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CES 2009: Samsung's new plasma and LCD HDTV lineup

Though it's given up the rear-projection market, Samsung is still hanging in there with plasma, as evidenced by its new lineup of sets announced this afternoon. They share a number of features with the new LCDs the company also introduced today—including those I didn't cover in my previous post.
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Written by Sean Portnoy, Contributor on

Though it's given up the rear-projection market, Samsung is still hanging in there with plasma, as evidenced by its new lineup of sets announced this afternoon. They share a number of features with the new LCDs the company also introduced today—including those I didn't cover in my previous post.

In particular, Samsung is hyping its Internet@TV content service developed with Yahoo and using widgets to display streaming info while you watch. Its two new plasma lines, the Series 6 and the pricier Series 8 (pictured), are also DLNA-compliant, which means you can stream media files from your home network to your TV. Its new Series 7 LCDs are DLNA-compliant, and come with a USB-based adapter that offers 802.11a/b/g/n wireless networking support. Series 7 LCDs and Series 6 models 40 inches and larger also support Internet@TV, though the wireless USB dongle is only an option for Series 6 sets.

Samsung is calling the Series 8 plasmas the slimmest ones on the market that come with a built-in tuner. The company is looking to improve the black-level performance of its sets with its new Ultra Filter Bright Plus technology, which cuts the luminance of blacks by 50 percent. Samsung responds to plasmas' reputation for being energy suckers by manufacturing its new models to meet Energy Star 3.0 standards for efficiency. (All of Samsung's new LCDs also meet the Energy Star 3.0 standards.)

As with the higher-end LED-based LCDs also announced today, Samsung's Series 7 LCDs (pictured) come with a 240Hz refresh rate, though it's unclear if there's a major difference between its ability to reduce motion blur and that of 120Hz sets. Series 6 LCDs 32 inches and up are equipped with 120Hz refresh rates. The company is also touting its new Ultra Clear polarizing panel, which reflects ambient light to improve black-level performance and enhance colors.

Series 7 sets will be available in 40-, 46, and 52-inch varieties, while Series 6 runs from 55 inches all the way down to 19 inches. Pricing and availability haven't been announced yet for any of these new sets.

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