Yes, it's true: Samsung thinks the kerazee world of audio-visual entertainment doesn't have enough three-letter acronyms, so it's decided to bring LEDs to LCD TVs. The massive LE52F96 is one of the first TVs to feature an LED backlight, which replaces the traditional cathode-based system.
The result of the LED backlight is that the TV can selectively dim areas of the screen that are showing black. Imagine a sci-fi movie such as perennial Crave fave Serenity, which features a far amount of messing about in the inky blackness of space -- the Samsung can do a far better job with this sort of thing than a traditional LCD.
Indeed, Samsung claims that the dynamic contrast ratio is a whopping 500,000:1, which is a remarkable figure and certainly light years ahead of the competition. The F96 also has all the other trimmings we've come to expect from a high-end TV. It's 1080p-ready, and offers three HDMI 1.3 sockets, hidden speakers and a cool blue standby button that glows seductively when the TV is on -- you can turn it off if it isn't to your taste.
Obviously all the usual features are present too. There's a built-in Freeview receiver, a bundle of analogue inputs including S-Video, a pair of Scart sockets and component. It can also send digital sound to your AV receiver via its optical digital out.
The LE52F96 costs a moderately hefty £2,600, but if you're patient we're certain the price will fall as time goes on. If the 52-inch model isn't big enough for your palace/mansion/castle then there's a 70-incher -- surprisingly called the LE70F96 -- available, but at £28,000 it costs about the same as a car and is a similar size.
Update: Aof the Samsung LE52F96 is now available. -Ian Morris