Arguably, the jewel in Samsung’s current thinscreen crown, this 55in edge-lit LED set combines dual Freeview HD/Freesat tuners, Active Shutter 3D and USB timeshifting with Amy Pond looks. It’s quite a potent combination.
The brand’s smart portal is also running ahead of the pack. Samsung has invested a ton of Won in app development and there’s no shortage of IPTV services, including BBC iPlayer, YouTube, DailyMotion, Explore 3D and Vimeo. Local file playback from USB is excellent, with MKV, AVI and other favourites all playing. DLNA support over a LAN is a little more demanding, as the set doesn’t play ball with all media servers. But then it had to have an Achilles' heel, right?
Reg Rating 90%
More info Samsung
Samsung SyncMaster TA950 27 3D TV/PC Monitor
This Samsung small-screen is something of a curiosity, as it’s both an S-RGB compliant PC monitor and a net-connected Freeview HD 3D TV. The design is refreshingly wacky, with the screen effectively suspended above its pedestal by an angled bracket; the sound system is built into the pedestal itself. Image quality in both TV and monitor guise is sharp and responsive. Network performance is the same as that found on the brand’s full-size TVs. There’re apps aplenty, as well as BBC iPlayer YouTube, LoveFilm and the like. Local USB file playback is comprehensive. Of course, if you’re using the TA950 as a monitor, this functionality will be readily available from the PC. So is a net connected TV/PC hybrid a good idea? Answers on a postcard, please.
Reg Rating 80%
More info Samsung
Next page: Sharp Aquos LC-46LE831
I can't help to think that the IP part of these TVs will be obsolete in a couple of years and you'll be stuck with a expansive display with non supported IP bit.
Worthless 'checkbox' round-up
I hope no-one ends up buying a TV based on this article alone
The author has just written the manufacturers' specifications for each set and given a "reg rating" verdict based on advertisement material only. If you don't have any access to these units then you should at least drop the "reg rating" factor. The first two LG units get a 90% verdict, yet only the Cinema version gets the thumbs up icon. Why??
If you actually reviewed these units, just mentioning MKV or AVI support is worthless unless you truly test these features. Does the MKV support include chapter support, or multiple audio/video/subtitle tracks, external subtitles? MKV is still evolving standard you know. I'd also like to know how sluggish the UI is when dealing with USB for example, or can you expect the IT declined people to use the streaming services or USB files easily?
THE TV MIGHT BE SMART....
but the stuff that ends up on it is usually crap!
@AC: " the IP part of these TVs will be obsolete in a couple of years..."
Agreed - in fact, they're already obsolete. We but a much cheaper TV (fantastic display, but not "smart") and plugged an AppleTV into it. Suddenly the TV is just a bigger display in the household as an extension of anything from our phones to the desktop computers, and we stream media, games, and TV from all these sources as required. There's no need for the TV to be "smart" - it's just a big display for the smart devices we already have.
Are any of these TVs smart enough to allow the user to sort the channels into a sane order?
No? All I want is a big screen and that ancient ability that all TVs once were capable of. Nothing more.