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Samsung Reveals Pricing and Tech Details for 2013 TVs at New York Museum of American Finance
Samsung first unveiled its “New Shape of TV” at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January, but at an event yesterday in New York’s Museum of American Finance, the company put a name and price on its mammoth 85-inch easel-shaped Ultra HD TV, and revealed more details about its future.
Thankfully, the impressive 4K TV has quite the future, indeed. At the event—which featured guest appearances by model Kate Upton, NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning, and rapper Flo Rida—Samsung revealed that its Evolution Kit, an add-on box designed to update the Smart Hub features and processors of last year’s TVs to this year’s specifications, will also to upgrade the inputs and tuners of the S9 and other Samsung 4K TVs in subsequent years, to keep pace with evolving broadcast standards and input connections. The S9 currently supports HDMI1.4, which delivers 4K video content at 24 frames per second only. Samsung Senior CE Products Test Manager Mike Wood revealed to us, though, that a future Evolution Kit could easily add a DisplayPort input to the S9, along with any other features necessary to keep it current.
All of that is incredibly reassuring given the S9’s $39,999 price tag.
Samsung also revealed at the impressive TV will also be wall-mountable, but given that its elegant sloping easel design represents the bulk of its aesthetic appeal, it’s safe to assume that most buyers with the budget and space for the TV will want to display it proudly in the room.
After the event, Samsung representatives also gave us more details about its new slate of LED TVs, which have been updated to deliver better and more consistent black level performance, especially with ultra-widescreen letterboxed films. We also got the opportunity to dig deep into the tech of the company’s flagship F8500 plasma TV, which achieves new levels of brightness thanks to larger sub-pixels, and less space between them (reducing the “screen door” effect you might have noticed if you’ve ever looked closely at a plasma display). Black levels have also been greatly improved thanks to a new “Real Black Pro” coating on the display’s glass, which nullifies any stray light in the room that may have otherwise washed out the deepest blacks.
One other interesting tidbit is that, while more entry-level plasmas will still show up on store shelves, the 51-, 60-, and 64-inch F8500 ($2199, $3199, and $3699, respectively) will have more limited distribution than Samsung’s other TVs. While the details about that more limited distribution model are still being ironed out, one Samsung rep speculated that, for example, if the F8500 were sold at Best Buy, it would likely only appear at locations with a Magnolia Home Theater department.
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