Samsung already impressed us last September when it launched a range of 500 000:1 contrast ratio TVs. Now the company is adding to its Touch of Color line-up with the 950-series (pictured), offering a staggering and potentially Kuro-rivalling 1,000,000:1 ratio, alongside a set of more conventional models.
The 950-series' fantastic dynamic contrast is achieved by using an LED-lit panel instead of conventional CCFL lighting. That, combined with tweaked image processing has apparently enabled Samsung to double the contrast figure of its second-generation LED-backlit TVs, which come in 46 and 55in sizes. The set also boasts 120Hz processing (meaning 24fps with a 5:5 pulldown we hope and presume), four HDMI ports and the 55in-er packs an Ethernet port allowing the TV to display RSS feeds, with an internet connection present, stream media from any DLNA compliant device, such as a PC or NAS box.
The 46in and 55in are priced at $3,199 (~£1,600) and $4,199 (~£2,100) respectively. Assuming the quoted contrast ratio reflects in the sets' real word performance, Samsung's 950 series should prove popular with those tempted by Pioneer's latest Kuro range, but put off by the high prices. Although it's unlikely that any LCD will quite be able to rival a plasma set.
Speaking of plasma, Samsung also has a range of that TV type, also boasting 1,000,000:1 contrast ratios and adding to the mix with 18-bit colour processing. The 760-series offers automatic image calibration to take into account ambient lighting conditions and all of the 50in, 58in and 63in models offer the same Ethernet connectivity as boasted by the larger 950-series LCD.
The 760-series should be available around August at $2,900 (~£1,450) for the 50in, $4,500 (~£2,250) for the 58in and $5,500 (~£2,750) for the 63in model.
Last but not least, Samsung also has a pair of conventionally-lit LCDs, namely the 46in and 52in 8-series. 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratios, Ethernet ports, four HDMIs and built-in flash memory for storing media are at the forefront of the sets' features. Slim bezels and a 1.9in maximum thickness are also boasted. Two flavours of 8-series LCD are available, the 850 or the 860, the latter of which has a blue Touch of Color rather than the 850s red border, and an extra USB port for an extra $100 (~£50). The 850 version of the 52in and 46in sets will come in at $2,699 (~£1,350) and $3,399 (~£1,700) respective and should be available in September.