Updated: December 14, 2012
Samsung DLP Rear Projection TV Review
Reviewing the latest Samsung DLP HDTV Sets
The HL-R87W/R88W series of Samsung DLP Rear Projection HDTV sets feature a unique and stylish integrated pedestal design. They are also capable of exceptional performance with more life-like images thanks to Samsung latest generation 720p and 1080p DLP light engines.
Discover the pros and cons of the Samsung's 2005 HL-R87W/88W series of DLP 720p and 1080p HDTVs in this review article.
Mitsubishi WD-73642 3D DLP TV
This is the most affordable 3D 73-inch HDTV presently available on the market. It is true that this Mitsubishi DLP TV comes with a reduced feature set, but you get a massive 73-inch 3D TV for the price of a 50-inch LED TV.
More on 2012 Mitsubishi DLP HDTVs can be found in our rear projection TV review page here
Introducing the Samsung HL-R87W/88W Series of DLP Rear Projection HDTV Sets
The HL-R87W/88W series comprise two DLP HDTVs - the 56-inch Samsung HL-R5688W DLP 1080p HDTV($4,700), and the 50-inch Samsung HL-R5087W 720p HDTV ($2,900).
The main appeal of these Samsung DLP rear projection TVs is the integrated pedestal stand which gets the screen right to eye level without the need to purchase an additional stand - often necessary for the so called desk-top RPTVs.
Apart from the screen size, the other major difference between these two Samsung DLP HDTV models is one of picture resolution.
The Samsung HL-R87W/88W series of rear projection televisions form part of Samsung 2005 line-up of DLP HDTVs. While both sets use Samsung latest generation Cinema Smooth light engine (based on Texas Instruments latest DMD chipset), and include Samsung's ultra-fine pitch screen for even sharper images, yet the HL-R5688W supports a 1080p HDTV video format while the HL-R5087W supports a 720p HDTV. It is not clear which TI DMD chips these Samsung DLP HDTVs use in their light engine. Neither Samsung nor Texas Instruments are discussing chips other than ensuring that these sets use of the latest DLP technology. It seems that TI is going away from that nomenclature entirely.
HL-R5688W: This is the top-of-the-range model in this series of Samsung DLP rear projection HDTVs. As a 1080p HDTV, this 56-inch Samsung DLP HDTV has a native resolution of 1920 pixels x 1080 lines. This means it should be able to display the full detail of 1080i HDTV content. This Samsung DLP rear projection TV also features an exceptionally high contrast ratio of up to 10,000:1. The image is impressively realistic with outstanding colors and black level performance.
From a connectivity issue, the HL-R5688W comes with two HDMI ports, two component video inputs, a PC input, and two FireWire ports in addition to the full basic set of inputs and outputs.
HL-R5087W: This 50-inch Samsung DLP rear projection TV is a step-down version of the HL-R5688W with a lower resolution of 1280 pixels horizontally x 720 lines. This means that this Samsung DLP rear projection TV should be able to display the full detail of 720p HD material, but it would not deliver as much detail with 1080i HD as would be possible with the 1080p step-up model. Another significant difference is that while the HL-R5087W does include an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), yet it lacks the PC input and the FireWire ports found on the HL-R5688W model.
There are other significant differences as well but otherwise, these Samsung DLP rear projection HDTVs share a number of features - including the integrated HDTV tuner and a digital cable card slot. This means that you can receive over-the-air and cable HDTV programs without the need for extra set-top-boxes.
Another interesting feature found on both models in this series is the TV Guide-on-Screen; this is an interactive program guide that enables one to easily navigate through the available channels, identify HD programs, and set schedule recording and reminders.
On the downside: The integrated pedestal available on this series of Samsung DLP rear projection HDTVs is non-removable and does not provide a convenient space for A/V components. This means that you may still need to purchase the Samsung TR85 optional stand to fit your gear.
It is also obvious that the stylish integrated pedestal stand design do come at a premium in comparison to standard desk-top models. In particular, this is true with the HL-R5087W model, which at $2,900, is substantially more expensive than the HL-R5067W Samsung DLP rear projection HDTV; the latter forms part of Samsung 2005 entry-level series of DLP HDTVs. The HL-R5087W shares almost an identical set of features and specifications as found on the cheaper 50-inch HL-R5067W.
In addition, none of the models in this series come with a memory card slot. Not much of an important issue, yet this contrasts with similar models from other major brands such as Sony, Panasonic, and Toshiba. This means that you cannot in your digital camera memory-card to view your photos direct on these Samsung DLP rear projection TVs.
An interesting list of specifications, features, and enhancements.
A More Detailed Analysis of the Features & Specifications
of the HL-R87W/R88W Series of Samsung DLP HDTVs
Supported Video Formats: The Samsung Automatic Digital Format Conversion System will accept any DTV, analog TV, or XGA computer RGB input, and supports standard-definition 480i, 480p enhanced-definition TV, and high-definition 720p and 1080i formats. All video signals are converted to a 16:9 wide-screen 720p (HL-R5087W) or 1080p (HLR5688W) progressive scan display for flicker-free images.
