updated 11:30 am EDT, Thu July 30, 2009
Samsung 8500 Series HDTVs
In a rare mid-year update, Samsung this morning added a new, high-end lineup to its 8 series HDTVs. The 8500 series uses newer, pure white LED backlights with local dimming to boost the dynamic contrast ratio up to a very high 7,000,000:1, topping even the 5 million of the 8000 it replaces. A newer LCD panel improves brightness and visibility in ambient light, and a Natural mode tries to replicate the color behavior of normally more vibrant plasma displays without giving up brightness.
As the top performer in Samsung's catalog, the 8000 sets have 240Hz panels and 2ms pixel response times. The same Internet@TV service likewise exists and provides access to media viewing for Flickr and YouTube as well as news and now Twitter feeds.
Just two sizes will make up the 8500 sets. A 46-inch set will cost $3,600 while a 55-inch version raises the price to $4,500. All of the TVs are planned to ship in September.