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Samsung's new plasmas will do 3D for much cheaper - Update: $989 for 50-inch 720p

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Looks like Samsung's 3D Blu-ray players aren't the only ones coming in cheaper versions, as it's unveiled the new 680 Series and 490 Series plasma HDTVs. Both were shown off in Korea yesterday, though the US website only features a product page for the 50-inch PN50C680 so far, showing off its 1080p specs and DLNA access. You will give up a few features from higher end plasmas, which add picture-in-picture, widgets, a higher contrast ratio and slimmer designs to the mix. The PN50C490's situation is a bit murkier, but FlatpanelsHD reports it will be the first 720p 3DTV of the current generation. With current series 4 plasmas retailing for around $720, it could also be the first flat 3D set to crack (or at least approach) the $1,000 barrier -- if you're willing to miss out on the extra pixels.

Update: A listing on ABC Warehouse shows the PN50C490 with a few specs plus $1,099 MSRP, but already up for preorder for just $989. Perfect for some PS3 gaming or ESPN3D watching, right? Of course, as a few commenters have mentioned, you can get a 60-inch 1080p projection 3D capable HDTV from Mitsubishi for even less, so that's hardly your only cheap 3D option. [Thanks, John Doe]


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