395 of 397 people found the following review helpful
on June 15, 2011
I spent several months researching HDTV's and finally landed on this model (Samsung LN40D630). I read a lot of the forums online (Cnet.com) about this particular unit, and I had several concerns that wound up being unfounded. I think the best way to approach this review is to do it by some of the major features, so here goes:
AutoMotion Plus (AMP):
I was initially concerned about the AutoMotion Plus feature. Many forum posts complained about it. I was afraid it would be too smooth (i.e too much "soap opera effect"). My concerns were unfounded. It's easy to turn off this feature and it is easy to customize. I love that it is customizable by SOURCE (meaning the settings for your cable may be different for your DVD or BluRay player and the TV will save them as such). I like it very much for fast-motion (such as hockey games) and use the "clear setting" for just about everything else. The "demo mode" is a nice feature showing you the comparison of AMP on and off on a splitscreen. pretty cool.
This is the feature that allows you to plug in a USB hard drive or thumb drive and play videos, music, or look at pictures. I'm pleased to say that this quickly has become my favorite feature since I have a lot of videos saved on my computer. The TV does a great job reading almost all of the major file formats. The external HD powers off when the TV turns off, which is a nice feature (because I don't have remember to unplug it every time I shut off the TV and vice versa). The built-in video player interface firmware works great (pause, fast forward, and returns you to the place where you left off if you have to shut down, even if you turn everything off and come back later). The music player interface is a bit clunky, but it works ok. My only complaint about the music player is that it doesn't include a shuffle feature. I've written Samsung and asked that such feature be included in future firmware upgrades.
One of the first things I did was upgrade the firmware. The instructions on Samsung's website (and in the owner's manual) were easy and worked perfectly. I look forward to further refinements from Samsung.
As I understand it, this feature allows you to plug your TV into your PC and watch the videos, look at pix, or play music you have stored there. I haven't quite set this up yet, but I did download and install the Allshare software from Samsung on my PC and I setup my media server in no time flat. Very easy and straightforward. All I need now is a long ethernet cable to plug it into the TV (you can go wireless with a special USB wireless adapter, but the adapter is a lot more expensive than an ethernet cable!). I'll be plugging the TV directly into my router. Fingers crossed. But even if it doesn't work, it's really no big deal to save media on an external USB hard drive and plug it into the TV directly. [I'll update my review after I've had a chance to experiment with this feature].
TV Picture Quality:
Samsung is hard to beat in this category. The image in the store looked great. And looked even better in my home environment. Clear, crisp, beautiful. Very happy!
Sound Quality and Outputs:
This is perhaps the weakest feature of this TV. The sound is often "tinny." Fortunately there are several easily selectable default sound settings that allow you to compensate. The Clear Voice setting works great for dialog. An equalizer is included for a custom setting, which can also help compensate some as well. I was disappointed that the unit didn't have a dedicated headphone out jack on the side. It does, however, include a single "audio out" jack in the back. This works fine with my wireless headphones which are amplified (i.e. built-in volume control), but it won't work well with "dumb" headphones (with no amplification). Since there is only one audio output jack, I had to plug in a splitter to send the audio out signal to both my headphones and my home stereo, which works fine. It also has an optical audio out jack, but my home stereo is ancient and won't accept that input type. I wish the audio out jack was variable (i.e. volume would be controlled by the TV), but it isn't. Perhaps the optical audio output is variable... I don't know... haven't tried it.
That about sums up the major features of this TV. Overall I'm very pleased with my choice. Hope this helps you!
149 of 150 people found the following review helpful
I hesitate calling this a 'dumb' tv, but that seems to be the option given the moniker Smart TV that is applied to so many higher end products these days.
Maybe the LN46D630 isn't as much dumb as it is ignorant. Which isn't a bad thing. Indeed, that's why I bought it. More on that in a bit.
Before I get to saying what I like about it, let me respond to some of the negative comments I've read. I can't answer for their experiences, but I can share my own. The picture quality is quite good. I don't have any issues with light leaking or other problems. It is a very consistent image that allows for a great variety of adjustments. If you look in the discussion under the 40 inch version of this model, you can find some added pointers about adjustment. I also got the Disney WOW! dvd which helps for much more precise adjustment.
Some others have noted problems with shipping. I had no problems at all. Amazon shipped this tv through Pilot Shipping, with a scheduled appointment set when I purchased this. Very professional service. It did take a bit longer than my usual prime shipping, but everything was handled quite well and everything arrived in perfect condition. Two men carried the television into my living room. They didn't set it up, but I didn't want them to anyhow.
