Samsung Details Its 2012 HDTV Line
Samsung held a press conference this week to show off production samples of its 2012 HDTVs comprised of LED LCDs and plasmas. Samsung provided a list of all national models and suggested retail prices. As we’ve written here, Samsung is enacting a Unilateral Pricing Program (UPP). They also revealed new program details, new features, new performance improvements and new 3D announcements.
The UPP program affects every one of the company’s thin ES series edge lit LED LCDs as well as every plasma model from the 550 series on up. Samsung would only provide the press a list of its suggested retail prices, which we do not find very useful to our readers, so we chose not to publish them.
Instead, HD Guru resurveyed our industry contacts to update the UPP prices you will see as the actual minimum selling price (whether online or an at retail store). If your dealer is charging above the UPP price you’ll be paying too much. Authorized dealers will only offer 2012 ES and plasma UPP program prices within a maximum discount of two dollars 0ff !
Samsung’s three main series for 2012 are the edge lit ES series with slim bezels and thin depth; the EH series with non-local dimming LED backlights and thin bezels and a full line of plasmas.
More than half of Samsung’s 2012 models include 3D. All use active Bluetooth 3D glasses. The big news: new glasses and new low prices. There are two series of new 3D glasses for 2012. The SSG-4100GB glasses with replaceable battery have a minimum advertised price (MAP) of just $19.99 (that close to $16 for a 3D movie ticket at our local theater). The replaceable button type battery is rated at 150 hours. We tried on a pair and found them to be very light (about an ounce) and comfortable. There was no flicker or visible crosstalk.
The new SSG3550CR 3D glasses are rechargeable via a mini USB cable, MAP at $49.99.
Both models are compliant with the new Full HD 3D Glasses Bluetooth standard allowing use with all 2012 Panasonic active 3D HDTVs. Sony is also a member of the consortium, but we have not received a reply to compatibility with its 2012 3D models.
Samsung will pack 2 pairs of the SSG-4100GB glasses with its lower end 3D HDTVs and 4 pair with its higher end models. The new glasses will be available next month as a separate item.
We were given a short private preview of Samsung’s top-of-the-line 2012 ES8000 LED LCD and PN8000 plasma.
The ES8000’s main new features are new Internet services thanks to Samsung’s own cloud apps, new CPU that allows quick switching from an app or service to another source and back, a built-in HD camera and microphone. Samsung demoed its new speech recognition and gesture control. The microphones currently allow for voice control of volume up/down, channel up/down channel number, source switching and browser control. More sophisticated speech recognition such as “Hi TV, MSNBC” to direct access a specific channel is not currently within the TV’s capabilities may be in some future upgrade. The 8000 has an upgrade port on the back if the TV needs more memory or CPU power for future apps. The 8000 includes an IR blaster to control your cable or satellite box.
The ES8000 has a built-in face recognition to allow you to become an authorized viewer to access certain apps. If you have ever seen “Person of Interest” you will immediately recognize the box that appears around a face via the 8000s built-in camera as the TV notes a new user. We are planning an article examining these new features in-depth, to be published in the near future.
As for performance, the ES8000 adds “ultimate micro dimming” (UMD). This is not LED local backlight dimming in zones, as the TV is edge lit which can’t dim a specific LED in one sector. This type of dimming requires the LEDs behind the screen. Instead it is a zone type of dynamic contrast signal processing circuit that tells the TV to make a dark area darker or a bright area brighter by altering the image electronically. We tend to dislike altering a signal to provide higher contrast.
We did notice some dark uniformity issues on the sample we observed (as we did with last year’s model). We’ll await a review unit to make a final judgment.
The 2012 PN8000 plasma shares the speech and face recognition and gesture control features of the ES8000. The big performance improvement comes in the form of a new anti-reflective filter and new lower reset level. Samsung is touting deeper blacks and better contrast. We will wait for a review sample for an complete evaluation.
