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LCD TV enters its artsy phase

Samsung teams up with Thomas Kinkade on a prototype television that shifts between art and programming.

Samsung Art TV

We're in the "fourth wave" of LCD technology, according to Samsung.

Moving from the first LCD notebook screens, to monitors, to high-definition televisions, the next iteration of the technology is ... Thomas Kinkade?

At a press event Tuesday evening in San Francisco, Samsung introduced a prototype hybrid LCD TV and art display it is calling the Digital Masterworks Art-TV. Though not a shipping product yet, the TV is set to be a 46-inch widescreen display with a fine art frame in place of a traditional bezel. The display will feature 1080p resolution, 3,000:1 contrast ratio, 500 nits of brightness, and a 40GB hard drive to store other images.

The TV is being developed with The Thomas Kinkade Company, so naturally the first versions of this set will be used to display art by Kinkade. The set will come pre-loaded with his paintings or will be updated, either wired or wirelessly, according to Samsung.

There are also apparently plans for the screen to be touch sensitive, which will allow lighting or colors within an artwork to be altered by hand.

And when you're not using the display as a decorative piece, you can always use it for its intended purpose--as a TV.