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Okay for anyone who is interested since no one really ever reviews Samsung HDTV's...here we go. I received my HCL552W last week. For those of you who don't know... it is Samsungs 55" Widescreen HDTV Upgradeable RPTV. First I'll start with the menu system. It is nicely layed out.. there's color temperature control, user convergence (9-point), Channel Labeling, Blue Screen Option (which displays a Blue Screen instead of snow if the channel doesn't come in...very cool.. but I just delete those channels anyway...so very useless too). There's multiple aspect ratio control -- wide, panoramic, zoom1, zoom2, and normal (which is 4x3 ratio with gray side bars). There is also built-in Dolby Pro-Logic decoding...but I output to a receiver anyway. The PIP is typical of any RPTV these days so I won't dive into the area. Onto the picture.. upon turning on the set there was the typical misalignment of the convergence until I let it burn in for a few hours. On thing I will note is that geometry and convergence are dead on out of the box. I kid you not... overscan is about 3%-5% and the factory convergence is dead on. The service convergence (which you get into by powering down the unit and press mute - 1 - 8 - 2 - power on) is probably the best I've seen on a RPTV. You can zoom in on specific points to really nail them down... really nice. But I fortunately did not have to make ANY major adjustments. I mean this was really dead on. And you can store the setting in a seperate memory bank so if you screw up doing the convergence again down the road.. you can always revert back to the original configuration. This is much better than on the Toshiba sets I've seen. Edge focusing on this TV is also really good...there's just the slightest bit of focus error in the upper right hand corner but you really only notice it in the service convergence. Colors look really nice...bright and vibrant..no bleeding. I of course set the temperature to Warm to "supposedly" get it to 6500k.. I doubt it's correct though. The line doubler in this unit is also really really good. I have the Panasonic RP-91K and switching back and forth between the two reveals little difference... just in the area of brightness. I've yet to see any internal reflections on the screen... Samsung has placed material around the CRT's so no light bounces back into the CRT cabinet inside the TV. Kudos to Samsung for DVD 480i/480p input. Now you don't have to buy a switch box like they're HCJ line of TV's. One thing I DID NOT LIKE about the picture is that Scan Velocity Modulation was CRANKED to the max. I believe Samsung implements SVM in a chipset rather than a seperate board. BUT... in the service menu, when you go into the picture setting there are two values VM-LVL and VM-DEL, set them BOTH to zero and this disables SVM or at least minimizes to a degree where it's not noticable. It took me forever to figure this out..whew, there's no mention of how to do it in the service manual either. Let me reiterate this...SVM sucks, SVM sucks, SVM sucks...there. I can't comment on HDTV material yet as I don't have a set-top box yet. As far as lenses go.. I can't tell you how many elements there are..blah blah blah...but I can tell you that they're still using PANASONIC CRT's...(the HCJ552W used these also) The construction of the unit is really nice and the remote rocks. I couldn't recommend this TV more. I WILL put it right up there with the TOSHIBA's, MIT's, PIONEERS, HITACHIs, whatever. Hey..I never would have thought I'd buy a Samsung product... but for $2799 this TV cannot be touched by the competition. Just remember that with big screen TV's bad DVD's look BBAAADDDD and good DVD's look GGGREEAATTT!!! Hope this helps anyone who's been interested in this TV but has not found anything on the net about it. Feel free to email me with any questions.
 
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