...stuff I do and things I like...

Monday, December 15 2008

Samsung LE-40A859

Last weekend Judith and I bought a Samsung LE-40A859 (a big ass LCD TV). We choose this specific device because we got a good deal at a local MediaMarkt store (they actually just matched the average online price). Originally we were looking at a Samsung 40F86BD but it turns out that this is a really old model, the alternate Philips model was described as computer unfriendly (in various forums). The first impression of the LE40A859 is really good. Very slim case, lots and lots of inputs and connectors. A really good picture (also I don't really have something to compare it to).

One of the first things I noticed is that there are no round edges when displaying content via the VGA port. The first bad thing I noticed is that the TV didn't detect my new MacBook and Judith's old MacBook using a DVI-to-HDMI adapter. The MacBooks also didn't detect the display at all. People in various forums either complain about the same problem. On the other side there are many posts about this combination working fine. So for now I guess that I maybe bought a bad DVI-to-HMDI converter or cable. Any hints would be welcome.

The LE40A859 also comes with DLNA. DLNA is an extension/service of UPnP and basically turns the TV into a media player instead of just a display. The media types and frame rates are of course limited but I got a good part of my content to play. The DLNA server I use is TwonkyVision which is OK but commercial. Any hints for a decent free DLNA server for Linux? Btw. the TV also plays video files form a USB-key or USB-disk which I think is kinda cool.

So now my TV has ethernet (optional WiFi via USB) and an IP address. So guess what I did first? Yes, I did a port scan. I only found one open TCP port at 52396 (probably the UPnP device), it identifies itself as DMRND/0.5. Any ideas what software this is? I also could not determine the OS running on the TV, would be kind of interesting I think. Not that I want to mess with it but I just want to know since it sits on my LAN (I probably want to firewall it's IP address to prevent it form phoning home).

All in all a good buy, hopefully our MacBooks will talk to it once I change the DVI-to-HDMI adapter.

PS: I don't think about upgrading my media center computer to HD right now since there is just not enough HD content available yet.