There are a lot of impressive knowledge over at avs forums, but one glaring situation is people so absorbed by lowest possible price that they forego any sort of professional installation, calibration, adjustment & homeowner instructions.
Yes, I would agree many folks have been disappointed by the uneven competence level they have paid good money for (mainly at the big box places with intials BB or CC.) My experience was with an independent dealer with lots of higher end stuff. The negotiated price was an entire package & considering the unfamiliar territory, seems wise to me. I got pretty good discounts for receiver, speaker set. It adds up to a sensible way to go. The extra "service" did not cost much.
As a matter of fact, I do have a perfectly fine Samsung. It took repair just after warranty (of course) to get it that way. I believe the repair was needed to have the set assembled the way it should have in the first place.
An inconsistency I note here is that people should be able to wind up with as good a Samsung picture as they did see in the store. It would be completely misleading to deliver an inferior Sammmy series unit if they bought on the basis of the display unit. No matter how many bits there are, the set must be capable of the same picture in a home as the showroom. Some sort of pro installation & calibration may very well be needed. Of course the store HD feed should be expected to be good.
And in general, I caution folks from just jumping into LCD sets because they are most featured now in showrooms. Makers apparently believe strongly in maximizing them for fatter profit margins. I have a asmaller screen LCD that is just fine, but I wouldn't want (at least at this particular stage of development) a huge LCD as my primary set. Unnatural looking attempts at compensating for fast motion blur will be totally avoided by me. I just don't need to go look for trouble.
It was not long ago that Samsung was regarded as a second tier maker. They have invested heavily & marketed aggresively. Perhaps it is their quality control & customer service that have lagged.
I might note that, among avaialble technologies, rear projection is being strongly curtailed. Many folks should be pursuing the remaining Sony SXRDs. They show companies can make that type very well. Sony just kept losing money trying to do it. When a performance level was important to achieve, it might just cost way too much to make them. So high volume LCD production is cheaper. Their performance just may relfect that too.
After reading the many reviews on various websites regarding Samsungs quality of their 61/65/66 series I decided to take the plunge. I picked up a LN-T5265F. To my surprise I noticed that the picture quality was extremely disappointing. Upon further calibration and research I was starting to understand how hopeless this set may be. After some extensive checking I stumbled across the avsforum were many elite users assemble to discuss everything from internal components and what makes a picture look good to calibrations and trouble shooting. I was not alone.
Here the state of Samsungs LCDs.
1) Current reviews are not worth anything. Samsung is no longer using the higher end panels and are going with a much cheaper version. This has been proved by going to www.samsungparts.com and comparing the panel types specs and part numbers they used in thier original TVs. 10 bit is now 8 bit. If a person wanted to check what their panel was they could look in on the top vent facing the front of the TV on the left and down they could get the part number.
2) Also with as far as panels, they are now using different Processors. This can be identifed by the service menu. mute-1-8-2 power. They are using the Genesis Cortez as opposed the the Trident SPV-LX.
I wanted to make these faqs known that if you see a Samsung in store that looks awesome it may definitely not look like that when you get it home.
Samsungs support is extremely low level. If you are lucky enough not to get hung up on, don't be shocked if you know more about the set then their Tier 2 support.
I currently own 4 HDTVs and the Samsung is least impressive. If you get one home and don't like it, take it back and exchange. Don't expect their outsourced techs to really help. Just a heads up.
There are alot of people that LOVE their Samsung LCDs. They probably are amazing sets.... depending on the parts that have in theirs.