After generating considerable buzz last January at the CES show in Las Vegas with its forthcoming 56-inch HL-S5679W rear-projection DLP HDTV using an LED engine, Samsung failed to capitalize on momentum by repeatedly delaying shipment of the sought-after unit. Well, now the wait is over: shipments are underway, orders are being fulfilled, and mere mortals might soon be able to see what some of the fuss was about.
Samsung’s impossible-to-pronounce HL-S5679W HDTV is a 56-inch widescreen DLP television offering full 1080p resolution. What makes it stand out is its new LED-based engine: the HL-S5679W uses an array of 18 LEDs instead of a standard mercury-bearing UHP lamp to power the rear-projection TV, providing more-accurate color, quicker startup, lower power consumption, no image burn-in, and a superior lifetime—Samsung is conservatively estimating the LED unit will last 20,000 hours. The LED technology is also supposed to eliminate the "color wheel" effect of banding and patterns which so annoy some users of rear-projection systems, particularly during quick-moving scenes.
The set offers a 4,000:1 contrast ratio, HDMI input, a CableCard slot, an ATSC tuner, built-in stereo speakers driven by a 10-watt amp, AV, RF, component, composite, S-video, and USB inputs, along with a PC audio input. Samsung says units will be available in August; retail prices should be around $4,000.
Edit 7/28/06 – This is a 56-inch TV, not a 50-inch. The articles has been changed to reflect that. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.