Rear Projection TV Reviews - HL-T6187S Samsung DLP Television Review
Review date:  December 9, 2007
 Updated:
December 14, 2012

1080p HDTV Samsung DLP Television Sets
Samsung HL-T6187S 1080p LED DLP Rear Projection TV

Product Review


The Samsung HL-T6187S forms part of the latest series of Samsung LED DLP HDTVs. Lightweight and slim, this rear projection HDTV promises superb picture performance, offers a full range of advanced features, exhaustive connectivity, 10,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and a stylish all-black high gloss finish.

Equally important, this 61-inch giant comes at an affordable price tag for the screen size. But how does it stand against similar premium 1080p HDTVs? More in this rear projection TV review article.


 
Mitsubishi 73-inch WD-73642 3D DLP HDTV
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

Samsung's line-up of 1080p DLP TVs

The Samsung DLP rear projection HDTV line-up for 2007 comprises a total of 17 different models. The whole range covers screen sizes from 46-inch up to 72-inch; twelve of these are 1080p HDTV sets.

 All 2007 Samsung DLP televisions use an 8th generation DMD (Digital Micro-mirror Device) for improved dynamic contrast performance. As with previous consumer 1080p DLP TVs, this year design relies on a DMD with 960 x 1080 mirrors.

An optical actuator is used to offset (wobulate) the image by ½ pixel 120 times a second to create the 1920 x 1080, 1080p 60Hz image. This ½ pixel displacement also helps soften the pixel edges - leading to a seamless more film-like image with no visible pixel structure.

The 1080p DLP TV series are the HL-T56W, HL-T76S, HL-T87S, HL-T88W, and HL-T89S. The 56W series is a sort of exception though; apart from the 61-inch and the 67-inch models, which both are 1080p DLP sets, it also includes a 56-inch 720p HDTV. The 'S' in the series denotes a slim-line design even though these are nowhere close to the panel depth of plasma HDTVs. However, all slim-line models are wall-mountable. This wall-mountable option is an obvious attempt to counteract the competition from plasmas and LCDs. Still, the slim-line DLPs are substantially thinner than the standard versions. Just to get an idea, the 61-inch Samsung HL-T6156W comes at 17.6-inches in depth against the 12.3-inches of the ultra-slim HL-T6176S. Both sets are lamp-based using the standard lamp/color wheel set-up.

Ultra-slim lamp-based DLPs are slightly thinner than LED-light Samsung DLP televisions. The LED-powered Samsung 61-inch DLP TV on review here, the HL-T6187S, is 15.4-inches deep - an extra 3-inches over the ultra-slim lamp model. These depths get to 11.4-inches for slim lamp-based 50-inch sets and 13.3-inches for LED powered RPTVs against the 15.1-inches for standard lamp-based DLPs.

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The HL-T56W series referred to above represents Samsung lamp-based entry-level series. The next in line in terms of lamp-based 1080p Samsung DLP televisions is the ultra-slim HL-T76S premium series which comprises the 50-inch HL-T5076S, the 56-inch HL-T5676S, and the 61-inch HL-T6176S 1080p DLP HDTV.

The remaining 1080p HDTV set in the lamp-based range is a massive 72-inch version, the Samsung HL-T7288W 1080p DLP HDTV. Despite that it is not part of the slim-line, yet overall depth is no more than 20.4-inches, which for this massive screen size, is still pretty compact.

Lamp-based DLPs make use of a new five-segment color wheel design rotating at 14,400 rpm using air-bearing technology. This new design aims at achieving smoother color transitions while minimizing the occurrence of rainbow effects. However, we say that those sensitive to rainbows should preferably consider LED DLP HDTVs in that these are much less prone to rainbows - if at all.

Remaining 1080p Samsung DLP televisions come with an LED light engine. Samsung is offering two different series here, the HL-T87S which represents the least expensive entry-level LED DLP HDTVs, and the premium line HL-T89S range. Both series come in a slim package though as indicated earlier on, these Samsung DLP televisions are somewhat deeper than the ultra-slim lamp DLPs.

Entry LED series comprises the 50-inch HL-T5087S DLP HDTV, the 56-inch HL-T5687S, and the 61-inch HL-T6187S LED Engine 1080p DLP HDTV on review here. Similarly, the  89S comprises the 50-inch HL-T5089S, the 56-inch HL-T5689S, and the 61-inch HL-T6189S.

All 1080p DLP HDTVs share basically the same specs sheet when it comes to the video part of the technical specs. As such, picture-wise, they are all expected to perform very much the same. These Samsung DLP televisions all come with a dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000:1. They also share the same light engine - except for the LED/lamp differences - supporting full 1080p resolution through image wobulation.

