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Overview

One of the most common requests we hear at CNET is for a TV that has good picture quality "without all that extra crap" (or words to that effect). Said extras included on many TVs these days include Internet connectivity and 3D, as well as an LED backlight for LCD models. Samsung's LND630 series comes pretty close to that no-frills ideal, delivering picture quality that's a match for many of the best LED TVs we've tested this year at a price that reflects its relative lack of extra features.

Yes, the LND630 does have a 120Hz refresh rate, but you can customize its processing to get the benefits of 1080p/24, film-based Blu-rays without smoothing (yay!). More importantly, the step-down 60Hz LND550 lacks this model's color accuracy. Slightly more-expensive sets like the LED-based Sony KDL-EX523 series offer built-in Internet streaming, but for the price difference you could add a network streaming box to this Samsung. The LND630 doesn't provide quite the bang-for-the-buck of Panasonic's ST30 series plasma, but among LCDs we've tested, LED or otherwise, it's the value champ.

Read the full review of the Samsung LND630 series.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Corner detail

The LND630 looks the part of Samsung's nicest non-LED TV, with a sleek transparent edge that makes the bezel around the screen seem slimmer than it is. The bottom edge of the frame gets a bronze-colored strip to offset the black.

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Stand detail

We appreciated the swivel, although we noticed Samsung dropped the glass-topped base of 2010's LNC630 stand to go with glossy black plastic this year.

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Profile

At 3.2 inches deep, the LND630 won't be mistaken for an LED TV, but it's hardly a fattie.

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Remote control

Samsung's standard midrange remote is included on the LND630, complete with backlighting behind nearly every key--a rarity in this class. We don't like the grid layout as much as the better-differentiated keys on some other remotes, but it's still perfectly functional once you figure out the logical groupings.

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Inputs

Nothing major goes missing here, and four HDMI is plenty for just about anybody. It's worth noting that the second component input doubles as the one back composite, so you can't use both simultaneously.

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Main menus

Samsung didn't change its basic TV control menus on this model, and that's a good thing. The transparent, blue-highlighted graphics are easy to read and navigate, and response is snappy. Text explanations are present for just about every function.

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DLNA streaming

DLNA compatibility allows the Samsung to stream music, videos and photos from a home network.

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Media playback

In addition to DLNA, media files can also be played back via USB sources.

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Firmware update

Samsung can provide firmware updates to the LND630 via the Internet if necessary.

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Advanced picture controls

The Samsung LND630 offers basically the same vast array of advanced settings as the company's step-up TVs.

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10-point grayscale controls

Detailed controls help smooth out the LND630's grayscale.

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Custom dejudder

Full dejudder controls let tweakers control smoothing and blur reduction.

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PIcture quality

The LND630 delivered very good picture quality, on par with Samsung's own UND6400 LED-based model--one of our favorite LED TVs of the year. The D630's strengths include deep black levels and accurate color, augmented by the ability to handle 1080p/24 sources, solid screen uniformity for an LCD TV and that elusive (at least for Samsung) matte screen finish. Our quibbles--some loss of shadow detail and bluish tinge in black areas--were minor in the scheme of things.

Read the full review of the Samsung LND630 series.

Updated:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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