Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Review Price free/subscription

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To say that Samsung’s SP50L7HXX is one striking looking TV is like saying Princess Diana was a bit popular. It is, in fact, not only the most original TV design ever seen in the rear projection world, but quite probably the most attractive too. And it’s all down to rocket power.

To explain. The SP50L7HXX is, as you can tell from our pictures, basically a huge 50in screen perched on top of a slinky, floorstanding metallic cylinder quite unlike the undercarriages of any other rear projection seen before. And the reason the cylindrical stand is possible is Samsung’s ‘Rocket Engine’ technology, which lets Samsung mount the DLP projector at the SP50L7HXX’s heart completely vertically. Let’s just hope we don’t have to suffer any picture quality compromises as a result of this style-induced innovation.

There is perhaps one flaw with the SP50L7HXX’s design; people who like to stick their DVD players, Sky receivers, games consoles and so on under their TV will doubtless be wondering where to put all this source kit given that there are no shelves on the cylindrical stand. But heck – you can’t really blame Samsung for not wanting to sully the looks of the SP50L7HXX with mere practicalities, right?

Connections on this Samsung are rock solid, including as they do an HDMI jack, a trio of Scarts, component video inputs, and a D-Sub PC jack. The only thing we might ideally have liked to see extra is a second HDMI.

The DLP projector inside the SP50L7HXX employs a Texas Instruments ‘DarkChip’ chipset complete with an HD Ready native resolution of 1,280 x 720 – something which proves the set is using reasonably up to date components, and which explains the pretty respectable claimed contrast ratio of 3000:1. We’ve seen DarkChip DLP chipsets doing some pretty pleasing things in the front projection world, so hopefully we’ll enjoy the same positive results here.

Aside from its HD Ready status, the SP50L7HXX’s most significant feature is probably its DNIe processing engine, a proprietary Samsung system designed to improve the appearance of motion, sharpness/detailing, colours, and black levels. Of course, practically every TV known to man these days claims to have a similar system, so we’ll have to see if the Samsung’s actually delivers anything above the norm.

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