Integrated HDTV Tuner: These Samsung DLP rear projection HDTV sets come with a built-in HDTV tuner which can receive both over-the-air broadcasts as well as digital cable broadcasts (ATSC and QAM).
The tuner supports picture-in-picture. The PIP feature on these Samsung DLP rear projection TVs lets you select from a small movable, re-sizeable window in the corner of the screen, or share the screen with a side-by-side split screen.
Samsung Cinema Smooth 720P/1080p Light Engines: Samsung HL-R5087W 720p light engine uses 0.8" DMD (Digital Micromirror Devices) chip. The HL-R5688W 1080p light engine utilizes a slightly larger chip - a 0.85" DLP chip. Both chips come from Texas Instruments and utilize the latest DMD chip technology - supporting switching speeds twice as fast as previous generation micro-displays and up to 1,000 times faster than competing technologies.
These Samsung DLP rear projection TVs employ a special seven-segment color wheel design rotating at 10,800 rpm using air-bearing technology for whisper quite operation. Conventional six-segment color wheels used by most brands normally rotate at substantially lower speeds. The use of a high speed color wheel has a twofold advantage - achieving smoother color transitions without pixel breakup, and reducing possible rainbow occurrence.
The overall image quality of these Samsung DLP HDTVs is exceptionally good with crisp, bright pictures and deep, accurate rich colors that are closer to film; there is no visible pixel structure in the image.
Thanks to these sets high contrast levels (2,500:1 for the HL-R5087W and 10,000:1 for the HL-R5688W), these Samsung HDTV sets are also capable of delivering accurate picture detail even in dark shadowy scenes, with deep blacks that lacks nothing in comparison to the picture quality produced by flat screen direct-view CRT TVs.
Display brightness varies from the 780cd/m2 for the 56-inch model to 670cd/m2 for the 50-inch step-down model. Light source is through a high intensity 120W lamp which is user replaceable (actual lamp wattage varies with model).
Samsung Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe) video enhancer refines all analog NTSC and wideband video inputs for an overall improvement in picture quality. DNIe improves contrast, white level, color reproduction, overall picture detail, and incorporates digital noise reduction to improve lower quality video inputs.
3:2 Pulldown: Samsung's Cinema Smooth film mode 3:2 pulldown detection and reversal is a handy feature for watching progressive-scan movie programs in their native 24-frame format. Digital video mastering introduces a common distortion when adjusting 24 frames-per-second movies to 30 fps video; 3:2 pulldown digitally corrects this distortion, removing the redundant information to display a film-frame-accurate picture.
Comb Filtering: Both products in this series of Samsung DLP rear projection HDTVs make use of a Motion Adaptive 3D Digital Comb Filter (also referred to as 3-Dimension Y/C).
This is the best type of comb filter available today since it does not just separate the Y (luminance or black and white) and C (chrominance or color) elements in the video signal through simple filtering which is inadequate to render fine detail areas correctly in enhanced and high definition video signals. Instead, it cross reference the video information over three consecutive horizontal scan lines within a single video frame; it also analyze each frame in advance in order to determine the best filtering to use in the circumstances. This helps ensure best possible picture by dramatically reducing edge image artifacts (e.g. dot crawl and image ghosting) while improving transition detail, especially in fine detail areas of the video image.
Audio: These Samsung DLP rear projection HDTV sets supports Multi-channel Television Sound (MTS) standard for stereo sound and come with a 30-watt stereo audio system (two 15-watt speakers); this should deliver ample sound for regular TV viewing, such as sports, news, etc.
Included is Samsung proprietary SRS TruSurround XT feature, which simulates a compelling surround sound field through any stereo playback system, including headphones and the TV's speakers.
An optical digital sound audio output is also available on both models in this series of Samsung DLP rear projection TVs.
Connections: Both models feature the following video and audio connections:
AV in (RCA): 3 (1 side, 2 rear)
S-Video In: 3 (1 side, 2 rear)
RF In: 2
Monitor and Sound Out (RCA): 1 rear
Component Video Input (Smart Input): 2 rear supporting the following video formats - 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i.
DVI Audio In: 1 (rear)
HDMI: 2 (rear) - 1 on the HL-R5688W
PC In (D-Sub 15-pin): 1 (rear)- present only on the HL-R5688W
FireWire (IEEE1394): 2 (rear) - present only on the HL-R5688W
POD Slot (CableCARD): 1 rear
No memory-card slot id present on these Samsung DLP HDTVs.
Product Dimensions and Weight
The table below lists the respective product dimensions and weight for each of the Samsung DLP HDTV sets referred to in this review article:
HL-R5087W 50-inch 16:6 Samsung HDTV
HL-R5688W 56-inch 16:9 Samsung HDTV
Optional Stand TR85
Upper Shelf Dimensions
Lower Shelf dimensions
What's in the Box
Both models in this series of Samsung DLP rear projection TVs come with a remote control (including batteries), user's manual, AnyNet and G-link cables, product registration information, and a limited manufacture's warranty.