Christimas Gift Guide: Picking an HDTV

December 6, 2010

Recently the Hub was visiting a friend in Baltimore who was in the market for a 40″ HDTV for the living room.   Here’s a recap of the conversation and what TV he ultimately picked.

Should I pick LED or LCD? (Plasma was already off the table)

While LED sets have the advantage of being more energy efficient and thinner, I prefer Samsung’s current LCD line up; in particular the Samsung LN40C650 or LN40C630 sets.  They are an incredible value at this price point.  The Samsung LCDs have a consistent picture given they are back-lit instead of LED’s edge lighting.  The LCDs also have better viewing angles which are important when you have a lot of folks over watching the game. 

What’s the difference between 60 Hz and 120 Hz sets?  There seems to be a significant price jump when you move from a 60 Hz to120 Hz set.

Yes, if you compare the Samsung 630/650 to the 530/550, there is a decent price jump.  However, it ‘s more than just the refresh rate that’s driving it.  The overall quality of the panel on the 630/650s is superior including a better contrast ration (whites are whiter, blacks are blacker and you can see more details in dark scenes).  Also, if you watch a lot of sports or action movies, the 120 Hz will make a difference.  Images will be smoother and not as blury.  The end result is that 630 and 650 have a better picture.

What are the differences between the 630 and 650 Samsung LCDs?

The most important difference is that the 650 has a glass screen while the 630 has a semi-matte screen that cuts down on reflection.  If you are watching the set during the day, the reflective nature of the 650′s glass screen does bother some folks.  On the other hand, the 650 has a better contrast ratio which makes it the better panel in a dark room.  Whether you like one or the other is a matter of personal preference. The 650 also adds Samsung’s Internet apps.

At the end of the day, the most important thing is to go see the sets in person and judge for yourself.  In the end, The Hub’s friend went with the Samsung 630.

Samsung LN40C650 40-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV (Black)
Samsung LN40C650
Samsung LN40C630 40-Inch 1080p 120 Hz LCD HDTV (Black)
Samsung LN40C630

Tags: HDTV, Samsung

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