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Samsung LN55B650 55″ 120Hz LCD HDTV: A Layman’s Review


Menus and Options: The Highlights

Instead of bringing you through a painstakingly long tour of all the menu options, we have decided to take a closer look at the menus which will impact most upon picture and sound quality. It should be noted straight off the bat that nearly a year ago we found the menus on the LN52A850 hard to navigate due to extremely sluggish controls and the LN55B650 suffers from the same issues. Even simple actions such as input selection quickly become a lesson in frustration as the TV sometimes reacts to a button presses on the remote while other times it just chooses to ignore them. Changing the remote’s batteries and cleaning the IR receiver on the TV did nothing to change the lethargic menu navigation.

One thing I really did appreciate about this TV is the fact that the picture settings for each input can be done separately. Unfortunately, I kept wishing that unique color profiles could be saved on the internal memory since I use my Playstation 3 for movie viewing along with gaming and the picture settings for each of these uses tended to be different from one another. This forced me to retweak the settings every time I went from watching a movie to playing a game and vice versa.

The main picture menu is broken down into some main categories and then several large subsections for easy navigation. The main determining factor for both picture quality and settings is the preset or “Mode” which will shift your TV’s natural color balance towards four different pre-determined settings. Naturally, you can modify your picture accordingly after you select any of these but you should be aware that the Advanced Options is only available in Standard or Movie modes.

The sub-categories are self-evident and contain settings to further refine your picture quality. As mentioned above, the Advanced Settings are only available in certain picture modes but the“Warm” color tone settings are only available when using the Movie picture mode. PC mode (selectable in the Input menu) also results in much less settings being available in the Picture Options section.

In past Samsung “120hz” HDTVs, only basic settings were available when it came to enabling the Auto Motion Plus 120Hz but the LN55B650 brings things to a whole new level. Not only are there the usual basic presets but there is also a custom setting where you can control both judder and blur reduction separately.

The Sound Options menu is set up very much like the Picture menu with a number of preset Modes to help you on your way. Unfortunately, none of these modes suited my listening preferences and I was forced to spend hours tweaking things through the custom equalizer. As with most other TVs in this price range, SRS, Auto Volume and output selections are also included.

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