|Samsung HL-S6187W 61-Inch DLP HDTV|
|Home Theater Rear-Projection HDTVs DLP Rear-Projection HDTVs|
|Written by Andrew Robinson|
|Wednesday, 01 November 2006|
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A Word on 1080p
At this stage in the development of HDTVs and HD video technology, you want a 1080p set in whatever form you buy, be it plasma, rear-projection, a front projector or whatever. It is important to note that, right now, there are very few 1080p sources. Your cable and satellite providers top out at 1080i. Your HD DVD player only outputs 1080i at this stage. The new ones will do 1080p. Only Samsung’s Blu-ray player will output true 1080p, but does that mean that 1080p performance is meaningless? Absolutely not. Scaling video, with or without an external video processor, from 1080i or 720p to 1080p is a much easier task than trying to make 480i or 480p look like HD. This set upconverts everything to 1080p, which is how you want it, and when 1080p sources like Playstation 3, Generation Two HD DVD players and more Blu-ray players hit the streets in the coming weeks, you will be ready for the video they have to offer.
Another confusing issue from the world of HDTV retail is the idea that all 1080p HDTVs can take a true 1080p input. This set can and deserves big props for that, especially considering its price, but many earlier sets that call themselves “1080p HDTVs” actually cannot take a 1080p signal. They convert everything from 1080i to 1080p inside the TV. For this reason, you want to look towards a true 1080p set like this Samsung.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Samsung DLP TV, it did have a few drawbacks. First was its tendency to be a bit noisy in the transitions between light and dark with certain source material. Also, it was a little prone to excess pixilation or chunkiness in middle values, especially with skin tones in dimly lit scenes. Lastly, in terms of picture quality, the Samsung wasn't completely free of motion artifacts during rapid pans. The development of DLP as a technology has improved on this malady but, while it is much better than earlier sets, it also isn’t perfect yet.
I thought the fan noise was loud despite Samsung's claims. However, a lot of today's HD sets, whether they be plasma, LCD or projection, suffer from this issue. Maintaining a proper viewing distance will goes a long way in eliminating this potential issue. Another solution is turning up the volume.
Much like the grip on a golf club or the tires on your sports car, your home theater’s remote is the way you control the performance, and is therefore incredibly important. Many HDTV remotes make it seem like you can use it to control your whole system. I wouldn’t recommend that here. I really didn’t like the included remote for a host of reasons, including no backlighting, a counter-intuitive layout, small buttons, bad labeling and a funky shape. A universal remote is a much-advised option if you invest in this set. It will help you manage your system and give you better ergonomics than the remote that comes with the HDTV.
Considering the price, it is hard to beat this set. When I critically evaluate such a set, I do so by comparing it to the professional video I deal with on a daily basis. For the movie enthusiast or the football fan, this set is a home run of a value and protects you as 1080p sources come to market. I think you need to look to spend thousands if not many of thousands of dollars to get better at this point in the game. For those looking for the next level of video performance specifically from SD sources, I like the idea of an external video processor. It will allow you management of more HDMI sources and give you a better-looking low-res picture as it is scaled up to 1080p.
In the end, this is ready to rock for you at a price that is very fair. It is big, black and beautiful. Start picking a spot to place this sexy bit of industrial art and prepare to fall in love.