Down the line: Samsung flat-panel LCDs

Samsung's 2007 lineup of flat-panel LCDs includes more than 20 models and we can't review them all, but here's a look at how they stack up based on specs and the reviews we did publish.

We've reviewed three models from Samsung's 2007 flat-panel LCD lineup so far this year: the LN-T4665F , the LN-T4661F and the LN-T3253H . If those model numbers don't mean much to you, don't worry. We'll take you through the company's 2007 LCD lineup from least- to most-expensive, and when we don't have actual reviews we'll provide our take on step-up features and how the models relate to one another. Update 07-12-2007: Samsung has announced two additional series of LCD TVs for 2007, detailed here .

Samsung LN-T42H series

Samsung LN-T3242H
Samsung LN-T3242H Samsung

This is Samsung's entry-level LCD series. We haven't reviewed any of these sets, but we expect them to perform similarly to the LN-T3253H (see below), which we did review. The 26-, 32- and 40-inch models might exhibit slightly worse black-level performance than their 53H counterparts, however, since they have slightly worse contrast-ratio specs, but we don't know for sure. The features on the 42H series are typical of what you'd expect from a name-brand LCD maker. All have the standard LCD native resolution of 1,366x768, all are clad in glossy black, and all have speakers mounted to the sides as opposed to the bottom. They also include a couple of extras that some entry-level sets skip, including picture-in-picture. Models smaller than 32 inches get two HDMI inputs, while the 32-, 40- and 46-inch models add a third on the front panel and a swivel stand--both uncommon among entry-level HDTVs.

Models

Entry-level features

  • 1,366x768 native resolution on all models
  • Two HDMI inputs, three on 32-inch and larger models
  • Picture-in-picture
  • Side-mounted speakers
  • Swivel stand on 32-inch and larger models

Samsung LN-T32H series

Samsung LN-T3232H
Samsung LN-T3232H Samsung

Although generally a bit less expensive than the 42H series above, the LN-T32H series is reserved for selected distributors and isn't available in many places, so it's not the company's official entry-level line. We haven't reviewed any of these models, so we don't know for sure, but we expect them to perform slightly worse than the LN-T42H series, on account of their lower contrast-ratio specs. They also lack picture-in-picture and the third HDMI input on the larger models, but otherwise their specs are very similar to the 42H series.

Models


Samsung LN-T53/54H series

Samsung LN-T3253H
Samsung LN-T3253H CNET
Samsung LN-T2354H
Samsung LN-T2354H Samsung

This is Samsung's midline LCD series, which includes the company's best 32-inch and smaller sets, as well as its only 19-inch models. The 19- and 23-inch models are available in both the standard glossy black and a white finish--the latter distinguished by the "54H" at the end of the model name. We liked the 32-inch model we reviewed quite a bit, noting the numerous picture controls, solid video quality, and excellent connectivity. We expect the 40-inch model to perform about the same as the 32-inch, but the smaller sets have different specs, including lower contrast ratios, so they might not offer the same level of picture quality as the 32-incher we reviewed. Aside from rounded styling and speakers mounted on the bottom of the frame, these sets have all of the features of the 42H series (including three HDMI inputs and swivel stands in the 32- and 40-inch models). The 26-inch and larger versions add a so-called Wide color enhancer, which in our tests didn't render color as well as the standard setting. The 32- and 40-inch versions have USB ports that can connect with thumbdrives to display JPEG photos or play MP3 music. These two sets can also control compatible gear using just the HDMI connection and the TV's remote.

Models

Step-up features

  • Bottom-mounted speakers
  • Wide color control
  • HDMI control on 32- and 40-inch models
  • USB port on 32- and 40-inch models

Samsung LN-T5H series

Samsung LN-T405H
Samsung LN-T405H Samsung

Much like the LN-T32H series detailed above, the LN-T5H series of Samsung LCDs is reserved for limited distribution. The sets in this series will probably be cheaper in most cases than their equivalent sizes in the LN-T53/54H line, and they're also missing a couple features, including that third HDMI port, the USB port, picture-in-picture, the swivel stand, and the Wide color control. Most of the picture-related specs are the same, however, so although we haven't reviewed any of the models in this line and can't say for sure, we expect them to perform as well as the LN-T3253H we reviewed.

Models


Samsung LN-T61F series

Samsung LN-T4661F
Samsung LN-T4661F CNET

We've reviewed the 46-inch model in this series, the LN-T4661F, and we generally liked what we saw. The LN-T61F series includes the least-expensive Samsung LCDs with 1080p native resolution, which allows them to display every detail of 1080i and 1080p content (more info). The visibility of that extra detail depends on many factors, however, including seating distance, and if you sit a normal distance from the set, say about 7 feet away from the 46-inch model, you'll probably have a hard time appreciating the extra resolution. Other step-up features include HDMI 1.3 inputs , which are of dubious value as explained in the review. Otherwise they have basically the same feature sets as the 32- and 40-inch members of the LN-T53/54H series.

Models

Step-up features

  • 1080p native resolution
  • HDMI 1.3 inputs

Samsung LN-T65F series

Samsung LN-T4665F
Samsung LN-T4665F CNET

We've reviewed the 46-inch model in this series, the LN-T4661F, and it was one of the best-performing LCD TVs we've seen so far. The main difference between these sets and their step-down 1080p cousins in the 61F line can be found on the screen. The 65F LCDs have screens with a shiny finish that tends to reflect a lot of ambient room lighting, so they might not be the best choice in light-filled rooms. Then again, the LN-T4665F we reviewed exhibited excellent depth of black and especially shadow detail--surpassing the 61F in the latter area--so home theater buffs who can control room lighting might be willing to put up with the shiny screen. Aside from the screen and the price, the two series have basically identical features, although the 65F series is the only one to include a 52-inch model.

Models

Step-up features

  • Shiny screen

We'll update this article if we review another Samsung LCD mentioned above.

 

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