on July 16, 2012
UN46ES6100 (but this review could easily apply to the 40,50,55 and 60 inch models) PLEASE READ!
Let me start off by stating that I am rating this pretty much solely on the picture quality, because the Smart Hub on this is completely junk. So why would I still give this TV 4 stars when the selling feature on this is the Smart Tv feature, because the TV itself is absolutely stunning when it comes to picture quality.
I've accepted the fact that the Smart TV feature is garbage on this TV. Sadly Samsung is aware that they drop the ball big time on creating a good Smart TV. That being said though you probably won't find to many TV's that have a good Smart TV function and picture quality as good as this (except the Sony Bravia......but it will cost you big time). Between my friends and I we have tried almost all the new TV's that have come out, and to be honest none of the new Smart TV's have impressed me. LG comes pretty close with the whole package for a good price, but still (in my opinion) does not compare to this TV when it comes to picture quality.
The apps are attached through the Smart Hub which means, yes, they also run slow. I run my streaming apps through my Blu-Ray player and it looks great. It's weird that an external source such as a Blu-ray player runs apps better that a tv that has apps and software built into it. Smart Hub is absolutely useless on this TV, everything from the browser to the apps are ridiculously slow. I give the Smart Hub feature a 1 out of 10. It works, but barely. This feature is not ready for prime time.
Now, down to the nitty gritty. The reason this TV is still great is because I personally love the look of their Auto-Motion feature. Some say it looks "soap opery", but I love it. You can turn off Automotion easily and it still delivers in 120hz mode. This TV has a whooping 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast that completely delivers. The picture quality is very crisp and colors are very vibrant (Actually to be honest, out of the box it's too vibrant. You will have to play around with it. Check the bottom of this post, I'll supply a professionally calibrated configuration to help some of you). HDTV looks great. Everything is so clear it does almsot seem like there is no screen dividing you from the movie. Blu-Rays on this is an experience all to itself. So in conclusion for picture I give this a 10 out of 10.
Sound is decent on this. It's not bad. It does have it's moments with low end bass a little. Coarse my theory on sound on a TV like this is, if you bought this TV your probably like me and had some inkling that your future foretold a certain sound system......maybe a nice sound bar. So in conclusion for sound I give this 7 out of 10. Very passable sound for sure.
Comparing a the UN46ES6100 to the UN46EH600 (Similar Samsung TV minus the Smart TV)
Here is a valuble piece of information. If your looking for a Samsung TV with all the same qualification but no Smart TV feature, go with the UN46EH6000 (40,46,50,55,60). Although this TV does match up in every way, the picture quality is a little less (about half million in the dynamic contrast department, which actually isn't much when considering the naked eye) on the UN46EH6000, but you will save about 300 bucks. By the way, if you compare these two TV using Amazon they will tell you the match up, but after talking to Samsung they gave me the real specs. These TV's are comparable, but not the same. They would leave you to think the the Smart feature is the only difference. My personal opinion, get the UN46ES6100. In the long run you want the best picture quality. Right?
In final conclusion, I really like this TV .....a lot (the UN46ES6100, bad on topic). If you read the other reviews the biggest beef is clearly with the Smart Hub, which to be honest is completely accurate. In fact this problem is not isolated to this model, it would seem that all the 2012 Samsung's that attempted the Smart Hub failed miserably. I bought this TV for $899 at Costco and to be honest I have not come across a TV yet that compares for the price. In fact this TV performs at the rate of most TV's that go for double the price. So if you buy this TV know that you will be disappointed in the Smart Hub feature but very surprised at the picture quality. Maybe the best you'll see for awhile. I give this TV a solid 8.5/10.....and I'm actually hard to please.
Those calibrations that I promised:
These calibrations were done professionally by the guys at lcdbuyingguide....(dotcom). They worked awesomely to get my TV looking perfect.
