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

As a 27-inch monitor that can be bought for under £350 in the UK and under $300 in the US, there was only one likely panel technology for the Samsung Series 5 T27A550. Yup, it's our old friend twisted nematic, or TN for short.

TN is the cheapest of the commonly-used LCD panel techs. That's not its only advantage, though - it's the fastest responding, too. That gives it a significant advantage over IPS and VA panels when it comes to fast-moving images. Think games and action movies. Sure enough, Samsung quotes response times of just 5ms.

Of course, the panel itself isn't the only major component contributing to image quality. The backlight plays a big role, too. Increasingly, flatscreen TVs and LCD monitors are moving to LED backlight technology. So it is for the Samsung Series 5 T27A550.

The main advantages of LED tech include broader colour reproduction, cleaner whites, lower power consumption and better longevity. In fact, there are few if any metrics by which old school CCFL backlight technology can be said to be better.

Samsung has also addressed the shortcomings of TN with some image-enhancing technologies. Dynamic contrast compensates for the poor black levels and contrast produced by TN panels. Meanwhile, Samsung's Magic Angle Vertical enables users to correct the screen for viewing off the horizontal. In theory, this enables the panel to be situated above eye level while maintaining colour fidelity.

Elsewhere, the Samsung Series 5 T27A550 HD TV monitor scores with a decent but not quite perfect array of inputs. You get VGA for analogue PC connections (which will only be relevant for very old PCs) and a pair of HDMI ports for a range of devices including PCs, set-top boxes and games consoles. There's also component analogue video support for legacy AV devices.

What you don't get, however, is DVI or DisplayPort, the preferred digital interfaces for PCs. Given this screen's claim to combine a monitor and an HD TV in a single box, that's an oversight. As we'll see, the HDMI interface can be problematic with some PC graphics cards.

Another intriguing feature, My Downloads, involves support for direct viewing and playback of files from a USB storage device. Still images, music and video are all supported - more on specific format support in a moment.

Finally, the Samsung Series 5 T27A550 has an integrated digital TV tuner. Unfortunately, it's restricted to DVB-T/C rather than DVB-T2, which means no native Freeview HD support. Of course, with HDMI connectivity, you can hook up an external Freeview HD box.

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