There are a few significant differences though...

Except for 1080p sets in the HL-T56W series, all other 1080p Samsung DLP televisions come with 3 HDMI inputs. However, only sets in the premium line-ups, namely the lamp-based HL-T76S and the LED-based HL-T89S DLPs, come with HDMI ver.1.3. All other 1080p sets come with HDMI ver.1.2.

HDMI ver.1.3 supports increased bandwidth (10.2Gbps instead of the 4.95Gbps), HD lossless audio formats (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio) and a wider color space (xvYCC) thanks to a color bit depth of 48 bits per pixel. The latter leads to a smoother HD image. However, as things stand today, HDMI ver.1.3 is more for future proofing that anything else in that as far as we know, xvYCC HD content is not yet available.

Also, the premium line-ups come with other conveniences like USB2.0 instead of USB 1.1, Bluetooth connectivity, and Picture in Picture.

2007 HLT-series Samsung DLP television sets also support various gaming modes. In addition, all 1080p Samsung DLP televisions - except the HL-T56W series, are capable of displaying future 3-D games, movies, and other programming using DLP® HDTV 3-D format (when used with 3D compatible LCD shutter glasses and relevant hardware).

Introducing the HL-T6187S 61-inch 1080p LED-Powered Samsung DLP Television

As stated earlier on, the 61-inch Samsung HL-T6187S Slim LED Engine 1080p DLP HDTV forms part of the much-awaited range of Samsung LED-engine DLPs. It is presently selling on-line at around $1,900 - a relatively inexpensive price tag for the latest technology in rear projection HDTVs. Similar size 1080p plasma HDTVs are selling at more than twice this price, while LCD equivalents sell for even more.

Samsung had originally come up with the first LED-powered DLP rear projection HDTVs in 2006 with its HL-S79W series. The S79W series had impressed with its lack of rainbow effect, and despite its uneven screen uniformity, it delivered very good picture quality.

The 2007 line-up of LED-powered Samsung DLP televisions with their improved light engine delivers even more. The new DLPs superb overall picture quality, accurate color rendering, and deeper blacks than the 2006 LED DLP rear projection HDTVs.

But what are the main features of LED light DLP Rear projection HDTVs?

LED light engines are not yet capable of producing a bright enough image as traditional lamp sets to drive the biggest giants in rear projection HDTVs. However, the use of an LED light pack in DLP rear projection TVs carries numerous advantages over the traditional lamp/color wheel set-up.

To start with, LED-powered DLPs rely on the use of red, green, and blue light emitting diodes (LEDs) that fire in rapid succession to light the DMD. This rapid firing sequence replaces the mechanical color wheel. No color wheel leads to a quieter operation and sets that are less likely to need repairs as there are no mechanical moving parts.

Furthermore, the ultra-fast switching action of the different color LEDs in the light pack, and the complete lack of black segments necessary in a color wheel set-up, help eliminate the rainbow effect for all but the exceptional sensitive viewer.

The LED light pack produce a more directional and effective light source. This leads to more efficient use of the light power. The result is lower electricity consumption than conventional lamp RPTVs; it is also substantially lower than that of LCDs and the power-hungry plasmas HDTVs.

Less power also means that LED-based DLPs generate less heat - meaning they need less fan action; again, this translates to a more quiet cooling system.

LED light units are rated to last at least 20,000hrs - which is the typical lifetime of a CRT. While the replacement cost of an LED light pack is not know, yet this should surely lead to a lower cost of ownership in comparison to traditional lamp-based sets with their typical 3000 to 5000 hours lamps.

Quicker turn on time - typically, the LED Samsung DLP television on review took about 5 seconds for the image to appear when turned on; in contrast, a lamp-based set may take anything up to 25 seconds!

LED DLPs support a wider color gamut that exceeds 100% the NTSC defined color space. This leads to a noticeable improvement in color saturation over traditional sets. Combine this with the clarity of 1080p resolution and the deeper blacks possible thanks to the LED pack capability to display any color at any intensity for an overall superior picture quality.

Directly related to picture quality is that the LED light unit does not grow dimmer as fast as a traditional lamp. This should lead to more consistent picture quality over the LED pack lifetime.

But let's continue with the 61-inch HL-T6187S LED Samsung DLP television on review here...

This much-awaited Samsung DLP television has brought about a lot of positive remarks in a number of rear projection TV reviews appearing on major sites, as well as in consumer feedback at major stores. It is also among the top sellers at amazon, reaching a sales rank of around #400 in electronics at the time of this write-up.

