Samsung has launched at new range of 1080p plasma TVs - a first for the Korean electronics giant.

The flat panel displays all support the latest high definition TV (HDTV) standards including high-bit colour ranges - for more realistic on-screen images. They also feature HDMI 1.3 - the latest version of the 'digital scart' socket that enables lossless audio and video transfer between devices like an HD DVD or Blu-ray player and a flat-panel TV.

Flagship TV

Of all the Samsung sets on show the HT-P589W is this year's flagship. The 58-inch 1080p sports an 802.11n Wi-Fi receiver so you can stream content to it from a variety of audio and video sources. It also comes with built-in Bluetooth so you can use wireless headphones too.

Other key features three HDMI sockets and something Samsung calls Wiselink - essentially USB 2.0 connections that enable you to hook up a camcorder or other compatible device and view its content on the TV. Finally the HT-P589W features Samsung's own FilterBright 2 Plus technology that helps eliminate unwanted reflections.

The other sets in Samsung's line-up share many of the HT-P589W's features. Here's a quick rundown:

  • 84 Series - At the high end of the range is the 58-inch HP-T5884, and 50-inch HP-T5084. Both support a 1080p resolution, built-in tuners, FilterBright 2 Plus, Wiselink, a PC Input and three HDMI ports including HDMI-CEC.
  • 64 Series - These 720p TVs have 10,000:1 contrast ratios and 16-bit color processing. This enables the TV to display up to 280 trillion colours for impressive realism. The 64 series plasmas also comes with three HDMI ports, including HDMI-CEC and Wiselink. They will be available in 42-inch and 50-inch guises.
  • 54 Series - The other plasma TVs in the range are the 50-inch HP-R5054 and 42-inch HP-T4254. Both have built-in tuners, two HDMI ports and PC inputs. These sets are fitted with FilterBright 2. As with the 64 series, the angle of the plasma TVs can be adjusted via the remote control.

Release details

All of Samsung's plasmas are expected to go on sale this year, with the HT-P5894W surfacing in September for $5,700 (£3,000). The company has still to confirm UK launch dates and pricing.