At a star-studded launch event featuring Kate Upton, Eli Manning, and rapper Flo Rida, we got all the finalized pricing and availability for the new Smart TVs: The LED F8000 and Plasma F8500.
The LED F8000 comes in three sizes: 46 inches, 55 inches, and 65 inches, and are priced at, $2,199, $2,699, and $2,999, respectively. You can buy it now.
The F8500 Plasma TV comes in two sizes: 60 inches and 64 inches, and sells for $3,199 and $3,699 respectively. You'll be able to buy it at the end of March.
But what really makes the TVs stand out are the built-in software called S Recommendation that helps you find shows to watch and the integrated Web cameras and sensors for motion and voice control.
Although the celebs didn't add much to the keynote itself, they certainly excited the audience. It was fun to see Eli Manning read from a teleprompter and Kate Upton declare that her favorite thing to watch on TV was football. (Too bad she's a Jets fan.)
The trend with all TVs this year revolves around interconnectivity and bringing the tablet and smartphone experience into the living room. To that effect, Samsung touted its TV's ability to act as multimedia hubs where owners can interact with the sets using their voice or even gestures.
Samsung has baked its "smart" technology into each set including the new Smart Hub experience.
There are five smart screen sections: On TV, Social, Movies & TV Shows, Photos and Videos, and Apps.
The app store has been curated by Samsung and features tons of TV-friendly apps like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon Instant. Today Samsung announced three additional apps that will enhance the experience: Spotify, Univision, and Fox.
We tried out the Smart Hub and S-Recommendation and it worked surprisingly well. Despite being in a crowded room full of noise the TV knew exactly what we wanted and gave us options about what was on TV now and what was coming up.
We interacted with the TV, asking it questions like "any good recommendations for me?", "Go to MTV", or "are there any comedies on right now?" and the TV will quickly displayed results. Once people actually own the TV, it will get to know the user and kick back results that that suit individual tastes.
It's obvious Samsung is taking cues from users and integrating exactly what they want into these new sets.
In case you aren't ready to shell out cash for a brand new TV because you just bought a 2012 model, Samsung hasn't forgotten about you. The company announced pricing and availability for its Evolution Kit. The Evolution Kit will be available at the end of May for $299 and allows users to update their TV with all the latest features including the Smart Hub.
The last thing Samsung announced was its massive 85-inch Ultra High Definition TV. It has four times the pixels than a normal 1080p TV and an unforgettable portrait-like design. Pre-orders for this massive TV begin at the end of March and it retails for a whopping $40,000.
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