Samsung LN-46A750 LCD HDTV

Samsung 46A750

What is readily apparent, and worth discussing, is the screen. Unlike most LCD screens, this one is glossy—not unlike most plasma screens. So somewhat ironically, one of LCDs main legs up over plasmas (the lack of reflections), is not here. If there are windows behind where you’re sitting, and you’re at the right angle, you’re going to see the windows (somewhat) in the screen. While this may seem, at first, to be a major flaw, for some people this is actually a good thing.

It’s true that most LCDs don’t have reflections. In many brightly lit rooms, this is great. What most LCD’s also don’t have is a decent black level. The light hitting the screen has to go somewhere. So it is diffused across the entire screen, raising the apparent black level. While you’re watching in a brightly lit room, this probably isn’t that noticeable.

What the LN-46A750’s screen does instead is reflect some of that light back out. So if there is a lamp on behind the other end of the sofa, you may see it. But if there is just more ambient light in the room, the black level will actually appear lower.

And it works. With room lights on, the black level seems extremely dark, darker than you’d expect from an LCD. So as long as your setup doesn’t put light sources behind you (or ones you can’t shut off), then this set will give you a better daytime black level than most other LCDs.

At night, though, is a different story. Even with the backlight set at the lowest setting (which creates a pretty dim image), the black level isn’t anything exciting. About on par with most LCDs, which is to say worse than the better plasmas. With the HD DVD of Batman Begins the black level wasn’t objectionable, and it was possible to dial in a backlight setting that was bright enough to be pleasing, without having gray blacks. Turn the backlight up further, though, and you can tan yourself on the cheap.

The contrast ratio is good, similar, and perhaps a little better than most LCDs, though certainly not as good as Samsung’s own local dimming LED LCD or the better plasmas. Again, in a brightly lit room, though, it seems much higher.