First Impressions of the 50" DLP TV: Samsung HL-T5089S

image Our new TV arrived this weekend. It’s beautiful. You know, I had to buy it. No really. Our new house has a built in entertainment cabinet and the old Mitsubishi 42″ rear projection didn’t fit in the TV slot; it was too deep. So since I was forced into removing inches from depth, naturally I had to make up for it by going a bit wider to make up for my loss. I had to upgrade from a 42″ to a 50″. I hate when that happens. Hehe…

After some advice from my friend Alex and much research I decided that the SamSung HL-T5089S was the TV we needed. Sight unseen. I was able to partake in a killer sale at for $1749, with free shipping. This TV sells for $2199 everywhere else. The sale is still going on if you’re interested. I can’t believe the prices on this site! Seriously, check it out. It’s insane. These guys are the real deal. The site and company are a tad lacking in technology and online order processing but let me tell you: They got the job done. No gimmicks or BS, and they are quick.

Off the sales pitch and onto my story…Alex had told me that the new generation of DLPs are currently the best bang for your buck and my research revealed the same. Investigation quickly made it obvious that the Sony KDS 50A2020 (black cabinet) or 50A2000 (gray cabinet) and the Samsung HL-S5087W were the most loved in the 50″ DLP class. Both TVs are sold EVERYWHERE. I viewed them both in the store and liked them both very much. I was torn, but I needed ALL the details before I made the final decision and started on my bargain hunt. Researching the 5087 on SamSung’s site, I discovered that there was a newly updated model out, the HT-T5089S, but it can’t be found in the stores (at least around here). I couldn’t look at the TV so I needed to do an in depth technical review to figure out the differences. It took quite a bit of investigating but I was able to figure out that the slight differences between the 5087W and 5089S were:

  1. 5089S has Bluetooth for wireless headphones (vs. no Bluetooth)
  2. 5089S has USB 2.0 (vs. USB 1.1)
  3. 5089S has HDMI 1.3 with CEC (vs. unspecified HDMI version)
  4. 5089S Single Tuner PIP
  5. 5089S Doesn’t have game lag (as reported in the forums)

The average “sale” price for the 5087W in the store is $1700, $49 more for better features and claimed improvement for gaming lag seemed like a no brainer to me. I was willing to take the risk even though I hadn’t seen the TV’s picture quality.

The risk paid off.

This thing is sweet! I haven’t seen anything in 1080P yet but Discovery HD has quite a few 1080i shows that look soooo beautiful. On the downside, I’m constantly reminded in a whopping 50″ view that 98.75% of all the other cable channels’ image quality sucks. Sucks pixel ass to be more specific. Pixel ass sucking aside, my son and I are looking to purchase an Xbox 360 in the near future (I’ve got a deal with him that I’ll pay half) and we are really pumped to see what Halo 3 is going to look like on this thing. I’m betting there will be no pixel sucking going on with Halo 3. 🙂

Setup is easy. The remote is simple and easy to use. The menus are very nice looking and easy to use. The TV uses LEDs which means no color wheel, less energy and quieter (or no?) cooling fan, side view is great (10 degree more than the Sony 50A2020) and light coming through our windows doesn’t wash it out.

The only Samsung HL-T5089S negatives I’ve found so far are:

  1. The cable box remote codes in the manual don’t work for the latest Cox Cable box (haven’t checked for an update online yet).
  2. I took me a day to figure out how to get back to the original setup wizard that I was prompted with when I initially turned the TV on. Turns out it was a main menu item entitled “Plug & Play”. Maybe I’m just stupid, but “Plug & Play” on my TV didn’t click with me as a setup type item on my TV. This term is bad for TVs and its Microsoft history doesn’t help it either.
  3. Lying on the floor and looking up at it looks bad (it sits on a 24″ cabinet”). Certain colors have a lighter color shadow. However, sitting on a couch 8 feet away and slightly lower than the TV the problem isn’t seen. 

If you’re in the 50″ market and you’re not mounting your TV to the wall or caring how much of the entertainment cabinet depth you consume (HL-T5089S is 13.4 inches deep!) then I recommend this TV. If this isn’t the TV you want then I still recommend for a great deal. 

One Response to First Impressions of the 50" DLP TV: Samsung HL-T5089S

  1. Alex Scoble says:

    Cool beans on the new TV man.

    By the way, the Sony model you mentioned is not a DLP screen, but uses Sony’s LCoS (liquid crystol on silicon) based SXRD technology.

    SXRD is better from a technology standpoint since it uses three separate display chips (one for each of the 3 primary colors, red, green and blue), whereas all DLP rear projection screens use a single chip.

    DLPs used to have a color wheel that would give you color motion artifacts, but your model uses three LED lamps to do color, however since the DLP chip has to handle the pixels for all three colors at once you may still see some motion artifacting, still going to be a lot better than the old color wheel days.

    And yeah, on a 50" HD set, standard def TV looks like ass.

    Also hope you were able to go with something better than Comcast. They compress the hell out of everything so you get a lot of macroblocking artifacts.



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