Samsung FP-T6374 – A display for all seasons

“Choice” is undoubtedly a value proposition for the Samsung FP-T6374, some would say too much of it.

This 63-inch flat panel Plasma display’s design and features allow it to be used in business as well as consumer environments.
Given is huge form factor, I could see the FP-T6374 being used in a large company boardroom – for instance – for presentations, video conferences, and to display corporate footage.

The rear panel offers a couple of options for connecting a notebook or desktop PC. You could either use a D-Sub cable to connect the PC In jack on the display with the PC – or an HDMI-DVI cable (not included with the display) to link the HDMI In port on the display with the PC output jack on a computer.

I used the first option to hook up an HP Pavilion dv6636nr notebook PC to the Samsung display (the onscreen menu allows you to select the external input source). I then used the notebook remote to move through various programs on the PC.

My experience was mixed.

While the image from my laptop displayed clearly, the colours were a very far cry from vigorous and brilliant shades on my laptop. 

To route PC audio to the display, again there are two options – either using a PC Audio Cable or a “3.5 mm stereo to 2 RCA cable.” 
The drawback is that none of these specialty cables are included with the package – with is a pity.

With a price tag of given $7,499 – that’s what the FP-T6374 retails for at – you would think Samsung would throw in all the necessary cables.
On the consumer front, given the price, it’s clear this baby isn’t for everyone.

But assuming you’ve just got that big holiday bonus, and feel inclined to splurge on a big ticket Plasma display that really makes a statement in your living room – this may be one of the items you should check out.

From a consumer perspective – again “choice” is arguably the most compelling feature of the Samsung FP-T6374. It’s a TV/display that includes everything…well nearly everything. 

It’s connectivity options – for instance – are many and varied:

  • Multiple internal tuners – ATSC, NTSC, and clear QAM – and is therefore capable of handling any TV signals you receive.
  • In addition to all the standard ports you would except on a high-end display (HDMI, component, S-Video, composite) the FP-6374 includes a few special inputs – including a WiseLink USB jack  on the side panel.

Vivid picture
After the rather disappointing experience with the images from my HP laptop, I tested how the FP-T6374 handled video input from other devices.

So I put the display through the paces, checking out picture quality using various media, a variety of external video input devices – including a Samsung second get BluRay player and a Sony DVD player – and multiple connectivity options.

I also did the tests at various times of the day, and each time the display came through with flying – or perhaps I should say, vivid – colours.
Expectedly quality was best when I played Blu-Ray discs at 1080p – hooking up a Samsung second gen Blu-Ray player to one of the HDMI inputs on the TV.

One of the movies I watched this way – Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto –had won a couple of awards for “best cinematography”. (Gibson had filmed Apocalypto digitally, using the high-definition Panavision Genesis camera).

Viewing the panoramic forest footage, and the scene where captive villagers are led through the river (shot using a Spydercam from atop a 150-foot waterfall) was pure pleasure.

This time the colours were vivid, images sharp and beautifully nuanced.

According to Samsung, the technology that produces these brilliant colours on the FP-T6374 includes:

  1. 18-bit processing
  2. A 15,000:1 contrast ratio
  3. Samsung’s Ultra FilterBright technology – that in addition to eliminating “noise” and glare works to enhance colour and contrast, and,
  4. The new DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine).

The DNIe function has to be activated. When it is, there’s a perceptible difference in visual quality.

In addition the Picture Menu includes and Active Colour option – which when turned on displays stronger and more vivid colours.
Colours and hues also display well in broad daylight, which is another positive feature of the Samsung FP-T6374.

The display also features a new “auto-pixel-shift” technology from Samsung that prevents picture “burn-in”. This function that can be accessed from the on screen menu.

The pixel shift feature is particularly important if the display is used play a lot of video games. Many a plasma screen has been ruined by status bars and other stationary game elements – and thankfully you now have a way to avoid that and protect your investment.

Adequate sound
The FP-T6374 includes a pair of 15-watt stereo speakers, which Samsung says is capable of SRS TruSurround XT sound. That would be adequate, if you’re not too particular about things like sound depth and richness.

But is you have multi-channel home theatre system I suggest you get your audio from that.
While the internal speakers are fine for casual TV viewing (for instance), they certainly won’t meet the expectations of an audiophile.

Bell and whistles
While most consumers would use the display to watch TV or play video games, offers you have the option of doing many other things the Samsung FP-T6374 as well – such as viewing pictures, or mp3 files from a USB memory stick.

The side panel includes a WiseLink USB port that allows you to connect a memory stick with mp3 files or pictures.

When I did this the mp3 files played well (and sounded surprisingly rich on the 15-watt speakers), the images quality was quite good.

Also while it took around up to 30 seconds for the first picture to display, there after hitting the forward button on the remote produced the next image almost immediately.

Bottom line
When used in a corporate context, the versatility of the Samsung FP-T6374 – it’s ability to connect to many different external devices – would be an advantage.

For consumers the $7,500 price tag is not a figure to be sneezed at.

But when you consider that it’s a 63-inch plasma display that includes such a broad range of features and the video quality (except when it comes from a PC) compelling, the FP-T6374 certainly worth considering if you’re up for a big ticket purchase.

Another point to factor in when mulling over price is that this model incorporates power-saving technology.
Essentially, a light sensor helps you adjust to one of three brightness levels, while also being able to detect changes in the light and adjust the brightness on the fly.

Samsung claims this feature can reduce power consumption by up to 25 percent, which is pretty substantial when you consider how much power a plasma display of that size would typically suck up.

As they teach you in business school these days, you need to focus on total cost of ownership (TCO).  



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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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