However, the next scene from Firewall - shot in a low-lit office where Jack and his team of security experts monitor computer hackers - proved more challenging to the Samsung. Deep shadows in the dim space looked solid and black, but details in the workers' suits and background equipment were somewhat swallowed up in the gloom. And when I watched a scene from the Blu-ray release of Tears of the Sun in which a Special Ops commander (Bruce Willis) surprises a peasant on the outskirts of an African missionary village, the dark, nighttime scene had a flat look, with only limited detail emerging from background shadows.
Moving to the other extreme - bright pictures - I tuned into Arctic Mission on Discovery HD. Once again, the Samsung's picture looked crisp, with details such as the texture of the polar bear-fur mittens worn by an Inuit hunter coming through clearly. And there was a good amount of subtle highlight detail visible in the surrounding snowbanks. But mostly white pictures like this also revealed some uniformity issues, with the picture looking brighter at the center than at the edges. The same effect appeared when I watched black-and-white movies, except that here the screen's center had a warmer tone than the edges, which had a bluish tint.
Standard-def cable programs on the Samsung looked fairly clean, even without assistance from the DNIe picture enhancement. The TV's mild-mannered digital noise reduction proved somewhat effective here, reducing picture noise without eliminating detail. Standard 480i-rez DVDs viewed through the set's component-video input also looked very solid and clear - a testament to the TV's high-def upconversion.
BOTTOM LINE Besides its exotic light engine, the Samsung HL-S5679W 56-inch LED DLP HDTV is a full-featured set that delivers crisp high-def pictures with rich, satisfying color - and no rainbows. You're bound to find other DLPs that offer similar picture quality at a lower price. But if you're itching to own a forward-looking TV - and LED is sure to play a big role in TV's future - Samsung has your ticket to tomorrow.
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