This success is not just a matter of an inexpensive price tag for such a massive display. Rather, we believe that it has more to do with the superior picture performance as resulting from the use of LED-light technology. The set is capable of producing a deep level of black, while colors are accurate and well saturated. Overall image is clean, exhibiting solid geometry and with no signs of pixel breakup. In this respect, Samsung's Cinema Smooth Light engine - with its half-pixel shift referred to earlier on in our introduction - is capable of doing a great job in delivering a most film-like image.

Some have complained about uneven uniformity in the Samsung HL-T6187S screen brightness. A few others have noted a sort of 'halo' effect or hot spot defect that became mainly visible in dark scenes. But even with these imperfections, this Samsung DLP television still represents a great alternative to large screen plasmas and LCD HDTVs costing a few thousand dollars more.

It is worth noting that the halo defect that affected a few HL-T87S sets was eventually attributed by Samsung to a small shiny metal part in the set light engine. This component was supposed to have been finished in matt black paint during the production process but for some reason, was left in bare metal on some sets.  Since then, Samsung has taken necessary action to remedy this defect. Service technicians were also given instructions on how to rectify the problem during a routine service call.

The 1080p 61" HL-T6187S LED Light Samsung DLP Television: a detailed look...

Despite the fall in demand for rear projection TVs as prices of big screen flat panel plasmas and LCD HDTVs persist with their fast downward trend, sets like the 61-inch HL-T6187S LED light Samsung DLP television continue to be the best way forward for those who want to go truly big in HDTV without breaking their bank account.

Samsung 61-inch HL-T6187S 1080p DLP HDTV

Samsung HL-T6187S Slim LED Engine 1080p DLP HDTV

Main Design: More picture and less frame! This is the present trend in rear projection TV design, and this is the way this Samsung DLP television follows. A reduced bezel width that is no more than 0.6-inches thick surrounds the HL-T6187S top and sides.

The bottom of the frame is a little bit thicker to house the down-firing hidden speakers. The set overall look is further enhanced by a thin strip of silver at the bottom of the speaker slit; this contrasts nicely with the otherwise all glossy black finish.

To complement the whole aesthetics, there is the set circular power button, which resides on the bottom part of the frame - center front, together with the company logo and a blue accent light. The latter can be disabled from the set-up menu.

Side view of the Samsung HL-T6187S DLP LED HDTVOn the right-hand side of the power button, there are three small indicator lights and the set remote control sensor, while the set basic control buttons are placed along the vertical side on the lower right-part of the cabinet. This placement makes the controls invisible from the front while further enhancing the simplistic look of this Samsung DLP television.

As with all S series DLPs, the HL-T6187S forms part of Samsung slime-line range of rear projection HDTVs. Though it is not as slim as standard lamp-based models, at 15.4-inch in depth, it is still relatively compact for this screen size. The set remaining dimensions in inches are 54.7 (W) by 37.6 (H). Overall weight is just 74.7 pounds; this makes the Samsung DLP television much easier to handle during installation than similar size plasmas and LCD HDTVs.

Power Consumption: As expected, the use of an LED light pack renders this Samsung DLP television extremely energy efficient. The set's specs sheet indicates 230W as power consumption. However, this falls to around 170W once the set is properly calibrated.

Product Features: The big deal about the HL-T6187S is its LED light engine, with all that LED lighting in DLP TVs implies - improved black levels, wider color gamut, quieter operation, practically immune to rainbow effect, 20000hrs LED rated lifetime, etc.

The HL-T6187S 1080p Samsung DLP television comes with a native pixel resolution of 1920 x 1080 using what Samsung refers to as 'Cinema Smooth Light' engine - that's another term for a wobulated DMD chip. This means that it can resolve all the detail in 1080p content; other content is scaled accordingly to fit the set native pixel resolution.

This Samsung DLP HDTV comes with a supported refresh scan rate of 120Hz. Partly this is required to enable the set light engine build the 1080p 60Hz image from the wobulated DMD chip (as explained in our introduction). But this has a twofold advantage, namely that of rending a smooth image with no pixel breakup and, that of allowing the Samsung DLP television to integrate 3-D compatibility.

The latter means that the HL-T6187S can display 3D content from your PC, or anything else when available. As stated earlier on, you will need a pair of LCD shutter glasses plus appropriate Samsung software to run on your PC together with an IR emitter to synchronize the shutter action on the LCD glasses. According to Samsung, the whole 3-D kit would retail for about $100.

