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Samsung LN55A950D1F 55-inch LED-backlight LCD A950 HDTV Review

Samsung LN55A950D1F 55-inch LED-backlight LCD A950 HDTV Review - PCSTATS
Abstract: Samsung's new A950 series of LCD HDTVs has been designed to be the next step in image fidelity for liquid crystal display technology. These home theatre HD TVs use Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) that can selectively illuminate sections of the screen at a time.
 90% Rating:   
Filed under: Home Theatre Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: Samsung Sep 22 2009   Max Page  
Home > Reviews > Home Theatre > Samsung LN55A850D1F

Comparing LED and CCFL Backlights Continued

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 to over-contrast.

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.

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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.

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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< Previous Page © 2017 PCSTATS.com Home Theatre News»

 

Contents of Article: Samsung LN55A850D1F
 Pg 1.  Samsung LN55A950D1F 55-inch LED-backlight LCD A950 HDTV Review
 Pg 2.  Samsung A950 External Design
 Pg 3.  Media Inputs and Outputs
 Pg 4.  Viewing and Listening Experience
 Pg 5.  — Comparing LED and CCFL Backlights Continued

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