Samsung LE55A956 55in LCD TV - Samsung LE55A956

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Samsung LE55A956 55in LCD TV

Summary

Our Score:

9

Actually, although I'm conscious that I seem to be using a lot of hyperbole in my latest two or three reviews, I really have no option but to say that the LE55A956 delivers the single most dynamic picture we've ever seen on a flat TV.

For while standard LCD TVs can do ultra-vivid colours and extreme brightness, they can't deliver that alongside deep, deep black levels. And while the best plasma TVs can do extreme black levels, their pictures aren't as bright as those of LCD. On the evidence of the LE55A956, as we'd hoped from the early promise of last year's LE52F96, LED really can put ultra-bright next to ultra-dark in a way not previously seen outside of a cinema. And the effect is stunning.

Another benefit of LED technology is its potential for delivering a wider colourscape. And here too the LE55A956 delivers on its promise, as the colour range on show from the excellent Pirates Blu-ray is intense, dynamic, and just somehow more expressive than we're used to seeing it.

Indeed, initially I felt that colours were a little too rich, that they started to look slightly unnatural. But happily, adjusting the set's Colour Space to Auto or Custom away from the Native factory preset (which seems to expand a source's colours to fill the full gamut possible from the LED system) soon sorted that out, leaving me staring agog at probably the most colour-rich, punchy image I've seen in a testing environment.

For a while I still occasionally felt that one or two colours looked slightly wrong. But after a little judicious tweaking of the colour settings via the LE55A956's impressive suite of colour adjustments I sorted nearly everything out to my satisfaction.

Another benefit of LED backlit TVs I've not mentioned yet is their potential for portraying motion more successfully than standard LCDs, since the ability to activate areas of luminance in the picture on an individual basis has the potential to reduce the ‘step and hold' effect that blights motion on normal, single-backlight LCD TVs. And here again the LE55A956 doesn't let us down.

The various fights at the beginning of Batman Begins on Blu-ray take place on the Samsung with scarcely a trace of the blurring or stuttering effects witnessed on so many ordinary LCD TVs - especially if you call in the 100Hz engine to further help out the screen's motion handling.

The relative clarity enjoyed by motion on the LE55A956 is backed up in emphatic fashion by the amount of noise-free detailing in its HD presentation, as the inevitable Full HD resolution joins forces with the clear motion and extreme screen size to do a jaw-dropping job of bringing out every last pixel of detail from the superbly coded Batman Begins Blu-ray.

It is possible to damage the LE55A956's generally outstanding HD performance if you're not careful with some of the TV's settings. For instance, the Edge Enhancement tool causes edges to look over-stressed; the 100Hz MotionPlus engine can cause flickering and twitching interference if you set it higher than its Low level; and the digital noise reduction tool can soften pictures up - something you really don't want to happen with HD.

wannabigtv

October 15, 2008, 4:13 pm

You have said in your review that the lag was quite bad when using a games console. I have read that the tv has a game mode was the lag still noticable when the tv was in this mode.





Also would using a reciever to upscale, have any improvement on this problem?

passager57

October 15, 2008, 9:07 pm

how does it compare to the Samsung PS50A756 50in Plasma TV that you reviewed a few days ago ???

p147

October 16, 2008, 1:15 am

Can you please let me know what settings you had for this screen when you carried out the review.


Thanks

RNeon

October 25, 2008, 12:09 pm

Hello,





how can we contact the Autor John Archer because i want to know how does it compare to the Samsung PS50A756 50in Plasma TV that you reviewed a few days ago ??? I want to buy one these both TV´s. I want to play ps3 look Blue Ray movies. Thank you!

Zaf Iqbal

December 24, 2008, 1:34 am

Hi





As stated above i would also like to know which one to go for to (PS50A756 OR LE46A956/LE55A956). I have settled with the thought that i will buy one of these two but not sure which one is the better one.





Please, please can the author John Archer shed some light ? Many thanks

Jose

January 10, 2009, 4:20 pm

Hi, I'm interested in buying this TV set and then I downloaded the user manual to see all specifications, and to my surprise it has no headphone socket to listen to it by night. I then sent and email to Samsung Customer Service and their response was that the series 4 to 8 has a headphone socket. Then this confirms the Series 9 hasn't. I have still to go to a shop to check it, but for me it's a must!

MSHughes

April 28, 2009, 4:14 am

Hi- when my PC is hooked up to this TV I would be using an HDMI input (ie via a DVI-to-HDMI converter). Would I be affected by the lag issue under these circumstances?


Thanks

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