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Sunday, March 31, 2013

HDTV Guide: Samsung 2013 LED TV Pricing and Availability

Every January, we kick off the year with CES, where thousands of manufacturers show off new gear and gadgets for the New Year. Typically, most of those products appear at the show without pricing and release dates. Some stuff never gets that, only to fade into oblivion (still waiting for those OLED TVs, guys!).

However, Samsung had a slew of HDTVs to show off this year -- and now, they're starting to leak some of that important info. Samsung recently hosted a big TV launch party in Manhattan, offering press an up-close peek at the company's 2013 TV models. Even better, they had pricing and release info for all of these beauties.

Before we get into the various goodies, it's important to note that Samsung is putting a big focus on its Smart TV platform this year. Depending on the model, the company's sixth-gen Smart Hub will include five dynamic menu panels so users can manage, navigate and search for different types of content. Those panels include "On TV," "Movies & TV Shows," "Music, Photos & Clips," "Social," and "Smart TV Apps."

The F8000 Series is Samsung's flagship LED, with 3D, a 1080p image and Micro Dimming Ultimate technology.

Select HDTVs will also come packing the Smart View feature so that viewers can move content from the TV to connected devices and back again, all in real-time. The company is also sticking with S-Recommendation to help viewers find even more content, as well as Smart Interaction voice and a built-in camera for gesture control.

Oh -- and if you blew your budget last year on a fancy new plasma or LED Smart TV, the Samsung Evolution Kit allows select 2012 Samsung TV owners the opportunity to add some of these new features, an enhanced remote and even a beefy new processor, without having to get a whole new HDTV. That add-on option includes a quad-core processor, GPU and memory for faster processing and all of your TV mutitasking, as well as the latest Smart Hub and picture display software. Packaged with the 2013 Smart Touch Remote (with integrated microphone), the Smart Evolution Kit is designed to work with the 2012 Samsung 7500 and 8000 Series LED and plasma TVs. It will start selling in May for $299.99.

If you think that's a lot to consume, you should see the sheer number of TVs that Samsung is releasing this year. To make it more manageable, we're going to break the list down by the technology. Let's see what Samsung has in store for its 2013 LED line.

F8000 Series

The cream of the LED crop this year is the F8000 Series. This is the company's flagship Smart LED TV, which includes goodies such as a full 1080p image, and Samsung's proprietary Micro Dimming Ultimate technology. The latter promises better contrast, brightness and black levels.  They've even put in a special feature for movie lovers.  You know those black bars at the top and bottom of the screen on CinemaScope movies?

As one of Samsung's top models of the year, the set also includes active 3D technology. And if you're frothing to test out those features, Samsung will be shipping each one of these sets with four pairs of 3D glasses packed inside the box.

The F8000 Series also has all of the other bells and whistles mentioned above, including built-in WiFi and a quad-core processor, making it a breeze to browse the web or download and access apps though the aforementioned upgraded Smart TV platform. Finally, if you want the F8000 to be the cornerstone of your home theater (and you will want that), the set comes packing three USB ports, four HDMI inputs, and Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) technology.

F7500 Series

Each of the three sets in the F7500 Series have a lot of the same goodies mentioned above, including the same quad-core processor, active 3D, the Smart Interaction, the Smart Touch Remote, and the Smart Hub features. However, these TVs have Micro Dimming Pro technology and a super-slim bezel with rose gold accents. Also it's important to note that every model in the F7500 Series also comes with four pairs of 3D glasses for a little high-tech testing right out of the box.

The F7100 Series has active 3D, a 1080p image, a dual-core processor and voice control.

F7100 Series

All five of these models have active 3D, a full 1080p HD image, built-in WiFi and all of the goodies to be had under the web-based Smart Hub platform. However, the F7100 drops the processor down to dual-core and ditches the camera altogether. It does have voice control though, as well as the Smart Touch Remote Control, S-Recommendation, three USB ports, four HDMI inputs, and four pairs of 3D glasses.

F6400 Series

The largest crop of Samsung's 2013 LEDs can be found in the F6400 Series -- and we're not talking about the actual size of the TVs. Those aren't too shabby either, but it's important to know that this line has a whopping seven screen sizes, ranging from 40 to 75 inches. All seven have active 3D, a full 1080p image, Micro Dimming, voice control, built-in WiFi, and Smart Hub features. However, this model comes with 3D glasses for you and one friend (so two pairs total). It also has the same three USB ports and four HDMI inputs, in case you're looking to add a Blu-ray 3D player, a receiver or any other AV essentials.

 The F6300 Series has a 1080p image, WiFi and web features, but doesn't include 3D effects as a standard feature.

F6300 Series

Yes, the F6300 Series also has seven screen sizes, just like the line listed above. However, this is where Samsung cuts off the 3D effects. Instead, each of these models just offers a full 1080p HD image, the dual-core processing, S-Recommendation, built-in WiFi and all of the Smart Hub features with web browsing. Each of these seven sets also has three USB ports and four HDMI inputs.

F5500 Series

The four models in the F5500 Series have a lot of the same goodies as the F6300 Series. All of the sets include a 1080p image, the dual-core processor, built-in WiFi, and the Smart Hub. The main difference here is the number of input options, which includes two USB ports and three HDMI inputs.

F5000 Series

Here's where Samsung starts to bring it down to the bare necessities. All five models in the F5000 Series do have a full 1080p image, but there's no 3D, no WiFi and no Smart Hub features. Each set does have ConnectShare Movie features, a Clear Motion Rate of 120, and DTS decoding. If you're looking to add in some streaming, the set has plenty of hookup options, offering one USB port and two HDMI inputs.

With models in 19- and 22-inch sizes, the F4000 Series has the smallest LED TVs Samsung is introducing this year.

F4000 Series

If you're in need of something slightly smaller, the F4000 Series is your best bet. This line has 19- and 22-inch models, with a 720p image, a Clear Motion Rate of 120, ConnectShare Movie features, and Wide Color Enhancer Plus technology. The sets are certainly smaller, but Samsung knows that home theaters come in all shapes and sizes -- so they've included one USB port and two HDMI inputs on each of these two sets.

FH6030 Series

Last in Samsung's 2013 LED lineup is the FH6030 Series. That series title doesn't have the same flow as some of the other lines we're seeing this year. However, it does have three pretty nice sets. Each of those are sort of no-frills, without 3D effects or web streaming. However, all three do have a full 1080p HD image, Clear Motion Rate 240 for sharp images, ConnectShare Movie features, a USB port and two HDMI inputs.

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