Samsung LN55A950 LCD TV

Jan 16th, 2009 | By Simon

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To thoroughly test out the LN55A950, I sat myself in front of the TV for hours upon hours. Yup, I have a really tough job here! I tested out several different inputs: Over the Air digital TV via the ATSC Tuner, my regular non-digital cable TV, input from my PC via HDMI and HDMI from the Blu-Ray player.

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The display is simply amazing. Whether you’re watching a movie in HD or some TV shows broadcast in HD, you will not be disappointed. The colors are indeed brighter and clearer, even compared to the A650 which I thought was a great TV. When considering a purchase of this magnitude, it’s absolutely imperative that you judge all reviews with a grain of salt. There’s really no way for you to tell whether or not the TV is worth your investment by a few pictures. Do yourself a favour and visit your local brick and mortar store and stand in front of the TV for twenty minutes. Find the remote and play with the settings. If you can’t do that or would like to narrow your choices, let me show you a handful of pictures of the TV in action!

I’ll start with the viewing angle. The A950 claims to have a 178/178 viewing angle and its true that you can almost be parallel with the TV and still make out the details. However, I noticed that at the very extreme angles, the colors are slightly washed out. However, viewing the TV at a regular angle reveals the TV is capable of very accurate color reproduction. You can make out the dust getting kicked up by the horses in The Mummy or the embers from a fireworks show.

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The TV offers four pre-programmed viewing modes (Off, Sports, Cinema & Game). You can of course vary the brightness and contrast ratio yourself to suit your needs. It would actually be nice if you could save your own settings as favourites to call up in the future.

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Catching some HD TV with over-the-air antenna, here’s what I saw:

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I watched a bit of The Mummy on Blu-Ray:

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As I mentioned before, the TV is able to pick up the finest details of the dustiest scenes.

Surfing the internet from my PC is no problem on this 55″ screen. Text is as clear as ever and colors look far better on the 55A950 than on my Samsung 245BW.

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Games are even far more fun. I mentioned that playing a real time strategy game on my HD4850X2 with four 24″ LCDs would be fun, well a single 55″ is just as good! With first person shooters, heads are the size of dinner plates. The Auto Motion Plus 120Hz technology eliminates ghosting problems and you’re guaranteed smooth game play, up to what your video card can handle.

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I already showed that still pictures turn out amazing on the LN55A950, but I’ll reinforce that fact with even more pictures.

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In my eyes, the picture quality is simply amazing. However, according to a blog post from CNET, Samsung has initiated hardware changes to the A950 model. Units built after Sept 20, 2008 have a hardware upgrade to further improve the picture quality: black levels in very dark scenes have been raised, shadow details have improved and blooming effects have been eliminated. These are minor modifications but it’s impossible to tell whether or not store inventory will be the new A950 or the old. However, CNET also reports that the changes are pretty subtle and did not revise the final product score after the tested out an updated model. In my opinion, don’t think about it and you’ll still be one happy customer.

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