Samsung 40in. LCD HDTV LN-T4061F - PC Connectivity and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Samsung 40in. LCD HDTV LN-T4061F
Inputs, Construction and More
Testing Continued
PC Connectivity and Final Thoughts

PC Connectivity:

I must admit that my main objective with this TV was to hook it up to my PC and get a super big monitor.   So it wasn’t too long after I acquired this gargantuan unit that I dragged my PC out of the office, and much to my wife’s consternation proceeded to position it in our living room.  My work PC while being a fairly satisfactory gaming machine is by no means a quiet or unobtrusive unit.  However she very graciously accepted this temporary change so that you the reader could get the facts about how this TV performs as a monitor.   To get started I purchased a DVI to HDMI cable from my local computer store and plugged it directly into the TV.  This seemed to work fine at first until I discovered that the TV was over scanning the image and so the edges of my desktop and my taskbar were not visible.  I used the NVIDIA desktop size utility to correct that but discovered that by doing so I was just reducing the resolution I was sending to the TV.  The result was that text viewed on the TV appeared distorted and the image quality was just sub-par.  I discovered some time later that you can flip through the size modes provided by the TV and select the “Just Scan” option.

 Screen Modes
Screen Modes


What this does is simply map a 1:1 pixel ratio on the TV.  This means that everything you send will be visible.  This is a very handy feature as most TVs over scan and some of them do not provide a method of correcting that for the PC.  What I do wish was that this feature was a little more documented in the manual as I didn’t find any mention of it in the section dealing on PC hookups.  After figuring this minor annoyance out, things worked fine.  However I can’t give it a perfect score due to several significant issues that I noticed.

  1. Yellow TextEven at native resolution the text has some funny discoloration problems.  This only becomes more visible at lower resolutions.  I’ve included an image that shows some of what I’m talking about.   I should note that this problem really only seemed to occur when using the DVI as an input.  When you plug your PC into the VGA connector the text is much more readable.

  2. Even though this TV provides a VGA connection that has better quality than the DVI connector - at least for text - there are several reasons not to use it.  a) You can’t send a HDCP signal through a VGA cable, so if you are trying to playback HDCP protected content then the VGA port won’t service your needs.  b) The VGA port has a limited set of resolutions that it can accept.  In fact, the only widescreen resolution that it takes is 1920x1080.  The rest of the resolutions are standard 4:3 modes.  If all you are doing is watching TV and Movies then this will work fine for you because your PC will upscale the content very nicely to 1920x1080.  However if you are trying to run a game you will run into problems. There are very few rigs out there that can run a modern game at 1920x1080 with decent eye candy.   Even my 7950GX2 was having problems at that resolution.

 

After all is said and done you are probably better off plugging into the DVI connector.  The text issues are minor and unless you happen to be using this unit for word processing you will probably not notice them.

 

Conclusion:

This is a very good high end TV that should satisfy most high end consumers.  The construction and the aesthetics are almost perfect.  The picture quality was very good.  In fact it was even good enough for most high end gaming.  There are a lot of input choices so that you shouldn’t be unplugging any of your devices, and the “Just Scan” option is an excellent –if not poorly documented – feature for PC users.

This unit is not without a few flaws.  Poor text rendering from the DVI port coupled with limited set of resolution choices for the VGA port make this unit unsuitable for a role of rendering text primarily.  Also the “Dynamic Contrast” ratio option doesn’t work in a lot of situations.  Perhaps having this as the default contrast mode is a little premature as it needs a bit more work in my opinion.

BCCRating

As usual I would like to thank Samsung for sending us this unit.  I will be sorry to see it go after enjoying the 40” goodness for a brief period of time.

We'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback about this review.  Please post it at the "Comments" link below.