When I did set it up, everything turned on quick and easy. The size means that unless you're big and strong you might want help setting it up, as it is a bit awkward to maneuver to attach the base.
I bought this model because I was wanting a television that allowed for good multimedia connections but was not loaded down with a lot of extraneous features I wouldn't want or need. I don't need a television with its own browser or apps. I have it hooked up to a pc, which gives it all those functions. Indeed, with so many game systems, blu-ray players, etc. with their own ways of connecting to media sites, paying a lot more for a television that does the same seemed plain silly. The newest models offer 3D, but that's much more of a gimmick than something I really wanted. The technology isn't advanced enough to use it without thinking about it, and when I'm watching a show or movie, I want to think about what I'm watching, not how.
So, this 'ignorant' television allows me to connect whatever I want, and have a great image when I do. I have an over the air antenna connected to it as well as a PC, playstation, and dvd player. The reception is good with the antenna, and living near Los Angeles gives me about 70+ channels to choose from (though a large percentage of those are in languages I don't understand). I connected my PC to the TV with a HDMI cable, and that provides both high quality image and sound. It's like having a much larger monitor with all the same functions, but I almost exclusively use it for multimedia.
The sound is good, but not great. We live in an apartment now, though, which means that great sound would bother the neighbors. We can have a fan on, and still keep the volume about 15 (out of 100), which means the speakers work sufficiently and are indeed better than the model we had before.
The image quality is superb. Deep blacks and bright whites. There does tend to be a bit more shadow in these Samsungs, so you have to think about whether you want deeper blacks or more washed out images that show more detail. I've yet to be bothered by it, myself, so it is far from being a major issue. Color is great, and the extensive adjustments that are possible make it very personalized to your own preferences.
Each of these preferences have to be adjusted for each source, however, which makes for a bit more work. I wish they had a universal setting to adjust every input the same.
But that's a minor issue among many other very great attributes. I wanted a TV that functioned more as a screen for my other media products, not a TV that replicated all those other functions. I wanted a TV with high quality picture, a lot of inputs for both new and older components, and that would allow me to customize what I needed without having to pay for a lot of stuff I didn't need.
This has fulfilled and exceeded in parts my expectations.
131 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2011
I purchased this TV to replace a 2006 LG plasma that went out of commission. It was going to cost $300-350 to fix it so why not spend a little extra for a brand new TV... Overall extremely happy with the TV, it was a very good value for the price.
1) Picture quality - of course compared to the old LG plasma, the picture quality of fantastic. Rich colors, very little glare on the screen, pretty good viewing angle. I looked at this and several other Samsung models at a local electronics store, and I honestly could not tell much difference between this model and some of the higher-end models in terms of just the picture. I was specifically interested in the D550, which is about $100 cheaper since it is 60 Hz, but the D630 did have a small but noticeable improvement in fine details especially with moving objects. I also thought about the D5500 but to me there was not much difference between LCD and LED all else being equal. I can see why LED would be attractive for people who plan to hang it on the wall, but if you are going to let it sit on a stand you can't really appreciate how thin it is anyway. Made more sense to spend the extra $100 for 120 Hz than LED.
2) Sound quality - so so, but what do you expect from a TV. It is good for regular TV viewing, I really like the "clear voice" mode which lets you hear conversations easily without cranking up the volume. The TV speakers sound a little thin or hollow if you are watching a movie.
3) Other features - remote works fine, nothing particularly good or bad. TV stand swivels, which is good. Connectivity is good, 4 HDMI and 2 USB are more than enough for me. It does not have built in wireless, which didn't matter for me since my router usually sits under the TV anyway so I just hook up the ethernet cable if I needed internet connection. No web browser or apps, which again would have been pretty useless for me since I can get all of that through my PS3. I tried the Allshare feature to stream videos from my computer to the TV. It works okay but I find it easier to just connect my portable hard drive to the TV.
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2011
The Samsung LN40D630 40-Inch 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV (Black) was purchased to replace a Samsung plasma that I've had for 10+ years. I wanted a 40+ inch 1080p 120Hz television by either LG or Samsung, ultimately going with a Samsung LCD TV.
Far superior to my old Samsung plasma. I'm amazed by how rich the picture is and details that can be seen. I have Verizon Fios and the HD picture is fantastic. The quality is "flexible," meaning that I can still see the great quality when sitting at various angles. You can change the PQ if necessary by using the remote. The quality of the TV is fantastic on Playstation 3 games through an HDMI cord. Everything that you do on your controller is very responsive on the screen and has smooth animations/movements.
