Review Price £649.99
Samsung Series 9 TA950 - 3D Glasses, Remote, Controls and OSD
As already mentioned, the TA950's accessories are nearly as comprehensive as the monitor itself. Including a single pair of stereoscopic active 3D shutter glasses is a nice touch, since some manufacturers don't include any. Along with Samsung's unique 3D channel (which you need network access to view), their inclusion means you'll be able to dive right into that third dimension, even if you don't own a 3D Blu-ray player or games console. Samsung has switched to radio-based Bluetooth technology for its glasses rather than the infrared used in its previous generation products (and those of the competition), which should ensure less interference and greater viewing distances.
The glasses are incredibly light at a mere 35 grams, and very comfortable. Their mix of gloss and matt black is reasonably stylish as these things go, and they let through more light from the TV/monitor than some rivals' models while attempting to block out the majority of ambient light with their closed sides. They also feature a soft-touch, LED-backlit power button. Our only negative here is that they use expensive, non-rechargeable cell batteries, where some of the more premium models are rechargeable over USB.
If you want a pair that's just as stylish as the display and has USB charging, the SSG-3700CR offers an even lighter frame (28g), optional prescription lenses, optional induction charging and a metallic designer frame for just £80, which is considerably cheaper than many rivals (the new Panasonic glasses tend to go for upwards of £100) for a more interesting, versatile and attractive product, so this is definitely one reason to consider the Samsung 3D eco-system (glasses from most manufacturers can't be used with other displays).
There's also a large remote that uses colour-coded buttons on a black plastic background. It's certainly not the prettiest we've come across but doesn't look too cheap either, and it's just as well-built as the display it accompanies. More importantly, it uses easily replaceable AA batteries, is comfortable to hold, and its well-laid-out buttons offer defined action, making it a pleasure to use. The cherry on the icing is that it's fully backlit, though we're not sure orange is the most complementary colour.
Thankfully, even if you mislay the remote, the TV/monitor itself still offers full control through a set of touch-sensitive 'buttons' integrated into its stand and lower bezel. They don't have any visible markings, but show up as white-backlit icons when you press the general control area. Remind us again why the remote uses orange backlighting, Samsung?
There's a dedicated 3D button, which switches between 'proper' 3D in side-by-side/top-and-bottom formats or 3D conversion. The other buttons navigate through Samsung's rather spiffing OSD, which is attractive and very comprehensive. The depth of adjustments and thoughtfulness of its engineering is demonstrated by a unique RGB mode, which displays only those three colours in all images for fine-tuning colour balance. Another example is black levels: not only do you get the usual brightness and contrast controls, but you can also adjust Backlight Intensity, Dynamic Contrast, Black Tone, Shadow Detail, Gamma, and HDMI Black Level independently.