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Samsung LA40A610 LCD TV
Samsung has delivered an interim new model, when all the other brands are comparatively dormant. This LCD TV is from their high end acclaimed range called the 6 Series, though price-wise it's a bit lower, thus more accessible. The model is the Samsung LA40A610 - different from the older A650 models. Let's find out what's different in this model.
Design and features
This family of TVs by Samsung has already made its mark with the touch of color feature for the bezel. This feature involves a process using injection molding, which is what they call Crystal Design now. They insert a streak of lovely red hue in the black bezel, all around the panel. I'm not one for gimmicks, but this is not just a stunt to impress superficially. It makes a big difference in the aesthetic scheme of the TV. The surface is piano gloss finished, and slightly curved at the top panel. There are no sharp edges, loud illustrations or anything of the sort. The stand is similarly clad in black, and is a perfect oval, giving good support to the frame. The red is only visible in yellow light, and slightly lower lit ambience. Straight up white tube light is no good.
The newer the TV, the more the features, so allow me to enumerate what is offered in this model. There is Samsung’s proprietary DNIe engine that enhances images by some magic with DSP. It is accessible from the menu and we can optimize color and other aspects of the image. Samsung TVs always have a very intuitive menu system, and this shouldn’t be any different. The contrast ratio is 40000:1 dynamic, which is again on the ‘ridiculously stated’ category. Response time is rated as 5 ms. The panel is 40 inches, made of 1920 x 1080 pixels, thus making this a full HD. 1080p/24p playback is stated in bold on the site and manual.
So we started our general ritual of calibrating and checking color accuracy etc. The detailed test readings are on the next page. This TV has no doubt a detailed menu section, where we can adjust gamma, backlight and of course contrast, brightness. After tweaking a bit we could get our image, though black levels left me asking for a bit more. The lowest levels lack absolute separation. Simply speaking the black levels were good but not too detailed. We had to really notch the brightness level quite high to get darkest parts of our test pattern. Though once set up it looks very good.
The contrast is quite vibrant in this series 6 model, at least for LCD standards. What I liked a lot with the TV were the neutral colors. The colors hovered around 6500K throughout the grayscale. What this means was that there was a good level of accuracy in the colors, thus along with a good contrast setting one can get a beautiful vivid image.
Excess sharpness on the menu creates haloing (a false whitish border around the objects), so it’s best left untouched, while motion again is pretty impressive. We used the classic race car scene to check motion blur, and this TV is a definite improvement. Finally we saw Ratatouille Blu-ray for overall assessment, and had a pleasurable experience. This is what I mean when I say that academic, analytical tests mean one thing, but when it actually boils down to watching a film or playing a game, this TV is very worthy.
Rs. 81000 is the official price for this TV, which is again the price we have to pay for a top of the line series. The series 4 and 5 are no doubt cheaper, and they perform well too. But getting back to this 6 series piece, there is obviously a premium we are paying for the red bezel. The image is very good, definitely on the better side of decent, but not absolutely spectacular, as the blacks could have been more accommodating.