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Samsung UN55F9000 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV (2013 Model)
Samsung UN55F9000 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV (2013 Model)
Offered by MassDynamic
Price: $1,749.18
8 used & new from $1,368.46

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samsung combines beautiful design with top tier picture quality!, June 7, 2014
I will get this out of the way by saying 4k is still in it's infancy and not quite ready for the prime time,but it sure is pretty. The F9000 offers a half inch frame wrapped in a chrome ribbon bezel for one of the classiest minimalist designs of any TV. The barely there "Branch" style chrome stand makes the TV appear to be floating a few inches above the TV stand. It offers built in camera for gesture controls and touch remote with microphone for voice command for navigating of one of the best smart platforms on the market. The quad core processor handles streaming and smart functionality with seldom a hiccup. The set offers a plethora of inputs with 4 Hdmi, 1 component (with bump out cable), 2 composite and numerous others. It is all connected to a separate box called the "One connect" box which houses the brains of the TV. In 2012 Samsung began to offer what they called the Evolution kit for their top tier models. The kit would attach to a port found on the back of the display which allowed a near full hardware upgrade without having to buy a new TV every year. This year for the F9000 it comes in the form of a new One connect box, which offers HEVC 2.56 4k streaming support,HDMI 2.0 (4k at 60fps) and HDCP 2.0 support as well rumored UHD scaling and UHD dimming support for around $399. Let's move on to what we are here for,picture quality.

PICTURE QUALITY: I have owned a sets from every major manufacturer over the years and have been impressed with many. What Samsung offers is one of the best performing TV's this side of plasma (RIP). It offers inky blacks and high contrast for nearly unrivaled 2D image depth. Having the built in 4k upscaler take a pristine 1080p image from Blu-ray and bring out detail in films you have seen numerous times,but never noticed is astonishing. If you do not own Pacific Rim,Tron:Legacy or Prometheus I recommend popping over to movies section on this very website and buying them now,Wow! If you are a fan of giant robots fighting giant monster,heck even if you are not you owe it to yourself to see this movie. The meticulous detail of every every Kaiju and Jaeger makes you feel like a child watching and old Godzilla film if it were in "Ultra technicolor". Prometheus with it's dank,dark passageway and holographic neon heads up displays is a torture test for most displays,the F9000 passes with flying colors. And with more adjustment options than a professional calibrator could shake a stick at you will be hard pressed not to get a picture setting to your liking.

MOTION: Plasma TV's have been the holy grail of both picture quality and motion since they dethroned CRT (tube) in the late 90's. While LCD based tech have spent the last 15 or so years trying desperately to catch up. In the last few years manufacturers have began to close the gap by offering all kinds of technical wizardry like interpolation,black frame insertion and backlight scanning. Actual "Native" panel refresh rates have improved exponentially with refresh rates of 240hz and implementing the other tech mentioned for motion rates as high as 1920Hz in some cases. This all mostly marketing speak to have a bigger advertised number since bigger is better,right? In the case of the F9000 you have a 240Hz panel (not 120hz as sdvertised) with their proprietary Auto Motion Plus or AMP system which offers pre-sets for motion handling as well as a custom setting. I recommend using the Custom setting for a maximum motion resolution of 1080p with De-blur at 10 and De-judder at 0 for Soap opera effect free smooth movies.

GAMING: I am a lifelong gamer and with improvement of graphics over the years picture,motion and input lag have become a huge deciding factor in my TV purchases. Let's get picture out of the way everything I said about (see above) carries over to gaming. Games like Deadspace and Infamous:Second son are a sight to behold.
Where most LCD gaming sets stumble is motion,but the F9000 does not struggle with this area. In fact outside the Sony HX800 and HX929 I owned it has the best gaming motion performance I have seen from an LCD. I have noticed no juddering in panning shots, no excessive motion blur and next to zero overdrive trailing. If you haven't heard of overdrive trailing it's where white halos or black smearing detail may appear in panning shots. This is do in part to the sample and hold time of the pixels on the display. You used to see advertised specs like 8ms,6ms and as low as 2ms response time on certain displays for smear free (ghosting) motion. I won't bore you with techno babble,but to say it is much faster to make a pixel turn off and on (black to black) than gradually transition (gray to gray). Samsung's picture processing power alleviates about 98% of these inherent issues,while not perfect as close as I have seen.

