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Samsung PN63A760

>> Wednesday, January 7, 2009

There's nothing understated about the design of the PN63A760. Aside from the fact that it's a God awfully large television, you have the fact that the top and bottom edges of the frame bear a red tinge that fades to black closer to the screen. Unlike other red tinted "Touch of Color" models, this Samsung goes one better with a stand that's also tinted red. And, as always, if you don't like red on this TV, you're out of luck.

Samsung doesn't make any other colors for its high end plasmas. We're not the biggest fans of this design, but we can see how some people might like the red, and it's subtle enough to blend in without drawing too much attention, especially in a dark room. That stand swivels, which takes some serious support on a TV this large.

Including the stand, the Samsung PN63A760 measures 60.3 inches wide by 39.6 inches tall by 16.5 inches deep and weighs a prodigious 185 pounds. Chop off the stand for wall mounting and the panel measures 60.3 inches wide by 36.7 inches tall by 3.9 inches deep and weighs 146 pounds. It goes without saying that you'll want to have a professional mount this massive television.

Samsung's glossy, fingerprint magnet remote control is the same as the one included with other higher end models, and its principal standout feature is a rotating, iPod esque scroll wheel that can be used for everything from menu navigation to changing the volume. We're not fans of the wheel it's either too jumpy or not responsive enough, depending on how quickly you crank it so we preferred simply clicking it to get around.

Orange back lighting illuminates most keys, and we did like the remote's general layout, which features distinct groups of buttons that are differentiated well. However, we didn't like the lack of a dedicated button to change aspect ratios. To adjust aspect ratio, you'll have to enter the menu system. We are fans of Samsung's 2008 TV menus. Big, legible type overlays almost the entire picture, and text explanations accompany just about every item.

Drilling down is a logical process and most everything is easy to find, although we're a bit baffled by the logic of which items belong in the "Picture Options" submenu versus which ones get dumped into "Detailed Settings." The A760 menus get a different stylistic treatment from other Samsung systems we've seen this year, sporting a colorful trim that fades to black along the top and bottom edges.

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