26" LCD TVs: Are They Ready for Prime Time?

Such Good Responses

With this model, Samsung confirms that they know how to produce fast panels and integrate them into their products. The panel used in the LT-P266W is very responsive. In the worst case, latency measured at 19 ms while the specifications claim 16 ms, which is enough to make you scratch your head if you've tried to find a computer monitor with this kind of performance lately.

Video Quality

The Samsung LT-P266W produced a high-quality video image, almost free of video noise regardless of the input signal. The colors were warm and the flesh tones were faithfully reproduced once we'd made a few basic adjustments. The most surprising thing was the almost total absence of sparkling on the images. As a result, enlarged images from a DVD showed color masses due to MPEG compression on freeze frames. That's quite surprising. Naturally, this fault is almost invisible when you're at a certain distance from the monitor and the film is running, which is what counts.

The contrast was good, but the OSD offers a 'boost' function for increasing the contrast of the picture. It's an automatic function that adjusts the black level, lowering it if necessary. The effect is remarkable. But though the image gains contrast, the color dynamics don't improve. In fact the dynamics are just spread out to produce an image that's more 'sexy,' but not necessarily natural. Nevertheless, this system is worth trying and it's better to have it than not.

The zoom modes are fairly well chosen and let you scale the image correctly without distortion and without cutting off the anchorwoman's head or the subtitles on your DVD.