Samsung LTN406W 40 inch LCD HDTV Reviewed

By |

Page 1 Page 2


Final Take
Since the Samsung had been running almost non-stop at CEDIA, it did not need any run-in time. I did, however, calibrate it using my Video Essentials DVD. Frankly, I was surprised to see just how good the black level is, as LCDs in the past have had some significant limitations, in this regard. The Samsung uses their new DNIe technology to increase contrast ratio. Rather than go into a long explanation of how it works, I will simply say the difference is apparent. The black level is the best I have seen on an LCD panel and will actually match up well with many plasmas. The picture quality is very good indeed--bright, clear, and when fed a good signal, very smooth. Due to the high resolution of the panel, picture quality in high-definition is very detailed and crisp. Colors were represented very well, and even off-axis viewing was quite good.

Using analog cable gave a very poor, grainy picture with lots of interference on most channels. I do not believe this to be the fault of the Samsung tuner. I believe it is just the lousy cable feed. Using a digital cable box, the NTSC picture quality was quite good, and the stretch mode is fairly acceptable. Samsung uses the philosophy of keeping as much of the center of the picture intact with more extreme stretching at the edges. It makes sense, as the majority of the time the center of the picture is completely undisturbed, but it does make for a somewhat disconcerting fishbowl effect at the edges upon occasion.

DVD picture quality was also excellent, again with a black level better than on any other LCD I have seen. I did not have a DVI-equipped player handy at the time of this review, so I was not able to test this input.

Ultimately, the panel may not have been quite as bright as some of the brighter plasmas, but it was considerably brighter than lower end plasmas. However, I did not feel, at any time, that the contrast ratio or the brightness was lacking.

Besides the picture quality, the thing that struck me the most was the excellent overall ergonomics of this package. It is extremely easy to set up and use. The very fact that Samsung includes the speakers and stand with the unit shows that they are serious about going after the mainstream buyer, as it will function very nicely on its own. A word on the speakers-- they look nice and sound better than most television speakers, but even with included Dolby Pro Logic II decoding, they won't remind you of a separate 5.1 system.

The main downside of the Samsung is the price. At $8,999 retail, it is more expensive than 42-inch plasmas today. It starts to make a bit more sense if you consider the fact that 42-inch plasmas with true HD resolution (720+) are more expensive, and if you add in speakers and stand, the Samsung then becomes competitive. Even so, this package is so good, I do hope the price comes down quickly so it becomes more readily affordable. I did notice that the street price was quite a bit lower when I looked around on the web, but I could not tell if they were authorized dealers. With a package like this, and with picture quality this good, I doubt there will be many who will be sorry to see large, heavy, bulky CRTs go the way of the dodo.

For those of you that find 40 inches still a bit small, Samsung is coming out with a 54 inch LCD panel in the near future, with a resolution of 1920x1080. Yes, you read that right, a true 1080 panel. LCD's future seems to have gotten quite a bit brighter.

Samsung LTN406W 40" LCD Television
1280 x 768 Pixel Resolution
600:1 Contrast Ratio
Dual NTSC Tuner Built-In With Split Screen & PC
16 ms Response Time
3D Y/C Digital Comb Filter
Swivel Base
Detachable Side Speakers
with 10 Watts x 5 Audio Power
Dolby Digital Surround Sound
MSRP: $8,999

Additional Resources
• Read more LCD HDTV reviews by's staff.
• Explore Blu-ray options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.
Page 1 Page 2

HTR Product Rating for Samsung LTN406W 40 inch LCD HDTV

Criteria Rating







Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


Dec 08
THX and Monoprice Team Up to Deliver New Headphone Amps THX and Monoprice have teamed up to offer two new DAC/headphone amplifier designs, based on THX's AAA technology. Part of...
THX and Monoprice Team Up to Deliver New Headphone Amps

Dec 07
Parasound Introduces the ZoneMaster 2350 Stereo Amplifier The latest addition to Parasound's ZoneMaster line, the new 2350 stereo amplifier is rated at 350 watts per channel into...
Parasound Introduces the ZoneMaster 2350 Stereo Amplifier

Dec 06
Klipsch Introduces the Reference RF-7 III Tower Speaker Klipsch has added a new passive tower speaker to its Reference Series. The RF-7 III ($1,799 each) features a new...
Klipsch Introduces the Reference RF-7 III Tower Speaker

Dec 05
Puro Sound Labs Debuts JuniorJams Wireless, Volume-Limiting Headphones Puro Sound Labs has introduced a new volume-limited wireless headphone targeted at kids. Like other Puro Sound offerings, the JuniorJams...
Puro Sound Labs Debuts JuniorJams Wireless, Volume-Limiting Headphones

Dec 04
New Philips Roku HDTVs Hit the Market Back in mid-November, Roku announced that a new line of Philips-branded TVs would feature the Roku TV OS, and now...
New Philips Roku HDTVs Hit the Market