Last Updated: November 2, 2013
Samsung LCD TV Lineup for 2010
Full Product Evaluation
Entry-level 720p and 1080p LCD HDTVs
Samsung HDTV lineups have always been among the most comprehensive irrespective of brand and display technology. And the 2010 line of Samsung LCD TVs is no exception; comprising 33 different models, it once again confirms Samsung as possibly the largest TV maker in the world. Screen sizes range from small 19-inch 720p HDTVs to massive 60-inch 1080p LCD TVs.
More affordable than their LED TV counterparts, the latest Samsung LCD TVs deliver a lot for the price. And while high-end Samsung LCD TVs sport among the most technologically advanced features - including 3D, even Samsung inexpensive entry-level 720p HDTV series deliver more in terms of features and performance than one expects from entry-level sets.
This LCD TV review discusses the latest Samsung LCD TVs to see what is exactly on offer for 2010. In the process, we explain the differences between the different series as well as discuss performance issues where applicable.
Should you prefer, you can join in our discussion on the latest Samsung LCD TVs by submitting your opinion to be included on our site.
Samsung UN60F8000 60-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Ultra Slim Smart LED HDTV
This high-end feature rich LED HDTV comes with Samsung's Micro dimming Ultimate LED backlight technology - among the best in its class for black level performance. It is also the TV with the best feature set.
Introducing the latest Samsung LCD TV Sets for 2010
Samsung new LCD TV lineup spreads over five main series; however, if you were to count also the different sub-series under Series 5 and 6, and the number of different series would double!
Entry-level 720p LCD TV series comprise the C350 Series 3 and C450 Series 4 HDTVs. Series 5 - with its C530, C540, and C550 sub-series represents Samsung entry-level 1080p HDTVs, while Series 6 - with its C610, C630, C650, and C670 sub-series, represents Samsung premium LCD TVs.
Series 6 is also the series that represents the bestselling LCD TV models from Samsung for 2010 - with sets such as the 40-inch LN40C630 ($800) and in particular the 46-inch LN46C650 ($1170), being among the most popular sets irrespective of TV brand within the premium HDTV category.
Moving up the 2010 line of Samsung LCD TVs, one finds Samsung Series 7 with the only model in the series being the 46-inch LN46C750 HDTV. Series 7 introduces Samsung LCD line to 3D and 240Hz dejudder processing. But otherwise, it is the 3D equivalent of the Samsung C650 series in that apart from 3D and 240Hz processing, all other features between the C750 and the C650 series are basically the same.
It is definitely a massive line of LCD HDTVs from an equally massive TV maker. But what is really so special about the 2010 Samsung LCD TV line is that despite these lack the latest LED backlight - thus missing the thinness and energy efficiency of the much touted edge-lit LED TVs, yet these conventional CCFL-based Samsung LCD TVs deliver numerous features and a great overall picture performance one calibrated, for significantly less.
Not only, in certain aspects of picture performance, namely screen brightness uniformity and off-axis viewing, they even outperform their LED TV counterparts. You see, TV makers and retailers alike are pushing LED TVs not necessarily because they deliver a better picture - in particular, this is not the case with the more affordable edge-lit LED TVs. At least this is what we believe, and this is what most professional reviews seems to point out review after review. Keep in mind that edge-lit LED TVs are basically the same CCFL-based LCD TVs with a LED backlight. Rather, most often than not, it is because of the higher markups and thus higher margins associated with the latest LED TV technology that is the prime reason behind the much touting associated with LED LCD TVs.
But LED competition apart, Samsung's line of CCFL LCD TVs also competes well against the CCFL competition from other brands, often offering more picture controls and options, apart from the more refined styling than corresponding models from other TV makers. Samsung relatively affordable LCD TVs for 2010 definitely represent a tempting mix of features, performance and value for those in the market determined to get the best deal for their budget.
2010 Samsung LCD TV Product Evaluation: A detailed look
Entry-level 720p 60Hz Samsung LCD TVs: Series 3 and Series 4
Samsung 32-inch LN32C450
Samsung Series 3 and Series 4 (denoted by C350 and C450 respectively) LCD HDTVs represent Samsung entry-level 720p LCD TVs for 2010.
Both series comprise the same screen sizes and an almost identical feature set except for a few minor enhancements, mainly in the form of an improved connectivity suite, reserved for LNC450 HDTVs.
Series 3 LCD HDTVs comprise the 19-inch LN19C350, 22-inch LN22C350, 26-inch LN26C350 and the 32-inch LN32C350. At the time of this write-up, prices range from $200 for the 19-inch to $400 for the 32-inch.
