* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought this tv two years ago when it first came out. a friend of mine works at a well known high street electrical store and he recomended that I spend the little bit more for this than the 40 inch plasma that I was looking at at the time. I was unsure at the time spending more money on a smaller tv but when he put the two together the difference ws outstanding. even in standard format the picture was noticably clearerand sharper and the colours were much more vibrant then he put them both onto a 1080p hd blueray player and the picture was amazing.
This was 2 years ago now and I must say that I have had no problem whatsoever and the picture quality still surprises me especially when im watching films or playing on my ps3. I still dont feel the need to upgrade and the extra 3 inches in size really does fade into insignificance compared to the quality and reliability of this fantastic tv when I do decide to upgrade then it will be a samsung.
I have already reviewed the Samsung HTZ-310R which in my opinion is the best partner for the Samsung LE37A556 (5 series) short of a HD or Blue ray player. I will discuss the pair's compatibility later but if you are seriously interested in buying this TV I suggest looking at a 1080P HD up scaling DVD player like the HTZ-310R or a HD / Blue ray player, it will produce a picture far superior to a standard DVD player.
So on to the TV then, I purchased the HTZ-310R as part of my mum and dad's 30th wedding anniversary present, my dads TV had been on the fritz for a few months and it was in dire need of replacement. I had already mentioned to my dad my thoughts about buying him a new TV and he had mentioned he liked my 26" Samsung, therefore I knew buying him a Samsung would be ok. All new Samsung TV's have the distinctive black glossy frame who I'm sure some might not appreciate, however clearly my dad did appreciate so I began searching
Set up -
I had to set the TV up as quickly as I could because my mum had taken my dad out of the house so it would be all set up for when he got home; therefore I was pleased to completely set the TV up in around 15 minutes. The Box for the television is massive and in my opinion oversized but when it is opened you can see why, there is around 30cm of polystyrene on each side to protect the television which I am not complaining about. The cables for the TV all come nicely packed in with the manual and controller. The Manual is fairly large but as always it is a small manual repeated many times for other languages, so it won't take you long to browse through it to master you television.
The TV is already mounted on the stand so there is no need to worry about holding the TV up why someone else places the stand on for you, although I would take care and perhaps have two people carrying the TV because it weighs 17.9KG and isn't the easiest shape to hold. The TV is wall mountable like most LCD's these days but you will have to buy the mounting bracket separately.
The Controller / remote comes loaded with a supply of batteries and is actually quite sleek looking. T boasts the same shiny black surface as the TV frame and is a nice oval shape to fit your hand. The buttons are clearly labelled and easily identifiable and I have no problem using them. The controller is light and durable and has the same standard layout as all Samsung televisions. The controller also has DVD controls built in so you can control you Samsung DVD player if you have one with the same controller.
Once the TV was on I spent around 5 minutes choosing my own custom settings visually so that it looked perfect for my fathers return, I have the brightness around 60, contrast around 80, sharpness at 75 and colour 65, this produces for me an easy to watch, detail enhancing picture which I think you will find will suit you, but if not you can choose one of the preset picture settings available.
The TV -
The TV is a 37 inch Full HD 1080P television, there are many 1080i televisions but 1080P is the best you can get, the 'P' stands for Progressive which mean the image is not interlaced. The 1080 part means there are 1080 vertical lines on within your image as opposed to the standard 720 that is present in most non 1080 televisions, the maximum resolution of the television is 1920 x 1080.
The TV is wholly black which a frame of around 2 inches surrounding the entire television. Samsung have opted for a rectangular frame, away from there more recent choices of curvy bottoms to their Televisions, I think the rectangle gives a far more professional look. There are touch sensitive buttons on the bottom right of the monitor which are very well concealed and very responsive; I like these a lot although you will very rarely have to use them.
To get this level of output you have to have a 1080P HD input, through either a HD / Blue ray player, a 1080P up scaling DVD player or one of the new generation games consoles (PS3). I have to say with the HTZ-310R the picture is far superior to my 26" TV hooked up to a 1080i upscale. The picture looks as though it is about to jump out, I almost want to go up and touch it.
The TV has a 15000:1 contrast ratio which means there are 15000 colours between the whitest white and blackest black, this produces an extremely clear picture and really highlights the dark blacks, this works well in dark films such as Sweeny Todd. The picture is 50 Hz which means it refreshes the picture 50 times a second, which is less than the A656 (6 series) which has a refresh rate of 100Hz and 30000:1 contrast ratio..
When a Director shoots his film he creates it at 24 frames per second, when it is converted to a DVD this is sped up to around 50FPS which doesn't keep the picture at the same degree of detail. If you are lucky enough to own a Blue ray or HD player you will have the option to play the film in the true 24FPS, I unfortunately haven't seen it in this format but I am sure it adds a new dimension.
There are three HDMI sockets at the rear and all the other essential adaptors such as optical sound to ensure there is plenty of space to attach all those must have gadgets.
The TV also incorporates Samsungs new Anynet+ technology which means if you connect it to another Anynet+ active device you will only need one controller, the two pieces interact. If you turn on the DVD player it will automatically turn on the TV and switch itself to the right channel, Brilliant!
Many complain that because Samsung aim to improve the look of their TV's they forget about the sound, the Samsung has 2 10W speakers that blend in very well with the television and in my opinion give a crisp and desirable sound, if however you wish to fully enjoy the television I would recommend a 5.1 or 7.1 channel cinema system.
Free view -
The Free view is actually very good, there are around 40 channels available through free view which for older televisions you need a set top free view box for. The Samsung however has one built in. All you need to do is connect it to an external Ariel, go to settings and connectivity and it will automatically search for all the channels, it takes around 4 minutes. Although I'm sure many people have either Sky or Virgin so you will no doubt have these channels anyway, but if you don't it is very handy.
Sound - 7/10
Visuals - 10/10
Easy setup? - /10
Remote - 8/10
The Samsung LE37A556 is a wonderful television that will look the business in any surrounding. Its smooth curves and black gloss looks ooze style and produce both a picture and sound to please even the harshest critic. I would recommend the television to anyone, and considering you can pick it up from Pixmania.com or Amazon.co.uk for around £560 what are you waiting for?..
Thanks for reading - B_O_M_B_A_