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Personal experience: 32" Samsung LCD

CyberMage
11-07-2006, 11:09 AM
Let me qualify by stating the following:

I watch about 4 hours of TV a week, total.
My wife watches about 20 hours a week (while doing other things)
I have four kids.
I didn't have a desire to spend big bucks, but I'm a gadget freak and had to have widescreen LCD.
32" was my first "requirement" based on my living room size and viewing habits.
I have a custom built DVR running on a PC. My DVD player has component outs.

At first I tried an RCA 32" from Wal-Mart. I was plagued by time problems, sleep timer problems and the fact that it wouldn't come back on without having to unplug the power first sometimes. I returned it.

My next experience was viewing them at Best Buy. I saw the Samsung and LG models and had already narrowed it down to those two online within my price point (sub $1500.) My wife said "I like the picture on the Samsung better" so that's what I bought, the LN-S3241D.

My first surprise was that it weighed about half what the RCA did, but didn't feel cheap. I've now owned it for almost two months and I have to say, I love it more every day.

Pros: Nice picture, nice brightness. I've lowered the brightness one notch on mine to get better depth of color without sacrificing viewing ease in a bright room. The price was right. The inputs are everything I need. The menu system is easy to use.

Cons: Only one set of component video (not a problem for me.) The universal remote wouldn't control some of my other devices so I bought a Logitech Harmony. Connecting audio-out into the headphone jack disables the internal equalizer controls, and the line-out jacks are not affected by the internal volume control. The PC sound input is 1/8" headphone only. The internal speakers aren't bad, but aren't good either. I installed a ZVox to handle my sound (http://www.zvoxaudio.com/) and love it.

My old entertainment center was not made for widescreens, so I built a new TV stand as well http://www.maro.net/nucleus/renovation.php?itemid=163. The pocket under the TV now holds the ZVox and my Squeezebox (www.slimdevices.com):

Summary: I love it, it's the best I could find that suited my viewing habits and budget.

anythingwt
11-07-2006, 11:27 AM
Thanks for sharing the review, it's a good thing you returned that RCA while you still had the chance to check out your other options... Just think about what you would be missing out on if you decided to just live with the issues on the old set!

And nice stand, looks very well built.. and goes perfect with the new Sammy

Corey Baird
11-07-2006, 05:55 PM
I've got that set and its not too bad. I'm actually looking at trading in for a 42'' plasma though, I find the response time not adequate for hockey. The motion blur makes it tough to follow the puck. Great overall PQ though.