Samsung Series 5 T27A550 review

A fine LED HD monitor, but can you really use it as a TV?

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Samsung series 5 t27a550 review

First up, what's the Samsung Series 5 T27A550 HD TV monitor like as a physical object? It looks a lot like one of Samsung's pricier HD TVs, just on a smaller scale. The downside is that the HD TV styling comes with HD TV limitations. The stand is tilt-only. For PC usage, more adjustability, including height and swivel, is desirable.

On a related note, the lack of DVI or DisplayPort connectivity presented problems in testing. Connecting via HDMI can present scanning problems, particularly with certain AMD graphics cards and driver configurations. Despite considerable effort, we couldn't achieve a pixel-for-pixel image from our test PC via an AMD video card.

Strictly speaking, this isn't Samsung's fault. AMD video boards have a habit of incorrectly outputting an overscanned signal over the HDMI interface. However, this issue simply doesn't arise with DVI and DisplayPort. We'd therefore be very wary about buying the Samsung Series 5 T27A550 HD TV monitor primarily for use with a PC.

That aside, image quality is above average for a TN screen. Thanks in part to the LED backlight, colours are vibrant and relatively saturated. OK, a VA screen has more visual punch and IPS panels are much more accurate. But for non-professional usage, the Samsung Series 5 T27A550's colours are certainly adequate.

Black levels are good for a TN monitor, too, even if Samsung's dynamic contrast technology is no substitute for a panel with inherently strong contrast.

As for the Magic Angle Vertical technology, well, the first thing to say is that it's not dynamic. You have to set it up for a particular viewing position and stick with that. If you change your viewing position or the height of the screen itself, you have to recalibrate.

That said, it does offset much of the colour inversion that TN panels suffer when viewing from below horizontal. While we'd still recommend viewing from the correct angle, it's a useful tool if this isn't possible.

Thanks to the TN technology, pixel response is another strong point. Factor in the 27-inch diagonal and a 1920 x 1080 pixel grid that won't overload your GPU and you have a great gaming panel.

As for the My Downloads USB playback feature, it supports JPG images up to 15,360 x 8,640 resolution and non-DRM MP3 files.

But video is arguably the most critical aspect, and here the news is good. The Samsung Series 5 T27A550 supports Full HD video files in a wide range of codecs and containers including (but not limited to) .AVI, .MKV, .ASF and .MP4 on the container side and XVID, H.264, DIVX and MPEG4 in terms of codecs.

As for HD TV duties, well, the built-in standard definition tuner inevitably results in soft image quality. But the display itself is easily vibrant enough for daily TV viewing.

Tech Specs

Product TypeLED-LCD TV
Scan Format1080p
Digital TunerDVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-T (MPEG4)
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports2
Product FamilySyncMaster 550
Brand NameSamsung
Screen Size68.6 cm (27")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Horizontal Viewing Angle170°
Vertical Viewing Angle160°
Backlight TechnologyDirect LED
VESA Mount Standard200 x 100
Operating Power Consumption65 W
Standby Power Consumption290 mW
RMS Output Power10 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand485.70 mm
Width with Stand648.10 mm
Depth with Stand235 mm
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Media PlayerYes
Height398.9 mm
Width648.1 mm
Depth31.8 mm
ColourRose Black
Brightness300 cd/m²
Sound SystemDolby Digital Plus, Surround Sound
Product Series550
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesTeletext, Auto Program, Sleep Timer, Picture in Picture
Product ModelT27A550
Product NameSyncMaster T27A550 LED-LCD TV
Product LineSyncMaster
Manufacturer Part NumberLT27A550EW/EN
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

For a truly expansive monitor experience where almost anything is possible, the Samsung HDTV monitor TA550 is a must-have piece of technology. With all your multimedia on the one screen, the Samsung HDTV monitor TA550 achieves new levels in entertainment and communication, and is sure to change the way you live life. It features enhanced connectivity, such as ConnectShare, so sharing content is easier than ever before. And with the advanced picture clarity, Magic Angle Vertical technology and a sophisticated design with transparency, the TA550's stunning colours, sharpness and overall detail will impress even the most discerning eye.

Package Contents
  • SyncMaster T27A550 LED-LCD TV
  • Remote Control
  • Signal Cable
  • Power Cable
  • Driver CD
  • Manual (CD)
Response Time5 ms
Limited Warranty2 Year
Weight (Approximate)5.60 kg