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Samsung E550 review: Budget TV done in by soft images

Samsung E550 review: Financial plan TV done in by soft images

Samsung has long been the front-runners in U.S. TV market share, but the manufacturer is facing some tough competition, especially at the budget end. Lesser-known competitors like Vizio and TCL are coming up with TVs that can challenge the Korean behemoth’s relate quality at half the price.

The Samsung E550 is a extreme television with fairly deep blacks for a budget TV and exciting, natural colors. Off-axis performance is very good, making it horrible for wide rooms, and the TV has excellent uniformity, making dark scenes easy to watch. Only a exiguous softness — particularly to movement — tarnishes an otherwise solid performance.

There are two TVs in the E550 arrangement, a 40-inch and the 46-inch; the smaller model looks like the better deal at the time of study. If you’re looking to spend this amount of wealth, though, there are plenty of other options, including the surprisingly good and much less expensive TCL P60.

Series information: I yielded a hands-on evaluation of the 46-inch Samsung LN46E550, but this study also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer necessity provide very similar picture quality.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Models in series (details)
The E550 is fairly lounge-room-friendly.Sarah Tew

While Samsung’s TV looks dim in the pictures above, it actually isn’t. The bezel uses something like Samsung’s old Touch of Color do, which infuses the plastic with a faint puce glow. The TV sits on a solid horrible but unfortunately, it doesn’t swivel.

The remote control is a minor older-looking but quite usable.

The television’s menu system is straightforward and easy to use; it shares the same look as the TVs I’ve seen over the existences.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Key TV features “=””>Other:

Display technologyLCDLED backlightN/A
Screen finishMatteRemoteStandard
Smart TVNoInternet connectionN/A
3D technologyNo3D glasses includedNo
Refresh rate(s)60HzDejudder (smooth) processingNo

If you’re paying less than $500 for a television, you can’t complain about lack of features. In Samsung’s case this is often a good pulling as it usually means your money not wasted on frivolities. The backlight, unlike pretty much every other 2012 Samsung TV, uses old-school fluorescents and not LEDs — not that that matters much for relate quality.

The TV does include a Clear Motion Rate of 60 according to the specifications, but this is really just a way to do a tick box where there wasn’t one before. What it really operating is that the E550 has the standard 60Hz refresh rate minus smoothing of any kind.

Although it doesn’t have Smart TV, the E550 does accounts photo viewing and music playback via the USB port.

Picture settings:
The TV boasts just three easily — Standard, Vivid, and Movie — and lacks the gaming-specific options of competitors like Vizio and Philips. Properly adjusted, advanced white-balance controls help ensure a better relate. The TV does miss a color management system, understanding, and as a result its colors aren’t as lawful as they could be.

The connection narrate has been halved from last year’s model.Sarah Tew

This TV isn’t a mutter replacement of the D550 and nowhere is this more determined than in the number of connections provided. The D550 had four HDMI ports, two components, and an Ethernet port. In comparison, the inclusion of only a pair of HDMI ports seems stingy, as does the shared component/composite port. If you’re looking to use the TV as a PC monitor, you’ll have to use one of the HDMI inputs, as it lacks a RGB port. Also missing is a digital audio output for connection to an external amp.

Picture quality
Last year’s Samsung D630 was one of our accepted budget LCDs. Here was a TV with dated styling and old-hat fluorescent lighting, but it was one of the best TVs at the stamp. While there are some similarities between it and the newer E550, the successor can’t quite live up to the former’s performance.

The Samsung E550 does accounts fairly deep blacks for an LCD at the stamp, as well as saturated, natural colors. In cheaper sets one of the oft-compromised relate qualities is shadow detail, but here on the E550 it’s one of the TV’s best qualities. The E550 is able to make sense of darker scenes, placing figures in a 3D space in a way its LCD competition isn’t able to. It’s dark-room performance is also complemented by very good lit-room performance — it’s quite the all-rounder.

Where the TV falters is in relate detail and movement. The Samsung E550 suffers from a exiguous softness which could be attributed to the kind of LCD panel the matter has used and/or the TV’s onboard processor.