The HL-T6187S has a rated dynamic contrast ratio of 10,000:1; this is one of the highest around irrespective of display technology. However, as we have stated in a number of our reviews, many TV makers tend to enjoy playing this number game. This is too high a rating for the human eye to perceive. In other words, do not let these large numbers impress you! Contrast alone does not make the picture. We are not saying that an improved contrast ratio does not make a difference, but... More on contrast ratio ratings can be found in our article: 'The Contrast Ratio Game - Playing with Numbers!

The Samsung HL-T6187S also offers a whole assortment of picture adjustments in addition to the usual standard adjustments for contrast, brightness, gamma, color temperature control, etc. There are three picture modes, each with its own memory for each of the inputs. This means the user can customize each input on this Samsung DLP television with up to three different settings, though it is only the 'Movie Mode' that gives the user full control over all the different picture adjustments.

Other important picture control features worth mentioning include: a choice of three color gamut settings, which controls the range of colors the display can produce - depending on the source content; black level adjustment, which affects shadow detail; dynamic contrast adjustment on the fly; a three-position noise reduction control, and the ability to adjust the position of the image in all four directions.

Samsung has also included the 'My Color' control; this gives the user the possibility to adjust the intensity of the various colors. It is not that there is the need for it in that color decoding and primary colors are quite accurate, but in any case, it is nice to have.

However despite that the Samsung DLP TV Picture menu do contain plenty of settings, yet in comparison to what is available on Samsung flat-panel plasma and LCD HDTVs, this Samsung DLP television do lack a few interesting settings. In particular, it lacks the possibility to adjust the color temperature settings beyond the pre-set values independently for dark and bright content.

To complement this whole range of picture controls, the HL-T6187S provides a full set of aspect ratio settings or picture size adjustments. These include four settings for HD, including a 'Just Scan' mode that lets you see the full image without any cut-off when viewing HD content via HDMI. There are also four additional settings for standard definition video content; these include two zoom modes.

For the audio part, the HL-T6187S Samsung DLP television delivers 10W RMS per channel. As with most other TV, this Samsung DLP HDTV comes with SRS TruSurround XT technology to deliver good simulated 3D effect, clear dialog during playback of surround-encoded material, and improved bass response - particularly important with the set small built-in speakers.

Overall sound quality is not among the very best; rather, it is far from being the perfect complement to the HL-T6187S great picture performance. However, if you are opting for a TV of this screen size, the probability is that you will be hooking it to a home theater system.

Convenience features: Those looking for picture-in-picture support would be disappointed as the HL-T87S series of LED Samsung DLP televisions do not is include PIP. For this, you will have to shift your attention to the Samsung premium line of LED DLP HDTVs, the HL-T89S series.

On the other hand, the supplied remote is easy to operate with well-placed buttons. The most important keys (volume, channel, and device control) are all illuminated. In addition, it also doubles as a universal remote, controlling up to four other pieces of gear (DVD, STB, Cable, and VCR).

Connectivity: Samsung has come up with a smart way of providing ease of access to the HL-T6187S connection panel. This is especially important during installation. Instead of placing the rear connection panel dead center in the back - as is the case with most TV sets, Samsung has placed the panel on the right side. This placement - while still concealing the connection panel from the viewing position, yet it makes all connections easily accessible from the side without having to move the TV.

From a connectivity perceptivity, the HL-T6187S Samsung DLP television come with a comprehensive array of connections - ranging from three HDMI inputs, to a mix of composite, S-Video, and component-video, to a VGA-style PC input, USB, and an RS-232 port.

As indicated earlier on, the HDMI inputs on the HL-T6187S 1080p Samsung DLP HDTV are HDMI ver1.2. The USB port (USB1.1) - labeled WISELINK - is used to display JPEG images and play MP3 files. It is also used for TV firmware upgrades.

The list below summaries the whole connectivity array on the HL-T6187S 1080p Samsung DLP Television:

Inputs and Outputs

Quantity

Remarks

 

HDMI (19-pin Type A)

3

HDMI 1.2 compatible - 19-pin Type A

The third HDMI port can be used with a DVI connection; separate left/right audio inputs are available for this HDMI port when used with a DVI interconnect.

Composite Video - RCA Phono

2

Include Left/Right Audio inputs

S-Video (4-pin mini-DIN)

2

These video inputs share the same audio inputs for composite video.

3D synch out

1

Used to connect a 3-D IR emitter to synchronize the LCD shutter glasses.

