Re: Samsung LED TVs
Comparison shopping for HDTV's in a Best Buy or other big barn store is generally a fools errand. The only thing you can really discern in a big box store is what features you want to have and the design of the set, because it certainly isn't going to help you much in determining picture quality. It will tell you which picture has the biggest "slam", not the best picture. No one watches TV in rooms that bright, nor should they.
The incredibly bright lighting in these stores means that anything other than an LCD will look washed out. You can get a sun burn faster in these stores than you could determine picture quality. This is the reason why Pioneer, Sony, Vizio, and others have dropped out of the Plasma game. They couldn't pass the Best Buy test--meaning that plasma, front projection, and rear projection don't have anywhere near as bright a picture as their LCD counterparts. This brightness differenciation is particularly magnified in big box stores when every HDTV is biased heavily in the vivid or bright mode. LCD's will always win the brightness test if that is what you are looking for. Big Box Stores realize that most consumers will perceive the brighter picture as having the better picture, which any videophile and video engineer knows is definitely not the case.
I have a Samsung 52" LCD/with LED backlighting in my living room and in my upstairs media room I have a Pioneer 60" plasma which my wife has commandeered away from me because she likes the picture better. So when I want to watch sports I am relegated to the living room while she goes upstairs to watch her chick-flicks and favorite shows.
I really can't argue with her, because the Pioneer picture is both better on DirecTV HD broadcasts and on Standard Definition and Blu Ray movies. The Pioneer plasma has a smidge better black level which enhances the contrast and makes the picture have great grey scaling. But I think the real difference is mostly seen in Blu Ray movies (and also SD movies) where the picture has a smoother analog quality than the Samsung. This is not to say I don't think the Samsung is an excellent HDTV--it is. But it just isn't quite as good.