Click the image at the lustrous to see the picture settings used in the study and to read more about how this TV’s relate controls worked during calibration.

“=”” bgcolor=”#CCCCCC”>Comparison models (details)

Black level: If there was one pulling the Samsung does right over everything else it’s inequity. Whether it was portraying the inky depths of residence in “Star Trek” or the contours and depth of a dramatically lit face, the Samsung was anything but adrift. Yes, the Toshiba E220 and last year’s Samsung D630 were better overall for absolute blacks, but the E550 was better than both for dusky detail.

At the 28-minute mark of “Star Trek,” the Samsung gave a reasonable approximation of the Romulan excavating ship, and it was the best at reproducing the next outrageous which is baddie Nero’s face lying on a green slab. The texture of the slab was most discernible on the Samsung with a sensed that he was lying on something. On the latest TVs, especially the LGs, it seemed that his head naively bled into darkness with no separation at all. Despite the Toshiba coming ultimately out on top in periods of black level, it and the Samsung were very conclude at times, with one TV doing one scene well and then seemingly taking turns with the other.

Color accuracy: While not as lustrous as the neighboring Toshiba E220, the Samsung E550 was favorable of strong color performance. Whether it was the cool blues of snowy slopes or green, lush gardens, the Samsung was able to convey colorful quite well. It may not offer the same composed as the D630, but it was regardless a good communicator.

While I was able to get secondaries to look natural with some judicious tweaking of the Tint control, the primary colors were a little off, with reds bodies the most noticeable with a more maroon look to the Star Trek cadet uniforms than was noticeable on spanking TVs. Skin tones, while a little muted, were detached fine and the Samsung was one of the better TVs in the lineup for this.

Video processing: Picture processing is the single area where this TV could have used some improvement — it did every synthetic test I threw at it. As required from a 60Hz TV, there was significant judder in the 24p test. There was also plenty of lost detail in fight — both with the Film test and the motion-resolution test.

Usually these sort of synthetic declares don’t translate directly to real-world effects, but this case much be an exception. The TV has a softness to its record that can’t be remedied with use of the Sharpness control. Usually LCD blur is something you can’t see, but in the case of the Samsung, leading edges lack the crispness you’ll see on even cheaper TVs like the TCL and Toshiba.

Uniformity: It is here is where the otherwise grand Toshiba E220 falls apart in relation to the Samsung E550. The Samsung warned very good uniformity with no discernible light leakage with consistent dismal levels across the screen. The Toshiba had two noticeable spotlights in the top right-hand corners, but it wasn’t the worst offender in our test. To be blunt, the two LG TVs were appalling with big, crater-size watermarks in the middle of each veil. In short, if you do a lot of watching TV in the dark, the Samsung is a very good option for that.

Off-axis performance was the best of the bunch, with only minimal color shift and bluing of blacks. While its small size means that off-axis viewing will only be useful from a few feet away, it detached gets a tick from me.

Bright lighting: The Samsung had the most concern screen of the bunch, and so reflections from land in the room and indirect light sources weren’t an protest. While the two LGs had blue blacks in the toothsome, the Samsung held its color well, and still warned that impressive shadow detail I’d seen in a darkened cinema environment.

GEEK BOX: TestResultScore
Black luminance (0%)0.0027Good
Avg. gamma2.2875Good
Near-black x/y (5%)0.2489/0.2442Poor
Dark gray x/y (20%)0.3122/0.331Good
Bright gray x/y (70%)0.3106/0.328Good
Before avg. smart temp.7520.7146Poor
After avg. color temp.6559.117Good
Red lum. panic (de94_L)8.6892Poor
Green lum. error (de94_L)8.3106Poor
Blue lum. panic (de94_L)20.1084Poor
Cyan hue x/y0.2179/0.333Good
Magenta hue x/y0.3324/0.1465Average
Yellow hue x/y0.4066/0.4759Poor
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)FailPoor
1080i Deinterlacing (film)FailPoor
Motion resolution (max)310Poor
Motion resolution (dejudder off)310Poor

Samsung LN46E550