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Samsung PS42P4H review: Samsung PS42P4H

The Good Extensive yet simple menu system. Very good connectivity. Wall mountable.

The Bad Phosphor has a distinct greenish tinge. Stand must be purchased seperately. No speakers supplied.

The Bottom Line Good connectivity options and colour fidelity are the standout features of this Samsung plasma.

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Review Sections

Style
We were not supplied with a stand for the Samsung although one can be purchased as an option if required. Like the other units, the Samsung has provision for wall mounting. The phosphor has a distinct greenish tinge.

Controls
The controls, which are touch sensitive 'stubs', are located on the lower right side of the bezel. There is a good complement of functionality including source selection, volume, channel and menu functions.

Remote
While the Samsung remote control is the largest of the units tested, it is not overly large at all. The major controls are all quite large and relatively widely spaced although the secondary controls located under a slide cover in the lower third of the unit are small and closely spaced. As these are probably less often used, we do not see this as a major problem with one exception - this secondary set controls DVD and VCR programming, and this task could become a little tedious given the small control size.

On the topic of programmability, the Samsung remote is by far the most flexible, with a wide range of codes listed in the manual for cable set top boxes, DVD players and VCRs. The remote also features a small LCD display that shows what input device is selected and battery level; the display is not backlit.

Menu system
The extensive menu system is very simple to navigate, although we were surprised that Samsung used such coarse and chunky graphics for the on screen display as they detract from the high resolution of the display. The image quality can be adjusted by selecting from four preconfigured settings: Dynamic, Standard, Movie and Custom. The latter, as the name suggests, can be adjusted by the user with the Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness, Colour and Tint tweaked for the Custom setting. In addition, there are five colour temperature presets that can be selected. There are also quite a few menus dedicated to the audio, including a five channel graphic equaliser and SRS settings.

Connectivity
In terms of connectivity, the Samsung is one of the best with a total of five video sources and two PC inputs - one of which is a DVI connector. And, for convenience, one of the inputs is also located on the side of the bezel.

Picture quality
The colour fidelity is very good with natural skin tones and also nice vivid colours in animated features such as Toy Story 2. We did find that the image was not as sharp as the Fujitsu, and we would also have to place the Samsung behind the Hitachi in this regard.

Audio quality
No speakers were supplied with the unit.

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