Pros Picture Quality
Cons Average Sound
Summary When researching LCD TVs, I narrowed my search to the Samsung 5- and 6-series, based on reviews of quality and overall value. I went to our local Best Buy several times to also let my eyes judge in person what I had been reading.
First, I'd like to say that all three of these TVs are quality units, but each has a different feature set and if you are in the same situation I was, hopefully this review will help you make an informed decision.
LN46A550 (Released March 2008): Great TV for those on a tight budget who still want one of best pictures available on any 46" LCD TV. Initially, this was my choice based on strong reviews and the savings it offered. The 550 has a matte screen, which reduces the reflection of ambient light and glare. I decided to narrow my search to the 6-series based on 120Hz processing (not available on the 550), which is a feature I wanted after seeing it in person, especially for Blu-ray movies and watching sports.
LN46A650 (Released March 2008): Offering Auto Motion Plus 120hz and 50,000:1 contrast ratio, I initially thought this was an excellent choice. However, the 650 suffers from the same problem as plasma TVs, in that they reflect ambient light and significantly increase glare. Samsung chose to use a super glossy surface for their higher end LCD TVs, which increases contrast ratio at the cost of heavy reflection. Personally, one of the main reasons I was buying an LCD over a plasma was to eliminate glare. Samsung offers the PN50A650 for nearly the same price as the LN46A650, and you get a larger screen with 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.
LN46A630 (Released August 2008): The first thing you might notice is that Samsung released the 630 five months after the 550 and 650. The reason for this was consumers wanted a 120Hz Samsung LCD in a matte-finish screen. Also, people were quite mixed in their opinion of the red Touch of Color (ToC) frame and thick bezel. The 630 provides a thinner bezel and mutes the ToC. I much prefer this look, both when the TV is on and off, so I'm very happy with the adjustments. As mentioned, this LCD uses the matte-finish, which eliminates the reflection of ambient light and glare. It was interesting when I was in Best Buy, because they had a 650 and a 630 side-by-side. Both picture quality was very sharp (40,000:1 vs 50,000:1), although the 650 reflected light from several sources. I actually stood right in between the two screens and moved to the left and right. When I was in front of the 630, I could not see any reflections and the picture was extremely clear. As I slowly moved to the left in front of the 650, my face and body reflected off the screen like a mirror, as well as other light sources. During bright scenes this was not noticeable and the picture was very good, but during dark scenes the reflection was very distracting. The 630 had none of these issues, with the same advantages of excellent picture quality and 120 Hz processing.
I think this LCD is the best combination of quality and value available right now. The sound of the 630 is average out of the box, so I have a home theater in a box (HTIB) hooked up to it. This is pretty common for most LCDs, except the very high end models.
Overall, I think the LN46A630 is the best choice among Samsung LCDs, in terms of price, picture quality and features. If you are trying to decide between the 550, 650 and 630, I highly recommend the LN46A630.
Pros Perfect contrast ration to display dark scenes and superior performance. You can no be wrong when choosing the Samsung LCDs. I recommend you to check out http://www.squidoo.com/best-hdtv for information on the best and cheapest HDTV to get at 2009,
Cons I can't think of one.
Summary When choosing LCD Samsung is your best choice. CNET is definitely right about Samsung being the highest quality of LCD.
Pros -120 hertz feature/ smooth motion
- matte screen compared to 650 model (alot less glare)
- touch of color red is a lot less unnoticeable
- great color/sharp pictures
- better compatibility with my laptop (via hdmi)
- best value for the price
Cons - Sound Quality is missing good bass
-AMP on high level can make it seem too realistic and make you dizzy
Summary I've been selling HDTVs for more than a year and I after endless hours at staring at the store displays I've been waiting to get my own. So i've had my experiences with all the top brands, and I've definitely seen first-hand the dramatic changes LCDs went through. Now when it came to choosing a flat screen, It was either a Samsung or a Sony (specifically the samsung 630/650/750 vs. the Sony W/Z series). All those models are excellent by the way. So, why did I choose the Samsung 630?
PRICE - I got this 46'' for 1299. , which is about the same price as the 550 at my store (which I'm not going to name). The 650 was around 1599, and probably because of overstock the 750 was 1499. I was originally going to get the 750, but decided the extra money wasn't worth it (it had a ultra-clear panel, and some more internet capabilities, BUT the picture on it didn't look as good because it bled out too much light and the picture was faded). I had a very bright room, so I knew the ultra glossy panel of 650 and above was not a great choice. As for the sonys: the W series, i didn't like the design, and the color on the sonys are just not as vibrant as the Samsungs. However, i did like the Z series and the 10 bit panel, but I would've to spend 1699.99 for that thing.
