The HLN617W's sound system is not bad at all, and while obviously not a
match for a dedicated surround sound system, it managed to do justice to most of
our test DVDs.
The bass was quite impressive
for its two channels of 15 watt speakers, and the included BBE Sound processing
option adds considerable punch to music and on-screen action. The virtual Dolby
Surround Sound feature does increase the 'space' of the sound, achieving at
least the feeling of displaced speakers. As you might expect, DSS reduces the
clarity and punch of the sound though. Note that the BBE sound and the Virtual
surround options cannot be used together on this HDTV.
As we stated, the Samsung
HLN617W handled the audio in our DVDs well, with the exception of a Nine Inch
Nails concert disk. Even this produced good results, except that attempting the
low bass notes caused the speakers to rattle the entire television cabinet,
which was a bit distracting. While we'd assume that anyone shelling out for a
HDTV like this would intend to match it with a comparable surround sound system,
the HLN617W's integrated speakers are good quality, and will keep you going for
a while. Especially in a smaller room.
Technical Observations and Conclusions
Having read about the 'rainbow
effect' seen in DLP screens, we were on the lookout for evidence of this on the
Samsung HLN617W. While we did see this effect in action, our conclusion is that
it's not something to really worry about.
The 'rainbow effect' is most
noticeable in high contrast scenes, where we found that if we moved our eyes
quickly from one end of the screen to the other we would get small rainbow
flashes in our peripheral vision until we focused on the new area of the screen.
The effect got weaker the further we were from the screen.
hardly off-putting. It's worth noticing that as soon as we stopped thinking
about the effect, we stopped noticing it. The lone exception to this was when we
tested the HLN617W with a test pattern of pure black with white circles. On this
particular screen, any motion of the eyes brought chaotic rainbow flashing which
was very noticeable, so if you plan on watching a lot of test patterns, steer
clear of DLP technology.
Samsung's much-hyped 'DNLe'
image processing technology does actually seem to have a noticeable and positive
effect on the image when enabled. The set includes a 'demo' mode of the effect,
which splits the screen into a half-DNLe processed, half normal display. With
the processing enabled, images are noticeably sharper, especially in the case of
high-resolution signals like DVD and PC input.
As noted above in the DLP
technology section, The HLN617W does not suffer from convergence issues, since
colour is formed by a single light source passing through a single rotating
conclusions after seeing the Samsung HLN617W in action are that it's hard to
imagine anyone who wouldn't want it his or her living room.
Second thoughts say that the
remote control could be a lot better, and the on screen menus more convenient,
but these are minor points.
The Samsung HLN617W is an
excellent wide-screen 61" HDTV which doubles as the largest computer monitor you
are likely to see. If there is an issue with this product, it's how poor
standard TV and game console signals look in comparison to HDTV, PC and DVD
input. Make sure that you have the resources to take full advantage of this
set's capabilities before buying. For the price and the size, this set is an
excellent gateway into the world of really large screen HDTV, and I for one am
definitely sold on DLP's visual qualities.
Find out about this and many
other reviews by joining the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter