Samsung LN-T4681FX LED Backlight 46in. 1080P HDTV - Viewing Angle, Gaming and Conclusion

Article Index
Samsung LN-T4681FX LED Backlight 46in. 1080P HDTV
Setup, Installation and Construction
Subjective and Objective Testing
Viewing Angle, Gaming and Conclusion
 

Viewing Angle:

The viewing angle is probably this TV’s greatest weakness and I’m not sure exactly what to blame it on.  However, whether it is the backlighting used or the type of panel, the fact is that this TV does not look nearly as good from an angle as it does from head on.  I have included a couple of pictures that hopefully will illustrate my point.

 Angle - Head On
Angle - Head On
 Angle - Slight Side
Angle - Slight Side
 Angle - Full Side
Angle - Full Side

 

As you can see when viewed from head on the image is perfect.  However as one begins to move to the side bright things start to develop a fuzzy but noticeable halo.  The contrast also decreases and the image begins to look washed out.  It remains to be seen if this is an inherent problem with LED backlighting or simply a design flaw that can be worked out in time.  It is definitely something to consider when deciding if this is the right TV for you.

 

Gaming: 

The gaming “tests” are always the most fun part of these reviews and this is a great TV to be gaming on.  I just happened to have won an XBOX 360 this Christmas so that certainly helped out in the testing.  As I mentioned early Samsung seems to have overcome some of the early problems they had with Dynamic Contrast.  I had no problems gaming on this TV with Dynamic Contrast turned on or off.  There were also no visible signs of ghosting or image distortion.  I ran through a bunch of moving block tests and observed no visible ghosting even on the fastest speeds.

Moving Block
Moving Blocks
 Moving Block
Moving Blocks
 Moving Block
Moving Blocks

 

PC Connectivity:

As a review site that specializes in the PC business, we would have been remiss in not fully testing this unit with a PC.  After hooking everything up and adjusting the display for optimal performance, I was saddened to discover that most of the problems that plagued the LN-T4061F 40” were still present in this unit.   I will rehash the important details again for those of you not acquainted these problems.

  1. Even 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.

    Yellow Text
    Yellow Text

  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.  1) 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.  2) 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.



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.

 Nice Image

 

Conclusion:

I was very impressed overall with this TV and saddened to see it go.   The colors and contrast were without equal among the LCD TV’s I have seen.  The 46” size doesn’t hurt anything either.  This is a stylishly designed unit that is guaranteed not to be an eyesore wherever you choose to put it.  The range of inputs is excellent and the onscreen menu system is a pleasure to navigate through.  Its gaming performance is excellent and connecting a PC is fairly easy once you know which buttons to press.

However as with every product there are flaws, chief among them being the viewing angle. A great picture quickly turns mediocre when viewed from the side.  Also 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.

I for one am very excited to see the advances in image quality that LED backlighting has brought.  Perhaps in a few years it will become mainstream and some of the more obvious faults will have been eliminated. As usual I would like to thank Samsung for sending us this unit.  I will be sorry to see it go.

 BCCRating

 

I'd like to thank Samsung for shipping up this TV to us for the review.  If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please post it at the "Comments" link below.