Samsung LN40A650 1080p HDTV with InfoLink - Subjective and Objective Tests

Article Index
Samsung LN40A650 1080p HDTV with InfoLink
Setup and Installation
Subjective and Objective Tests
Viewing Angle, HTPC Use and Conclusion
 

Testing:

Testing is always the hardest part about a TV review.  Image quality can be such a subjective experience and I usually like to operate with cold hard facts in hand. Most of these tests are subjective however there are a few quantitative tests mixed in.  Just like with our LCD reviews, we have incorporated a bit of hardware that allows us to test contrast ratio, color accuracy and lighting uniformity.  If you want more details on how we test LCD panels and TV, please check our article here.

Spyder 3

First up we used the Spyder 3 Colorimeter to measure color accuracy when plugged into a PC.  I used this system to play back some Blu-Ray and HD-DVD movies as well as gaming, web-surfing and more.  Initially, the color seemed a little bright/saturated and the colorimeter tells the story better than I can.



 Target
Target
Uncalibrated
Uncalibrated
   
 Correction
Correction
 Calibrated
Calibrated

 

As you can see in the images above, the color was very "boosted" by factory default and required a pretty impressive color calibration in order to bring the TV into a proper calibrated state.  Oddly enough, once viewing the TV for a couple of weeks uncalibrated, once it was calibrated the color looked much more subdued and dull.  That is why some TVs in the store look much better than the others beside them - some are boosted to look brighter and more colorful, when actually the color is unrealistic.  To the average consumer however, the brighter one is usually the one they take home.

When it comes to lighting uniformity, we use a luminance meter in a darkened room and take measurements at the LCDs default settings.  Usually brightness is set to 50%, and for contrast ratio tests, we use  the maximum contrast ratio available.  Take a look at how evenly (or unevenly) the backlight is on this TV.

2D Brightness
2D Brightness

 


 3D Brightness
3D Brightness

While it may not look like very good lighting uniformity, the reality is that there are a couple of spots that are 25% dimmer than the brightest spot.  This cannot be observed with the naked eye though and that is why we measure with our meter.  We want to see how even it really is.  While 25% variation seems pretty extreme, we've seen a lot worse results on other TVs and LCDs.  This ends up about in the middle of the pack.

When we checked the contrast ratio, we tested several different scenarios such as dynamic contrast, bright backlight, low backlight and settled on a standard "normal" setting on the TV.  This actually produced the highest contrast ratio - 1560:1.  It falls far short of the 50,000:1 Samsung rates it, but it is one of the highest ratios I've seen as the black levels on this TV are very black at default settings.  The brightest "black" spot measured a mere 0.8 Lux.