Senior Editor David Katzmaier and I spent the morning in the penthouse suite at New York City's boutique Hudson Hotel, perusing some of Samsung's new TV offerings. The company had set up the rooms in the suite with various TV technologies, including plasma, LCD, DLP, and direct-view CRT. Samsung currently has some best sellers in these categories, including the LN-S3251D 32-inch LCD and the TX-S3082WH 30-inch Slimfit CRT.
However, if there was any real juicy news, it was that Samsung will be putting off the release of its LED-equipped 56-inch DLP TV, the HL-S5679W, until September. The set was originally scheduled to ship this month. Samsung's spokesman claimed the delay was due to the fact that the company's standard 1080p HDTVs were so popular that there weren't enough 1080p chips to release the set in wide enough distribution right now. He also said Samsung was still tweaking the LED light engine. The LEDs promise to eliminate the rainbow effect, last significantly longer than bulbs, and improve color reproduction. The HL-S5679W will be the only LED-equipped model Samsung releases this year, but the technology will filter its way into more models next year.
While Samsung had plasma well represented at the showcase, it continues its heavy push into the LCD market with 30 new models in a variety of sizes. The company's gone with a sleek black finish in nearly all of its models and kitchen-friendly white in a few. There are some small design and feature variations as you step between entry-level, midrange, and high-end models, so we expect consumers to be confused with all the choices (We'll do our best to clarify all the lines as the TVs hit the market.) We've already reviewed the midrange 40-inch, and in addition to that top-selling entry-level 32-inch model I mentioned before, we're eager to get our hands on the top-of-the-line 40-inch LN-S4096D, which offers 1080p resolution and looked really good in our initial viewing. That model won't be available for a couple of months, but we hope to have a review up around the time it launches.