Samsung HL-T5676S 56″ Rear Projection 1080p HDTV For My Parents

First of all, let me wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

After being spoiled by my Vizio 46″ 1080p LCD TV at home, watching my parents ancient Pioneer 56″ regular rear projection TV (at least 10 years old) actually hurt my eyes. So I decided to get them a new HDTV for Christmas. I talked it over with my siblings and they decided they’d like to chip in. I had set my initial budget to less than $2000, but was really aiming for close to $1500.

Since we have a large living room, I decided the most economic way to go was rear projection DLP. They have the space and they really need a large screen if you want to see anything from the couch.

I search the regular stores online: Costco, Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. and found a interesting few. I was pretty set on getting the Samsung HL-T5676S from Circuit City. I had a 10% off coupon, I could get 5% back with my credit card, and I could get an additional 3% back via BigCrumbs (cash back service). I talked it over with Ungsunghero and he even offered to sell me his $300 gift certificate at a discount (I forget how much). Anyway, Ungsunghero seemed interested in helping me search for a TV insisted on helping me spend my money and a day later, he showed me this: Samsung HL-T5676S Projection TV 56-inch Slim 1080p DLP Rear Projection HDTV at OneCall.com.

At that time, there was an additional $50 discount. Given that there was no tax and free shipping, this would come to a total of $1450, whereas the Circuit City one would’ve come to a total of $1600+. Anyway, I called up OneCall to figure out how the shipping would go. I needed the TV to arrive before I leave so I can help them set it up. They said it’d take 3-4 days and I thought that’d work out nicely. I placed my order over the phone and the customer service rep was very helpful in explaining everything: how the process will work, what to do when I receive the TV, and what to do I notice any problems with it.

I had placed the TV on Wednesday and was expecting it to be delivered on either Monday or Tuesday, but surprisingly on Thursday morning, I get a call from FedEx Freight asking me if they can deliver the TV between the hours for 10am-2pm on Friday. Wow! Their ship center must be really close by.

I began setting up the TV that afternoon and it was amazed at the quality.
samsung hl-t5676s hdtvsamsung hl-t5676s hdtv

Here’s a shot of old Pioneer 56″ TV:
pioneer 56inch tv

I knew we’d need a TV stand, and was hoping one of our existing ones would fit. Unfortunately not, so we had to improvise with a temporary stand:
samsung hl-t5676s hdtv and temporary stand

My parents found a stand they liked at Walmart, but they were out of stock. However, the next time we went there, it was suddenly in stock again:
samsung hl-t5676s hdtv and stand

Seeing stuff in 1080p off the media center PC is always neat. I connected all the existing equipment to the TV and most of them worked fine. Turns out our VCR was dead, but that wasn’t due to the TV.

I also learnt that Charter Communications (our cable provider) used HRC instead of STD, so I was initially surprised that scanning the cable TV resulted in 0 channels found. There was also an IRC option. Looking further into this, it turns out HRC stands for Harmonically-related carriers and IRC stands for Incrementally-related carriers, 2 different methods for modulating video over cable network. From the source:

Standard:
Frequency_in_MHz = ( 6 * ( 8 + channel_designation ) ) + 1.25

HRC:
Frequency_in_MHz = 6.0003 * ( 8 + channel_designation )

IRC:
Frequency_in_MHz = ( 6 * ( 8 + channel_designation ) ) + 1.2625

However, I was quite shocked to find out how many QAM channels there were. There were at least 8 Chinese channels include Jade/TVB (翡翠台), which according to Charter was removed from analog cable and moved to digital cable and said we’d need to purchase a digital cable subscription to watch it. Guess all we really needed was a QAM tuner.

My brother brought home his Wii and we enjoyed playing Super Paper Mario, Wii Tennis, Wii Bowling, and Ghost Squad so far on it. Ghost Squad is actually quite fun. Reminds me of Time Crisis.

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