Better than I expected. I read reviews saying that the sound quality wasn't so great and that you're better off getting a home theater sound system, but I still chose this model. Like the PQ settings, there are various settings on the remote to change the SQ (Standard, Clear voice, Movie, Music). The "Standard" setting sounds hollow and lacking for certain shows/movies. The "Clear voice" and "Movie" setting definitely amplifies the voices and sounds that you can hear for movies or games.
Some Other Features:
-TV stand swivels and very flexible (this is very convenient for me because I have the TV on a home theater furniture where I can't go around the TV--the TV turns around to me instead so that I can easily plug in cords)
-Remote is responsive and simple to use (you can make the buttons light up by pressing a button located on the top right hand corner)
-Great inputs (4 HDMI and 2 USB 2.0 Ports
-There aren't any web browser or applications (unnecessary functions for me since I have my Playstation 3 console set-up anyways.
-AutoMotion Plus (I felt that this function made some HD movies too smooth)
Other features will be further tested and posted in the future.
Overall, I am very pleased with this LCD television by Samsung and highly recommend it!
Played Enslaved Odyssey to the West (PS3) and made the following observations
-Cinematics are vibrant; colors are vibrant
-Settings were on SQ(movie) and PQ(dynamic). Forestry is lust (green colors and everything stands out). Music comes alive and the conversations between characters are clear and crisp
-Some framerate issues and hiccups but this is most likely due to the game itself and not the TV
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2011
I recently bought the Samsung LN40D630 as an upgrade from my Samsung LN32A550 and the difference in picture quality is obvious. I still love my 32' flat screen and it will be moved into my bedroom, but this TV is far superior. To really appreciate the TV's capacity you need to have a true Hi Def source like a blu ray player, Playstation 3, etc. Most cable companies are still broadcasting at 1080i and are not true Hi Def sources, although the D630 will make any source look a bit better with the Auto Motion Plus feature, which can be tweaked to your liking. It adds an extra image between frames to create a smooth and truly life like image. This may sound great and but it takes a bit of getting used to. I currently have it turned off because the image on the screen is almost too life like, and makes the movie or TV have a "soap opera" feel to it. Before you get any bad ideas about this feature, or the TV, it does have it's uses. This setting is great to use for fast action sports, or low def programs/channels. I tested in while playing a few different playstation games and although it really enhances the image and resolution it also creates lag while using the controller. For fast action games that require quick reflexes and little hesitation this feature will definitely work against you, and can be very annoying. In conclusion, it is a great feature to have, and you have to see it to completely understand it's impact and look. There is no doubt it has it's uses, but I wish there was a button on the remote that could allow you to quickly enable and disable it, instead of searching through the menu.
I spent at least an hour recalibrating the TV for each source (cable, movie, playstation, etc) and this set does come fairly well calibrated out of the box. It will save your different picture settings for each source, so once you calibrate each source accordingly you won't have to mess with it. Most LCD and plasma TV's come calibrated in a "Demo Mode" to show off it's appearance next to it's competitors and to accomplish this they usually turn the backlight and brightness up way to high. This will shorten the life of your TV and consume more power. Calibration depends on the viewing environment (light room with many windows or dark basement) and the viewers preferences, and this TV allows you to tweak everything including the Red Green Blue scale and many other standard and special effects. Some retailers recommend this be done by a professional (Geek squad) but you can also use a calibration disk. I simply consulted a trusted site for my tweaks (I posted them in this TV's customer forum) and I adjusted it to my liking and viewing environment. I recommend using "Movie Mode" over all others and go from there. I am still making fine adjustments here and there, and they can and should differ from source to source.
The TV's sound is so so provided the speakers aren't even visible on this model. No problem, as I typically hook my sets to an audio receiver for better sound, although I did have to buy a $30 audio digital optical cable to hook up the TV to my home theater. Keep in mind it does not have a standard Left/Right audio out. If you plan on also using a home theater I recommend you rout all of the source's audio through the TV and not directly from each source to the amplifier or receiver. This could cause a delay or lag between the sound and the picture that is common to hi def sources. By routing all of your sources (hi or standard def) through the TV you avoid this problem and won't have to calibrate each source or your audio receiver to compensate for this delay.