Instead, Series 4 Samsung LCD TVs comprise the 19-inch LN19C450, 22-inch LN22C450, 26-inch LN26C450 and the 32-inch LN32C450. Jumping onto the step-up entry-level series will cost an extra $50 over corresponding Series 3 HDTVs.
As indicated earlier on, the main difference of essence between the C350 and the C450 HDTVs is the presence of a more comprehensive connectivity suite on Series 4 LCD TVs. This includes an additional HDMI port for a total of two for 19-inch and 22-inch HDTVs, and three (two on the back panel and one on the side) for 26-inch and 32-inch models. The HDMI ports on the LNC450 series comes with CEC support - meaning that it will be possible to control compatible Samsung AV products with the Anynet+ feature via the TV remote - thus doing away with the need for multiple remotes.
Common connectivity options present on both series includes a USB port, 1 VGA-style PC input, a shared component/composite video input with shared audio inputs, shared audio input for DVI and PC, and digital audio out.
Apart from the extra HDMI port on Series 4 HDTVs, other differences between C350 and C450 Samsung LCD TVs include a more refined styling for the C450 characterized by a transparent plastic lip along the bottom frame, a basic Picture-in-Picture functionality where you can only view the TV picture in a sub-window when viewing content from an external source, additional support for movie playback thanks to Samsung ConnectShare feature via the USB port apart from JPEG support found on the C350 series, and to what it is worth, a slightly improved contrast ratio rating.
The latter includes a 20,000:1 CR for 19-inch and 22-inch instead of the 15,000:1 found on the C350; the largest C450 screen sizes get 40,000:1 for the 26-inch and 60,000:1 for the 32-inch instead of the 35,000:1 found on corresponding C350 Samsung LCD TVs. This difference in contrast ratio may sound a lot in terms of absolute value but rest assured that the implication in perceived impact on picture quality is practically nothing.
Features common to both series include Samsung's WideColorEnhancer for a more natural color reproduction; a Game mode which is said to enhance the picture performance by enhancing the dark areas while minimizing image processing response during gaming applications; SRS TruSurround - to help the user experience a virtual immersive soundstage via the TV stereo speakers; a 10W to 3W stereo sound output - depending on screen size; and a comprehensive ECO solution providing various power saving options that help reduce the power consumption by adjusting the brightness level to pre-set values - this apart from the fact that all Samsung LCD TVs exceed by a great margin the latest Energy Star 4.0 requirements.
Despite being entry-level series, these Samsung LCD TVs also include extensive user-adjustable picture controls apart from three basic picture modes and the standard settings for backlight, contrast, brightness, sharpness and tint. These include adjustments for black level depth, dynamic contrast, shadow detail, gamma, color space selection, a white balance for color temperature setting that adjust both the color offset and color gain for the three primary colors, a flesh tone control, and edge enhancement. In addition, C450 series HDTVs also include an RGB only filter mode for fine adjustments to hue and saturation as further explained here.
Consumer reviews posted online show that customers are generally very much satisfied with these entry-level Samsung LCD TVs - saying the picture is excellent. A review appearing on LCD TV Buying Guide also confirms that these Samsung LCD TVs are capable of doing a relatively good job for HDTVs at this price bracket - delivering deep blacks with good dark shadow detail, bright sharp images and good natural looking colors when handling HD material. Handling of standard definition 480i is also good despite the presence of a few non-offensive artifacts while off-axis viewing is basically in line with similar LCD HDTVs from Sony and LG.
Bestselling Series 3 and Series 4 Samsung LCD TVs include the 32-inch LN32C450 and the LN32C350. At just the right screen size for most basic home entertainment/PC applications and an inexpensive price, these entry-level LCD HDTVs offer one of the best cheap LCD TV solutions presently available on the market.
Some may skip over these Samsung LCD TVs simply because they are 720p HDTVs. But if feature wise they deliver what you are after, moving on to a 1080p LCD HDTV at this screen size is waste of money. Rest assured that at anything smaller than 50-inch, it would be hard if not impossible to notice the difference in picture detail afforded by the higher pixel count of 1080p HDTVs with broadcast content. You will have to move really close - closer than what is considered healthy, normal, viewing distance - and use a pristine 1080p video source to possibly start seeing the difference.
Samsung 40-inch LN40C530
Series 5 represents Samsung entry-level 1080p LCD HDTVs. This is also the series that covers one of the largest range of models - 12 different sets spread over 3 sub-series, C530, C540 and C550.
Actually Samsung website refers to a fourth series, the C560 but no information is available yet. Screen sizes covered range from 32-inch to 52-inch.
