What makes them “super?” What makes the LED and plasmas “new?”
All that, plus a lot of HD Guru-exclusive info, after the jump.
Organic Light-Emitting Diode TVs offer the promise of the best picture quality ever (and yes, we’re including CRT). Long “vaporware” in the TV world, 2012 might be the year we see actual models. Samsung’s 55-inch model sure seems like the real deal… maybe. They’re promising a delivery in 2012, but at the moment there’s no pricing, release date, or even a model number. We remain optimistic, but skeptical. HDGuru was told it was advancements to the lifespan of the blue phosphor that allowed development of OLED into a real (potentially) product this year.
Here’s what we know:
- “Super” in Samsung-parlance means red, green, and blue pixels. This is their way of pointing out that LG’s OLED uses “white” OLEDs and color filters.
- Active 3D and 1080p
- There will be a separate box with inputs and the power supply (similar to their C9000 LED LCD)
- Media Hub, and Smart Interaction (more on this below)
UNES8000 Smart LED LCD
Whenever you see the “S” in the model number, this stands for “Slim” implying an ultra-thin bezel. The high-end, edge-lit ES8000 series will be available in 46, 55, 60, 65, and 75-inch models.
- Smart Interaction, with an IR Blaster included to control other home theater gear.
- Dual-core chipset for faster performance with apps.
- Bluetooth 3D glasses, compatible with 2011 Samsung models (at least, those that had Bluetooth) along with BT-enabled TVs from Sharp, Sony, Panasonic, and XpandD. This year a more standard Bluetooth transmission technology is being used, so you can connect a BT keyboard and mouse for better web browsing.
- At least 2 pairs of 3D glasses included, some models get 4.
- “True” 240 Hz, plus a scanning backlight.
- Available this spring.
PNE8000 Plasma Smart TV
Sizes will be similar with the new models: 51, 60, and 64-inches. The bezel is a bit smaller than 2011, but the depth remains at 1.5-inches.
- The biggest news with the new plasmas is a 10% improvement in black levels, thanks to changes to software and hardware.
- Smart Interaction
- Available this spring.
Taking a cue from Xbox Connect, Samsung’s Smart Interaction promises a new way to interact with your television. There’s no wand, the TV sees/hears your commands. There’s Motion Control (physical gestures), Voice Control (two mics built-in for noise reduction), and even Face Recognition that can log you into Skype or apps with just your pretty mug. Samsung plans on releasing a software developers kit so 3rd parties can create apps that take advantage of the tech.
And even though the camera is always on (the better to see you with, my darling…) there is a manual shutter you can close so it’s not always looking at you.
Using the IR blaster, you could use Smart Interaction to control other pieces of gear in your system.
All very interesting… if it works.
The only really big news on the BD front is “Disc-to-Digital” from Flixster. Despite a rather stupid name (discs are digital, duh), it’s an interesting concept. You give Flixster information on what movies you own on DVD or Blu-ray, and then you can stream those movies for a small initial “conversion” fee. Not limited to Blu-ray players, you can stream the movies from anywhere via the Flixster website.
Other features include a full web browser and WiFi.
Home Theater/Sound Bar
Not forgetting audio, the HT-E6730W is a 7.1-channel Blu-ray HTIB. The six satellites get 165 watts, the center and sub each get 170 for a system power rating of 1,330 watts. Built-in WiFi is cool, as is a proprietary vacuum tube amp technology.
The HW-E550 Surround sound bar is a bit of a transformer. You can put it below the TV, or split it in two and use it as two vertical speakers. Virtually creates 5.1 sound from its pair of 80-watt speakers. The included 150watt sub is wireless. More importantly it has 2 HDMI in, and one out.
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