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Samsung PN63C550

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

Samsung’s 550 Series brings their Touch of Color stylishness to this 63-inch Plasma TV. A nice subtly gradiated gray means that this TV should fit in almost any room. It also comes with a swivel stand for those who like to move their TVs around. It features 1080p resolution with a 2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio. The TV is HDTV ready and features 4 HDMI ports and a V-Chip for Parental Control. Samsung’s E-Panel technology with FilterBright to reduce glare combined with the 600Hz Subfield Motion creates clear, non-blurry images even during fast-paced action sequences. The PN63C550 comes with two built-in 15 watt speakers which is better than most Samsung TVs that usually come with 10 watt speakers. It comes internet ready with an Ethernet port or you can add Samsung’s LinkStick adapter for Wifi connections. According to Samsung, this TV exceeds Energy Star standards.

Features List:

– 63-inch Plasma TV

– HDTV Ready 1080p Resolution

– 2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio

– 4 HDMI Ports

– V-Chip for Parental Control

– E-Panel technology to reduce glare

– 600Hz for crisper action sequences

– Two built-in 15 watt speakers

– Ethernet port, Wifi Ready

– Exceeds Energy Star standards

Do I need an ATSC tuner?

If you plan on watching, free, over-the-air programming, then yes. As of 2009, all over-the-air broadcasts use the ATSC standard. Pretty much all HDTVs manufactured over the past few years will include this feature.

Should I worry about viewing angle?

Absolutely. All LCDs will distort when viewed from extreme angles, but the degree of distortion and the angle it starts to occur at varies from TV to TV. If you plan to pack a dozen people in front of a single TV for entertaining, viewing angle will make a huge difference for the unlucky few who get scattered off to the sides. Most manufacturers will state viewing angle in degrees (for instance, 160) in the specifications for a TV, but be warned: methods for measuring this very subjective figure vary, and we can guarantee most companies opt for the most generous figures. When possible, try to evaluate it yourself in person, or read hands-on reviews that can offer anecdotal evidence, rather than relying on easily-manipulated numbers.

Do I need a 120Hz set? What about 240Hz?

This popular LCD TV-based technology helps reduce motion blur. Pronounced “120 hertz,” 120Hz technology essentially doubles the speed at which frames are displayed, from 60 frames per second to 120 frames per second, resulting in a clearer moving image, especially in fast-action video sequences.

Since the screen can display more frames than a movie actually has, many TVs will artificially generate in-between frames where they don’t exist to make motion look smoother. Some people find the look more fluid, while some people think it looks artificial and odd. Fortunately, all TVs that offer it also offer an option to turn it off, if you don’t like it. We recommend testing it in person to see the effects for yourself before deciding whether or not you should pay extra.

Check out our article 120Hz and 240Hz Refresh Rates Explained for more on motion smoothing.

What is a LED backlighting?

Traditionally, LCD TVs have used compact fluorescent (CFL) tubes placed behind an LCD panel to provide the backlighting that literally lights up the screen. More modern LED TVs replace these tubes with clusters of light emitting diodes – LEDs.

When LEDs are placed at the edges of the screen, as CFL tubes traditionally were, TVs can be made significantly thinner, and LEDs use less power than fluorescents. The most inexpensive LED-lit HDTVs take this approach.

However, the biggest advantage to using LEDs is realized when they light the screen in a grid from behind. Sophisticated electronics vary the intensity of every LED in accordance with action on the screen, making dark areas of the image darker, and bright areas brighter. This effectively increases the contrast ratio compared to uniform lighting. Although it also increases costs, many people believe this type of LCD is the first to truly rival plasma on black levels.

Read more about LED backlighting and the differences between both techniques in our guide to understanding LED backlighting.

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