|by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig | August 31, 2009|
Samsung LN55B650 55" 120Hz LCD HDTV: A Layman's Review
Samsung LN55B650 55” 120Hz LCD HDTV: A Layman’s Review
Product Number: LN55B650T1FXZC
Price: Approx. $3000CAD
Warranty: 1 year
Manufacturer's Product Page: SAMSUNG Canada
Yes, TV reviews seem to be few and far between here at Hardware Canucks but there is a good reason for that: in our opinion, it takes a hell of a long time to properly evaluate what a customer’s experience will be like with a television set. There are countless settings to tweak, videos to watch and games to play in order to formulate a clear opinion about a modern HDTV. The myriad of settings on modern sets also means that opinions about a certain product can and will vary from person to person. Indeed, due to variances in identical panels we have found significant differences when it comes to comparing two HDTVs with the exact same product number. That is why this review will be based on my personal viewing experience of this Samsung TV over the course of the last 45 days. When push comes to shove, I’m like the 90% of you who will be reading this review; I don’t know all the technical terms for the prevailing technology behind this product and its settings, nor do I really care about them. What I do care about is that my hard-earned money was well spent on a product that will give me the best picture quality possible with a minimum of hassle. As such, don’t expect any technical mumbo jumbo in this review unless it is preceded with a darn good explanation and be ready for a lot of subjectivity.
Now that I have all that off my back, let’s get to the star of this review: the Samsung LN55B650 which is one of the newest TVs on the market and comes from a company well known for quality and attention to detail. Before we get on, I think a little explanation about Samsung’s nomenclature is due right about now. Basically, the “L” tells you that this is an LCD (a “P” here would mean Plasma),”N” signifies that this model is for the North American market, the “55” refers to the diagonal screen size in inches, the ”B” denotes the series and finally the “650” refers to the model. The B-series of LCD TVs replaces Samsung’s outgoing A-series across all model ranges but the 300 and 400 series are still the budget-conscious models while the 500, and 600 models stride are slightly upscale products and the 700 and 800 series units are for particularly discerning customers.
Unlike the high end LN52A850 we reviewed earlier this year (and is still regarded as one of the best LCD TVs to date), the LN55B650 finds its roots planted firmly in the middle of Samsung’s lineup. Its feature set is well rounded with technologies like Auto Motion Plus 120Hz, Game Mode, internet@TV, and DLNA wireless and of course the largest screen size available on any current Samsung LCD HDTV. We’ll go over all of these features in detail a bit later but I am sure you are all wondering one thing right now: what’s this thing cost? Believe it or not, due to its additional screen real-estate the LN55B650 retails for approximately the same price as the LN52B750: between $3000 to $3300 CAD. If that price brings tears to your eyes, bear in mind that newer LED backlit panels of the same size are presently retailing for a mind boggling $4500 and more.
Instead of having a certified ISF technician come and calibrate the set for me, this review is being done using my own personal settings which I found best suited my viewing environment. As such, you can consider this one of the most subjective and slightly off-the-cuff reviews we have done here on Hardware Canucks.
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