Skim the press release from Samsung SpaceFest – “a five-day celebration of the arrival of the Space Shuttle Enterprise at the famous Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum” — and you might be inclined to believe at the biggest news is the introduction of a gesture-controlled version of Angry Birds coming to the company’s 7500 Series and up LED TVs and 8000 Series plasma models. Keep reading, though, and there’s some big news. Really big news. Seventy-five inches worth of news.
The company plans to start shipping, in August, the ES9000, a best-in-class LED LCD TV that measures a massive 75 inches and promises to deliver the “highest contrast ratio on a Samsung Smart TV to date.” (No details on the exact contrast ratio, but higher than plasma? Really? Intriguing.)
One other neat thing is that the built-in camera used for Smart Interaction hides within the top bezel of the ES9000 when not in use, and pops up when needed, which I assume means that the TV’s IR sensor isn’t built into the camera. That’s a nice fix, since that’s one of the very few legitimate complaints I had about the UN55ES8000F 8000 Series LED Smart TV I reviewed earlier this year. Kudos to Samsung for that.
The new set is also compatible with the Samsung Smart Evolution kit coming out next year, which will keep the TV up to date with new features that can’t be added via firmware and software updates alone. Each ES9000 also comes stock with four pairs of 3D glasses, and will retail for $9,999.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Why a 75-inch TV?! Why not just go projection and be done with it?” consider this: Sharp apparently can’t make enough 80-inch LED LCD TVs to meet market demand. There’s definitely a place in the market for these massive LCDs, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Samsung introduce an even heftier model in the reasonably near future.