Samsung Announces New LED and Plasma TVs with Revamped Internet Features, Touchscreen Remote, and More

Korean electronics giant Samsung announced its new lineup of LED and Plasma HDTVs today at CES, and they're slimmer, sexier, and more Internet-connected than ever before.

On the LED-backlit/edgelit side are three new model lines: the low-end UND6500 line, the mid-range UND7000 series, and the high-end UND8000 series.

All their new LED and plasma sets will have Samsung's new Advanced Smart TV features baked in, which includes a full Web browser, built-in Wi-Fi, and media searching functions across broadcast listings, connected storage devices, networked PCs and mobile devices, and even Internet channels and Video on Demand services.

The flagship D8000 LED and Plasma sets, however, can take further advantage of these Advanced Smart TV features with Samsung's new LCD Touch Control TV remote, a universal touchscreen remote with a software keyboard and built-in Wi-Fi that can control your home theater, access Samsung Apps over the Internet without interfering with the TV's on-screen action, and even mirror the TV screen with its built-in 3-inch display.

The UND6500 series is the eco-friendly line of the bunch, with five different sizes ranging from 32 inches to 60 inches that are manufactured without any materials that violate Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) guidelines. These HDTVs also feature Samsung's proprietary 3D Peak Algorithm, which reduces power consumption by 15% and peak brightness by 20% (though it's unclear at the moment if this is only while displaying 3D content or not), and the Motion Adaptive Dimming Algorithm, which allows the TV to selectively control LEDs according to motion vectors in the image, leading to a claimed 20% reduction in power consumption. The UND6500 line appears to be all LED-backlit sets with a 120 Hz refresh rate.

The LED edge-lit UND7000 series boasts a very slick design, with a bezel only 0.2 inches thick--meaning that a 55-inch TV takes up about as much space in your room as a normal 52-inch set. The UND7000 models come in 46-inch, 55-inch, and 60-inch sizes, have a 240 Hz refresh rate, and also include the 3D Peak Algorithm support.

The high-end LED edge-lit UND8000 line comes in 46-inch, 55-inch, 60-inch, and 65-inch models, and ships with their new LCD Touch Control TV remote. These 240 Hz sets also include Samsung's Micro Dimming Pro feature, meaning that even though these sets are LED edge-lit rather than back-lit, they can still approximate a full-array LED back-lit TV's local dimming feature, which makes for a higher-contrast image.

Additionally, all of the new TVs support a new kind of active-shutter 3D glasses that use Bluetooth, unlike the previous generation of 3D glasses that required a 3D signal emitter to sync the lenses up to the TV image. Samsung claims this will allow for better line-of-sight and range than the older glasses.

On the plasma side are two new lines, the PND6500 line and PND8000 line. The lower-end PND6500 sets come in a 51-inch and 59-inch model and include Samsung's Crystal Full HD engine with Cinema Smooth feature, while the PND8000 sets come in 51-inch, 59-inch, and 64-inch sizes and support Crystal Full HD as well as Samsung's Real Black Filter picture enhancement and Local Contrast Enhancer features. All of the plasma sets have Samsung's Advanced Smart TV features, built-in Wi-Fi, and 3D support (although it seems they might be using the older infrared glasses, not the newer Bluetooth glasses). They're also all only 1.5 inches thick (which is fairly thin for a plasma TV) and also feature exceptionally narrow bezels.

Check out PCWorld's complete coverage of CES 2011.

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