Picture Mode Movie
Backlight 16 (Backlight is the one part you will have to adjust to your liking and room lighting)
Dynamic Contrast Off
Black Tone Off
Flesh Tone 0
RGB Only Mode Off
Color Space Auto
10pt White Balance On
Expert Pattern Off
Color Tone Warm2
Digital Noise Filter Off
MPEG Noise Filter Off
HDMI Black Level Low
Film Mode Off
Auto Motion Plus Off
LED Motion Plus Off
10PT WHITE BALANCE ON
Interval Red Green Blue
1 0 -1 -1
2 -1 -1 -1
3 0 0 0
4 -1 0 +1
5 -1 -1 +1
6 -1 -1 -1
7 -1 -1 -1
8 0 0 0
9 +1 0 0
10 +2 0 0
Picture Size Screen Fit
MEASURED CONTRAST (WITH OTC1000)
100 IRE (Y) 55.3625
O IRE (Y) 0.0222
Ratio (x:1) 2493.8063
Hope these calibrations help. So far I've used this calibration and I've loved it. It's great because it works on movies, sports, tv, blu-ray....you name it. The only time I change them is when my living room gets really really bright, then I just put it on standard for a little while.
on March 26, 2012
What else can I tell you that you aren't already thinking?
You're here, reading the reviews because you want to buy a television, or are at least thinking about it. Here's some food for thought.
I had my mind set on buying another Samsung model before I purchased this one, because out of all the manufacturers out there, Samsung does it right. And that's not some clever sell tactic - that's the truth. Go to any store, like Best Buy, and see for yourself. I did, and was quite impressed with how well they outpreformed vs. LG's and other brand names.
In doing this, I did all the research, just like you; refresh rate, LED vs. LCD vs. Plasma (and all the pros and cons that follow that argument), 3D or not 3d, SMART TV or not, etc. The bottom line is, you already know what the specs are. What you really want to know is how it will perform when you get it home.
First of all, don't believe the naysayers who tell you that the sound on flat-panel TV's is substandard. My living room is larger than average, and I have never turned the volume up to hear voices or have had difficulty hearing anything for that matter on this TV. But even if you don't think the sound is up to par (work with me, here), you will be impressed with the picture quality. When this TV is being used to it's maximum potential, there are rich, dark blacks, deep and acurate bright colors, crystal picture clarity and fluid motion, even in the fastest of action scenes Even the most jaded of TV watchers (like my friend, who came over to help me out around the house yesterday) was impressed with it. And he does not impress easily. Even standard TV looks pretty good, although comparably speaking, why would you want to watch it when HD is so cool? But I digress...
The most impressive thing about this TV? The price. When I compare the price of this TV to others that boast the same features that cost more and offer less quality, it becomes clear why I think so much of this product. If you want a great TV, but don't care about 3D, this is the set for you! You'll be impressed, I promise!
on April 24, 2012
Just purchased this TV a week ago and could not be happier. Set up from wifi to all the apps is flawless and effotless. Purchased the companion Samsung sound bar with wireless woofer and just those 2 give theater quality sound.
In response to the review below, Samsung told me the TV doesn't have the capability to install/recognize drivers/software from keyboards, but they have a remote on one side and a keyboard on the other side. I also read in another review they are releasing a wireless keyboard for the 2012 TV models here http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007IHEZQI/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk
Picture quality is outstanding, hooking up a laptop (must have HDMI port on laptop as noted) takes 2 seconds. It really isn't needed anyway since the TV is a full browser, online experience. Unless you have content, pictures/video on your laptop, then you can put them on a USB drive and plug that into the TV.
This was our first flat panel, Smart TV, wireless TV, streaming content TV (both over age 50), so we are beginning users. We were a little intimidated by the price and the TV itself, but if you are new user, don't be! The interface is very intuitive, set up was a breeze and the capabilities of this TV are mind blowing.
Worth every penny and then some.
on April 27, 2012
EDIT: You can read my initial impressions review below, but in the end, the SmartHub was such a disappointment (buggy, crashy, web browser was simply awful) I returned the TV. Instead I got an EH6000 and a panasonic blu-ray with wifi (included Amazon VOD, but no browser). For browser streaming, I'll just hook up my laptop via HDMI. All of this saves me hundreds of dollars and gets me more happy than just the TV. I think smart TVs just aren't there yet. I did hook up a keyboard and mouse (both wired). Those worked just fine. That is how I was able to exercise the web browser more and find out how simply awful it is. Also, youtube never worked. It works perfectly fine on my new blu-ray (and of course on my laptop and smart phone via wifi). I will say that the picture on the EH6000 is slightly worse than the ES6100. It's still good but the ES6100 was phenominal...especially with older or streaming content. I think it processes those much better. I do have to update my firmware, the ES6100 would update its firmware via wifi, which was nice. Maybe my picture will be the same after an update with my new TV.
