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Samsung's step-down LED-backlit LCDs feature Yahoo widgets, 120Hz

Samsung expands LED-backlighting to step-down models with the UNB7000 series, which also offer 120Hz refresh rates and internet content thanks to Yahoo widgets.

The A950 series was Samsung's only LED-backlit LCDs in 2008, but the company is serving up several LED-backlit lines in 2009. The UNB7000 is the step-down from the top-of-the-line UNB8000 series, but includes nearly all the same features except 240Hz refresh rate. Here are the details.

Key features of the Samsung UNB7000 series:

  • 120Hz response time
  • Slim design, around an inch thick
  • LED-backlit
  • Ultra Clear antireflective screen
  • Internet@TV capable (Yahoo widgets)
  • Built-in Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi-ready, with purchase of additional adapter
  • Energy Star 3.0 compatible

Pricing and availability of the Samsung UNB7000 series (estimated street prices):

  • 40-inch UN46B7000 ($2,499, April)
  • 46-inch UN46B7000 ($2,999, March)
  • 55-inch UN55B7000 ($3,799, March)

Like the step-up UNB8000 series, the UNB7000 uses a so-called edge-lit LED backlight system, which lets it achieve such a thin cabinet depth. The downside is that it can't utilize the local dimming technology we liked so much on the A950 series. We've never tested an edge-lit LED display, so we're anxious to check it out in the lab.

We've covered 120Hz technology extensively before and the short story is that the associated dejudder processing can have a large effect in minimizing film judder, but not every viewer likes the effect. We haven't seen any sets with 240Hz processing yet, so its unknown is if it will offer a significant upgrade over this series.

Like other new Samsung LCDs, the sets feature a super slim design, coming in about one inch thick. They also have Samsung's Ultra Clear panels, which are designed to reduce reflections and increase contrast. Built-in Ethernet enables access to Samsung's new Internet@TV platform, that allows users to access Yahoo widgets capable of delivering content from services such as Flickr, Yahoo News, Yahoo Weather, USA Today, YouTube, Showtime and others. The UNB7000 series is also Wi-Fi-ready, but you'll need to purchase an additional adapter. Finally, the sets are compliant with the new Energy Star 3.0 specification, although it seems like almost all 2009 HDTVs are.