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I cannot be the only person who lusted after one of these when they first came about? It has to be one of the best looking TV's in the market at any price level. I was in the que for the X-box 360 on launch day and really wanted to be able to play the games in HD and this was the set I chose for that. After over a year of trying to convince my wife it was a good idea I eventually picked one up in this Easter's sales for less than £600 and it took pride of place in my living room. It was well packaged and simple to set up with just the shiny foot to be attached with 4 screws providing a sturdy stand. The styling is great with the high quality plastics used challenging TV's of treble to price in appearance and finish. Also in the box you will find a sleek remote with batteries, instructions in a variety of languages, a quick start guide, a quality cleaning cloth to clean off the finger prints from the shiny black surfaces and warranty information. Plug the set into the ariel and switch on and the simple on screen menus guide you through set up without any problems. Once set up the set looks even better with crystal sharp pictures, a natural colour to images and although I have heard bad things about the speakers I don't find them bad although I havn't turned up the volume beyond 30. The set offers and variety of pre-set picture modes like movie, standard and dynamic which allow you to quickly switch the contrast, brightness and other image adjustments at the press of a button on the remote or by using the menus. You can of course manually adjust the image if you wish, I tend to just leave it on the movie mode at all times although I have adjusted it slightly to suit my taste. I am not convinced by the fancy sound settings that the set has, my wife thinks it makes things sound like they are being broadcast in the bathroom so I just use the standard settings here. I haven't made much use of the built in freeview as we use Sky Digital but what I have seen of the menus there seems to be some nice features, many are better than those available from Sky but thats another story. So to conclude telly watching I think this set is great with ok sound and a great picture. I am told that Samsung make screens for many of the more expensive manufacturers which I can say after experiencing it I can believe.
Now to using the Game mode through a composite connection, the real reason I bought this HD ready set. What can I say, WOW! The picture quality is fantastic and really adds to the games I have, so much I have been playing through old games just to see them in glorious HD. I also have a Wii console which I have conneced to the telly using the AV sockets on the side, a DVD via scart and the sky by scart, although the set also offers HDMI connections I do not have anything that uses this yet.
The set does get very hot whilst on so make sure its well ventilated although I'm sure they thought of this when they made it. It also has some useful buttons for the source, volume and channel on the side of the set which offer a nice alternative to the remote when you are near the set. The remote is the usual fare of some sensibly placed button and some not so that you have to look for every time you want them but otherwise its nothing to talk about.
My only problem with this set is that you can't use the Picture in Picture options unless you have the HDMI devices installed like Sky HD for example, although at least they are there for the future.
I hope you find this review useful, any comments welcome.
I am adding a comment to this review as I have just had the set changed for a newer model on warranty as the this set began to develop several dead pixels and Samsung/Comet have just decided to give me a new one although they didn't have any R74's left so I get an R87 to review now, shame I really liked this set and I'm sure this is a rare problem so I haven't changed my overall rating of this set.