Hands On With Samsung's Newest TV Tech: Wi-Fi Plasma, LED-Backlight LCD and 120Hz Blur Reduction

If you think all flat panels are the same, you haven't seen the stuff I'm about to show you. Remember that Wi-Fi 1080p plasma we told you about in April? Well that's it, above, and look ma, no wires. (Okay, there's a power cable plugged into the wall — who do you think built it, Nikolai Tesla?) After the jump, I'll show you the front and back of A/V box that the wireless TV uses, and maybe clue you into the joys of LED backlighting and 120Hz motion-blur reduction. (That last term has a kind of purr to it, am I right?)

According to Samsung, this is the world's first 1080p Wi-Fi plasma. That's a lot of qualifiers, but it is pretty tasty, and according to the company, the issue of getting Hollywood's permission to stream 1080p video from Blu-ray or HD DVD is being resolved, and the TVs will ship in early October. They will be at 50" and 58" sizes, and will cost $600 more than the equivalent plasmas without Wi-Fi. Note the USB jack next to the HDMI input.

Hands On With Samsung's Newest TV Tech: Wi-Fi Plasma, LED-Backlight LCD and 120Hz Blur Reduction



LED backlighting is the wave of the future for LCDs, and not just because they are "greener" than the current CCFLs. Because they can alternately dim and brighten 60 or 70 separate clusters of LEDs underneath the LCD panel, you get deeper contrast, but without losing detail in dark scenes. The TV in the shot below is the previously announced but never-before-shown LN-T4681F, a 46" set that will list for around $3,500. (Though the screen shows that idiotic Robots movie, the best demo of the TV's shadow and explosion capability was Batman Begins.)

Hands On With Samsung's Newest TV Tech: Wi-Fi Plasma, LED-Backlight LCD and 120Hz Blur Reduction



Finally, we turn to 120Hz. As many commenters have acknowledged, there are plenty of different types of 120Hz systems, and many different claims. I think the best ones are the ones that use image processing to interpolate new frames. (And yes, there are different types of interpolation, too, but let's skip that for now.) If you look at the photo I snapped of the TV here, Samsung's $3,000 46" LN-T4671F, you can actually see that for every two frames on the right, there's only one on the left. The camera don't lie, and believe me, it looked good in person too.

Hands On With Samsung's Newest TV Tech: Wi-Fi Plasma, LED-Backlight LCD and 120Hz Blur Reduction