Would I be nuts to buy a TV from USA?


Established Member
I've had my eye on Samsungs latest generation of rear-projection TVs for the last 6 months. In a couple of months time when my five year wait for my flat management company to install a communal sky dish comes to an end I'm intending to buy a Samsung SP46L5HX rear-pro TV. Hopefully by then internet dealers will be selling it for considerably less than the ridiculously expensive £3000 that Currys is charging now.

One oddity about Samsung is that their European models appear to have USA equivalents which are largely identical except that they all have DLP projectors instead of the LCD ones used in Europe. (Other differences is that the video processors in the USA models carry the Faroudja brand name, also presumably they don't have Scarts and may prefer NTSC to PAL - I haven't checked they can handle both, but I suspect this is not a problem.) In general I believe DLP is better than LCD because it gives higher contrast. The stats on their web site say contrast is 1000:1 for the DLPs versus 600:1 for LCD. On the other hand the LCDs are 25% brighter.

Now this evening I can across a link to a page on the Samsung European web site that referred to both LCD and DLP models and for a moment I was excited because I thought it meant DLPs were coming to Europe. I soon decided that they were just displaying a standard page of all their rear-pros borrowed from their world web-site. Anyway to get to the point, I did a Google search for the American equivalent of the SP4L5HX, the HLN467W and came across a shopping comparison site which knew I was in the UK (prices displayed in pounds) and told me whether dealers would ship to the UK. Amazingly, the cheapest who will is Amazon.com and the price is under 2000 pounds. (Presumably excluding VAT and shipping, but still...)

So would I be crazy to order an HLN467W from America?


Short reply is Yes

Wouldnt customs and excise slap VAT on and then there are all the additional charges and by the time ur finished you end up paying exactly the same as you would here, also you have to take into account the guarantee and what if something goes wrong, how easy would it be to get a repair or replacement from America ?


Distinguished Member
Not crazy but import tax warranty issues etc coiuld make it difficult! not to mention expensive, why not look at none samsung sets? Tosh/Sony/LG and Sim2 do RPTV's


Established Member
Bugger ... Amazon web site says they do not ship outside USA. But assume I can get round this. Even with VAT the TV is only £2350 in the States - my original question still stands. (I agree there's nothing to be done about the support/repair/warranty issues other than to hope for the best.)


Distinguished Member
not only vat but also import duty and shipping which is going to be a lot of money!!!
If the model is also sold in japan/korea try there too.


Standard Member
As far as I'm aware, most US tv's aren't compatible with PAL signals.

If you get a tv imported from the states, you will be limited to watching NTSC dvd's only.


Established Member
In answer to why I want a Samsung rear-pro, look at their models here

With the exception of one LG model, the Samsungs are the only rear-pros that are shaped like a normal CRT TV, with a stand and full set of shelves underneath that can take all your components. The front profile of the TV consists of the screen and a few inches of cabinet beneath, unlike other rear-pros which are floor standing. Because they stand out only 40cm from the wall, they need no more space than is already used by the AV separates on the shelves underneath - in one sense you can say they need no floor space at all.

The very latest models, the 46" and 56", unlike the slightly earlier 43" and 50" I think, have the top of the case deliberately shaped as a stand to support a large center speaker like mine.

The 46" model gives me the biggest screen I can fit in the desired position in my living room, while leaving just enough space either side for the floor-standing speakers I use for front left and right in my surround sound system.

Of course the most important thing is picture quality. A review I found on the web of an American Samsung last year rated it better than all alternatives. Of course this is not the same as the European model, however the SP46L5HX did win a European award for best rear-pro. The resolution is 1200x720, higher than most plasmas. Most plasmas are 480 lines, so can't even display a PAL picture without throwing away info; the Samsung will be able to reap the benefit of high-definition 720p DVDs if/when they become available. The picture is also larger than a plasma, for the price (that I intend to pay.) The Samsungs claim to have a very sophisticated video-processor built in. There's lots of detailed info. about this with impressive before/after pictures on the web.

The latest video from AVForums

⭐Best TVs, Soundbars, Hi-Fi and Home Cinema of 2023
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Top Bottom