Summary: Samsung's new A950 series of LCD HDTVs has been designed to be the next step in image fidelity for liquid crystal display technology. These home theatre HD TVs use Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) that can selectively illuminate sections of the screen at a time.
Excerpt: The model being reviewed today is fully 120hz compliant, has full LED backlighting, it has Samsung's top of the line 55 inch LCD panel for their best color reproduction they have available. This should be an interesting review to see if the newer 120hz technology does work, or as with any first implementations, this could be deemed as an expensive trial run to iron out the bugs before the true home run hit is released the second year.
Conclusion: The Samsung LN55A950 is an impressive showcase of modern LCD technology, thanks to its LED backlighting and energy efficiency. It also delivers the best picture quality we've seen (so far) among LED-backlit LCDs.
Pros: Excellent energy efficiency. Superb picture contrast. Good color accuracy.
Cons: Limited viewing sweet spot. Some advanced picture controls are ineffective. Reflective screen surface.
Excerpt: Two of the LCD sets in this Face Off, including the Samsung, produce black levels that were unheard of in LCD flat panels until recently. Like the Sony in this group, the Samsung LN55A950 uses clusters of multicolored LEDs as a backlight, together with local dimming of the individual clusters as required by the program material. The LN55A950 is the larger of Samsung’s second generation of LED local-dimming sets.
Excerpt: Last year, Samsung launched its first generation of LCD flat-panel sets with LED backlighting, the 81 Series. These sets were exciting in a number of ways. LEDs offer potentially superior color performance compared with conventional fluorescent backlights and also provide lower energy consumption.
Excerpt: The 55-inch LN55A950 is the larger of two screen sizes offered in Samsung's 2008 flagship 9 Series, the other being the 46-inch LN46A950. The 9 Series is the successor to last year's 81 Series, which took bragging rights as the first mass-market LCD TVs to feature LED backlighting. (Sony first offered an LED-backlit model in its Qualia line all the way back in 2004, but with prices in the neighborhood of $15K for a 46-incher, it was more of a technological statement than...
Excerpt: Before auditioning this TV, we had previously considered Samsung’s top-of-the-line sets to be, all things considered, the best LCD TVs we had reviewed to date. This Samsung full-HD TV — available in 46-inch and 55-inch sizes — comes at something of a premium price ($5499/$6999), but it makes its predecessors look like the work of amateurs.
Excerpt: LCD televisions produce pictures by shining a bright light through a grid of liquid-crystal shutters that open and close in response to the video signal, passing light through to produce bright colors, and blocking it in darker areas. Almost all LCDs use CCFL (cold-cathode fluorescent lamp) backlighting; but a few models, including this Samsung 55-incher, use an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as their light source.
Pros: Very good blacks and superb tonal gradation, Fabulously detailed pictures, Wonderful three-dimensionality
Cons: Room reflections in bright settings, Subdued reds