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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up the Samsung LN32A540 from Costco. I had several questions about this set which I never could find answers to in this forum and doing web searches so decided to post some info on this HDTV set.


First of all, the LN32A540 (at least the one Costco sells) is not a 1080p set as some folks have asked about. Samsung has put out information that says the LN32A540 is a 1080p set, which has confused many, including me. The box clearly states that it is a quote: "High Definition 1366 x 768 Resolution" set. (This was pointed out in another thread also.)


One specification that I was never able to find anywhere on the web was whether this set has RCA audio outputs to feed an external audio amplifier. Yes it does! This was important to us since some have said that the native audio is not the best and also since I have our bedroom wired with a RCA audio cable from the TV to a stereo receiver on our bedside table. We have speakers on both sides of the bed and also use headphones from the receiver for nighttime viewing. To listen using the audio output only, just lower the TV volume to zero. Adjusting the TV volume does not affect the audio out volume. ----- There's also an optical audio output (on the back). And for folks who don't have an external amplifier, there's a headphone jack (on the side).


Standard definition TV quality is very important to us since my wife does almost all of her TV viewing in the bedroom, and 80% of what she watches is SD 4:3 cable broadcasts. My wife says the SD picture quality of this Samsung set is way better than the 4:3 LCD set it's replacing and the Toshiba 20" CRT set facing our kitchen counter where we eat. I agree. My evaluation is that 4:3 SD broadcasts look best in the 4:3 setting with the black bars on the sides. Second is in the zoom-1 mode which cuts off the top and bottom of the 4:3 picture but fills the screen on both sides. In zoom-1 mode, the picture can be moved up or down to suit the viewer. Third is the 16:9 mode which retains the height but stretches the sides to fill the screen. All three SD viewing modes have surpassed my expectations for a LCD wide screen set after reading many threads saying that one has to accept lower quality SD viewing on HDTV sets. As a measure of comparison, almost all of my TV viewing is on the aforementioned kitchen CRT TV and on a 32" Sony WEGA CRT TV set in our living room. ----- My initial settings for the best SD quality on the LN32A540 is standard mode with backlight, brightness, contrast, color and tint adjustments to suit our tastes. It should be noted that I can see noise in analog broadcasts at viewing distances less than 7 feet. At 7' the noise is barely or not noticeable. Our viewing distance is 10'. Very nice SD quality!


The picture quality of non-SD video is superb. I think this is true of most, if not all current LCD HDTV sets. But we like this Samsung picture quality a lot.


This set has really excellent viewing angles. The specifications say 178 degrees. At Costco, there was a Vizio 1080p set next to the demo model of this set. The Vizio is also rated at 178 degree viewing angle by its manufacturer (to the best of my research). I walked way to the side and this Samsung set retained its brightness while the Vizio set got darker. In fairness, this was probably more than 178 degrees offset but it did show how well this Samsung set holds its brightness at wide viewing angles. This might be the thing that tipped this Samsung in my buying decision over the 1080p Vizio. Straight on, they looked very close, though I gave the nod to the Samsung in this department also.



HDMI, In-1 and In-2

-- DVI In shares HDMI In-2 connector plus has RCA audio in connectors.

Component RGB In-1 (AV-1), and In-2 (AV-2) (both include RCA audio in jacks)

-- Composite video and audio input - (shares connectors with component AV-1 input jacks.

PC video in (VGA) and audio in (1/8" mini phone jack).

Digital audio out (optical).

Audio out (RCA left & right) connectors.

Service connectors


HDMI, In-3

Composite video and stereo audio inputs. (RCA connectors).

-- Svideo input (use in place of composite video above).

Headphone output (1/8" mini phone jack).


I won't describe every button on the remote control. Only some significant buttons for our usage.



P.SIZE - Controls the 16:9, zoom-1, zoom-2 and 4:3 display presentations.

CC - Controls the caption decoder. (I have not tried this yet but easy access to caption display is important to me.)

SOURCE - Selects the inputs that things are connected to. Ignores unconnected inputs.

MENU - Displays onscreen menu.

There are many other buttons that I have not had time to investigate yet.


· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·


At the "end" of the english section in the user's manual, it describes how to mount the LCD panel on the stand. There are 4 screws that need to be installed to hold the two together. I initially looked for instructions on how to mount the panel to the stand in the beginning of the user's manual but when I didn't find any, I just plopped the panel on the stand. Today I read the entire english portion of the manual and then found the instructions. Way to go Samsung! That makes total sense to bury that in the middle of the manual. Anyway, I installed the 4 screws and wanted to point this out for those that don't read manuals.


There is a caption button (CC) on the remote control that toggles the selected caption mode on and off. The selected caption mode is made via the menu. --- With caption-1 on, when viewing the RF cable, S-Video or composite video inputs, captions are displayed if they are imbedded in the TV signal. As is true for all TV sets, captions imbedded in the TV signal will not display from external devices that are connected using component, HDMI or computer cables.


The options available for our particular usage are: 16 x 9, zoom-1, zoom-2 and 4:3. There are other options available if HDMI cables are used but we don't have any HDMI external devices yet.

16:9 - Everyone is familiar with this setting. It fills the 16:9 screen with the picture. If 4:3 video is displayed in this mode, the video fills the screen vertically but is stretched to fill the screen horizontally.

Zoom-1 - The sides of the picture fill the screen horizontally with no cut off, and the picture is stretched vertically. --- a) The amount of vertical stretch is perfect for movies in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio that display with black bars on the top and bottom. --- b) With 4:3 video, the sides fill the screen horizontally and the video is stretched vertically beyond the top and bottom of the screen. IOW, the picture is cut off at the top and bottom. It is possible to move the picture up or down to view more of the cut off top or bottom.

Zoom-2 - The sides of the picture fill the screen horizontally with no cut off, and the picture is stretched vertically even more than in zoom-1. --- a) I believe zoom-2 is to allow movies in the really wide 2.35:1 aspect ratio to fill the 16:9 screen. Movies in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio would have wider black bars at the top and bottom than the 1:85:1 movies discussed in zoom-1. --- b) With 4:3 video, everything looks obviously stretched vertically too much to be unwatchable.

4:3 - The picture fills the screen vertically with black bars on both sides.


There is a black level control in the menu. The default setting is "off" so this option should be adjusted if the blacks don't look deep enough.


It's possible to attach a name to each input to identify the external device connected. The names are selected from a list. The user cannot type the name desired. Nice touch to make it easy to remember what's connected where.


There is an option in the menu to turn the speakers on or off. When using the RCA audio outputs to our bedroom stereo receiver, I found it is easier to just lower the volume to zero to turn the speakers off which does not affect the audio output level.


Turning this option on reduces the differences between volume level among broadcasts

TruSurround XT:

Is a patented SRS technology that solves the problem of playing 5.1 multichannel content over two speakers. I turned this on since we only use two stereo speakers.


This option has a 5-band equalizer and a left/right balance slider.


There are 5 settings, Off, Low, Medium, High and Auto. I'm using Auto until I feel a need to play with this adjustment.


There are a large number of detailed settings like Black level, Dynamic contrast, Gamma, Color space, White balance, Flesh tones and edge enhancements. I've only felt the need to adjust the black level and dynamic contrast adjustments so far.


Allows adjusting color and tint using color bar patterns. This is a professional way to setup color intensity and tint for AV measurement experts.


There are other adjustments that I haven't covered. All I can say is that this Samsung TV is the most adjustable TV that I've ever owned and has an adjustment for everything that I can foresee.

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