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July 2007
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Samsung HL-T6187S: First Look
Our preview of Samsung's 61-inch DLP TV with 1080p full HD resolution

Samsung HLT6187S
 
While several companies, such as Hitachi, HP, LG and Philips, are no longer making rear-projection TVs, Samsung continues to not only offer new RPTV models, but to innovate in this type of HDTVs.

The $3,000 HL-T6187S, a 61-inch 1080p model with a shallow-depth cabinet, is a good example. This set is one of six new DLP-based models that use LED backlights. In addition to the promise of longer life (with a claimed life of 60,000 hours or more, LEDs dont need periodic replacement), TVs that use individual red, green and blue LEDs dont require a color wheel, giving them the potential to greatly minimize an image artifact known as the rainbow effect, which appears as momentary flashes of color. In fact, our review of Samsungs first-generation LED model (HL-S5679W) showed that it virtually eliminated any evidence of this effect. It was therefore a surprise when our preliminary testing of the newer HL-T6187S--a second-generation LED model--revealed a visible rainbow effect with test patterns and some video images. Not everyone is susceptible to this effect, though, and many might want to consider the sets considerable attributes.

For more information on how to choose the right HDTV set for your needs, see our online TV Decision Guide or watch our free online video Big-screen TV shopping.

Here's what we discovered so far about the Samsung HL-T6287S:


Highs

Satisfying HD picture quality.  This 1080p set produces a bright image with a satisfying level of picture detail and very good black levels.

LED backlighting eliminates bulb replacement. The TV uses LED backlighting, which can last 60,000 hours or more, as opposed to the 3,000 to 6,000 hours before a conventional bulb needs replacing.

Excellent 1080i film-mode performance. Its excellent 1080i film-mode performance--also called inverse 3:2 pulldown--accurately compensates for the difference between film and video frame rates, producing smooth 1080p images from film-based movies.

Ultra-slim cabinet design. Despite its large, 61-inch screen, the TV has a very shallow 15.4-inch depth, making it a less-obtrusive presence in many rooms.

Remote has convenient backlighting. The remote control features backlighting on the most-often-used buttons. In addition, it can be used to control cable and satellite boxes.


Lows

Produces visible rainbow effect. Despite its LED backlighting, which obviates the need for a spinning color wheel, the TV displayed a visible rainbow effect with video content and test patterns. An earlier LED-based model we reviewed had virtually eliminated that effect.

Visible on-screen hot spots. There were visible irregularities in screen brightness when you move up and down while viewing.

Some image enhancements cant be completely turned off. Slight sharpness enhancement cant be completely minimized, which can detract from the image neutrality on some programs.


Bottom Line

With its well-detailed, bright picture, 1080p native resolution and very good black levels, this 61-inch rear-projection DLP set delivers on the HD performance essentials. In addition, its slim-design cabinet will allow many viewers to experience a larger screen than they might have envisioned. While its long-lasting LED backlighting might save money over the long run because you wont have to periodically replace a bulb. For those who are susceptible to the rainbow effect, be aware that unlike a previous Samsung LED-based set we reviewed, that effect is evident on this newer model.