Samsung Launches 8500-series LED HDTVs

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Samsung has formally announced its new 8500-series HDTVS, featuring local-dimmer LED backlighting that helps boost the units’ dynamic contrast ratio of 7,000,000:1—plus the 8500-series features the Yahoo Widget Engine to tap into Internet-based content like news, weather, video, and services like Flickr.

"For consumers who are looking for the ultimate HD centerpiece and high-level performance in their home theater, the Samsung 8500 Series delivers break-through quality and design," said Samsung Electronics America’s senior Vp of visual display marketing John Revie, in a statement "The 8500 Series underscores Samsung’s dedication to providing a full range of HDTVs that not only achieve the highest levels of picture quality, but also provide unique and immersive entertainment experiences."

The 8500-series sets feature Samsung’s Auto Motion Plus frame interpolation technology to back up the units’ 240 Hz refresh rates; the units also offer Samsung’s Wide Color Enhancer Pro for vibrant colors and a "Natural" mode that’s designed to optimize display settings to play to the strengths of LCDs while modeling the richness of a plasma display.

The 8500 series also feature Samsung’s Medi@ 2.0 suit, enabling users to tap into Samsung’s Internet@TV offering developed in conjunction with Yahoo: it can tap into a wide range of Yahoo news and information services, as well as popular online destinations like Twitter and YouTube. The technology also offers wires and wireless DLNA compatibility to tap media from PCs on a home network, and two USB 2.0 connections enable users to tap into media stored on external devices. The sets also feature 4 HDMI inputs (three in back, one on the side), 1 component input, 1 Ethernet connection, 1 optical output, and 1 PC input.

The 8500-series sets will be available in August, with the 46.9-inch unit carrying a suggested price of $3,599.99, while the 54.6-inch model will go for $4,499.99.

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