While this is definitely a weakness for the LED backlight,
situations like Passmark's convergence dots test are worst-case scenarios
that most users won't likely run into. To get a better feel for how this affects
normal HDTV viewing, we compared both LCD HDTVs with some standard and
high-definition video clips.
The skin tones on the 8-series CCFL backlit HDTV tend towards a
higher exposure, and in some scenes, like this scene from a clip of Nick and
Norah's Infinite Playlist, this
can result in a loss of detail in bright scenes. By
contrast the Samsung A950-series television doesn't exaggerate highlights as much, so
subtle transitions between bright areas remain visible instead of being lost due
Conversely, while the LED backlighting is great at expanding the
dynamic range with bright values, the local dimming will at times eliminate
some of the fine detail in dark areas, like the pattern on the woman's swimming
suit in this HD clip from The Bourne Supremacy.
As an overall viewing
experience the Samsung A950 series and its LED backlighting
is an improvement on the Samsung A850 series and other
CCFL-backlit LCD televisions. In the vast majority of situations the
LED's 'local dimming' was able to create a more vibrant picture, with
greater differentiation between the darkest and lightest portions of
the picture. Colour banding was also noticeably reduced with the Samsung 9-series LED
backlighting, resulting in better transitions between subtle shades of colour.
While LCD HDTVs produced sharp and clear images, the Samsung
LN55A950's greater sensitivity to brightness and more accurate reproduction
of color is a convincing argument that LED-backlighting is a must for anyone
looking for an LCD HDTV with the highest image quality.
LED Backlights and 55-inch LCD HDTV
How much HDTV does $5170 CDN (4200 USD, or 2890 GBP) get you? Well for
starters it gets you the best image quality available, in a jumbo-sized 55"
format. It also gets your LED backlighting, a speakers system that can
rival home theatre sets, and a stylish exterior. The LN55A950D1F is simply
the best LCD HDTV Samsung has made to date.
The Samsung LN55A950 also inherits some of the best features from previous
Samsung LCD HDTVs. The Wiselink Pro application can display JPEG files, play
movies and something MP3 songs over an ethernet connection or over USB. Getting
digital content from a PC and onto this HDTV is a snap, and adds a lot of
versatility to where and how it can be used.
All of the extra inputs don't hurt either. While the overall inputs have
remained largely the same from the Series-8 televisions, that still means four
HDMI inputs, two composite inputs, as well as S/PDIF, component, S-video
and VGA inputs... pretty much enough to plug in your new Blu-ray player, game
console and receiver as well as your legacy VHS player and camcorder, without
having to worry about swapping inputs or cables.
While the A950-series Samsung display is a little thicker than
the A850-series that preceded it, moving from a svelte 2" to a chunkier
4.4" profile, this extra bulk houses the LED backlighting system and the
much-improved speakers. These are definitely the best parts of this HDTV, so the
extra width is only a tiny compromise. The graphite colour scheme is also
quite stylish, and a little easier to colour coordinate than the previous red
and blue finishes.
What do you think of this review?
Help make PCSTATS better, leave your comments here.
Overall everything seems to have come together with the Samsung LN55A950.
The movie viewing experience is excellent, with the LED backlighting keeping
blacks black, while displaying more natural tones in bright areas. The
picture quality was crisp and clear, the screen is bright, response
times are a very quick 4ms, and the display's 120Hz capabilities will smooth out
choppy video. When coupled with the fantastic new speakers and
just the sheer size of a 55" HDTV, you really can get a movie theatre experience
from inside your living room!
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