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Samsung preps new, cheaper TVs

Thinner projection sets for cheaper market

Only a day after fellow Craver Michael Kanellos noted that the little guys were driving much of digital TV market, one of the giants has decided to step in with a new tactic. Rather than just compete in the brutal price wars of recent months, Samsung will introduce a whole new line of thinner rear-projection TVs that The New York Times says will cost 30 percent less than the plasma screens on the market today.

Samsung, the second-highest seller of plasmas and LCD sets in North America, plans to make the new TVs in some of the largest mass-market sizes (50- and 60-inch screens) with frames about 10 inches thick so that they can be mounted on the wall. The idea is to make these for consumers who want a larger TV but still find plasma prices too high--an interesting move, considering that at least one competitor may getting out of the DLP market altogether.

It's a nice thought, but how low can the prices go? With plasma prices already dropping precipitously, Samsung's slimmed-down projection TVs will have to enter the market at a relative bargain--never an easy thing to do with any new line. And wall-mounting a 10-inch-thick TV? No thanks.