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Samsung TVs: All-new LED, LCD and plasmas

Samsung recently unveiled a dizzying array of new TVs and we were there to stare, slack-jawed at them, and ultimately destroy them with our thick and unrelenting saliva

Ian Morris

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This year sees a new range introduced to the Samsung TV family. In the US it's going to be called Luxia, which is the umbrella name for the LED-backlit screens. In the UK, we won't be calling them that, but it's not clear yet if these new tellies will have some sort of catchy moniker or not.

In the LED-backlit stakes, Samsung has announced three lines, namely the 6000, 7000 and 8000. The 6000 range will be the 'entry-level' TVs, with four sizes, 32, 37, 40 and 46-inches. This range won't have the delightful new Yahoo Widgets built in, but they will have 100Hz picture processing and a lovely floating stand design.

The 7000 range also comes in four screen sizes: 32, 40, 46 and 55 inches, and will have a choice of two bezel designs. You can either opt for an updated 'Rose Black' design -- which is much improved over the older style -- or a new 'Platinum' style. This range will have access to the Yahoo Widgets, so you can check weather, stocks or news reports as you watch Come Dine With Me.

The 8000 range has two screen sizes: 40 and 46 inches. They're both 200Hz sets, which is supposed to further increase the quality of on-screen motion, and they come with a beautiful aluminium stand, which makes them look really rather funky.

We think Samsung's LED backlight TVs are stunning. These are side-illuminated, so they can't dim one area of the image, but they're incredibly thin, and should be significantly cheaper than other LED-backlit TVs.

There are some impressive LCD TVs on the way too though, which should offer better value for money. The big news this year is that all Samsung TVs larger than 32 inches will be 1080p. Series 7 are the most exciting screens in the LCD range. They'll feature Yahoo Widgets, 200Hz for smooth motion, four HDMI inputs and multimedia playback courtesy of WiseLink Pro.

The popular Bordeaux shape that Samsung introduced a few years ago has also made a comeback, the Series 6 screens all have the distinctive curve at the bottom of the screen, but also feature the 'Rose Black' finish too, giving it a delicious wine theme throughout.

In plasmas, Series 8 offers a new ultra-thin design, with a depth of 30mm, making these TVs incredibly sleek. You also get all the toys, including WiseLink Pro, Widgets and the attractive aluminium stand. There are also four HDMI inputs, and 100Hz motion plus, to improve the stability and motion of fast-moving pictures.

All in all, a very strong line-up for Samsung this year. Fingers crossed we get our hands on them soon!

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OLED always steals the show, and CES 2009 was no exception, with Samsung showing some of its prototypes. Even though the company is investing in OLED R&D, it still believes LCD will be the dominant display technology for the next three to five years.
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Ultra-thin LCD screens are in our future. Samsung is already shipping TVs that have a greatly simplified wall-mount, and that weigh so little, they can be hung without the need for a bulky bracket.
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It's hard not to be impressed by the advances Samsung has made by reducing the depth of its TVs. Of course, LED backlighting plays a big part in this reduction, but because those LEDs are illuminating the screen from the side, we don't quite know what to expect in terms of contrast ratio and picture quality.
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The LED backlit TVs were certainly impressive and incredibly sleek.
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The 'Rose Black' finish the company introduced last year has been improved, and we have to say, we really like the results.
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When you see how thin Samsung has made the LED-backlit TVs, you start to understand why the company doesn't see OLED as a big deal at the moment.
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A new aluminium stand has been introduced to certain high-end TVs to give them an even more impressive high-end style.
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The Bordeaux styling of old was so popular, Samsung has re-introduced it this year. See the drop curve on the bottom of the set?
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Samsung seems to have gone to some effort to tidy up the back of its TVs. See how neat that looks, with those wonderful cable channels in place? A neat-freak's dream!
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Even the plasma TV range has slimmed down this year at under 30mm deep. Fantastic news -- Samsung PDPs always put on a good show.

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