One of the most common requests we hear at CNET is for a TV that has good picture quality "without all that extra crap" (or words to that effect). Said extras included on many TVs these days include Internet connectivity and 3D, as well as an LED backlight for LCD models. Samsung's LND630 series comes pretty close to that no-frills ideal, delivering picture quality that's a match for many of the best LED TVs we've tested this year at a price that reflects its relative lack of extra features.
Yes, the LND630 does have a 120Hz refresh rate, but you can customize its processing to get the benefits of 1080p/24, film-based Blu-rays without smoothing (yay!). More importantly, the step-down 60Hz LND550 lacks this model's color accuracy. Slightly more-expensive sets like the LED-based Sony KDL-EX523 series offer built-in Internet streaming, but for the price difference you could add a network streaming box to this Samsung. The LND630 doesn't provide quite the bang-for-the-buck of Panasonic's ST30 series plasma, but among LCDs we've tested, LED or otherwise, it's the value champ.
Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the 46-inch Samsung LN46D630, but this review also applies to the 40-inch member of the series. Both sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.
|Models in series (details)|
|Samsung LN40D630 (reviewed)||40 inches|
|Samsung LN46D630 (reviewed)||46 inches|
|Panel depth||3.2 inches||Bezel width||1.75 inches|
|Single-plane face||No||Swivel stand||No|
The LND630 looks the part of Samsung's nicest non-LED TV, with a sleek transparent edge that makes the bezel around the screen seem slimmer than it is. The bottom edge of the frame gets a bronze-colored strip to offset the black. We appreciated the swivel, although we noticed Samsung dropped the glass-topped base of 2010's LNC630 stand to go with glossy black plastic this year.
|Remote control and menus|
|Remote size (LxW)||8.4 x 2 inches||QWERTY keyboard||No|
|Illuminated keys||44||IR device control||No|
|Menu item explanations||Yes||On-screen manual||Yes|
Samsung's standard midrange remote is included on the LND630, complete with backlighting behind nearly every key--a rarity in this class. We don't like the grid layout as much as the better-differentiated keys on some other remotes, but it's still perfectly functional once you figure out the logical groupings.
The TV has the same menus as last year, and that's a good thing. The transparent, blue-highlighted graphics are easy to read and navigate, and response is snappy. Text explanations are present for just about every function.
|Key TV features|
|Display technology||LCD||LED backlight||N/A|
|3D technology||N/A||3D glasses included||N/A|
|Screen finish||Matte||Internet connection||No|
|Refresh rate(s)||120Hz||Dejudder (smooth) processing||Yes|
The LND630 is the only non-LED Samsung LCD to offer 120Hz processing. It lacks the Internet streaming found on many step-up LED-based 2011 Samsungs, but it does have the ability to play back multimedia files via DLNA. Its Ethernet port can also download firmware updates if necessary.
|Adjustable picture modes||4||Fine dejudder control||Yes|
|Color temperature presets||4||Fine color temperature control||10 points|
|Gamma presets||7||Color management system||Yes|
Samsung offers its full range of picture settings on the LND630, providing as much control as on any flagship-priced TV on the market. We especially appreciate the customizable dejudder and the company's superb color management system. As we mentioned the step-down Samsung LND550 series lacks this TV's color adjustments and hence color accuracy (see below).
|HDMI inputs||3 back, 1 side||Component video inputs||2 back|
|Composite video input(s)||1 back, 1 side||VGA-style PC input(s)||1|
|USB port||2 side||Ethernet (LAN) port||Yes|
Nothing major goes missing here, and four HDMI ports are plenty for just about anybody. It's worth noting that the second component input doubles as the one back composite, so you can't use both simultaneously.