120hertz - TWICE the refreshing rate on the screen on most standard LCDs. I've compared the two lcds in my house and you so much smoother motion on a 120hertz tv. There is virtually no lag. Trust me, it'll make the difference if your sports or action fanatic.
AMP - or auto motion plus is the technology Samsung uses with the 120 hertz to reduce motion blur and smooth movements on the screen. I usually keep this on the low setting because high because a little too realistic and movies may feel unnatural (this is because movies weren't intended to look that way): sometimes it makes you sick because you not used it. I play with sony TVs all day at work, but I usually have to max out their settings to even get to match with a samsung lowest AMP setting)
I believe this model has around 3 hdmi inputs. The Samsungs worked better with my laptop (gateway fx series) than any of the sony TVs (via hdmi). The sonys kept recognizing it and losing the signal, and screen constantly blacked out and reappeared. I hooked it to any samsung, and it was immediately picked up and flawless.
the touch of color is a design either hated or loved by people. This is particularly due to the red around the frame of TV. The 630 model has very little red, in fact some got shipped without the red on it at all (i think mine did, i'm not bothered by it anyways). It still has the glass like edge around it, and looks fantastic. Even with the red you probably won't see it unless you are 1 inch away from the tv. So this is a perfect tv for someone who wants to spend less than $2000, and loves the Samsung, but despises the redness of the TOC.
The sound is actually quite average in most LCDs. Which mean they are fairly weak and pathetic. I really don't care because these LCDs can't deliver any superior sound anyway, so its smart to buy a nice home theater system.
-Less glare than the 650 (huge difference in a super bright room)
-The TV swivels, I know it may not be a big deal to some, but it so much more convenient when the TV swivels when you got to plug things to the TV or adjust it to the people in your room.
To sum it all up the picture looks phonomenal and the color is so vibrant and lovely. ESPECIALLY in 1080p on blu-ray. Remember people if you want the BEST of your tv get a blu-ray player (its unfortunate how many customers I get trying to return many great TVs simply because they fail to set it up properly or spend the extra money for blu-ray or HD). Its a step up from the 550 and just as good quality as the 650.
I only write reviews if i'm passionate about the product.So stop reading my gibberish, and just go out the buy the dang TV!
Pros Deep blacks and crisp whites. The 120 MHz setting is awesome. Looks fabulous with the our Xbox 360 console...
Cons None that I can tell yet...
Summary Bought this the day after Christmas at Fry's for $1299. Compared to other 46-47 1080/120 LCDs, this one was the sharpest. One thing that I was pleasantly surprised with is the low reflectivity of the screen - we have a bright TV room and I have not had any issues with glare. We have Dish network, and watched a "Bee Movie" in HD - unbelievable! It was like we were watching in 3D or something... My wife and I could not get over the clarity and crispness of the picture. The set has some other really nice features like the "Wiselink" which allows you to stick a USB drive in the side of the set to listen to music or look a digital photos - nice touch. Set-up was easy and the remote is intelligently laid out and simple to use. Overall, I am extremely satisfied. I was originally going to get a set in the 50-52 inch range, but ended up with this one due to the superior picture quality - after all, that's the whole point of HD, isn't it? I bought a three year extended warranty from Fry's for $139 (about 10%) - hopefully I won't need it but I felt it was a reasonable price judging on past experiences I have had with flat panels in general.
Pros Great picture, bright, ToC is not noticeable.
Cons Menu blocks out some settings when using the preset picture formats...annoying
Summary I must have gotten the best deal on this TV when I bought it back in October. Fry's probably had it mis-priced online, cause I got it for $1299, no tax and free shipping. The 40" version was $1599 at the time, so I can only assume they had them mixed up. Anyways, they honored the price!
The 630 seems to be least known version of all the Samsung ToC series TV's. Everyone sells the 550, 650, 750, 8 and 9 series, but you hardly find the the 630 anymore. I actually went to a BestBuy yesterday to see if they had it, but they none. The 630 is great. Picture quality is true, features are ample, and I think the fact that the red ToC color is less noticeable makes it a better deal than the 650. I live in a bright NYC apartment with a wall of windows in the living room and I can watch the TV just fine during bright sunny afternoons.
Its simply the best deal that Samsung has right now.