As with every review, I will give you bad news as well as good, with the good news coming first.
Samsung is the top-seller of DLP TVs for 2007, and second only to Sony in LCD HDTVs. Samsung prides itself on innovation, in design as well as technology.
Many consider Samsung LCD HDTVs as a viable alternative to Sony, as it has comparable quality at a lower price. Apart from the popularity of LCD and DLP sets, Samsung is also admired for the high contrast ratio in its plasma sets, resulting in deep blacks and vivid colors.
While most HDTVs are black, Samsung adds an amber tone to its TV cabinets.
CRT sets need their lamps to be replaced every 3-4 years, which will set you back a few hundred dollars, every time. Samsung was the first to use the Texas Instruments LED technology to eliminate this problem and, in consequence, the necessity of replacing the lamp. Also, this technology is said to have a life of twenty years, which implies large savings, in the long run.
Role Of HDTV Redefined
Samsung has an avowed aim to redefine the role of HDTVs. To this end, its HDTV sets - both entry-level and premium - in 2008 come with side-mounted USB 2.0 and HDMI ports. This facilitates connection of digital devices to view video and images on the HDTV.
Some advanced models can receive streamed web content and select RSS
feeds, as well as PC files. This is facilitated by a digital media adaptor - an optional accessory. An admirable attempt to convert a TV into an interactive device!
...The Bad And The Ugly
Samsung LN-S4695D 46" LCD TV has a poorly written manual. That apart, the set has no cable card if you are looking for that feature.
There is color bleeding - a resultant of the backlight. "Pixelization" is evident when you view Standard Definition TV.
This set has a sluggish remote, and channel changes are slow. DVI and USB connections are missing; HDMI and other input ports are at the back, instead of the sides. It also has an 8ms response time which is relatively lower than 4ms in competitor brands.
The next model in this line, the LN-S4696D ha a flawed backlight display.
The Samsung 52" LCD Black Flat Panel HDTV has an intolerable amount of glare. Also, it is difficult to set-up, with much tweaking needed, before you can get a satisfactory picture.
Not Much Luck With Non-LCD Either
An owner of the Samsung TX-T3092WH CRT TV says the set has "some geometry issues", with vertical and/or horizontal lines that are not perfectly straight.
The HP-S4253 Plasma TV is said to have an audible buzzing sound that cannot be ignored even when you turn up the volume. It also has HDMI problems. This set is heavier than an LCD TV.
The Samsung 50" Widescreen Black Plasma HDTV (FPT5084) has a glare problem.
The Samsung HL=S5687W 56" DLP HDTV has an audio problem, and sounds like a mono even when set in stereo mode. This could have to do with the design of the internal speakers. The only solution appears to be to connect it to an external surround sound system.
The Last Word
Looking at Samsung as a cheaper substitute for Sony, the price factor might suffice to console you, if you face niggling worries with your purchase.
Do Top-Selling HDTVs Stand Up To Strict Scrutiny? Part 3