Samsung LN46A630 - A Review

[Note: My reason for documenting my HDTV purchase is to simply share my experience. I’m just your average Joe trying to figure this out.]

I was only slightly hesitant in ordering a HDTV through Amazon. I heard good things regarding their white glove service when you order an HDTV directly from Amazon. They deliver the TV to your home, unbox it, place it where you tell them, and they will even take the box away if you desire. They wait while you hook up the TV, turn it on, and inspect the TV for any damages. Pretty sweet service. Just to get it out of the way, for this purchase they did all of the above very well. I was very happy with the delivery of our first HDTV. Now onto my thoughts regarding the Samsung LN46A630.

The 46-inch HDTV looked physically very nice. I’m not much into red, probably one of my least favorite colors, but the red tinge on this model was barely noticeable. One of the first things I learned about HDTVs is that they don’t look great with their initial settings. I went forum post and a personal blog - here, and here - to get advice on settings. The menu system is easy to navigate. The remote buttons are big and labeled well.

Once I tried a couple of the settings presented in the postings, the TV pictured looked good. It even looked better when popping in a blu-ray into the Sony PlayStation 3. Standard Definition (SD) channels looked fair, some bad and some good. High Definition (HD) channels looked very good. We lived with the Samsung for three weeks with everything going fine. I watched Super Bowl XLIII in HD and enjoyed the experience.

But there are two downsides with the Samsung that became apparent after time. The first is sound. Now, I know it should probably be hooked up to a nice AV system, but the TV is in a small room. The speakers on the set are on the bottom grill pointed down, similar to an iMac. The sound is projected downward, and at times, seems muddled. I don’t have the greatest hearing so I need to pump up the volume a bit.

The second issue for me is the quality of off-axis viewing. At times I am about 30-degrees to the right of center when watching TV. Why? Well, I’m on my desktop computer. From where I sit, the colors become extremely washed out. It is watchable, but painfully so, knowing the quality of the picture could be better. I understand this is prevalent with LCD sets, whereas plasmas are more forgiving. I don’t know.

I’m looking, still, at the Sony KDL-40XBR7. We’ll have to see how it compares to the Samsung.

AJ Giron @verbal