Saturday, November 26, 2011

New Samsung 55" LED TV

We've been wanting to upgrade our 3-year old Samsung 40" LCD Series 5 TV with a bigger one.   And finally, the successor was delivered today.  We bought a Samsung 55" LED TV (U55D6600WP).  Its a Series 6 TV, and not the top-of-the-line, break-your-piggy-bank Series 8 TV.  I've never been a bleeding-edge guy.  Even with computers, my specs are always 2 to 3 generations behind the latest-and-greatest technology out there.

The new TV came with 3D capability.  Granted that there are really not that many 3D movies out there yet, I guess its an investment for the future since that seems to be where the industry is headed.  Personally, I don't find 3D that amazing.  It doesn't really make the movie any "better".

What is interesting about the 3D capability of the U55D6600WP is it can make standard 2D output into pseudo-3D.  Its a software trick, but it does give a 3D feel to regular shows.  I don't know how the TV determines which part of a 2D show to make 3D-ish.  Does it assume that areas with pixels moving a lot faster to belong to an image that should be in the foreground, while slower-moving pixels are assumed to be background images?  I watched a short segment of 2D Captain America in this 3D-mode, and does get some sort of a feel of 3D admittedly.

The U55D660WP is labeled as a "Smart TV", a fancy word for a TV with a built-in computer.  It comes with an internal media player which can pretty much play a very broad range of media formats.  It renders having a separate player (ex. DVD) redundant.  You just copy the file you want to watch into a USB flash drive; stick it into one of the 3 available USB ports at the side; the TV takes over and can play the file directly.  I tried plugging in my WD portable drive to one of the USB ports and it could see all my movies inside and play it directly!

The unit also comes with built-in wifi capability and a wired ethernet port (which I am not using).  You would need it to download Samsung Apps; surf on the Internet; watch YouTube; have a Skype session; etc.  A qwerty remote control helps you navigate easily.

The freebies that came with the unit are:

  • Samsung Blu-ray Player
  • 4 x 3D Glasses
  • Megamind 3D Blu-ray Disc
  • Web cam
  • 32" Series 4 LCD TV
Although I've been a skeptic before, I now believe LED output really looks better than LCD.  It just looks so much brighter and colors are sharper.

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