hz LCDs.
Model:PNC8000 seriesType: 3D-compatible plasma TV with "Real Black" filter
Screen sizes: 50, 58, 63 inches
Price (MSRP respectively): $2,100, $3,000, $3,800
Blessed with the same dark-room black levels and 3D compatibility as the flagship PNC8000 plasmas, but at a more aggressive price point, the 7000 series seems to represent Samsung's plasma sweet spot for 2010. The company says it has improved black-level performance to approach the depth seen on Panasonic's 2009 models. This set is compatible with 1080p/24 sources thanks to a 96Hz refresh rate, much like the PNB650 models from last year.
Model:PNC7000 seriesType: 3D-compatible plasma TV
Screen sizes: 50, 58, 65 inches
Price (MSRP respectively): $1,800, $2,700, $3,500
This is essentially the non-3D version of the PNC7000 series, and should offer nearly identical black-level performance but not 1080p/24 compatibility. Like its step-up brothers, the C6500 is just 1.5 inches thick and includes the company's Apps platform.
Not shown are the company's two lines of less-expensive plasmas, the PNC550 series (2.8-inch deep panel, no Apps) and PNC450 series (720p resolution).
Model: PNC6500 series
Type: plasma TV
Screen Sizes: 50, 58 inches
Price (MSRP respectively): $1,600, $2,400