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A Samsung LCD TV and HD-Upscale DVD Player Review.

It's been more than one month I bought a new tv set into my house. The desire to watch Euro 2008 Football in LCD urged me into electronic shop to find LCD TVs. My favourite brand for LCD TV was 3S: Sony, Samsung, and Sharp. So couple weeks before Euro cup I finally grab Samsung LCD TV LA32R81 from Electronic Store (ES), interest free for 12 month installment. The price was IDR 6,300,000 (just divided by 12 for installment), but using BCA Credit Card it gave us cash back IDR 200,000 into card account.

LA32R81Samsung LCDTV LA32R81 Bordeaux design is very excellent. It gives a bit impression of a wine glass by putting a glowing light at the bottom of the LCD screen. Contrast Ratio is 8000:1 with 1360x786 pixel resolution and it is more than enough for daily tv or dvd watch. The remote control in my opinion is too long but slim. With HDMI-CEC technology, we can control other devices connected to this LCD using TV remote. By programming the remote, we can even use this remote to control major brand VCR, DVD Player, cable box, etc. Smart enough.

When you are comparing LCD TV to buy, do not focus to Contrast Ratio specs. A good article from Gizmode Contrast Ratio Shoot-Out (Everyone Loses)should give you a technical explanation that even Sony OLED 1.000.000:1 contrast ratio is just self-proclaimed. Just think about your budget, its HDMI output#, resolution, brand, and its after-sales warranty. And for me, I'll only buy LCD TV with brand 3S (Sony, Samsung, Sharp) and LG, no other else.

Playing Cable TV channel from FirstMedia, I can say that image quality sent from this provider still cannot satisfy LCD TV users. Image is not crisp at the edge, so we can only hope that Cable tv operator will broadcast HD Channels in near future.

Playing DVD titles with my old LG DVD Player with RCA cable also got me down. This RCA cable could only transmit image in analog mode to be later converted back to digital. Even original DVD titles produces distorted image and loosing color depth details. So desire to buy a component cable came to my mind.

In Indonesia, especially in Jakarta, all DVD player sold to users usually accept RCA cable and also component connectors. But in the box all of them come only with RCA Cable with Audio (so you have three color cables: red, white, and yellow/RCA). RCA cable usually called composite video cable, always come with yellow color, transmit luminance (Y) and chrominance (C) signals in a single channel. To play film in LCD, you'd better to invest in component cable. It is colored differently (usually green blue, red) usually labeled with PR, PB and Y connectors and sometimes labeled Y, B-Y and R-Y or Y, Cb and Cr. These 3 cables only transmit video, so you still need to use red and white cables for audio.

Another option is to purchase HDMI cable if your DVD player support HDMI output. HDMI cable is a digital cable that transmits both audio and video signal with minimal packet loss. Either Component or HDMI cable is sold at audio stores (find stores sell amplifier or speakers) and a bit pricey approx IDR 150,000.

Samsung DVD
F1080By accident, someday I went into Samsung World at Pacific Place, Jakarta and noticed there were DVD Players with progressive scan and HD-Upscaling capability. FYI, Standard DVD output resolution is only 480 lines, with HD-Upscaling it can computationally scale-up resolution to 720p or 1080p depending on the TV. It is a cheap alternative before we can afford buying Blu-ray player. Wheeeww.. a mind blowing. There were 3 model of Samsung DVD players: 1080-P7, P8, and toaster-like F1080. The best news is it comes with free HDMI Cable! All in similar price range IDR 850-1million at Samsung World.

So the next day I went to Glodok to find this player. After asking several stores, finally I dedided to buy F1080 model. It is the most stylish model among three, come in compact mode like a bread toaster. It is small, easy to carry (for travelling) and costed me IDR 850,000.

Brought this player back home and playing tens of (pirated) DVD Titles until now, I can say that it worthed every penny I spent on it. Image is sharp (but still Blu-ray player you see at store's demo is the best), color and contrast could be produced brilliantly.

So I love to watch TV at home everyday since then :)


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