"High recommendation"4.0 starson by likesdalmations
Pros: Picture, physical appearance, matte screen
Cons: Remote, sound, software bugs
Summary: I've had this TV about 4 weeks now as a replacement for Samsung's LN-S4695 which would occasionally lock up and go blank. Simply put every word in CNET's review of the LN-T4661 is accurate in my experience. The picture is excellent and there are a numerous controls that can be used to make it even better. I would also note the improvement that Samsung has made in the finish of the piano black cabinet. The 4695 was a bit wavy here and there. The 4661 is very flat and smooth. You will appreciate the matte screen in a viewing room with normal lights and other light sources. The version of this set with the shiny screen noted in CNET's review may be annoying to many people.
I have downgraded the rating for 3 specific areas that could stand improvement. The first is the remote. It is frustrating to use as others have stated. I will admit that the buttons are well differeniated by size, shape and color which to a degree offsets the bad others have noted. I like the others have become used to it or bought a learning remote which doesn't require knowing Samsung's digital codes.
I have also downgraded the set for sound. I know that many people connect the TV to a receiver so these comments won't apply but some of us do use the internal speakers and controls and deserve better. The LN-S4695 had better sound. The sound is somewhat tinny and the cabinet does vibrate very slightly but only on certain frequencies. Not serious enough to bump this set out of your selection process especially if you do not plan to use the internal sound system.
However, the software behind the Auto Volume feature that is designed to level out the volume between different stations or programming simply does not work satisfactorily. It does indeed limit the volume but the volume is limited to such a low level that I found myself operating the volume at 100 on certain programs and it still wasn't loud enough for a medium sized room. Samsung Service was called in and they were able to increase the volume in the Auto mode somewhat but not enough in my opinion. So in my situation I don't use Auto Volume and just tolerate the volume changes between stations or inputs.
There are at least 2 more software bugs I've found in my set. The first has to do with the above Auto Volume menu selection. If the Auto Volume feature is selected by choosing YES, Auto Volume is actally defeated. When Auto Volume is unselected by choosing NO, the feature is enabled. If you plan to connect the set to an external amplifier this is a non-issue because the audio from the output jacks is not affected by the Auto Volume setting.
The other software bug I noted is similar and concerns the LNA (low noise amplifier) feature. Selecting YES for the LNA feature actually defeats the feature. Selecting NO enables the feature. If you use use cable or satellite you will not notice this issue. If you receive over the air, as I do, you simply need to be aware of issue and set the LNA (which works very well) accordingly (OFF to boost the signal and ON to not boost the signal).
I have not noticed any other features with this sort of logic inversion.
If you want to experience real frustration just try to explain subtle issues like these to the Samsung tech who comes to your home to correct it! These kinds of programming bugs are not what you'd expect from a major manufacturer.
OK. Now that I have finished critizing the very few shortcomings of the set, I still have to give it a 8 overall because these faults may not affect others who buy this set and because the picture is outstanding.
I'd sure like to hear from others who have experienced these or other similar software issues.