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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