Stand & Mount:
I am using the stand, not mount. I originally bought the 40" version, which had stand that was for the 37" and 40". The 46" came with a stand that is suppose to fit 37" - 46". I thought this was weird. I'm not sure if it's actually bigger but I think the 46" TV is a little more stable than the 40" was. The stand looks OK, IMO. I'm glad they got rid of the shiny silver look. The black is much better.
And by the way, nothing was wrong with the 40", just with our seating arrangement, it was just a tad too small. The 46" is perfect.
And another by the way, if you read all the reviews here you will sort of notice that this TV would be 4.5-5 stars if it wasn't for the wall-mount issues. That is what has basically dragged it down to the 3-4 star range. Obviously, there's issues with other things but this seems to be the biggest disappointment. I definitely agree that if the mounting doesn't work out, it doesn't matter what feature the TV has.
I'm using a Moho Leaf HDTV antenna. That's it. I don't have cable. That was sort of the purpose of getting this TV. I wanted to use a combo of antenna, streaming and dvd/blu ray to get my fill of shows. Of course there's many ways to do this but I wanted something easy to interface with for me and my wife. So far things look promising.
Upon running the setup, there was an issue and the TV could not connect with the server for a firmware software update. So I ran on v1001 for a while. Then I saw on Samsung's site that 1009 was available (April 19th). So I had some experience prior to the update and after the update. The main thing I noticed was an improvement in youtube videos. Prior to the update, I could not get through a whole video without the picture freezing, sound continuing and then vice versa. It was not the buffer because the buffer bar was well ahead of this area. I would have to rewind a bit to sync everything up again. This was true on the 40" I had and the 46". After v1009 this problem which used to occur 100% of the time not happens maybe 10-20% of the time. And now when it happens, it often sorts itself out after a bit. Still annoying...esp since my phone over 3G plays youtube videos better than this tv over wifi. But I'm counting on it to eventually get sorted. I did not notice any other difference on the software upgrade. Prior to the upgrade, Hulu Plus was working fine as was the web browser. Both are still good.
Sound is great. We turned on Pandora and cranked up the volume to about 2/3. It was audible all through our 1st floor and even a bit on the 2nd floor of our house. The quality and depth of the sound as very acceptable. One note that someone said they don't get the Samsung start-up sound when they power the TV on. I noticed a different experience between the 40" and 46". The 40" made that sound and showed the logo. The 46" just shows the boot logo with no sound. I'm not sure why. I sorta liked the sound, myself.
Picture & Picture Adjustment:
I do see a glare from lamps and lights in the room. I do have my TV pointed away from the window on-purpose. I think that would be sort of annoying to always see the windows or always have the windows closed. I mean, this is not a projector setup, it's an LCD TV. So I'll give a minor ding on that.
The three main picture settings I've messed with thus far are the Auto Motion Plus, Brightness and Black Tone. I go back and forth on the AMP setting. I find it distracting to be on 'Standard' when watching dramas. It makes things look fake, like everyone says soap opera or like British TV. It think it looks like I'm looking through a window at live actors instead of watching a produced television show. So I set it to clear but then I wonder if I'm dumbing down my nice TV just because my brain is so used to a certain look. I think I'd prefer Standard or Smooth for sports. For the Brightness, I had to punch it down 10 points because people's faces were a bit glarey. However, I watched a cop drama that was set at night and I could barely see what was happening. It could have been that show's fault. I'm not sure. I think I've settled on 40-45. For Black Tone, I cranked it up to darker, which I thought was cool until I watched The Good Wife and an African American actor was in a black suit. He looked basically like a shadow. That was definitely not acceptable. So I've put it back to normal.
Two extra notes here: I wonder where the sensor is for the Eco Setting which adjusts brightness for room lighting. This feature seemed to work well on the 40" but does not at all work on my 46". It goes dark right away. It might be my placement as the TV is slightly tilted more and it a little taller. So knowing where the sensor is would help me work that out. At the moment, I've disabled that feature.
Second point, when I watched the cop drama set at night, I was in the menu messing with the picture settings and holy cow it was so annoying. Any change in brightness on the program resulted in the menu dimming and lightening. That was a result of what someone else said about the back-lighting auto adjusting to colors on the screen. I would have thought that bringing the menu up would override this so I don't get such a strobe light affect. It definitely did not and it was pretty bad. Just a minor ding here since I don't plan to be in the menus that often while I'm actually trying to watch a show.
