your TV is too small or too old, congratulations you're in luck! With
a glut of gigantic flat screen LCD HDTV's
hitting the streets right now, it's never been a better time to upgrade to
a wide-screen format large enough to watch High Definition in all its
blazing 1080p glory. Pictures so clear you can see an actors frightening
wrinkles from 30 feet away, and screens so vast that if you sit close, your
entire peripheral vision is filled by twinkling pixels.
The best bit is that you no longer have to promise
away your first born child, 1/5th your estate or that superfluous left arm just
to get an LCD flat screen HD TV into your living room.
Manufacturers have gone into overdrive making HDTV's, so prices are dead affordable compared to
the $10,000 price tags of just 2 years prior. With the impending death of VHF/UHF Analog broadcast
signals in North America, it's also a timely move so you'll be able to
receive broadcast quality High Definition Digital TV signals, not to mention play
back Blu-Ray media, game in HD and spin movies in all their digitally re-mastered
a well know brand in the HDTV arena, and today PCSTATS is testing one of its
mid-sized 40" widescreen LCD displays that goes by the call letters
LN40A650A. For short you may also see it referred to as the '650A' LCD
HDTV. The Samsung
LN40A650A is a 40" LCD HDTV, part of Samsung's 650A-series which come
in several different size ranges.
The screen has a native resolution of 1080p (or
1920 x 1080 pixels), a pair of built-in 10W speakers, is 120Hz compliant and
boasts no less than five HDMI inputs in addition to a variety of other
connections. The LN40A650A is designed for use with high-definition content like
Blu-ray movies, HDTV broadcasts and gaming consoles, but it can also use VGA or
HDMI to double as a big-screen PC display. The screen works well
for presentations, or collaborating on group projects in an office
boardroom. While testing the 650A PCSTATS happened to do both, so check one for
practical business application.
LN40A650A 40" LCD HDTV
Screen size: 40"
Brightness: 500 cd/m2
(Dynamic Contrast Ratio:
Interface: D(4) HDMI,
(2) Component, Composite, S-Video, DVI, RF-coaxial,
Response Time: 4ms
Power Draw: N/A
27.5 x 39.3 x 3.3"
VESA Mount: 200x200mm
|Includes: Remote, batteries, manual, AC power cord,
microfiber cleaning cloth, HDMI-cable.
the unique features of the Samsung LN40A650A is something called Auto Motion
it's a setting that accelerates the display's output
to a 120Hz refresh rate. This hardware-based motion tweening
technology can be turned on to artificially increase the refresh rate
of fast-moving video, and it can make action sequences and high-speed
scenes in movies appear smoother and less choppy. PCSTATS will be
investigating Auto Motion Plus in more detail later on in this review. But first, this....
There are a couple features found on the 40" Samsung
650A that aren't typically found on HDTV displays, namely 'InfoLink' which uses
an ethernet internet connection to display up to the minute news headlines,
weather and yes even falling stock information. With the DOW headed towards
6,000 that's timely info!
The LN40A650A can also import certain types of
data from a USB drive (ie. JPEG photo files, MP3 music) so you can quickly and
easily view vacation photos on a big screen or listen to music without
too much effort.
LN40A650A HDTV has a substantial set of media inputs, and a few critical outputs
for connecting it to the requisite home theatre
We'll cover all the jacks and ports in a moment. Like
all modern TV's, the screen includes a built in HD Digital TV tuner for ATSC signals,
so it will receive broadcast Digital Television signals without a set-top box or satellite
receiver. You should not buy any new Television which does not have an ATSC
tuner built in.
thing about broadcast HD television is that depending on your location, you can probably
start watching HD TV without even paying for it.
PCSTATS Tip to Free HD TV - the
What's this, free HD? Well yes, so long as you live
in a metropolitan area with decent signal reception you can receive broadcast HD
TV channels over the 650A's ATSC digital TV tuner without spending a cent on
an special HD cable package, or satilite dish.
All you need is an antenna, and if you're lucky you
might get away with nothing fancier than an old set of rabbit ears.
Plug the antenna into the cable/antenna port on the back of the HDTV. Then head
to the on screen control panel, channel settings and configure the TV to do a
channel scan for antenna signals. The TV will scan from channel 1 to 100, and
each working broadcast HD tv signal for your area will show up. This obviously
won't get you 500 channels of HD cable, just the television stations that
broadcast a Digital TV signal - which is generally the exact same number who
currently broadcast VHF signals for your area.
don't necessarily even need to spend $70 bucks on a special
"HD Antenna", a standard pair of rabbit ears, or a single
large paper clip bent into an L-shape is often sufficient (not
always, but it won't cost you much to try).
In the PCSTATS labs we were able to receive about
15 HD television channels with just a paper clip sticking out from the coaxial
antenna jack on the Samsung 650A LCD TV. The beauty of broadcasting HD
TV channels is that they come in crystal clear - digital signals either work
perfectly or not at all.
For regions which are dropping analog UHF/VHF TV
signals, an ATSC TV tuner is a must have. The Samsung 650A also receives the
legacy TV signals.