CES 2008: Samsung Unveils 3D Plasma Panels, LCD HDTVs, Dual-Format Player

A bevy of CE products from the South-Korean company

The International Consumer Electronics Show is the place where all the major names in the industry showcase what customers should expect for the upcoming period, or, in other words, the place where everyone who's anyone must be these days. Thus, it's no wonder that Samsung, the Korean iron-fist ruler of the LCD market, has revealed a very large number of A/V products, including here plasma HDTVs, LCD monitors, LCD HDTVs and a high-end player designed to work with both the Blu-ray and HDDVD formats. And now, without further ado, here's the nitty-gritty:

The Plasma Panels

Samsung has announced three new PDP families at CES 2008, namely the Series 4, 5 and 7. While the Series 7 includes only high-end models, the first two families are based on the company's DLP HDTVs (digital light processing), with the Series 4 being touted by the Korean company as the first 3D-ready, flat-panel HDTVs on the market.

Thus, the Series 4 is using an advanced software algorithm to eliminate dither noise and false contour lines to reproduce clear images, including fast moving action scenes. The built-in entertainment modes automatically optimize image and audio quality to the content being viewed and the panels have also been equipped with FilterBright anti-glare technology, which produces deeper blacks and an increased contrast ratio. Unfortunately, though, the PN42A450P and PN50A450P models from the Series 4 (42 and 50-inch respectively) are not full HD, which is a pretty serious minus nowadays.

However, the Korean company compensates with the Series 5, which includes full HD (1080p) devices that employ a single-scan system, making it possible for the unit to have only one driving board, as opposed to the usual two. For now, 50-inches and 58-inches models have been announced for the Series 5.

Both series allow users to hook up a large variety of multimedia devices through the 3 available HDMI inputs, one of which is conveniently located on the side of the sets. Extending that connectivity even further, Samsung has also included a USB 2.0 port for 5 series, making it simple to view contents directly from digital devices such as cameras, MP3 players, and thumb drives. In addition, the HDMI-CEC TV remote enables consumers to easily control multiple devices connected via the HDMI port.

"The Series 4 and Series 5 lines are prime examples of how Samsung is able to provide higher-end features and performance at all price points," said Jonas Tanenbaum, vice president of Flat Panel Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. "By integrating 3D technology into the plasma category, we're offering consumers the benefits of both a flat-panel set and 3D movie viewing and gaming. We're looking forward to continuing to expand our new technologies across all of our HDTV categories."

Additionaly, the high-end Series 7 includes 50- inches, 58-inches and 63-inches models, which provide enhanced image processing features, compared to Series 4 and 5, as well as several other interesting features.


Beside the aforementioned PDPs, Samsung has also released two series of LCD HDTV, namely the Series 6 and 7, which provide good quality images but also a very modern design.

Both series employ Samsung's Super Patterned Vertical Alignment (SPVA) panel that provides a 178-degree viewing angle from all four axes as well as overall picture improvements in LCD panel technology. Samsung's Full HD (1080p) panels use a new high-speed liquid crystal to cut response time to 4ms, which, coupled with Samsung's Auto Motion Plus 120Hz motion blur reduction technology, cuts down motion blur and judder.

Additionally, the Series 6 (40-inches, 46-inches and 52-inches models) features the latest version of Samsung's super clear panel technology, as well as enhanced films, with reduced glare and optimized off-angle viewing. Samsung has also incorporated advanced HD connectivity and networking capabilities that expand the HDTV's functionality. A wide variety of multimedia devices can be connected to the set through any one of the four Simplay compliant HDMI 1.3 inputs (including one on the side).

The Series 7 (40-inches, 46-inches and 52-inches) includes the same features as Series 6, but adds support for MPEG and JPEG files stored on external devices by connecting through a side-mounted USB 2.0 and features internal flash memory loaded with premium content to enjoy right out of the box, as well as an integrated woofer for an enhanced audio experience.

The Dual-format player

Beside the aforementioned LCD and plasma displays, Samsung has also brought at CES its next-generation dual-format player, the BD-UP5500. Based on the platform of the BD-UP5000, the new model features an easy-to-read display and direct touch controls, as well as the latest BD-Java and HD DVD interactivity.

Additionally, the player sports an Ethernet connection, as well as a wide array of audio decoding options, including here 7.1-Ch PCM, DTS-HD High Resolution and Master audio, and Dolby TrueHD Bistream output via HDMI 1.3. The new dual player will arrive in stores in the second half of 2008, so chances are that it will undergo some modifications before it actually hits the shelves.

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