Ok so I gave some feedback from the smarthub above in the software section. I would add a few things. I think the smarthub is responsive and snappy enough. I wondered a bit because if you get a larger TV, you get a dual core processor. Now that I've run the single core on the 40" and 46" I'd say that I don't think I'd care much for it to be faster. I eventually will be getting a keyboard/mouse combo. So I think navigation and text entry will be much better at that point. A couple of other reviews have said a logitech and a iomega keyboard/mouse have worked with the TV.
So apps I've tried are web browser (streaming from abc.com, which went fairly well. there was a small hiccup during commercials when at full screen), Hulu Plus, Pandora, the exercise app, MLB for score updates, MTV app to watch a music video and the accuweather app (sort of clunky to find your city but an OK app). Oh and the channel app, not exactly sure what that does though. All apps seem to work well but most are not all that useful to me just yet. Streaming from Hulu Plus was great. Streaming from Web Browser was good. I still need to sign up for Netflix to check that out.
If there was anything I'd say about the smarthub is it would be nice if there were user-developed apps to run. That seems to be how you get really cool stuff like apps on Droid & iphones. If we have to count on Samsung or industry to create smart tv apps, it might all end up kinda lame or restricting. Also, I wish it supported Spotify. Well, maybe the better way to put that is I wish Spotify supported an app for this TV. err...which way is it?? I mean, it has a facebook app, they should go hand in hand since they are in bed together.
UPDATE: I used the Browser more last night and this morning. I'm far far less impressed with it. There was an update last night and an update this morning. Last night I tried to go to Hulu.com and thedailyshow.com to stream some content. On Hulu it said it was unable to connect and that I needed to contact my internet service provider. The funny thing was the Hulu Plus app's trial content was streaming just fine. Then on thedailyshow.com, I tried to bring up full episodes and videos. Sure enough, the commercials the precede the episode streamed in just fine but when the website tried to actually play the episode, it said it was unable to due to location. What does that mean?? What is this China? We block content? Then this morning, I went to actual youtube.com to watch some news interviews (did not use the app since it still stutters). Playback from the website was fine except for the fact that the browser crashed...ohh...4 times in a 15 min interview. I was able to restart the session each time but then I had to fast forward to where I left off. It was pretty lame. Why does samsung have to use a proprietary browser instead of maybe just Google Chrome or Firefox or the Android mobile browser? You know, something from someone who actually knows that they are doing? Heck, I'd even take Internet Explorer (I can't believe I just said that). The other interesting thing was that the update this morning changed the home page from MSN.com (with bing search) to simply google.com. That was mighty odd! Saved me the hassle but really? I cannot believe Samsung didn't decide this as the right thing to do a long time ago in development?
Remote & Remote App:
I like the remote. I have the normal TV remote (no keyboard). I haven't heard much positive on that keyboard. It sounds like it's very slow. I did get a thing with the TV that said I can send in for a universal remote. I suppose I'll do that and see how it goes. In general, I'm cool with the remote that came with the TV. Having the 6100 series means I don't get the official Samsung app for android. I instead have the 'SamyGo Remote' app. That's just the same thing as the TV remote (no keyboard). It does work but it seems like I have to manually enter the ip address each time I want to use it. I have to look up on the TV if it's changed (depending on what has turned on and off in my house) and then update the app. It is responsive but I doubt I'll use it much. I had the understanding that I'd be able to control mouse and keyboard through my droid but that is definitely not the case. I'll ding the score a bit on that too. Seems like this should be possible with a 'smart' device.
UPDATE: I found out last night that the SamyGo Remote app for android does allow text entry. There's two issue with it though...a carriage return doesn't "enter" the information you just typed on the TV. It literally does a carriage return on the phone screen. Therefore, you still have to move the mouse to "Go" or "Enter" on the screen. That's the second issue. The remote app can move the mouse on the screen but unlike the physical remote, holding down a direction does not accelerate the mouse pointer. Instead, you have to tap tap tap to increment it up and down. Therefore, the most efficient way to use the browser is to have both the physical remote and the remote app in your hands at the same time...which is of course, lame.
