Samsung HL67A750

The Samsung HL67A750 LED DLP is a whopper of a display. And that’s the first thing you notice about it.

Now this might sound like a bit of a truism…after all it is a 67-inch display. But having recently reviewed the Samsung LN52A650 LCD TV, the contrast between that multipurpose system and the 67A750 was striking.

Both are 1080p HDTVs, but each uses a very different technology. 

And while “looks” of the LN52A650 first grab your attention – in the case of the 67A750, it’s the sheer size of the display that has you awed.

While most are likely to use it as a TV, the 67A750 can also be used as a PC display, and it sports a feature that automatically adjusts the video signal it receives from the TV. The function also automatically fine-tunes the settings.

The ample real estate of this the HL67A750 would make it a dream display for graphic artistes, and film and video production professionals.

In terms of its external design, the 67A750 is attractive – but not remarkable, and resembles other big-box microdisplays on the market.

The TV features a glossy black bezel – with a tiny sliver of frame (1- inch) on the top and sides and a broader frame (4¼-inch) at the base.

On the lower panel it sports the Samsung name at the centre of the frame with the company’s signature circular power button that lights up blue when the TV is turned on.

Samsung makes good marketing use of the ample real estate on the lower panel to promote some of theTV’s features and technologies such as:

– It’s three HDMI input ports

– The fact that its DMA compatible

– That its 3D ready

– The Anynet+ system (that allows you to control all connected Samsung devices that support this feature with the same TV remote).

This is a solid, feature-rich TV and has tons of options for enhancing the picture and sound quality, and has the ability to accommodate all your video sources without any fuss.

New models of rear projection HDTVs are getting increasingly rare and Samsung and Mitsubishi, it seems, are the only two manufacturers who continue to make displays in this category.

But the fact that rear projection is on its way out does mean that as a buyer you could get a better deal on the few new models that do exist – such as the 67A750.

Consider this: it retails for around $2,300 at Gibby’s and that makes it quite a bargain – when you consider everything it offers you, and the fact that Samsung’s 52-inch LN52A650 LCD TV would cost you from $2,998 to $3,499.99.

Of course, it’s vital that you are aware of the limitations of this TV – such as poor off-angle picture visibility – when compared with LCD or plasma displays.

Only connect

If you have several devices you need to connect simultaneously to your display – and chances are you will – then the connectivity options of the 67A750 will more than satisfy you.

Connectivity ports include”
– 3 HDMI inputs
– 1 S-Video input
– 2 Composite (A/V) inputs
– 2 Component inputs
– A DVI in (audio)
– A USB (WiseLink) port
– A VGA style PC input

A nice feature is the location of these inputs at the side of the TV – which makes for easier access if you have the TV against the wall.

In my tests I connected a wide range of disparate AV devices to the 67A750 – from a JVC VCR to a Samaung BDP-1200 Blu-Ray player, from a Sony RDR-GX 330 DVD recorder to Sony TRV-25 camcorder.

And the performance in each case was great, so long as you were sitting – or standing – directly facing the TV.

The moment you move away from direct line-of-sight of the display the picture tends to get dim and obscure.

Colour control

One feature I appreciated is the wide range of options this display offers you for controlling colour.

There are two principle methods for colour control.

The first method – via the Menu button on the remote – is the one that offers you the most options.

For instance, when you can hit the green Menu button and select Picture à Mode from the onscreen options you one of three pre-configured colour options to choose from:
Dynamic, Standard or Movie

Then can separately adjust Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness and Colour or scroll further down to Picture options à Colour tone and select from one of five options Cool1, Cool2, Warm1, Warm2 and Normal.

I found Warm1 and 2 the best options for watching movies or other TV programs other than sports – closet to broadcast quality colour temperatures. Note that the Warm1 and Warm2 options are only available in Movie mode (they aren’t selectable in Standard or Dynamic mode).

The Dynamic Mode is the brightest – and some may like this, but there are times when the luminance can get overwhelming. For me I found that in darker settings, Movie mode combined with the Warm1 or 2 tones offered the most pleasing effect.

The second option is using the Entertainment Mode (E.Mode) button towards the bottom of the remote and toggling between one of three options: Sports, Cinema and Game.

But once you choose one of these then setting colour using the Picture Options setting is not possible. This can be annoying.

Black beauty

The blacks look great on the HL67A750. The Detailed Settings sub-menu offers three options for Black Adjust (Low, Medium and High) – but in my tests I didn’t see much (if any difference) in how the blacks display when I shifted between these.

However, what did make a difference was selecting LED control and then choosing from one of six options (Auto, Max, High, Medium, Low or Min). I got the best and deepest blacks when choosing Low or Min (Minimum) modes. Generally, the set tends to display compelling blacks with little or no noise.

But here much will depend on what you’re watching. If the movie or your original footage already has a lot of sepia or dark tones – such as Will Smith’s I Am A Legend, for instance, you may want to go with the High or even Max options so you get better picture clarity.

While I didn’t scientifically measure de-interlacing capability of HL67A750, independent tests done on the TV – such as the Video and Film Resolution Loss test and the Silicon Optix HQV Blu-Ray test disc – revealed that it effectively de-interlaces 1080i footage.

From observation, however, I found that the reproduction of detail by the system was absolutely fabulous.

I watched Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto and the level of detail in the opening scene where the camera slowly zooms into the interior of the forest and shows the trapping and slaying of a wild boar was fantastic.

Later, as the film races through scene after scene of adrenaline-pumping action, this TV faithfully reproduced the varied colours of the forest, Mayan costume and makeup and other fascinating details.

It made for an excellent display to enjoy Dean Semler’s breathtaking photographic prowess and the adventures of Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), and his hardships from spears, snakes and tribal rulers intent on removing his heart while it’s still beating.

The TV’s audio – provided by the two hidden speakers – is passable, though nothing to write home about.  I tested setting the Tru Surround XT feature that’s supposed to solve the problem of playing 5.1 multichannel content over two speakers – but apart from boosting the sound volume a bit, I didn’t notice any other perceptible difference.

When watching hi-def content, my recommendation would be to connect to a separate digital audio system.

A neat feature is that when the sub picture in picture feature is activated, you can listen to the sound of the PIP.  

Conclusion – The HL67A750 is a good buy for those looking to experience HD 1020p content on a large format display but at a relatively cheaper price than what you would have to pay for a large screen plasma.

It’s a great bargain, so long as you’re aware of the limitations – such as the poor off-angle display. And among rear pros – that are a dying breed – it’s certainly a winner.

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