The 25” CRT mounted near the ceiling in the corner of my bedroom had survived more than three Presidential terms and was still operating when I decided it was time to give my failing eyesight a break and upgrade. Besides, there’s a wall at the foot of my bed with nearly 6 feet of blank space that was just screaming for a flatscreen! I consulted a few online sources and determined a 16:9 screen between 42” and 46” would be adequate for the viewing distance (roughly 10 feet) and I got to work checking out the offerings.
Recommend this product?
My needs were simple. This was going to be a bedroom set without any home theatre sound. I was not planning to connect games, a DVD/Blu-Ray, or any other peripherals. My only concern upon checking out a few sets in a local retailer was the sound level; a few of the sets were barely audible from 5 or 6 feet, even when on maximum volume. Of course, the noisy ambient conditions of the store were extreme compared to a bedroom setting, but I was still apprehensive.
The Samsung LN46C630 was on display among sets from Toshiba, Sony, Hitachi, Vizio, and a few other major brands. Not brand loyal, I stood back about ten feet and looked for the best picture. The Sammy’s were clearly among the best, with Toshiba and Sony worth noting. I quickly narrowed my selection to either the 40” or 46” Samsung C630’s for a few reasons; they had the clearest sound of the sets that were on display, they were by far the best looking on or off, and they were priced quite competitively. The pictures were truly outstanding despite being of the “old school” LCD variety with “only” a 120 Hz refresh rate. I say “only” because only the most extreme conditions and discerning viewers can realize the difference in a 240 Hz set. I even read a review that commended the halogen backlighting as opposed to the newer LED/LCD sets, saying that the halogen backlight seems warmer and more natural, though higher energy use and heat is the tradeoff.
Here’s how the 46” LN46C630 stacks up:
Screen Size: 46 inches Full 1080p HD resolution: Enjoy the powerful picture quality, vivid colors and stunning clarity of Full HD 1080p resolution.
120 Hz clear Motion Rate: Samsung 120 Hz technology allows you to see fast action with a smoothness thats clearly ahead of the competition. Touch of Color: Exclusive Charcoal Grey Touch of Color design combines texture and color that can complement any room.
ConnectShare Movie: Connect a thumb drive or digital camera quickly and easily. User-friendly interface allows access to videos, a music
playlist and pictures via the remote.
Exceeds ENERGY STAR Standards: Up to 43% more energy efficient than ENERGY STAR 4.0 minimum standards.
Game Mode enhances dark areas, sharpens the picture, speeds up the image processing response and enhances the sounds of your games. Picture and sound quality optimized for the special needs of gaming systems at the touch of a button.
Wide Color Enhancer Pro delivers the entire spectrum of color and luminance for rich, saturated images with intense detail. BD Wise: Automatically adjusts all your components for the best picture and sound quality. AllShare: Sync up your entire household. A wired or wireless DLNA connection lets you stream your PC audio and video files to your HDTV using yoru remote.
10 Watts x 2 audio power stereo broadcast reception: Supports multichannel sound (MTS)and second audio program (SAP) with 181-channel capacity. DNSe: Delivers high-quality sound with more natural effects than conventional methods by reproducing the “genuine” stereo sound.
Warranty: 1 year parts and 1 year labor warranty (90 days parts and labor for commercial use), backed by Samsung toll-free support. Swivel Stand
Connections 4 HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface):3 back, 1 side HDMI makes it easy to connect your home theater with one cable per component. Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC): Allows peripheral AV devices such as a DVD player to be controlled by a Samsung TV remote control.USB: 2 sidePC input: 1 back
Dimensions 51.3 x 33.3 x 3.4 inches (WxHxD)
I ordered the Sammy online from a major etailer and saved over $150 versus the best retail price I could find. The free premium delivery service was outstanding, delivering the set right inside the promised time period, and the packaging was virtually unscathed. I also ordered a tilting wall mount and an IR repeater module that would allow me to stash my cable box in a remote closet while operating it from the TV’s remote - check out my other review here:
I was able to mount the set by myself without any difficulties, however I am 6’3” and somewhat sturdy – have someone help you if you don’t have a 38” reach.
The set has more than enough inputs for me – all I connected was an HDMI cable and a video feed from my security DVR. The set runs through an automated setup process on initial power-up and I was watching TV within a few minutes. I was pleased that the sound level and quality was much better than I experienced in the store and more than enough for the bedroom – I seldom turn the volume up past 15/100.
Once my initial settings were squared away (or so I thought) I scrolled through the HD movie channels and found “Blackhawk Down”. The first thing I noticed was the information at the top/left corner of the screen was telling me 1920 x 1080, 60 Hz. I spent the next hour with my nose in the manual and flipping through setup screens trying to find to change to 120 HZ, then ended up on Samsung’s website looking for an answer as the manual and on-screen guides are not really very user friendly. It turns out the “60 Hz” indicator is the input signal from the cable box, not the display; the TV converts the image to the 120 Hz refresh rate. The “60 Hz” message will be displayed as long as there is a 60 Hz input. This is a common complaint on the Samsung forum, and many owners are calling for some method of confirming that you are actually benefiting from the 120 Hz panel. In other words, this is like early HD when there were hardly any 1080 signals available, and there are still not many 1080P.
Now that I had missed most of the movie, I backed up the DVR and settled in. I’ve got to be perfectly honest here – the picture has truly exceeded my expectations. The image is so lifelike and natural that I swear it seems three-dimensional. There is depth that my LCoS Sony SXRD cannot duplicate (though the Sony has a much better fill ratio), the colors are soft, and action shots remain crisp. The set can be programmed to automatically dim with room lighting, and the minimum setting is a nice touch. The remote provided by my cable system for the Motorola HD-DVR programmed easily to handle all the major functions of the set. Preset picture modes such as "Movie" and "Standard" have actually come in handy, as I prefer a more vivid picture for sporting events as opposed to the less intense evening news. The first few hours with the set had me questioning myself if I had gone too big - I am sure the 40" set would have sufficed for about $200 less, but after a couple of weeks I have decided it is just about perfect - choose your set size carefully.
The only real complaint I have is with regard to the input labeling and PIP capabilities. It seems the PIP function will only work with over-the-air HD or SD broadcasts as one of the inputs. Though I am able to view my security DVR through a labeled input, I have not been able to use that input as half of the PIP feature, something I was able to do with my 15-year old CRT. I have not attempted to find a workaround since initially playing with the set and might eventually figure it out, but for now I am thoroughly enjoying the beautiful picture and clean lines of this Samsung. I would rate the picture 4.5 out of 5 only because of the newer technologies available, but don't let the hyped-up refresh rates fool you. I've given it 5 out of 5 stars overall because there is no provision for rating value here on epinions - this set is a great value at under $800 and should not be overlooked.
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Amount Paid (US$): 799.99