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Samsung 120Hz LED LCD TVs get 3D too

Samsung touts its UND6400 series as "entry-level" 3D-compatible televisions.

Samsung's most affordable 3D-compatible LED will be the UND6400 series. Samsung

In 2010 Samsung's least expensive 3D-compatible LCD TV was the 46-inch LN46C750, a non-LED-based 240Hz model that currently sells for $1,400. The 46-inch size in the new UND6400 series might not get that cheap, at least at launch, but Samsung still considers the series entry-level...for a 3D LED.

The five-size series, all of which feature an edge-lit with local dimming LED backlight, is described by Samsung as "perfect for consumers looking for an affordable 3D entertainment option."

Unlike the C750 and all other 2010 LCDs with 3D compatibility, the D6400 models have a 120Hz refresh rate, not 240Hz. Despite having half the hertz, the company says its double-frame-rate 120Hz technology reduces transition time.

The D6400 models also feature the company's upgraded Samsung Apps Internet TV platform, aka "Smart TV," which for 2011 adds a "Search All" feature said to enable searches across different service providers, such as Netflix, Vudu and Amazon VOD. In addition to an expanded suite of apps and a spiffed-up interface, the new service will also have a Your Movie function that will suggest flicks based on past viewing habits. As usual these functions will only work on apps, not on an attached cable or satellite box, so Google TV still has the advantage there.

The D6400 also lacks the Web browser and built-in Wi-Fi found on Google and on step-up 2010 Samsung Apps-equipped models.

Samsung also says it has improved energy efficiency in both 2D and 3D modes, and talks up the sets' environmentally-friendly materials. While the 6400 series lacks the ultraslim bezels of the step-up D7000 series, Samsung still claims a 20 percent size reduction compared to already slim predecessors like the UNC6500 series.

The D6400 works with Samsung's new Bluetooth glasses, which should reduce interference and line-of-sight issues inherent in the IR technology used by 2010 3D glasses.

The company did not announce pricing and narrows availability down to the "first half" of 2011.

Samsung UND6400 series features:

  • Edge-lit LED backlight with local dimming
  • 3D compatible
  • Supports Bluetooth 3D active glasses
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Double-frame-rate technology
  • Samsung Apps with universal search

Samsung UND6400 series models:

  • Samsung UN60D6400: 60-inch
  • Samsung UN55D6400: 55-inch
  • Samsung UN46D6400: 46-inch
  • Samsung UN40D6400: 40-inch
  • Samsung UN32D6400: 32-inch

Editors' take: Although 120Hz-with-3D is new to me, I'd be surprised if Samsung managed to halve the Hz and still get the same picture quality, especially in regard to crosstalk, as a 240Hz model (more info). I also don't expect the D6400's version of local dimming to perform as well as "Micro Dimming" should on the step-up D8000 models. At this early point the new Apps platform seems like a viable competitor to Google TV, without the extra complexity, but the real test will be how well its functions, especially search, are implemented.