Samsung HL-S5679W 56-inch LED DLP HDTV

Rear-projection TVs that use DLP (Digital Light Processing) are among the best high-def deals out there, easily edging out flat-panel plasma and LCD TVs on the dollar-per-screen-inch scale. But a drawback for some buyers (aside from the cabinet depth, which averages around 16 inches) has been the "rainbows" associated with the spinning color wheel in DLP TVs: occasional flashes of colored light or trails on objects that most people probably don't notice but some are sensitive to. LCD and current LCoS-based rear projectors use separate display chips for the primary colors of red, green, and blue, so they don't need a color wheel and don't suffer from this artifact.

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Now comes a DLP TV that also skips the wheel, not to mention the bulb. For its HL-S5679W 56-inch LED DLP HDTV, Samsung got "over the rainbow" by swapping the color wheel/lamp configuration for a new light engine with a red-green-and-blue LED array. Its $4,000 (list) price pushes it well beyond other DLP sets of its size, though you'll never have to replace a bulb.

The HL-S5679W has a slim, compact look, with speakers tucked neatly into the bottom of the chassis and a narrow, gloss-black bezel. A large silver circle below the screen powers up the TV when pressed, and there are basic controls on the right side along with a convenience input that lets you plug in a camcorder or USB storage device for viewing digital pix. My sample also came with Samsung's matching stand - an attractive $250 option.

Inputs on the set's back panel include a pair of HDMI jacks and a VGA port that all accept 1080p-rez input signals. A CableCARD slot and built-in TV Guide On Screen program guide are provided (though our experience with TVGOS on other TVs has been spotty). There's also a set of FireWire (a.k.a., IEEE-1394 or i.Link) jacks, to plug in a digital VCR or hard-disk recorder and operate it via the TV's screen and remote.