Australia's "first" LED TV launched by Samsung

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Australia's "first" LED TV launched by Samsung

South Korean firm Samsung Electronics has beat its competitors to the market with Australia’s first LED television under $9999 – “arguably the most stunning picture ever seen on a television.”

The Series 9 LCD television uses a technology called LED Smartlighting, which Samsung says produces bright, vibrant colours and premium picture quality.

“In our recently completed annual Newspoll HD TV survey, nearly 78 per cent of people said picture quality was a key factor in deciding on their HD television,” said Mark Leathan, General Manager, CE Marketing, Samsung Australia.

“We are confident that this unit will deliver the highest quality pictures available on an LCD TV.”

The Series 9 televisions also use a 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, the highest in the Australian market.

But Atomic online editor David Field said that dynamic contrast ratio was an undesirable feature.

"Dynamic contrast ratio, however, is like Cold Power: it claims to make your whites whiter and your blacks blacker. It's a way of trying to fake depth and richness, but because the screens it's built into are actually quite deep and rich without the feature, it's not only unnecessary but it manages to mangle your video in the process."

The Series 9 has four features also launched in Samsung’s Series 7 and 8. First, it accepts USB keys for displaying pictures, videos, movies and music. Second, it connects to an RSS viewer for news and information, which can be displayed while watching TV.

In a swipe at Microsoft’s Windows Media Centre, the television’s DLNA feature connects home PCs to the television to watch “stored entertainment” and media files. A Samsung representative said that the televisions could play “all common media file formats” including DivX and AVI.

Lastly, it contains a content library which stores content such as fitness programmes, recipes and children’s games. It also includes a collection of art images for the TV to display while not in use.

Samsung originally marketed the Series 9 as "Australia's first LED TV". However, industry observers noted that Samsung and Sony had already released LED televisions. Samsung clarified on Friday:

"The claim "the first LED television available on the Australian market" refers to Samsung launching the first mass market LED television widely available in major retail channels at a price under $9,999. A Samsung and a competitor 70" LED television was previously available but in extremely limited distribution at a retail price of around $70,000; fewer than five units were sold across both companies*."

The Series 9 will be available from October 2008 in 46 inches for $5,499 and 55 inches for $6,999.
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