Thus far, I am pleased with my purchase. I really want to tweak it to get the most out of it but the manual is light on explanations. Does anyone know a good resource that would actually explain the bazillion settings? I feel like I'm maybe only getting like 85%-95% of what is possible out of this TV due to lack of literature. That would be another minor ding on the score.
on April 25, 2012
I thought this was a great TV and agree with other positive reviews regarding its picture quality, brightness, ease of WiFi setup, slim design, and smart TV features, all for a reasonable price. However, as other reviewers have also mentioned, it has important wall mount limitations. The power cord input to the back of the 46" version of the TV is located so close to its VESA wall mount holes that if your wall mount has screen brackets that are more than 2" wide, they will end up covering the TV's power input, making it impossible to plug in. I had an articulating wall mount (AVF Super Slim ZL8655-A Multi-Position Wall Mount) whose backplate accomodated my wall's studs that were 24" apart. After attaching its screen brackets to the TV, I found that one of them covered half of the TV's power cord input. In addition, the power cord sticks out almost a full inch from the back of the TV; adding spacers to the bracket to compensate for this seemed impractical or impossible, so I ended up returning the TV. Great TV but very disappointed with this aspect of its design. Otherwise I was very happy with the TV and would have given it 5 stars.
on June 24, 2012
I've had the set since Memorial Day and decided to add my comments that I didn't see elsewhere in these reviews. I agree 100% with the other reviewers here on the picture quality of this set. Best I've seen period! My disappointments are mostly with the Smart TV features and the remote control provided to use them. Here are my gripes in most-to-least order:
1. The browser for this set completely sucks! I haven't found a video on any site that I can watch without having issues that interrupt and stop it from playing. What good is a browser on a TV set that is not designed for watching videos?!?!? They give you an app to watch You Tube videos that works OK, at least until the video stops to load every few minutes!!
2. Navigating the Smart TV features with the remote control provided is ridiculous! Using the 4 small arrow keys on this narrow remote, with the Exit and Return buttons under the left and right arrows results in pressing the wrong button ALOT. This may sound petty but it's a big deal when this happens all of the time and you constantly have to start over!!
3. USB support is for thumb size drives only. I have a 350GB portable drive with lots of MP3, AVI and MOV files on it that I would like to play on this set. The set will not accommodate any drive with a cable that does not have it's own power supply. Thumb drives are fairly cheap not so it's not a huge financial issue, just a disappointment!
4. The remote control is too narrow to be comfortable or accurate! Thank goodness I don't have arthritis or large hands because, if I did, I would have had to return the set! I have an older Samsung LCD set and the remote control is about 1/2" wider. This is just the right size to fit in most hands and has buttons spaced far enough apart to let you press the right one every time! The one with this set causes me thumb cramps and frustration! Oh, and it's a Universal remote. After the comments above, why would I even consider using this with my other devices?!?!?
5. The volume level varies widely between HD, SD and Non-SD channels. My cable system give me these 3 types of channel formats for different stations. The volume on HD channels is much lower than SD channels, and they are much lower than Non-SD channels. I find myself adjusting the volume every time I go to another channel. Couldn't find a setting on this set to compensate for this.
6. The USB port is not in a convenient spot. Thank goodness I didn't want to wall mount this set! The USB socket is recessed into the set and would not be accessible if flush mounted to a wall!! To plug in a USB thumb drive, I need to swivel the set to one side and reach in 6-7" to plug it in. My older Samsung set has the port about 2" in and it would be reachable if it were flush mounted to a wall.
7. Lackluster array of apps & not enough related to TV viewing. They don't even have a TV Guide app which is a no brainer to have on a TV set! How Smart is that TV when it doesn't tell you what's on?!?!?
My hope is that Samsung will upgrade the browser and provide a compatible all-in-one keyboard, mouse and navigation device so I don't have to use the narrow remote control that often! They can always offer better apps and include a TV Guide app (Please!).
on April 25, 2012
I've had this TV for about a month now. It is absolutely beautiful! The blacks on this samsung are so dark that the screen almost looks completely off. I have not seen any backlight bleeding from any angle. It is very impressive and a joy to watch on. Overall my experience is great with a few caveats. Here are a few points to take note of if you're considering this tv.
First and most importantly is smart hub. In theory its convenient but in practice its nearly useless. The interface is slow and clunky. Navigation is laggy, and any kind of mouse/text input is absolutely awful. I don't have any other input method other than the remote, and the samsung remote app (more on that in a moment) but the interface is too slow anyway. It makes me just want to flip on a laptop and connect via hdmi. In short, If you are purchasing this TV because its a smart tv, don't. I don't use smart hub at all after trying it out a few times.
