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Samsung LN46C530F1F LCD HDTV Review

46 in.

A TV of modest ambitions, and we reward its humility. It just displays a picture... and it does that pretty well.

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Value Comparison

The Samsung PN50C550 is a plasma TV with a slightly larger screen, though it costs significantly less than the Samsung LN46C530 (and LCD TV). While we liked the addition of DLNA support for home theater networks, we really prefer the better color and contrast performance of the LCD model. Some people are die-hard plasma fans, for reasons real and imagined. The viewing angle is certainly better, but it's not much of a contrast between these two TVs. If you are fixated on plasma, you'll have be push your budget over the $1000 threshold for a really good model.

Blacks & Whites

The Samsung PN50C550 produced exactly the same black level as the Samsung LN46C530, which is unusual because the former is a plasma and the latter is an LCD. Typically, a plasma should be darker, and we've certainly reviewed better plasmas. We should note that while the Samsung LN46C530 could produce deep blacks, there was a distinct lack of detail in the shadows.

Of course, plasma TVs never match the peak brightness of a decent LCD TV. The Samsung LN46C530's whites were much brighter than the PN50C550. It made for a much wider contrast ratio on the LN46C530.

Contrast Chart

Color Accuracy

The Samsung PN50C550 managed a better color temperature consistency, but really failed in our RGB color curve tests. There was a distinct lack of detail in the brighter parts of the signal, and colors did not transition smoothly. The Samsung LN46C530 performed much more strongly.

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Motion

The look of moving objects on a plasma screen is distinctly different from how LCDs look. We've certainly seen equally good performances in higher-end LCDs, but for a TV like the Samsung LN46C530, the plasma had a definite advantage. Objects were smoother and there was less motion artifacting.

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Viewing Effects

The Samsung PN50C550, as a plasma TV, easily trumped the Samsung LN46C530 and the other LCDs in the comparison pool we've assembled here.

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Connectivity

The Samsung PN50C550 is better outfitted in its array of ports. It has an additional HDMI port, an ethernet port, and optional WiFi. These last two can be used to connect to a DLNA home theater network.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Connectivity
  9. Audio & Menus
  10. Multimedia & Internet
  11. Power Consumption
  12. Toshiba 40G300U Comparison
  13. Samsung PN50C550 Comparison
  14. Sony Bravia KDL-40EX400 Comparison
  15. Conclusion
  16. Series Comparison
  17. Photo Gallery
  18. Ratings & Specs
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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