In the jungle of TV news as manufacturers ready their new models this late winter/early spring, the 800-pound gorilla has refrained from beating its chest. Samsung is keeping official details about its 2010 gear quiet, and, unlike other makers, has yet to show a 2010 TV on its Web site, but unofficial word is easy to come by.
Sears, of all places, is now shipping two Samsung 3D-compatible TVs, namely the 46-inch ($2,599.99) and 55-inch ($3,299.99) members of the UNC7000 series first announced at CES (we received a delivery date of March 8 on our fake test order). Amazon, for its part, also shows the 55-incher in stock. Other major retailers like Crutchfield and OneCall are currently still in preorder on the series, although we expect them to switch their notifications to "in stock" soon as well. A 40-inch model will also be available at a cost of $1,999, to judge from OneCall's preorder page.
These Samsungs have now officially beat the Panasonic VT25, coming in May, to be the first of the new 3D-compatible TVs available for sale. Check out our 3D TV FAQ for more info.
It's also notable that Amazon is currently selling a pair of 2010 Samsung Blu-ray players, albeit 2D-only: the BDC6500 and BD-C5500. As far as we know, no 3D-compatible Blu-ray players are available for sale yet.
As you can imagine, I receive many requests to review new TVs, and I'm particularly excited to check out any new 3D models. But when I spoke to Samsung, the company's rep told me I'd have to wait until March 9, the date of the company's official United States launch, for any new details. In addition to actual screen sizes, model numbers, and prices for the company's TV lineup (still not officially released), those details include pricing and availability of the shutter glasses required for 3D TV viewing; when the first 3D Blu-ray-format discs (apparently March in the U.K., at least) and players will come out, how the company's new Samsung Apps interactive suite works, and, most importantly to me, when I can get my hands on a review sample.
In the meantime, I've been promised to be among the first to receive samples and official information, which I'll review and disseminate, respectively, as soon as I can.