All in all this TV is definitely worth what Amazon is asking. It is not a 3D TV and is not on the cutting edge of new technology, but it offers excellent picture quality and is a trusted brand. I am not going to list and repeat every feature it has, as that is already listed on the product page. This is my second Samsung LCD TV and I would buy another if I needed it. Nowadays you have to be careful not to buy things before a new wave of technology comes, but there is no question that the TV's are more sophisticated than the sources (DVD's, cable, Netflix, etc). Although this set isn't 3D compatible, and may lack some features and performance of the newest models, it is a long way from being obsolete or outdated. To tell you the truth I honestly wouldn't want a higher quality image than what this TV offers because it takes away from the film, or program. I know everyone is pushing for realism and life like images but you have to draw a line. It feels like you are watching them film the movie (or a play) and not actually watching a movie. Maybe it is because I am used to that barrier between us that separates real life from fiction/entertainment and it takes some getting used to. I am not saying this TV lacks high def, actually it offers too much, although fortunately it can be turned off. Don't take my word for it, you really have to see it to believe it......
86 of 97 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2011
I bought this on a whim at a local big-box store after seeing true blacks beat the competing LG 47" model. Everything about the TV is incredible, especially compared to the 32" Toshiba LCD it replaced. The display settings are all adjustable, for example, "Auto Motion Plus" with 1-10 settings for both blur and judder reduction.
It has a USB input on the recessed side and can play Divx AVI files, XVID, and a few video files types. If you're playing a movie file and stop it (accident or otherwise), the 'D button' on the remote will return you to the same spot. The player also has fast forward and rewind. Only minor complaints are the back-lit remote glows orange (cheap) and doesn't even light all of the buttons.
The big problem I have is light leakage in the bottom two corners. On a black screen, you can see this as a flashlight effect pointing at 45 degrees to the middle. I can adjust the settings and come close to fix it, but on a dark movie like "The Descent" - it's still there. This is totally not acceptable, as I bought the TV primarily to watch movies. I'll probably return it in the next few days. Maybe for the same, or the LG 47" model. I'd read this was a big problem with low-end edge-lit LED models so this is a bit disappointing.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2011
Great picture with vivid colors, easy to use remote, menu options are easy to follow. We were not going to upgrade to an HDTV until we watched a couple of programs on a friends Samsung 46-inch LCD TV. No comparison to our old regular TV, the detail and color are amazing.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2011
I bought this Samsung TV to replace a 40 inch 60hz Sony TV that I bought 2 months ago. I was immediately disappointed with the Sony's motion blurriness. I could barely make out the numbers on the cars on the Sunday Nascar races. I hadn't done my homework before purchasing and just blindly purchased in the store, based on the nice bright Sony image. (there were no Samsungs there)
I have since done my due diligence and studied up on what is what in the modern TV world, and I chose this model based on it being 120hz with a special motion feature, as well as reading all the user reviews.
There is little doubt that this TV has the best picture for the money, amongst the 40 inchers.
There are TV's in a similar price range that are packed with a ton of options and features, like 3D, LED backlit, Google TV, etc, but if you are simply looking for the best image for the price, this Samsung wins first prize.
The image is so much better than my 60hz Sony, that I wonder why they even sell 60hz TV's.
How could anyone tolerate images that go blurry every time there is motion.
For me, it is completely unacceptable and my new Samsung is as good as I could hope it would be.
I have never been a Samsung fan as they had a checkered past of low quality products.
Clearly, times have changed and they now make a fantastic television. I highly recommend this unit to anyone who doesn't need more options or features that this one offers, as the picture is superb.
On another note, it's a nice feature that it has a swivel base, backlit keys on the remote control, soft touch menu controls on the TV and the whole bezel is quite handsome too.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
I bought this a few weeks ago and it is absolutely amazing!! Its actually a little disturbing how realistic the picture quality is. I have no complaints about this TV. You can't beat the price for an LCD TV. The auto motion technology makes everything so life like. And even if you have just a basic DVD player this TV makes the DVD's look great!!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2011
Hi folks. Others have described the many virtues of this tv, but thought it might be helpful to comment on the "soap opera effect" having recently encountered this problem myself. The solution for the soap opera effect is NOT simply turning off the Auto Motion Plus feature. This is a commonly offered remedy I've seen online, but in my experience turning off AMP does little if anything to eliminate the problem. The solution is to use the "custom" settings for AMP. Set the "judder" setting to 0 or 1 and the "blur" setting to 8 or higher. Apply those settings anytime you see the soap opera effect. Works like a charm, at least to my eye. I'm actually quite surprised that solution isn't more widely communicated to LCD owners. I feel like I have the best of both worlds now -- the benefits of AMP for sports and fast action and little or no soap opera effect for other programming like movies or HD tv shows like Breaking Bad. Fair to say it's taken me from being a very unhappy customer thinking about buying a plasma to a very satsified one. Happy viewing!