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Samsung Q9HD plasma TVs: A couple of whoppers

Samsung remains committed to its HD Ready plasma range, with whopping 42- and 50-inch models out this year. Both screens have three HDMI sockets, which pleases us immensely

Despite LCDs outselling plasmas by quite a wide margin, Samsung remains committed to its plasma TV range. This year it's launching two new large-screen sets -- the 42Q9HD and the 50Q9HD -- and they come, predictably enough, in 42- and 50-inch sizes.

Neither of the plasma screens support 1080p, which is a little disappointing. The 42-inch model has a resolution of 1,024x768 pixels and the 50-inch adds a few pixels, going up to 1,365x768. Both screens have an impressive quoted contrast ratio of 15,000:1 and equally noteworthy brightness figures of 1,500cd/m2 for the 42-inch and 1,300cd/m2 for the 50-inch screen.

The usual range of connections adorn various parts of the screens. There are a couple of Scart sockets, component video in and PC D-Sub connections on the back for hooking up pretty much anything you can throw at them. There are also side composite and S-Video inputs, for easy connection of a camcorder without ferreting around behind the TV.

Both screens have a generous three HDMI sockets, two of which are mounted at the back and one at the side. Well done, Samsung -- you win our special award for having a sensible number of HDMI sockets. The prize is a warm handshake, which you can redeem at a time of your choosing. -IM