The second problem is the screen itself. It is somewhere between a glossy and a fully matte screen. I have the tv opposite a window (couches below the window) in my living room and there is so much reflection that it is impossible to watch with the blinds open during the day; and still difficult to watch with the blinds closed on a bright day with light seeping through the edges. This tv performs exceptionally well in a dark environment but you will need to pay extra attention to your viewing environment to make sure you won't have direct reflection from a window. Cranking up backlight brightness doesn't help much, you will need to have your windows covered well. This is in stark contrast to my previous sony which was matte textured screen and had I had no problems viewing in the same bright room.
The next qualm I have is with the adaptive brightness. There is an option in the settings menu to turn off dynamic contrast (which I would assume effects backlight), but the backlight still adjusts depending on content. This is probably the key to those inky blacks I mentioned above, and is usually not a problem. With movies, this is a great feature and the adjustments happen quickly enough to not distract and adds a lot of contrast. But while playing a game (devil may cry 4) there was a specific scene with rain and dark clouds where the backlight went to its lowest level. It was actually difficult to see what was going on, and as a result, difficult to play. This is the only time I ran into a problem. I suspect there will be more scenarios like this in the future, particularly with dark gaming, but the backlight auto adjustment is otherwise a great feature that unfortunately can't be turned off on the rare occasion you may want to.
On the subject of gaming, yes you can. I have been playing slightly slower games of late, but I did notice just a slight amount of ghosting a few times during very fast panning screen panning. Otherwise its virtually nonexistant. The few times I noticed the ghosting, it was not strong enough to detract from gameplay experience.
Power consumption is superb. I measured consumption at the wall with a kill-a-watt and it ranges from a low of 30 watts with dark images at min brightness to about 60, 70, or 80 watts with the backlight set at 8, 10, or 12 (out of 20). As mentioned above, the backlight dims itself during dark scenes which brings consumption down to as low as 30 watts. I wouldn't recommend the backlight above 12 because it didn't seem to make much of a difference beyond 12, even in bright rooms. I didn't test the consumption under brighter settings or while using smart hub (sorry!). Overall consumptions is great for a 55 inch, all thanks to the LEDs. For reference, my old 46 inch LCD measured a low of 110 watts with all settings down at the minimum up to 230 watts with a backlight set at max.
The samsung remote app for android doesn't really add anything functionality wise except keyboard input. The problem is that it doesn't work with all apps on the tv. you can search youtube and other apps but it seems some don't pop the keyboard up on certain apps. Netflix is one such example, so in order to search, you need to scroll around an onscreen keyboard and hit enter for each letter. Its slow to the point of near uselessness, which is another reason I don't use smart hub.
Some have mentioned that the speakers are weak. For the depth of the display, they are not bad. You can watch this tv in a large room and it fills the air well. They are not going to give stong lows but it will certainly do fine. If you can't afford the speaker set that you want along with the tv, then just buy this tv now and get your external speakers later. It won't satisfy an audiophile but the sound from the speakers on this tv will not leave you dissastified or distracted by the sound in the mean time.
A couple of other plus points: the TV let's you save settings on a per input basis. So you could set game mode on your ps3 input and leave picture processing features on for your htpc, for example. It also looks really nice as many have pointed out. The bezel isn't as thin as the high end 8000 series but its reasonably small and beautiful. It will still impress!
Overall, I'm very happy with the tv. Picture quality is great, especially while viewing in the dark. I have an htpc hooked up and if I want to watch youtube or netflix, I can do that via the htpc. If I were relying on smart hub to do those, the experience would not be the same. If you're looking for for a beautiful, high contrast, 2d, low power consumption tv for watching your movies, playing games, or even just watching tv, then I wholeheartedly recommend this!
on March 24, 2012
First of all, the TV itself is great; we love the picture quality and the smart features. The size is just right for our room - we sit about six feet back from the set.
We have a Samsung Bluray player, and the TV input automatically switches to that HDMI port when the player is turned on, which is convenient.
The speakers inside the TV are decent for TV shows, but not for movies, in my opinion (deep bass is needed for the movies I watch).
The TV does not ship with the universal remote (only a standard one), but there is a postcard with a code included to order the universal remote (for free) through the mail or online. I filled out the request online, and the system said it would be 10 - 12 weeks before we received it.
