Samsung LN46B630 46" 1080p HD LCD Television
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Samsung LN46B630 46" 1080p HD LCD Television

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  • Definition: HDTV
  • 3D Technology: 3D Not Supported
  • TV Type: Flat-Panel
  • Smart TV Features: Not Supported
  • Max. Resolution: 1080p
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
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47

Fantastic TV at a great price

Pros High contrast, 120 Hz, tons of inputs, amazing picture, decent sound, low price point
Cons Hard to connect PC, picture-in-picture settings terrible, everything else awesome
Recommended it? Yes
The Bottom Line:  Buying this was a fantastic decision - the picture quality is scary good and the features are amazing for the price.  Go check it out, I'm sure you'll be speechless.
I just got this TV 2 weeks ago, and I can safely say that the Samsung LN46B630 (first set of numbers is the size, letter 'B' means second version, 600 series is 120 Hz, 30 relates to features list) is one of the best TVs I have ever seen.  I spent a few weeks at a house with the LN46A630, which was last year's model, and that was a great TV as well.  But this 46", 120 Hz model has double the contrast and I it's almost an inch thinner (3.1" from 4.0").  The combination of these things makes it one of the best TVs for your dollar on the market right now. 

This TV is one of Samsung's least expensive 120 Hz TVs, but it still comes with better picture quality than last year's more expensive models.  That means that if you were thinking about paying more for the higher end LN46a650 last year, you should definitely get the newer model of the lowest price point.


Features

This TV, above everything else, is a 120 Hz unit.  That means it's one of the most clear images you'll find.  The human eye can see smooth images above about 20 frames per second, and videos look incredibly smooth around 60 Hz.  The next multiple, 120 Hz, is pretty much as good as you're going to ever need.  In this reviewer's opinion, there's no point in going up to 240 Hz, but you're welcome to disagree.  I will say this - I'm not prepared to pay more for a feature that people can't even notice.

The TV has 4 HDMI inputs, which is really handy for plugging in all of my accessories.

There's a DVI input for home theater PCs without HDMI output.  I use HDMI, but you could do either one and it will look great.

This new version sports an 80,000:1 contrast ratio, which is double the previous year's model.  Given that you would pay more last year to upgrade to 50,000:1 for the LN46a650, this is a huge upgrade.  This means deeper blacks, richer colors.  The picture quality really is amazing on this unit.

There's Ethernet input into the TV, so you can check the weather and news while you're watching a show.

The TV comes with a stand and also has a plug for if you wall-mount it.  Either way, it looks really slick when it's set up.

Samsung has made it really easy to use USB connectivity to view photos, movies, and play MP3s.  I've tried this a number of times and it works great - very easy.  I was even able to update the TV firmware using the USB drive, which was incredibly easy.

Allows BD wise connectivity, which enhances picture quality with other Samsung devices (DVD player, Blu-ray, and home theater).  Haven't tried this feature yet.

For additional explanation of the video features like Wide Color Enhancer and AutoMotion Plus, check out the manufacturer link for the LN46B630 at: http://www.samsung.com/us/.  Sorry, the product link is too long to include here.


Inputs/Outputs

4 HDMI inputs
1 ethernet input
1 PC (D-Sub) input
1 stereo audio input (for PC)
No S-Video inputs
2 Composite inputs
2 Component inputs
2 USB inputs
1 Coaxial cable input
1 Digital optical audio output


Pros

First off, you can't argue with the price for one of the best quality screens out there.  When I heard that Samsung screens are used in other LCD TVs, I was sold on this brand.

The picture quality is unbelievable on this set.  Watching movies looks like an HD documentary, even with standard definition DVDs.  Picture quality is what sold me on this unit.  Maybe it's all 120 Hz sets, but the combination of the frequency and the color range makes for a truly unbelievable experience.

The speakers are actually pretty good on this set.  The volume goes much higher than I need, and there's a conversion unit to turn the 5.1 audio in from the HDMI into the 2.0 output on the set.

There are tons of inputs, including a specific HDMI input with settings for PC input.

This unit is only 3.1" deep without the stand.  Not as thin as an LED TV, but still thinner than the previous year's model.

The blacks are really clean and dark on this unit.  Most LCDs are plagued with this problem, but the high contrast ratio of this set allows for great use of the full RGB color spectrum.  I'm really pleased, and there are even settings to adjust the 'blackness' of the set.

The red Touch of Color feature on the frame is understated, and lends a bit of an interesting touch to the unit without being distracting.


Cons

Only one of the HDMI input ports is meant for a PC connection running at 1920x1080.  It took me a really long time to figure this out - you have to go into the input list and specifically select 'PC' to get both the audio and the proper video resolution to work together.  I almost returned the TV before I found this out, and it's not in the menus.  Bottom line, you can't connect a PC to any of the HDMI ports.

Because this is an LCD and not an LED, the power consumption is a little higher.  My power meter tells me that the unit draws 170 watts running, which is far better than a tube TV of similar size.

The picture-in-picture setting only allows you to watch cable or antenna-based TV with your other input.  You still can't view HDMI 1 and HDMI 2 together, or any other combinations.  I'm amazed that Samsung hasn't figured out a better solution for this.

The menu system is somewhat complicated - there are multiple video setting panels, and some are only available for certain inputs, and then there's another small menu with redundant functions from the main menus.  It takes a lot of adjusting to get used to this interface.


Overall

This TV was well worth the wait.  Unbelievable picture quality when paired with a decent upconverting DVD player, and works as a really great PC monitor for your home theater PC.  If you've missed the 120 Hz resolution and need a new set, I would recommend getting this new model.  You should be able to find it on sale, maybe even with a free wall mount, for only a couple hundred more than last year's model.  I wouldn't look for any features in a higher-priced LCD beyond what's included in this unit, but I also wouldn't sacrifice the high quality Samsung screen for anything.  Trust me - go look at this TV, jot down the exact model number and ask for it.  You'll be glad you did.

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