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I find reviews on any electricals really hard to do, as i'm always sure i'll end up leaving something out and i'm not very technical- meaning this will be a pretty simple one, so i'll try my best to get everything into this review, to make you get a good idea of this tv.
I got this around 3 and a half years ago from Currys. I got it in a package including not only the television, but also a dvd player and a surround sound system. To be honest I was slightly swung by the salesperson into buying this particullar one- the full package sounded a deal too good to be missed, hence the credit card was handed over and the tv was booked in to arrive in a weeks time. I paid around 1500pounds, but I now believe that they can be bought for around 900 pounds- this is because plasma's and lcds have become more common so the rear projection TV's have gone down in value quite a bit.
There are 4 types of rear projection television's. This one is a CRT which means there is a cathode ray tube in it. The tube projects the image onto the tv, which in turn allows you to see the picture.
There are a couple of downsides to purchasing this type of television. The main one is that you can't leave a still picture on the screen for too long. If an image is left on the screen for a long period of time, it will eventually start to burn the image onto the screen in burnt 'ghost' images (quote from the tv's manual!) The guidelines are- Don't leave a stationary image on the screen for more than 15% of the time you are viewing the television.
Another downside is that the screen is not glass, like most televisions. The screen is actually a thick piece of plastic, which could easily break if something was to fall against it. I also find it hard to clean, because you have to be so careful- it almost feels loose, as though it would fall out of the screen at any time!
Waiting for the tv to come and a space was made in an alcove in my front room, just by the window- by the cordless telephone..................and this was where the problem lay!
The tv arrived and was unpacked by the delivery guy, who also set it up. Once he had left, I immediately got settled with a dvd on the new TV, through the surround sound system, with a drink and snacks- what could go wrong?
5 minutes into the film, I saw a faint line going through the centre of the screen and as the minutes ticked by, it started to go down the screen, then it immediately re-appeared at the top and started working its way back down again.
I phoned up the Currys customer support number and explained what I thought was a fault with the TV. The lady I spoke to was very helpful and explained with a rear-projection tv, you had to give it time to 'warm-up' Ok, this didn't phase me too much- I was happy at that, so fast forward 4 hours and rather than get smaller- the line had got fatter! It was now at the point where I couldn't watch the programmes as I couldn't take my eye off the line- I got on the phone again. This time I spoke to someone else, who within 5 minutes had organised a new tv to be delievered and the one I had taken away.
A few days later I had a new tv, but this one was the same- the line was there and I was convinced i'd made the worst purchase- ever!
After phoning Currys again, they said I would have to stick with the tv and see if there was any improvement in the next few weeks (They couldn't understand the fault and there was no history of this complaint) if the line was still there after that, they said then I would be entitled to call again.
A couple of weeks later, I was having a bit of a spring clean and moved the telephone off the window sill, from beside the tv and placed it over to another place in the house. Later that day I sat down to my usual dose of evening shows and what do you know? The line had disappeared!
Yes- you've guessed it, the telephone had been causing the line! Finally I was watching what I should be and not a nasty line crawling up and down the screen!
Its silver in colour and has a 43" widescreen which is completely flat. Along the bottom of the screen is the 'Samsung' name and underneath is a big long speaker with the control buttons in the centre- on this panel of controls is the on/off switch, volume buttons and mute, channel changing buttons, tv/video and menu. Also here is the sensor for the remote and the indication light- red for on standby and green when you first switch it on. Also when you turn the tv on and off, it plays a short melody.
Working down, after the speaker is the base unit which the TV stands on, Its a big silver box with a rectangle cut out of it- this has created a shelf which I find I can easily get my dvd player and the digital box onto at the same time.
The whole unit is on wheels- which is such a great idea, as its easy then to pull it out and clean under it- and especially if you change things alot and like to place it in different positions of the room.
At the side is 4 points where any AV cables can be put- for example, game consoles. At the rear of the tv is the scart sockets, theres 3 in total. Here are the Audio output's too (where the surround sound gets plugged into)
With rear-projection tv's, they look on face value like a plasma or LCD, but in actual fact they are alot bigger as the back of the tv, is large (this can easily be hidden if its positioned in a corner) Also upon turning them on, they take a couple of seconds for the picture to show, as it powers up.