Unrelated to this specific TV, I don't like the Samsung streaming software (Allshare) which is available only for Windows (not Mac). It was buggy on my Windows machine (refusing to ignore the standard media folders that I didn't want to stream), and didn't stream HD content smoothly over my wireless network, whereas our Apple TV gen 3 HD wireless streaming works great. I would like to try Plex for streaming from Windows, but I'm not sure if the Plex client is available for this TV - I haven't found it yet anyway.
We are happy with this purchase, as the faults I've listed above have nothing to do with the TV itself.
on October 7, 2012
I bought this set (55") based on good reviews and an impressive picture in the store. I was only interested in picture quality and a slim profile. The smart tv aspect of this model was very clunky and painfully slow, kind of like the old dialup days, but that was no big deal since i use a ps3 for online things like netflix. I thought the picture quality in general was good, but not as good as my five year old sony xbr lcd tv. It generally seemed washed out, and it had a pretty narrow viewing angle. But i could have been fine with all that-it is samsungs CE dimming "feature" that i could not take. I had never heard of it, and wish i had found a review that made mention of it. Basically, the set will automatically dim significantly when the scene changes to a dark scene. It is like putting sunglasses on when the screen goes to a primarily dark scene. I have no idea why it does this, and the killer is that THIS CANNOT BE TURNED OFF. There a lot of posts on avsforums about turning it off using the secret code to access the service menu, but this does not appear to work on newer sets because that area of the service menu is now locked and can only be accessed by using a samsung service remote. Ok, no problem i thought, i called samsung service and asked for a tech to come out to do this, and the guy barely spoke english, would not schedule an appointment without a serial number. When i told him it was wall mounted and could not read the serial number, he said they would not come out at all if the tv was wall mounted. At this point it just became simpler to return the set and pay a bit more for the far superior sony hx850. The sammy has a few drawbacks, but a auto darkening was just intolerable for my taste. And all those posts about tricks to get it to stop, or lessen-i tried them all. Only way to stop it was switch to movie mode, at which point the picture quality sucked even after numerous changes to the basic picture settings and advanced settings.
on July 15, 2012
Set the TV up in 10-15 minutes. Word to the wise, assemble the stand prior to attaching to the TV.
The TV found at least 15 more digital channels than my previous HDTV. However I couldn't find an easy way to remove channels from the auto selection. I'm sure the feature is there, I'll have to download a manual and read up on it. It shouldn't be that difficult. 1080i transmissions look amazingly lifelike, I suppose the only problem is that now I can see the wrinkles in actors/actresses faces :-)
I went from a 27 Inch HDTV to a 46 Inch HDTV, and was fearful that the picture would look worse. Totally not the case, the picture looks amazing. Food advertisements are very yummy. I may put weight on as a result. One advert showed an actor diving off a cliff, made me feel like I was falling. I have yet to notice any blur so the 120Hz plus the 240hz software kludge seems to work well in practice. I don't game, so the refresh rate is just fine for me. I really wanted a native 240Hz TV but the prices are still out of sight. At just under $1,000 this is great value for money.
The picture is very bright and crisp, which is what I wanted, we don't like watching TV in a dark room, so rejected plasma TV's.
I like the fact it has the ability to hookup component or RCA devices, we don't have to replace other components like our DVD player straight away, but have spare HDMI ports for when we do.
I am disappointed in the Smart Hub where you can watch Netflix, Pandora etc. It is painfully slow, seems to always show 'loading' for 2-3 minutes between operations. I'll stick with my Roku box for smart functions. The slowness maybe due to my G wireless network, maybe if I upgrade to N band wireless sometime the performance will improve. My Roku box works fine using the same network, so I do believe the TV is mostly to blame. Here's hoping a firmware upgrade in the future fixes some of the smart feature performance problems.
Update: 2012-07-16: The smart hub became more responsive as time wore on. I'm now thinking that the Samsung servers got overloaded, the smart hub is now quite responsive and actually quite useful.
I discovered that Samsung make Android and Apple iOS apps to control the TV. The iPad app is very well executed, the iPad can act as a wireless keyboard/mouse and is very responsive. If you have an iPad or Android tablet, don't waste you money on a wireless keyboard/mouse.
The iPad app also acts as a full function remote with all of the proprietary/model specific buttons. Now we have 3 remotes for the TV in the house :-)
Using the web browser requires a wireless keyboard mouse, the process is too painful otherwise.
I've ordered a WebCam for use with Skype. Using the TV as a Skype device should be awesome. I ordered the VG-STC2000 Skype TV Camera.