Samsung 40in. LCD HDTV LN-T4061F
|Samsung 40in. LCD HDTV LN-T4061F|
|Inputs, Construction and More|
|PC Connectivity and Final Thoughts|
So you’ve finally decided to make the change from your current cancer casting TV that may or may not have come off of Noah’s ark. The problem is what to choose. There are many different types of TVs that have many different specifications and are the subject of many different reviews and articles and are the subject of countless flamewars. So why am I sitting here in front of Samsung’s new 40” LCD writing another LCD TV review? The main reason is that most of the reviews don’t deal a lot with the way that a new TV interacts with your PC. After all these large LCD TVs are at their heart just large monitors, and what could be better than playing BioShock (DRM and all) on your massive new kick-butt TV. Or on a much more practical note, with the prevalence of media center PCs rising rapidly in the average consumers home, the PC functionality of a TV is coming under increased scrutiny. So sit back, relax, and try not to think of LCD vs Plasma, or BlueRay vs HD-DVD while we take a good look at what Samsung’s new 40” LN-T4061F offers to you, the PC minded consumer.
Feel the thrill and play xbox 360 video game tournaments with your friends online with the high definition LCD TV.
When the doorbell rang on Thursday morning, I was just a bit miffed. After all it was fairly early for computer programmer like me to be up (No I will not tell you the time), however when I saw the new 40” TV Fedex brought me, my sour mood just kind of disappeared into thin air. Unpacking and setup was a breeze, and so very soon the TV was sitting atop my center channel where my previous TV had once rested its considerable bulk.
I won’t belabor you with a bevy of pictures because 1) My new camera has not arrived, and my current camera isn’t exactly studio quality. 2) Samsung’s pictures are just so much better looking than mine. I suppose that’s because they have a whole army of marketing people who do this sort of thing for a living. Plugging the TV into my main media center device was a breeze. Well it was a breeze on Samsung’s side of things anyways. I use my modded XBOX running XBMC to playback most of my media files. It is an absolutely awesome media player for the vast majority of DVDs and other media formats you get off the internet. It will also upscale its output to 1080i and displays quite nicely on a HDTV. However using the component outputs on the XBOX requires a special cable. I was not in possession of such a cable and after searching diligently at my local electronic retailers I came to the conclusion that these cables are not sold in retail stores anymore. I knew I could purchase one online but that could take days, so I decided to make one. Two or three hours and a few solder burns later I had a component cable that worked just fine, and just in case anyone decides to complain, it was even properly shielded. I hooked it up and set the XBOX for 1080i output and sat back to look at the lovely 1080i goodness.
Let’s take a moment to look at the specifications for this TV.
- HD-grade 1920(H) x 1080(V) pixel resolution
- Widescreen aspect ratio
- Wide Color Enhancer
- 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio
- Built-in digital tuner (ATSC/Clear QAM)
- Fast 8ms response time
- Watts per channel: 10W x 2
- SRS TruSurround XT
- Hidden bottom speakers
- Sound leveler
- 3 HDMI – High Definition Multimedia
- 2 Component video inputs
- 2 S-video inputs
- Side and rear A/V inputs
- PC input
- USB 2.0
- RF antenna inputs
- Swivel stand
Let’s go through this list and take a look at some of the more interesting things. Firstly if you are thinking that a 10,000:1 contrast ratio sounds a bit high for an LCD panel, you are right. This refers to the “dynamic” contrast ratio not the true value. In fact, these days it is getting increasingly difficult to get the actual contrast ratio from the manufacturers. Everyone has a different methodology for measuring their contrast ratios and they are all trying to get the maximum value out of their numbers. With a dynamic contrast the TV will dim the backlight if it detects a darker scene. While this sounds fine in theory, in practice I’ve found that this often leads to an excessively dark picture.
The 8ms response time should make this TV fast enough for some gaming. I’m pretty sure that this TV is an S-IPS panel, but I have not taken it apart to make sure. We will look at the gaming response later on this review.
The 1920x1080 resolution tells us that this TV is capable of displaying native 1080p video at full resolution. A lot of the cheaper LCD TVs on the market are only capable of true 720p.