Samsung SP-43J6 HD £2300

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					0212WHC25 Samsung RP TV         28/10/02        2:50 PM        Page 56

       43in Rear-projection TV

                                                         SP-43J6 HD £2,300
        Samsung has made a brave attempt to reinvent the rear-projection TV with                                                                  Test Scenes
                           its new 43in LCD model. But was it worth the effort?

                                             here’s an old adage that goes: ‘if it ain’t       sneakily fools the eye into thinking the TV is

          reckoned to be
                                         T   broke, don’t fix it’. But this truism doesn’t
                                             seem to mean much to Samsung. In spite
                                         of the fact that there are some rip-roaring
                                                                                               only a couple of inches thick, when, in fact,
                                                                                               it’s only a few centimetres less round its rear
                                                                                               end than a CRT rear-projection TV.
        cutting-edge, it’s               cathode ray tube (CRT) rear-projection TVs                The 43J6HD has a few very interesting          Grey is the new black
                                                                                                                                                  Lack of contrast is noticeable
                                         already out there, Samsung has decided                connections. Disappointingly, only one of
       not overburdened                  rear-projection needs an overhaul. The                its three Scarts can take high-quality RGB,
                                                                                                                                                  in this scene when the
                                                                                                                                                  blacks look grey, and there’s
           with features’                result is the SP-43J6HD – a rear-pro TV,              but you do get spring-clip connectors for          little or no definition

                                         using LCD rather than CRT technology.                 rear speakers and a connection for an external
                                         But does the world really need it?                    subwoofer. A sub is also included in the
                                                                          The 43J6HD           basic package, but rear speakers are not,
                                                                       isn’t actually          meaning you’ll have to add your own if
                                                                       Samsung’s first         you want to fully exploit the set’s onboard
                                                                       LCD rear-pro TV.        Pro-Logic decoding.
                                                                       Samsung has tried
                                                                       – and failed – to       Cutting-edge quality?                              Sharp-edged clouds
                                                                                                                                                  Faint vertical bands can
                                                                       impress us with         Considering the 43J6HD is reckoned to be           be seen running down
                                                                                                                                                  the image, and there is a
                                                                       this technology         cutting-edge, it’s not exactly overburdened
                                                                                                                                                  jagged look to the clouds
                                                                       before. But the         with features. In fact, aside from the Pro-Logic
                                                                        43J6HD tries to        audio, the only things even worth mentioning
                                                                        make us forget         in passing are noise reduction and a contrast
                                                                        this by looking        booster. Yawn.
                                                                       about as stylish           With nothing else to keep us busy, we
                                                                     as it is possible for a   switched the 43J6HD on and... thought it
                                                                     43in hunk of plastic      had gone wrong. For a good few seconds,
                                                                     to appear. The            the picture was so muted and dark, it was          A question of colour
                                                                     design is replete         practically impossible to make out what            Vibrant scenes, like the
                                                                                                                                                  quiz show, betray a certain
                                                                     with curves and           we were watching. But then, thankfully, it         amount of colour seepage
                                                                     flourishes, and also      suddenly sparked into life as the LCD panels

       56   What Home Cinema December 2002
0212WHC25 Samsung RP TV               28/10/02     2:51 PM       Page 57

                                                                                                                                                                                43in Rear-projection TV
       Rival Buys                        warmed up (they have
       Toshiba 42PW23, £1,500            to warm down when you
                                         turn it off, too!).
                                            Fed Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, the
                                         43J6HD failed to float our boat. A particularly
                                         troubling problem is lack of contrast. Really
                                         low-lit scenes, such as Tom Cruise’s first
                                         onstage appearance for Seduce and Destroy,        cloud formations.
                                         look grey where they should be black, reducing    These shots also showed
                                         the power of Anderson’s imagery, muting           that the corners of the picture
                                         colours, and making subtle background             were darker than the middle.
       42in CRT rear-pro TV with
       only Nicam sound but far          details impossible to distinguish.                    Although it probably seems academic at
       superior pictures. Nice              Colours aren’t especially precise, either.     this point, it should be mentioned that the
       price, too
                                         Relatively vibrant scenes like the quiz-show      43J6HD’s sound is excellent. Magnolia’s famous
                                         footage show definite traces of both seepage      frog-rain scene is given added ookiness (for
                                         and peaking.                                      want of a better word...) by a widely dispersed
                                            This is not down, though, to the CRT           soundstage that’s packed with accurate effects
                                         rear-projection problem of poor convergence       and bags of bass, courtesy of the included
                                         between the red, blue and green image             subwoofer. Adding rear speakers just makes          Good Points
                                         components. In fact, the only real benefit        things even better.                                 Stylish design, decent sound
       Sony KP44PS2, £2,800                                                                                                                    and a big screen
       Stunning aesthetics               we could see of the LCD approach to rear              The only flies in the ointment are that
       and high-end pictures –           projection is that there are no convergence       the subwoofer hums annoyingly away to
       as you’d expect from                                                                                                                    Bad Points
       Sony’s flagship 44in              issues whatsoever.                                itself when it’s not being pushed by a bassline,    A lack of features, colour
       CRT rear-pro contender                                                                                                                  seepage and noisy subwoofer
                                                                                           and that the fans the TV needs to keep its          Poor contrast

       Thomson 44JW611, £1,600
                                         The jagged edge                                   LCD panels cool can be heard during Magnolia’s
                                         From here on in, though, it’s mostly just         quieter moments.                                    Overall
       Supremely elegant and                                                                                                                   Disappointing picture quality,
       well-built 44in CRT rear-pro      more bad news. Our sample of the 43J6HD               Samsung can perhaps be applauded for its        although sound is good if
       model with awesome                                                                                                                      you’re happy with Pro-Logic
       sound,                            kept twitching in a most aggravating fashion,     bravery in trying to be different. But at the
       but only                                                                                                                                Ratings
                                         and we sometimes saw traces of its LCD            same time, on the evidence of the 43J6HD,           Style         ########$$
       pictures                          panel structure in the picture. For instance,     it’s hard to see why they bothered.                 Ease of use   ########$$
                                         during the shots of blue skies with weather                                                           Features      ######$$$$
                                                                                                                                               Picture       ######$$$$
                                         reports Anderson uses to punctuate Magnolia,                                                          Sound         #########$
                                                                                              Further Info
                                         we could see faint vertical bands down               Call ☎ 0208 3910168 or visit                     Value         #######$$$
                                         the image, as well as jaggedness around                         Overall       #######$$$

                                                                                                                                          What Home Cinema December 2002   57

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