One cannot expect Samsung Series 5 LCD TVs to deliver the best picture, but they certainly deliver one of the best cheap LCD TV packages to price deals for those looking for a 1080p HDTV, striking the right balance between affordability, overall good picture quality, an interesting feature set, and we add, more refined styling than most of the competition.
At the entry-level, one finds the C530 Series 5 Samsung LCD TVs. The C530 is the Series 5 line that covers the widest range of TV sizes, from 32-inch to 52-inch over five different models, the 32-inch LN32C530, 37-inch LN37C530, 40-inch LN40C530, 46-inch LN46C530, and the 52-inch LN52C530. Prices range from $500 for the 32-inch to just over $1250 for the 52-inch.
Feature wise, C530 HDTVs are basically the 1080p equivalent of the 32-inch LN32C450 HDTV, but with just a few minor enhancements - the most significant (apart from the 1080p resolution) is the provisioning of Samsung light sensor as part of its suite of power saving options; this helps reduce the power consumption by automatically adjusting the brightness level according to the light level in the room.
Other improvements include a somewhat improved styling complimented by Samsung design trademark, a transparent plastic lip along the bottom frame, and a swivel stand. Despite that this is the only Series 5 that does not include Samsung Touch-of-Color design, yet the overall minimalistic design is still pleasing.
One final enhancement - but of a lesser essence - is a slightly improved contrast ratio rating of 80,000:1 for 40-inch to 52-inch TVs and 70,000:1 for 32-inch and 37-inch sets instead of the 60,000:1 found on the 32-inch Series 4 equivalent.
Next in line is the C540 sub-series of Samsung LCD TVs; these comprise the 32-inch LN32C540, the 40-inch LN40C540, and the 46-inch LN46C540 1080p HDTVs. Strangely enough though, while both the 40-inch and the 46-inch are 1080p HDTVs, published specs for the 32-inch show that this is a 720p equivalent. It is strange because even the 32-inch within the entry-level C530 sub-series is a 1080p HDTV. In either case, as already expressed earlier on, it would be extremely difficult to enjoy the benefit of the higher pixel count supported by the 1080p resolution at this screen size.
Main upgrade over the C530 is the addition of an extra HDMI port for a total of four on all TVs. The C540 also introduces the new Samsung LCD TV line to the much renowned Touch of Color™ design. This introduces a subtle hint of color into the set black bezel, which in the case of the C540, takes the form of a subtle red hint.
Top on Samsung Series 5 is the C550 sub-series. It covers four screen sizes, the popular 32-inch LN32C550 and one of the bestselling Samsung LCD TVs for 2010, as well as the 37-inch LN37C550, 40-inch LN40C550, and the 46-inch LN46C550. Prices vary from $600 for the 32-inch to $890 for the 46-inch - just $40 more than corresponding C530 Samsung LCD TV!
The C550 comes with more refined styling that apart from Samsung ToC design and the swivel stand includes Samsung transparent support column, and a transparent edge along the four sides of the bezel for a more pleasing look. In addition, Samsung has equipped these LCD HDTVs with its AllShare feature. This is Samsung's DLNA-certified network connection which will allow you to transfer videos, music and photos from your network connected PCs, camera or mobile device to your Samsung TV via the set Ethernet port, or wirelessly via the appropriate Samsung USB 802.11n Wireless Adaptor (WIS09ABGN2).
However, despite being labeled as Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compliant, these Samsung LCD TVs do not support third-party DLNA server software; you have to install Samsung's PC Share Manager on your PC. As expressed elsewhere on this site, this is not among the coolest things and do lack some of the basic functionality like auto-updating of the library found on other DLNA servers.
Samsung C550 HDTVs also include an additional component video input. One last difference between C540 and C550 sets is that 37-inch, 40-inch and 46-inch C550 HDTVs come with a slightly improved dynamic contrast ratio rating of 90,000:1; instead, the 32-inch C550 and all C540 HDTVs come with a contrast ratio rating of 80,000:1.
Performance wise, Samsung Series 5 LCD TVs are among the best in consumer reviews, achieving a 4 to 4.5 stars out of five overall, and with what is often described as 'fantastic' picture quality and most pleasing aesthetics. In addition, these TVs matt screen makes them an ideal option for use in bright room conditions.
We did not come across professional reviews for Samsung Series 5 LCD TVs but we expect similar picture quality performance to that of Series 4 Samsung LCD TVs since apart from the slight increased dynamic contrast ratio rating, all other picture related specs are basically the same. As expressed under our Contrast Ratio article, the implication on picture performance as a result of the increased contrast rating is far less than what the difference in numbers seems to imply.
Bestselling Series 5 Samsung LCD TVs include the 40-inch LN40C530 and the 32-inch LN32C550.