"Great do-it-all 1080p TV that is sized just right!"4.5 starson by KevinLRogers
Pros: + Image quality is indeed excellent
+ Sound quality is adequate
+ 3 HDMI outs and a USB input
+ Easy to use menu
+ Swivel stand
Cons: - No analog audio out
- Settings menu gives little control
Summary: I've had this TV since this past Christmas and figure that by now it has proven itself a great buy. The TV I was picking up was to be an all-purpose replacement for a trusty old Samsung 23" 720p bedroom tv (the living room tv is a 50-incher): for 1080p via dedicated blu-ray player; for Xbox 360; an hdmi cable box; part-time use as a 1920x1080 PC monitor via vga for a secondary pc; plus extra connections to possibly run an older PS2 via component or other consoles as I see fit.
It handles all of these functions with great aplomb, something which cannot be taken for granted. For instance, when researching the owner's manuals for competing televisions there were often caveats such as not offering full 1920x1080 via vga. And this 37" size seems perfect. Expansive and immersive up close yet holds up quite well from a distance, and fitting just right in a crowded entertainment center.
Image quality is indeed excellent, with the issue regarding relatively light black levels easily addressed through the extensive tweaking options. Screen brightness is also readily modified via the green "Energy" button (Off/min/med/max/auto). This is something I always used on my old Samsung (3 settings) as well. Full brightness on when playing blu-ray or 360, but when watching CNN or what-not there's no reason to waste the screen blaring brightly. I personally don't let the "Auto" setting choose for me.
For gaming, there is not truly a dedicated "Game Mode" like on my old Samsung (the "game mode" here is basically just some brightness presets), but that is moot given there is no input lag to be found. And I am one who plays various types of games requiring responsive input such 2D shooters like Raiden IV, racing games such as Forza 3, intense action game Vanquish, and the usual fps titles.
The wealth of settings also extends to picture configuration, such as depending on source the usual 16:9/Just Scan/Zoom options but also a handy Cinema Zoom allowing quite a bit of flexibility. To wit, my settings have resulted in "Cinema Zoom 15" when bringing to full-screen/proper aspect a channel that shows only a small center-boxed 16:9 image under natural circumstances. Also, there is a dedicated function to properly center the vga pc image. If you initially encounter an off-center pc image simply call up the "Screen (RGB-PC)" option.
Last but not necessarily least is the surprisingly loud and capable built-in audio, a major weak spot on my older Samsung. While I have an external stereo system that I never forget to pump things through when playing videogames or movies, I am also content shutting everything else off and using the onboard speakers when watching normal television. One could get along quite well just going with the built-in speakers in general.
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Hope my review helpful.