My wife and I wanted a new TV for our bedroom. The ol' 27" CRT behemoth was just yesterday's news. Getting rid of a space hog for a wall-mounted flat panel was a decoration dream and a real problem solver for us.
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We landed at our local Best Buy and after a while we narrowed down our selection to the Sony, the LG and this Samsung. The deciding factor was my wife's eagle eye. At first, I was apprehensive about Samsung - having never owned anything from them. But a quick jump onto Epinions affirmed what my wife already noticed... The picture looks just as good as the more expensive brands.
Out of the box, the cabinet was a sumptuous hi-gloss black. It comes assembled with its base for sitting on top of furniture. We wanted it mounted and purchased an optional wall mount. Make sure to read the box of the mount to insure the weight of your TV falls within the range of the mount's maximum weight requirement.
Mounting it to the wall was fairly simple and once all the wires were connected, touching the round power button gave us a few tones and then the picture came to life and I was in shock. In shock because the picture was horrid. The black tones were very muddy, there was some pixelation and the words were fuzzy.
I went through the TV's set up sequence and the picture got no better. Then it hit me... DUH - it's not an HD signal. HD was installed a week after we got the TV because the satellite companies will not install any HD equipment unless you have at least one HD set.
A week later, after the HD equipment was installed, this TV came to life in a gorgeous way. The picture was stunning. The black tones were deep rich solid black and the letters were sharp as a tack. Since my wife and I use this TV to watch shows when we go to sleep the LCD was perfect albeit as expensive as my 61" DLP. During the day, however, this LCD looks better with the blinds drawn. Daylight viewing is not horrid by any means just not as good in a darker room.
Sound: While Samsung does a great job hiding their speakers in the bottom of the cabinet, the sound is a bit weak. We live with it's tinny underpowered speakers, but anyone wishing to watch DVDs should consider a speaker system with or without a subwoofer for fuller deeper sound.
Picture: As discussed earlier, the LCD in HD is amazing. The limitations are fast paced sporting events. While watching hockey, there are some blur issues from time to time. Otherwise the LCD image is just like your PC monitor - only a lot larger. Speaking of, this unit does have the capability to display a PC image. Unless you're doing some slideshows or presentations, this would be far too large to sit in front of and act as a PC monitor. Another thing about LCD is that they are more susceptible to screen burn in from images left on pause during broadcasts or gaming.
Keep in mind that most broadcasts are between 480 and 720 dpi and a handful are actual 1080. The day when most or all broadcasts will 1080 is fast approaching. BluRay and HD DVDs are in 1080. I'm sure by the time most sets are 1080, there will higher definitions available.
My buying advice: After watching a regular TV program, ask the salesperson to put on an animated film or cartoon. Animated shows have the most colors at any one given moment and is easier to make a decision. Use this to narrow down your search and then jump onto Epinions.com to make your final decision. After all, you're putting down some big coin for this product - make sure. Also, anything over $1,000.00 - BUY THE EXTENDED WARRANTY.
The remote is fairly simple to figure out but it might have been nice if it had backlit buttons.
On the right side lower corner (on the back of the cabinet) are four hidden buttons for channels and volume. We never use these as the satellite box takes care of that. On the left side of the cabinet there are inputs for a headphone jack and audio & video including S-Video. Great idea for plugging in a video camera for playback. Good thing it's located on the side, because once this TV is mounted, it's pretty difficult to access the rear panel of connections.
Since buying this 40", I have purchased the Samsung 61" and their White 19" as well.
Keep in mind that some sets max definition is 720 NOT 1080 so be careful. Also, there is a difference between 1080i and 1080p. So make sure you do your homework first. Ask questions - don't just impulse buy.
Specs taken from the Samsung website:
Panel Type: Wide (16:9) LCD
TV System: American NTSC Std Color
VHF VHF 2-13,
CATV 1-125 (up to 181 preselected channels)
Audio Power: 10W X 2
R/F Input 2 (air/cable)
HDMI in 2
Component (Y/Pb/Pr) in 2(480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p)
Composite video input 1 side 1 rear
Sound monitor out 1
Optical Sound out 1
PC (RGB) Input 1
Headphone jack 1 side
S-Video Inputs 1-side, 1-rear
Monitor with stand 39.1"(W) x 27.4"(H) x 12.8"(D)
Monitor without stand 39.1"(W) x 25.5"(H) x 3.6"(D)
Monitor with stand weight 54 Lbs.
Shipping Dimensions: 43.7"(W) x 31.7"(H) x 16.1"(D)
Shipping weight 70.6 Lbs.
Warranty: Consumer use 1 year parts and labor
Commercial use 90 Days
UPDATE: About two months after my extended warranty expired, my TV started showing these slight horizontal lines that came and went. They were fairly minor, but noticable. Soon after that, these large and very annoying verticaal lines appeared. I think this TV's days are numbered. I swear the TV was made to expire just after four years. I formly believe technology is made to be disposable so that we spend money on new products on a regular basis. I could have it repaired, but since LED TVs are so inexpensive nowadays, I might just replace it.
Amount Paid (US$): 1804.00