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A full HD 1080p viewing experience can often come with a hefty price tag. But Samsung’s 46-inch N8 LCD TV is designed to provide that 1080p experience at a more affordable price. We see how it measures up.


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Despite being an entry level model, Samsung was still able to provide users with a lot of connectivity features, a maximum viewing resolution of 1920 x 1080p, and other features that make this LCD better than other LCDs out in the market today. But with a lower price tag, Samsung definitely had to compromise on some aspects of this LCD screen and is seen in the picture quality of the panel.

Samsung has maintained its glossy black finish and design for its N8, giving it a ‘stylish’ touch that can complement almost any room. A blue light at the bottom of the bezel lights up when the unit is on, but can be turned off when it is accessed via the unit’s main menu.

 

 

The unit’s control panel (Source, Menu, Volume, Channel Toggle, and Power) are hidden away from view (located on top of the frame), while its base can be swivelled, giving users the flexibility in choosing where to position the TV. The unit’s speakers are located at the back of the unit, providing users with sound without spoiling the LCD’s look.

Connectors at the back of the unit include two HDMI ports, two sets of Component video inputs, a set of Composite video input, RCA stereo input and output jacks, a Digital audio out (Optical), a D-sub in, and a DVI-in. Users can also find an HDMI port, an S-Video port, a Composite jack, and a 3.5mm jack for headphones.

The panel features a maximum resolution of 1080p, comes with a 10,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio, comes with a built-in HD Digital Tuner, and is Auto Wall Mount compatible. The panel also comes with a Movie Plus Imaging Engine that ‘creates fast action images’ that aim to eliminate the judder effect as well as a Wide Colour Enhancer that promises richer blues and greens.

 


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Performance:

The N8 has three types of picture modes (Dynamic, Standard, and Movie) depending on the viewing requirements of each user. It also comes with a Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness, Colour, and Colour Tone adjustments, as well as ‘advanced’ pictures settings (Black Adjust, Dynamic Contrast, Gamma, White Balance, My Colour Control, Edge Enhancement, and Colour Space) for more experienced users.

The remote control can operate the TV, DVD player, Cable, Set-Top Box, and VCR by entering a specific code found on the Samsung manual. Users can also use the remote to control all connected Samsung AV devices using the Anynet+ menu.

We have connected a Blu-ray player to the LA46N81BDX and played Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Remastered Edition) to test the N8’s performance. In the last few scenes, we have found that the blacks in the panel lacked detail, with the rocks in the mountains being a little ‘washed out’. Manually adjusting the settings may do the trick but will definitely be a hassle, especially when all one wants to do is to watch a movie in high definition.

 


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It is good to know however, that the N8 LCD was still able to provide us with vivid images, with various indoor and outdoor shots looking bright and crisp. Skin tones looked natural, which is a good thing as it gives movies and games that ‘true-to-life’ appeal. Finally, with Samsung’s Movie Plus imaging engine, fast action scenes had less judder, making objects clearer to a certain degree.

Conclusion:

Samsung is able to pull a rabbit out of its hat by providing users with an entry-level LCD TV that is quite a performer. The Samsung LA46N81BDX has a lot of connectivity ports that allow users to connect their devices (HD or SD), comes with a panel that can handle games and movies in full high definition (1080p), and even comes with a built-in HD tuner for channels that offer HD content. A price of $3,899 makes this LCD well worth buying, especially for those who want to have a taste of what 1080p is all about. Just remember that a more affordable model means a little compromise in its overall image quality.

Product Specifications:

Panel
Screen Size: 46″/116cm
Full 1080p: Yes

Display
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 10,000:1
Brightness: 550 cd/m2
Viewing Angle: 178 degrees
Backlight: C C F L
Response Time: 8ms

Audio
Sound Output (RMS): 10W x 2
Stereo Type: A2/NiCAM
Sound: SRS TruSurround XT

System
Colour System: PAL B/G, DVB-T
Power: 110-240V

Features
DNIe: Yes
Integrated HD Tuner: Yes
Sleep Timer: Yes
Clock On/Off Timer: Yes
Still Picture: Yes
Picture in Picture: Single Tuner (use HDMI)
Teletext: Yes
Auto Channel Search: Yes
Auto Power Off: Yes
Auto Volume Leveller: Yes
Anynet+ HDMI-CEC: Yes
Movie Plus: Yes
Game Mode: Yes

Input & Output
RF Input: 1
Component (Y/Pb/Pr): 2
Composite (AV): 1
HDMI: 3
PC Input (D-Sub): 1
Optical Sound Out: 1
RS232C (For Service): 1

Dimensions
Set Size with Stand: 1175.8 x 761.4 x 320 mm
Set Size without Stand: 1175.8 x 693.8 x 114 mm

Weight
With Stand: 30kg
Without Stand: 25.5kg

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Samsung LA46N81BDX LCD TV | $3,899 |  | www.samsung.com.au

For: 1080p Resolution; Lots of connectivity ports; Attractive price point
Against: A little sacrifice on the picture quality
Conclusion: An excellent entry-level LCD TV for those who want to experience high definition.

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