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Samsung LN40B610 vs. LN40B540 ... vs. PN42B40!?

by fichdak / November 29, 2009 7:01 AM PST

Hey guys, I need a second HDTV for my bedroom and am looking in the 37"-40" department.

I found the 610 at Sam's Club for about $800, and it looks like a great TV. Well, according to costumer reviews, anyway (I'm shopping online and can't get to any stores soon to see for myself). I also found the 540 at Costco's site for $650. The only differences appear to be the contrast ratio (80,000:1 vs. 60,000:1) and that the 610 is 120Hz and the 540 is 60Hz. Are these differences worth the $150?

I'm coming from a Sony Grand WEGA KDF-42WE655 42-Inch rear-projection TV (720p, 60hz). I'm assuming BOTH of these TVs will blow by it, correct? I'll be using it mostly for watching TV, but also blu-rays and playing PS3.


Wait a sec, I now see thePN42B40 for like $550?! Are plasmas good enough? It's only 720p though.. Big difference?


Ideas? Suggestions for other TVs I've missed? Thanks!

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Samsung LN40B610 vs. LN40B540 ... vs. PN42B40!?
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / November 29, 2009 7:37 AM PST

fichdak,

I'll jump in momentarily, and then let others speak their opinion.

The difference in some of the LNxxx500 or LNxxx400 units is that they are - admittedly - entry level products, and separated from our mid and flagship models. So they may have 2 HDMI inputs where the mid and high units might have 3 or 4. This could weigh heavily on your decision if you're planning on having a lot of HDMI-connected peripherals. (Like Cable box, Blu-Ray player, game console, etc).

120Hz is good for fast motion. The benefit of 120Hz is that it is done internally, and projects the image on the screen faster than a 60Hz, so that when fast motion happens, the panel can "keep up" with the action. LCD is historically slower as a technology when compared to plasma or DLP or even CRT, so the 120Hz helps "even up the technology", so to speak, when it comes to fast motion. In short, it improves LCD's inherent weakness. Not to say that you can't get a great picture from a 60Hz, but the 120Hz panels are better for sports and fast movies.

Hope that helps, and if you need more, let me know.

--HDTech

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Hm
by fichdak / November 29, 2009 7:49 AM PST

Well, according to Costco's site, the LN40b540 has 4 HDMI inputs-- the same as the 610. And I remember seeing an ln32a450 about a year back in a showroom and it had probably the best picture quality of any 32" TV back then, and it was a LNxxx400 model.. are you saying that was "entry-level"?

I know a decent amount about LCD TVs, but nothing much about plasmas. If plasmas offer a FAR superior contrast ratio, response time, and refresh rate, why are they cheaper and why do LCDs seem to be more popular? Other than burning out, do plasmas have any specific draw-backs?

thanks

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Hm
by Samsung_HD_Tech Samsung staff / December 4, 2009 1:59 PM PST
In reply to: Hm

fichdak,

No, the B400/B500 models are considered entry level. The 450s (by year) are all step up models, and are corresponding to the Series number (4 Series, plus sub series, then 5 series, and subseries, etc)

Your original post title had: PN42B40!? - naturally, I assumed that as a new model, that was the B400 since it was the holiday season, so I missed that.

Plasmas are incredible, and have gotten a bad rap to some degree due to the fact that you can't leave static images on them for very long. Widescreen movies, games, static images on sports games all can account for image retention (short term) or burn-in (long term). If the kids leave "game over" on the screen, and you go away for the weekend and leave the TV on, it's ruined. People read that slim possibility as an example in a news article, and then quickly dismiss all the good things about plasma.

However, the refresh rate, the dynamic contrast ratios can rival and the response time are faster and more like what CRT-TVs were like. So I wouldn't dismiss them, but be aware that there are limitations to avoid temporary image retention or long term burn-in that people are genuinely afraid of.

Per viewable inch, they tend to be much less expensive. It wasn't always like that, but now I'm just showing my age. Wink

--HDTech

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