I finally decided to replace my aging but still fully operational Sony TV. The now dated technology of the giant Sony CRT 32 inch had served me for nearly eight years and lasted a bit longer than planned in part due to its massive 94 kg bulk along with the prospect of disposal. One thing is for certain, when a TV arrives with its super sharp picture, light weight and large as life picture the old Sony is toast.
Let’s check out the Samsung 6 series TV model LA40A650.
Choosing a new TV is not a simple thing. Walk into any of the big players in home entertainment and the choice is staggering. Super size display areas feature dozens of TVs in a variety of sizes from 32inch to 60inch (even larger if you just won the lottery) and traditional names like Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba, Pioneer, Philips mixed in with new comers like Samsung, LG and a host of others including brands with names I have never heard of. Should I buy an LCD or a Plasma? Is 32 inch too small and 52 too big? What can I afford to spend?Do I really need full high definition of 1920 x 1080 or would a 1350 x 900 do the job? I decided on the 1920 x 1080 resolution even though TV transmission generally does not exceed 750 lines but new Blue Ray dvds and gaming councils will need all the lines they can get.
Most TVs sold today are LCD, with resolution of 1920 x 1080 massive numbers of inputs and deliver an excellent picture. Lesser and unknown brands normally come with much lower resolution and often lack features and quality not to mention long term service and spares. I chose the Samsung top of the line 40 inch “6 “ series. The Sony was my second choice but cost hundreds of dollars more and came with a one year warranty . I could not make up my mind on which gave the better picture so the price and warranty won me over.
The Samsung uses 100Hz technology giving superior fast movement and gaming capabilities, 4 HDMI inputs allowing one cable hookup for sound and video, a three year warranty and a great finish.
With my credit card approved I was presented with a very large carton which only just fitted in the back of my station wagon. I was surprised that the carton weighed only 25kgs. In fact the TV alone weighs a mere 20kgs and the 52 inch model is only 35 kgs. Unpacking was a snap. One simply removes two inserts on the lower sides of the carton and the top lifts off exposing the TV already attached to a stand and virtually ready to go. The Samsung features a High Definition and Analogue tuner so for many people just plugging in the three pin power cord and attaching an aerial lead completes the installation. Tuning all local stations both Standard Analogue and High Definition is a matter of selecting menu button, scrolling down to the Satellite symbol and highlighting the “Auto Store” icon. The electronics do the rest and in a matter of a few minutes all available TV and music station are stored. From carrying the carton into your living room to watching TV could take as little as ten minutes. I do not recommend professional installation for most people.
The Samsung TV is beautifully finished in shiny black with touch control and a relatively small frame. The stand allows the set to swivel but does not tilt. Most connections are on a recessed panel right side of the rear with many useful additional inputs on the left side. A total of 4 x HDMI inputs, 2 x composite video (Pr Pb Y) an “s” video, DVI , PC (computer) a USB and analogue. I have Foxtel HD, High Definition PVR and a Playstation 3 all of which use HDMI and work perfectly with the set For my surround system I use a fiber optical cable giving the best possible sound interface. There is even a head phone jack — a rare inclusion today.
Operation of the Samsung is simple, at least by modern standards. The remote is well set out with large volume and program buttons and is easy to navigate helped by back lighting on demand. Whilst there is an awesome choice of settings most people will use the automatic selections.
In conclusion: the Samsung “6” series 40 inch is a state of the art television. The retail price at time of writing is about $2700 but discounts mean one can buy it for less than $2100. Most retailers offer extra “in store” warranty but personally I do not recommend them. Check it out.
Contributed by David Dewar