Samsung did not disclose any new information about its 55-inch OLED HDTV.
UPP Edgelit LED LCDs
65-inch-class UN65ES8000: $4,699.99 (TBA)
60-inch-class UN60ES8000: $3,999.99 (March 2012)
55-inch-class UN55ES8000: $3,399.99 (March 2012)
46-inch-class UN46ES8000: $2,699.99 (March 2012)
60-inch-class UN60ES7500: $3,699.99 (March 2012)
55-inch-class UN55ES7500: $3,099.99 (March 2012)
50-inch-class UN50ES7500: $2,699.99 (March 2012)
46-inch-class UN46ES7500: $2,399.99 (March 2012)
60-inch-class UN60ES7100: $3,499.99 (to be announced)
55-inch-class UN55ES7100: $2,899.99 (May 2012)
46-inch-class UN46ES7100: $2,199.99 (May 2012)
60-inch-class UN60ES6600: $3,079.99 (TBA)
55-inch-class UN55ES6600: $2,479.99 (March 2012)
46-inch-class UN46ES6600: $1,749.99 (March 2012)
65-inch-class UN65ES6500: $3,899.99 (TBA)
60-inch-class UN60ES6500: $2,899.99 (March 2012)
55-inch-class UN55ES6500: $2,299.99 (March 2012)
50-inch-class UN50ES6500: $1,899.99 (May 2012)
46-inch-class UN46ES6500: $1,579.99 (March 2012)
40-inch-class UN40ES6500: $1,379.99 (March 2012)
32-inch-class UN32ES6500: $899.99 (to be announced)
60-inch-class UN60ES6100: $2,599.99 (April 2012)
55-inch-class UN55ES6100: $1,999.99 (March 2012)
50-inch-class UN50ES6100: $1,599.99 (June 2012)
46-inch-class UN46ES6100: $1,299.99 (March 2012)
40-inch-class UN40ES6100: $1,099.99 (March 2012)
Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Backlit LED Models (not under UPP program:discountable)
65-inch-class UN65EH6000: $2,399.99 (to be announced)
60-inch-class UN60EH6000: $1,899.99 (February 2012)
55-inch-class UN55EH6000: $1,399.99 (February 2012
50-inch-class UN50EH6000: $1,149.99 (June 2012)
46-inch-class UN46EH6000: $ 979.99 (February 2012)
40-inch-class UN40EH6000: $ 779.99 (February 2012)
50-inch-class UN50EH5300: $1,099.99 (June 2012)
46-inch-class UN46EH5300: $ 929.99 (March 2012)
40-inch-class UN40EH5300: $ 729.99 (March 2012)
32-inch-class UN32EH5300: $ 529.99 (March 2012)
50-inch-class UN50EH5000: $1,049.99 (June 2012)
46-inch-class UN46EH5000: $ 879.99 (February 2012)
40-inch-class UN40EH5000: $ 679.99 (February 2012)
37-inch-class UN37EH5000: $ 599.99 (February 2012)
32-inch-class UN32EH5000: $ 499.99 (February 2012)
32-inch-class UN32EH4000 $ 399.99: (February 2012)
26-inch-class UN26EH4000 $ 299.99: (February 2012)
*All 550,6500,7000 and 8000 series models cannot be sold below the prices listed below under Samsung’s UPP program.
If you are offered a UPP model at a price lower than $2 below the UPP price, it means the dealer is violating the UPP program and may be subject to sanctions by Samsung, according to our sources. Non-authorized dealers cannot be sanctioned. The manufacturer’s one year warranty is not affected, no matter where you purchase or what you pay for 2012 Samsung HDTV.
If you desire a discount on a mid to high end major brand HDTV, LG and Panasonic do not have any UPP pricing programs. We asked Vizio representative if they intend to implement any pricing or Internet third party ad programs, however they did not respond to our inquiry. Vizio offers its dealers razor thin profit margins, according to our sources. There just isn’t room for any decent discount.
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