Its long, silver and takes 2 AA batteries! Its multi-purpose, according to the remote with the stab of a button you can control the TV, VCR, Cable, DVD- I can't get it to pair up with anything else other than the tv- so thats the only thing I can comment on. There is however a list of codes in the manual to use when pairing up different brands of electricals.
It controls the tv with infra-red and has all the usual buttons that remotes have, from the text button to ones which control the volume and channels. One which I find is pretty handy is 'still' which freezes the screen at whatever point you are watching it on, this isn't a pause button though, as the tv will remain playing under the still image. From the remote you can also place the tv in standby.
Sleep Mode; Use this button to set a timer for the tv to switch itself off. It will wait upto 180 minutes before turning off and you can choose the length of the timer in multiples of 30minutes.
++Plug & Play++
This feature is a must-have, it basically programmes the basic channels in, on its own! Once an external aerial is inserted it will find the channels and stores them for you to watch. It also saves the current time and sets the language, depending on what country its in. This feature is in the menu.
In this day and age- most people use a digital or cable box, so that usually sorts out any hassle of programming the channels in and saving them, but its a cool function to know about if you do watch tv from an outside aerial.
This is a feature which is a huge bonus for so many parents with young children. As there are several buttons on the actual tv- its hard to stop little fingers pressing on them at any opportunity. If you select 'Childlock' from the menu, this will lock these buttons- meaning the tv can only be operated by the remote, which you can easily hide out of reach.
Modes; Dynamic, Standard, Movie, Custom These are different contrast settings, Custom is the brightest and Movie the darkest. Its there so you can adjust the contrast to suit what you are watching, or any viewing requirements you may have, for example if you had a migraine you might want the picture to be a little more dimmer. I have never used this option though- as default I always leave it on Custom.
Adjustables; colour tone, contrast, brightness, sharpness and colour. I have never once touched any of these as I am too scared of messing the current picture up and not being able to get it back to normal. However if you like to change the settings, there's plenty of options within the settings to change something that didn't suit you.
Picture Size; Auto wide, wide, panorama, zoom 1 (enlarges by 120%) zoom 2 (enlarges by 150%) normal and cinema. I usually watch the tv in Auto-wide mode, which completely fills the screen. The 'wide' setting cuts some of the picture off at the top and the bottom, which i'd rather not do, and normal reduces the screen size by at least a third.
Personal thoughts; I have never had a problem with the picture. I don't think a rear-projection tv is anywhere near as sharp as a plasma, but its certainally still an impressive picture. I find the outlines of objects or people are sharp, although at times the backgrounds seem a little fuzzy- although this may be a dvd or channel I am watching and not nessecarily the tv's fault.
Modes; Custom- The one I most often use- basically a default setting, it sounds like whatever the channel you are watching does. Standard- Very similar to Custom, my ears can't tell the difference. Music- Seems slightly louder without changing the volume. Movie- A much more powerful sound, All the sounds are clearer and more emphasized- I use this setting for a Saturday night in with a movie! Speech- It eliminates background noise and music and projects people voices, making it much easier and clearer to hear what they are saying above everything else going on in the scene.
Equaliser; similar to adjusting the picture settings, this is a feature I wouldn't dream of touching.....I just know I would mess about and never get it back to how it should be!
Virtual Sound; This splits the one speaker into two separate ones, one goes to the left of the room and the other to the right. This setting would come in handy if you aren't using an external surround sound system, but want to create the sound of one.
Personal thought; I love to use the Movie mode to enhance the sound and the virtual surround is ideal for when visitors are round and we chat while watching- the surround sound can be a little severe, the virtual surround is much more subtle.
I do like this tv, and once i'd got rid of the annoying line, I knew i'd made a great purchase! The downside is that you have to make sure you don't leave an image static on the screen- it sounds as though it wouldn't be a problem- but its so easy to pause a film and walk away- then return minutes later, when really its something you shouldn't do!!
Its quite attractive considering its size- because of the colour, it goes nicely with my other appliances, and the storage space underneath is ideal for the vcr / digital box / dvd player.
I've not had any more problems after the 'line' incident, touch wood! I definately made a good purchase as I can see it lasting me for many more years to come, the only downside is that it isn't HD- which seems to be the future!
Thanks for reading and hope this review has given you a good idea of what to expect if you get this tv.
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An excellent review! This really is a very stylish looking TV. I don't think the price is too high for it. Though it would have been nice to get it for the £900. Very well reviewed. An E on it's way to you. Electra.