Antenna In

2

One TV + one cable

Component (Y/Pb/Pr)

2

These include associated Audio inputs

RS-232 port

1

For custom control systems and servicing

PC Input - Video

1

15 pin HD D-Sub (1024 x 768 recommended resolution; (for 1080p resolution, use HDMI)

PC Audio In

1

Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm

USB Port

1

USB 1.1 - Labeled 'WiseLink'

Digital Audio Out (optical)

1

TOS Link

Performance

No doubt, one of the greatest things about the HL-T6187S LED Samsung DLP television is the lack of rainbow effect – something we did experience with other DLPs especially when viewing bright/white objects on a mostly dark background. This does not mean that LED DLPs equate to ‘no rainbows’; the few exceptionally sensitive viewers may still see rainbows but the probability that the majority will ever see rainbows on LED-light DLPs is almost inexistent.

But there is more to like about this LED Samsung DLP television than just no rainbows. Overall picture performance is one of the very best with solid deep blacks that compares favorably with plasma TVs. A deep shade of black is important as it helps improve the realism of dark scenes while making colors look richer and more saturated. Also, primary colors are spot on and color decoding is excellent with realistic greens and reds.

Background brightness is not 100% uniform across the whole screen surface but this is typical with all rear projection TVs. Besides, the lack of brightness uniformity in itself is not enough to tarnish an otherwise excellent picture performance.

Similarly, grayscale is not completely liner - turning into a sort of reddish green color in very dark content. Shifting the color temperature adjustment towards the blue to balance this out is not ideal as it will also turn bright content bluer than normal. Unfortunately, this Samsung DLP television lacks the full control over color temperature that would let you adjust the darker and lighter areas independently, as instead is possible with Samsung plasmas and LCD HDTVs. This makes zeroing on the right color temperature setting difficult.

Another issue is that tests revealed that despite the Film Mode on this Samsung DLP television is supposed to engage 2:3 pulldown detection, yet it is unable to handle 2:3 pulldown correctly. You will have to rely on your source to handle this correctly (using a progressive-scan or upconverting DVD player).

On the other hand, image geometry is very good, both horizontally and vertically, with hardly any bowing and lines remaining relatively straight along the whole surface of the screen.

Using the HL-T6187S Samsung DLP television with a PC via the TV PC-input means that you have to limit the screen resolution to 1024 x 768 pixels. For 1920 x 1080 pixel signal, you have to connect the set HDMI port to a DVI/HDMI equipped computer. However, the displayed PC image is slightly overscanned even when selecting the Just Scan' setting for the picture size. This overscan, while not an issue with program content, is surely annoying when it comes to having the edges of your desktop truncated as certain window controls will simply disappear.

As one would expect from a 1080p set, image on the Samsung HL-T6187S is sharp - resolving every bit of detail in 1080p content. The Samsung DLP television also de-interlaced 1080i video-based content correctly but as with most progressive based displays, it did fail to de-interlace 1080i film-based material properly.

Handling of standard definition 480i content is not among the HL-T6187S best capabilities even when using the set component video inputs. However, this Samsung DLP television is still capable of resolving every single detail, though overall image is relatively soft for a 1080p HDTV set.

On the other hand, the Samsung did a good job in smoothing out jagged edges from moving diagonal lines; video processing is clean from noise, while overall, noise reduction did work well.

Conclusion

The HL-T6187S 1080p LED Samsung DLP television is one of the best big screen 1080p HDTV sets - irrespective of display technology.

As stated, the HL-T6187S Samsung DLP HDTV grayscale is not 100% liner; similarly, screen brightness uniformity is not among the best, nor does it seem capable of correctly handling 2:3 pulldown processing for film based content, but...

Surely, these are not enough to outbalance an otherwise overall great performance of this Samsung DLP television.

Accurate primary colors, deep shade of black, excellent contrast, a comprehensive connectivity array with 3 HDMI, PC, and USB, and more.

And... 120Hz refresh rate, 1080p display resolution, LED light pack, 3-D HD support, imply that there is a lot of high tech behind the Samsung HL-T6187S 61-inch screen. Combine this with a stylish compact cabinet design and a great price tag and there you have a winning solution for those looking... a premium performance 60-inch+ 1080p HDTV big screen television at less than 50% the cost of similar size plasmas or LCD HDTVs.

We did not review the other 1080p Samsung DLP televisions in the same series of LED DLP HDTVs, namely the 50-inch Samsung HL-T5087S and the 56-inch Samsung HL-T5687S DLP televisions, yet we expected these to perform very much the same as except for a different screen size, all models share the same specs sheet.


Are you looking for a DLP Rear Projection 3D HDTV?

Search for 3D DLP HDTVs at amazonAmazon offers a most complete range of RPTVs, often at significantly reduced prices. While at amazon...

Check the customer feedback to see what others had to say following their purchase with respect to quality, functionality, customer support, etc.









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