Samsung's CES 2014 TVs: Curved and 4K LEDs, but no new OLED or plasma

Samsung has announced a slew of new TVs at CES 2014, and all of them are based on LED LCD technology.

Sarah Tew/CNET
LAS VEGAS -- Samsung is the 800-pound gorilla of many markets, but especially HDTVs. In a CES presentation, the company spelled out just how top its banana is.

It has spent eight straight years with the No. 1 worldwide market share among TV brands, which as of August 2013 was 30 percent, with 32 percent in North America. Vizio, at No. 2 in North America, was at 17 percent. It also enjoys even larger share of premium segments, like 240Hz LED LCDs and LED LCDs that cost more than $1,999 -- both at 67 percent.

The perfect segue is Samsung's 2014 CES TV announcements: a massive array of high-end LED LCDs . The gorilla didn't beat its chest about any new plasmas or any new OLEDs at the show. Either or both might leap out of the shadows at Samsung's jungle of a booth, in concept form or otherwise, and Samsung reassured me it will come out with new plasmas later in the year. But as far as we know now, Samsung's CES 2014 TV slate is all LED LCD, all the time.

What follows is a quick rundown of all the company's new 2014 TV announcements, followed by a rehash of the stuff it held over from last year (the OLED) or preannounced in the days and weeks leading up to the show (gigantic 100-inch-plus showstoppers, a new remote).

The new stuff: Curved and flat 4K and 1080p LED LCDs
Wall-size TVs are all well and good if you own a private island, but Samsung's real meat and potatoes is in double-digit sizes. The gravy in this analogy, I guess, is the introduction of two series' worth of curved LED LCD TVs.

In case you're wondering, pricing will, if previous years are any indication, be announced at a separate Samsung-only event in March.

  • UNHU9000 series: Curved 4K The most expensive TV in Samsung's main lineup is curved, with 4K resolution, real (albeit edge-lit) local dimming and plenty of doodads -- including the One Connect upgrade box and quad-split-screen action.
    Sizes: 78, 65, and 55 inches
    First availability: April
    • UNHU8500 series: Flat 4K Want your Samsung 4K TV nonbent? The HU8500 delivers, offering a wider range of screen sizes and most of the features -- including legit local dimming -- as its curvier sibling.
      Sizes: 75, 65, 60, 55, 50 inches
      First availability: April
      • UNH8000 series: Curved 1080p With the same real local dimming found on the 4K models, the successor to our favorite LED TV of 2013 is almost the same as last year. Except it's curved. We're already wishing for Samsung to announce a flat version too.
        Sizes: 78, 65, and 55 inches
        First availability: April
        • UNH7150 series: Flat 1080p, Cheapest with split-screen The UNH7150 lacks that sweet dimming, so don't expect the kind of picture quality found on step-up models. Samsung hopes the new split-screen mode, allowing you to watch YouTube or view a Web page at the same time as you watch TV, will help convince you to spend more over the six series sets below.
          Sizes: 75, 65, 60, 55, and 46 inches
          First availability: April
          • UNH6400 series: Flat 1080p, Cheapest with new Smart Remote Solidly in the company's midrange, featurewise the 6400 series looks a lot like last year's version: the entry point for the fancy touch-pad remote .
            Sizes: 65, 60, 55, 50, and 48 inches
            First availability: March
            • UNH6350 series: Flat 1080p, Cheapest with Smart TV All of the TVs above have Smart TV too, and often augmented with minor extras, but if you want Samsung's basic, very capable package of TV brains, it starts at the 6350 level. Available in more sizes and and potentially a better value than the rest, this TV looks like a redux of the highly recommendable 6300 from last year.
              Sizes: 75, 65, 60, 55, 50, 48, 40, and 32 inches
              First availability: March

            The new 2014 clicker has a smaller touch pad and more buttons than the 2013 version. Samsung

            Holdovers/already announced: The OLED; Huge and/or crazy-expensive 4K TVs; The new remote
            Also absent from Samsung's 2014 CES announcements was a new OLED TV. The company will carry over the 2013 KN55S9C into at least the first part of 2014 -- although it could always announce new ones later in the year, and its booth will undoubtedly have some one-off showpieces. If you're keeping track, LG did manage to announce a few new OLED TVs at CES, although it couldn't bring itself to mention prices yet.

            Samsung has already revealed two outsized showpiece 4K TVs, namely a 105-inch curved jobbie in December and, more recently, a 110-inch version of its S9 series -- you know, the one that looks like an artist's easel and costs as much as a Van Gogh.

            One other item that was announced prior to the show was the company's new Smart TV remote with, against every shred of logic and trendiness, a smaller touch pad. Wonders never cease.

            We'll have more updates as CES 2014 progresses and we get a chance to check out Samsung's booth first-hand. Stay tuned.

 

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