Samsung LN40A650 1080p HDTV with InfoLink - Viewing Angle, HTPC Use and Conclusion

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

Viewing Angle:

While some panels - both in LCD monitors and TVs have issues keeping color uniform when viewing from different angles, the viewing angle on the LN40A650 claims to be a nice broad 178° both horizontal and vertical.  While many other displays I've used do indeed produce some sort of picture at these angles, the quality of the image is less that ideal - much less.  Take a look below at the viewing angle shots from a frame from the Transformers movie.

Front
Front
Angle Up
Angle Up
   
Side Angle Med
Side Angle Med
 Sharp Angle
Sharp Angle

 

As you can see by checking out the images above, the viewing angle stays pretty consistent until it gets pretty extreme.  At roughly 110° the picture starts to wash out.  It's quite a ways from the 178° (keep in mind that 180° is straight sideways), but overall it has very nice good zone.  I had no issues watching TV from any seat in my living room.

 

Gaming: 

The gaming “tests” are always the most fun part of these reviews and this is a great TV to be gaming on.  My TV is the heart of our home entertainment system and I have a lot of movies cached on a NAS.  I also use the computer to play some games such as Devil May Cry 4, Call of Duty 4 and even Lego Indiana Jones.  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.  The 4ms response time seems fast enough to keep everything playable and smooth.


 

PC Connectivity:

As I mentioned previously, I use this TV hooked up to my PC primarily for entertainment, but also do a bit of web-surfing, Flickr browsing another other HTPC related tasks.  With a nice broadband connection you can easily stream video from sites such as Hulu.  It's nice to be able to do all of these things from the comfort of your recliner. 

HTPC Setup
HTPC Setup

 

Even though this unit has a nice high native resolution of 1920x1080, I still noticed that text on the PC was kind of fuzzy.  It didn't look any better through the VGA or HDMI 2 (DVI) port either.  It's not bad by all means, but it wasn't as crisp as I'd hoped.  Of course as you lower resolution, this only gets worse.

Text Edges
Text Edges

 

 

Conclusion:

While a 40" TV may seem small for some people these days, I find that it is a great size and fits into most rooms without any issues.  The LN40A650 has a nice feature set, tons of inputs and very good picture quality.  As is the case with many TVs, the colors are boosted from the factory giving the TV an incredible first impression.  Once it was calibrated correctly, it performed even better - albeit a little less dazzling.

The four HDMI ports on this TV assures that you will be able to hook up your favorite components and be able to play all of that HDCP protected content without issues.  The inclusion of a LAN port and RSS capable InfoLink makes this even more useful.  You no longer have to switch to your computer for quick stock quotes, new headlines or weather.  It's built in and works very well.

One of my major disappointments with this unit is the lengthy time it takes to turn on.  While that may not seems like much of an issue to pick at, the truth is that it takes a full 15 seconds for any picture to display once you've hit the power button.  My other LCD TV is ready to go in about 5 seconds in comparison.

Pros:

  • 120Hz Auto Motion Plus
  • Good contrast ratio - thanks to good blacks
  • Lots of inputs
  • Vivid picture and good sound

 

Cons:

  • Slow power on sequence
  • Color boosted to unrealistic levels by default
  • Computer connected text is a bit fuzzy

 

 BCCRating

 

I'd like to thank Samsung Canada for sending out this TV for us to review.  I enjoyed watching some great playoff hockey on this unit and will be sad to see it go.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.