The LED back lighting used on the Samsung 9-series makes the panel a little bit thicker
than the previous 8-series of LCD televisions. The overall thickness of the
screen is now 4.4" deep at its widest point, which means that it's
still much thinner than most plasma or DLP screens. The Samsung
LN55A950 maintains the sleek finish that Samsung has used with its older
generations of LCD HDTVS as well, although this time the familiar tinted color
design is a subtle charcoal grey.
The Samsung LN55A950D1F has a detachable base that can be swapped
out if the unit is attached to a VESA wall mount .
Combining the sheer size of the LN55A950 with the additional weight of LED
back lighting makes this HDTV pretty hefty. It's 91lb with its base
attached, about the weight of a medium sized child, but much more
entertaining and better looking. This weight class means it has to use
a 400mm x 600mm VESA mount, and really shouldn't be carried by less than two
people at a time.
Unfortunately due to the size and weight of this
55" 950-series HDTV, the stand no longer swivels, making it much more
difficult to get to the rear connections. Fortunately the rear panel is
intelligently placed to the right of the LN55A950 instead of
the center, and the side panel is still easy to access.
The base of the television is made out of tempered glass, and is 24.4" wide
and 11.8" deep. It also has the same charcoal grey finish that adorns the bezel
of the screen.
There are four VESA mounts spaced
at 400mm x 600mm, designed for M8-sized screws. This unit is light enough
that it can be mounted on VESA-compliant articulated arms.
The LED backlight adds extra thickness to the LN55A950. The screen
is 4.4" deep, significantly larger than the 2" depth of the Samsung 8-series LCD
Return of the Revenge of
the Buttonless Control Panel
The buttonless control panel from
earlier Samsung LCD HDTVs has made a return. We here at PCSTATS didn't think it was possible, but somehow
Samsung has made them even more difficult to locate when the TV is powered off than ever
before. Fortunately once you find the power button through squinting or blind groping the buttons on
the control panel now light up with tiny white LEDs which look
The buttons themselves are still a non-haptic touch sensitive strip, which makes it difficult to
use the control panel for anything but the most basic channel surfing. Fortunately this
LCD behemoth also comes with a convenient remote.
The remote control
bundled with the Samsung LN55A950 television works from distances up to about 25
feet away and is compatible with all other Samsung Anynet+ displays, DVD players
and so on. It's nice that one remote can basically be used to control all your
home theatre devices, provided you're fully outfitted with Samsung hardware.
The black remote
fits comfortably in adult-sized hands, with large, rubbery buttons that are easy
to depress and spring back nicely afterwards. These buttons can also be
illuminated for use in dark rooms and during movies.
46-button remote works with any Anynet+ peripherals, including Blu-ray
players and home theatre systems. It uses the TM98B
The remote itself has the standard channel-surfing,
volume and source selection buttons you'd expect to find on a TV
remote, but there's also a series of buttons to control the Samsung LN55A950 LCD
HDTV's special features, like InfoLink and WiseLink features.
For other Samsung devices that support the
Anylink+ feature, like Blu-ray players, there are basic forward, backwards,
pause and play buttons. These aren't quite the equivalent of having a dedicated
remote for these functions, as the remote didn't have buttons to skip chapters
on the Samsung Blu-ray player we were using.
The remote uses a
four way directional pad to navigate through its various menus. This new design
is considerably easier to use than the scroll wheel/directional pad hybrid found
on previous Anynet+ remotes.
Anynet+ is a compatibility standard
that allows inter-operability between newer Samsung receivers, DVD and Blu-ray
players, home theatre systems and HDTVS, allowing them to be controlled by a
single remote. The nice thing about Anynet+ is that its functions are pretty
much transparent to the user, and don't require any configuration to work.
During PCSTATS' testing of the
LN55A950, we tested it side by side against the Samsung LN52A850 HDTV. A single
Anynet+ remote was enough to control both of the HDTVs simultaneously.
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