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Samsung Takes Pre-orders for sub-$1,000 3DTV

CYBERSPACE: Samsung is reaching out to 3DTV wannahaves not yet willing to part with big bucks. The manufacturer’s new PN50C490 50-inch plasma 3DTV is on pre-order at Amazon for $989. It signals the drop of 3DTV sets below the $1,000 mark.

The model, announced last month, is Samsung’s first 720p set. Most of the major models on the market so far are 1080p, though still not entirely high definition. Because the current crop of 3DTVs rely on dual images to create the illusion of depth, each image is only half of the TV set’s full resolution. The dual images are stacked one atop the other in the progressive format, so the vertical resolution of 3D content on a 720p set would be 360 lines.

The PN50C490’s feature list includes “Mega Dynamic Contrast,” Anynet remote-control networking and 600 MHz subfield motion.

Samsung was the first TV maker to bring a 3DTV set to market in March. Panasonic quickly followed. As of June, set prices had fallen by about one-third, yet Samsung’s 40-inch LED 3D model was still $1,656. (That LED model is loaded with features besides 3D-display capability. The 240 Hz, 1080p set has Internet connectivity, Skype, four HDMI interfaces, etc., and measures an inch deep. It’s showing today at $1,699. The cheapest cosmetically damaged warehouse model is $1,167.) The shutter glasses necessary to view 3D content are not included. Prices for those remain at between $125 and $150. It’s not clear on Amazon when the PN50C490 will ship.

-- Deborah D. McAdams

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