INPUT LAG:Now for the bad. Samsung generally offers some great input lag in game mode,but the F9000 is pretty high compared to the 2013 Sony line-up. Sony were measuring around 19-27ms whereas the Samsung is measuring between 40-60ms. While not a deal breaker for me it may sway others from taking the plunge on a 4k display for this generation. Twitch gamers are looking for the ever illusive zero lag found on CRT displays of old,Sony has come closest over the last few years.

AUDIO: Let's face it if you have a TV this thin you can't expect the audio quality to be stellar. What I found is the Samsung offers above average sound quality for an LED/LCD TV. It offers pretty impressive bass response and mids, but dialogue is lost in the mix often leaving constantly adjusting the volume to hear. I was able to tweak the equalizer a little bit and get dialogue a little more audible. Most people that spend this kinda of money are going to splurge and grab a home theater in a box or soundbar and sub-combo.

SMART/GESTURE:I found the user interface to be very intuitive as well as snappy. Apps loaded quickly and since my wife has discovered Netflix finally episodes of House of cards and Damages have been on regular rotation. I have never been a fan of gesture or voice controlled anything and Samsung has done nothing to change my perception. I feel at least for me this is the biggest waste and added cost to consumer that could be spent improving other areas of functionality. If you have owned a Wii or recently an Xbox 360/XboxONE you know it is generally gimmicky and in some cases hamper ones experience with these devices. I will for now stick with the good old remote.

PROS:
Fantastic black level and contrast
Superb motion performance in both movies and games
Tons of adjustment options
Very sleek design and build quality
Future upgrade-ability offers built in future proofing
CONS:
Above average audio quality
Camera gesture controls and voice prompts are spotty at best
Input lag in gaming may turn some away from an otherwise stellar display

6/8/2014
I have seen a few reviews talking about excessive motion blur on the F9000,but have had no experience with said issues. I used both CNET and Sound and vision's settings offered a great starting point improved PQ and motion. There are a few setting that need to be addressed for most materials. They can be found in the "Picture option" menu and are labeled as MPEG noise reduction and Digital clear view. I have found out of the box these are both engaged and cause massive blurring and smearing of HD content. After adjusting the Custom AMP setting to De-blur at 10,De-judder at 0 and turning off clear view and MPEG noise reduction motion is smooth and natural. The only blur or judder I notice was only what was naturally in the source material or intended by the director.


SteelSeries 7H Gaming Headset - Fnatic
SteelSeries 7H Gaming Headset - Fnatic
Offered by Focus Camera
Price: $58.00
37 used & new from $42.26

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steelseries have thrown down the gauntlet., June 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have tried all the top headsets from Turtlebeach, Astro and Tritton(Madcatz) and can say with out a doubt the 7H Fnatics are the real deal. The use if matte/high gloss finish as well as the Team Fnatic logo and orange accents make for one of the most visually appealing sets on the market. The build quality feels sturdy with plastic similar to what is found on an Xbox 360/Dual shock controller. The orange head band and earcups (interchangeable) are line with memory foam type material and covered with a mesh breathable cloth for extended play sessions. While at first you may think this will affect sound isolation you would not be correct. Their custom earcups offer similar noise canceling to the leatherette found on other sets without sweating and discomfort. I currently and using the Astro mixamp 5.8 pro for my universal audio adapter and surround sound. After a few weeks to break in the 40mm driver on the 7H I would without hesitation recommend these to any film,music and gaming. Watching films like Prometheus you'll make out every nuance from the holographic runners to the water dripping and cascading through the caverns of the Engineer facility. For competitive multiplayer where response time and being able to pinpoint an enemies position audio cues are the difference between a kill streak and become someone kill streak. I recommend picking up a copy of Deadspace which offers one of the best examples of a complete audio experience this generation. Being a recording musician and having heard professional studio monitors I have to say I came away thoroughly impressed with the 7H musical soundscape as well. I ran it through a whole gamut of material from Deftones, Tool, Skrillex and a few softer listening like Postal service and M83 and loved every note. Bass offered a warm natural bass deep, yet not over driving. While they won't compete with a set of Dre's in the bass arena, they offer a better overall performance. While offering fantastic bass it the great mids and crystal clear treble that round out an almost perfect package. I say "almost" because I am not a fan of the in-line controller offer on the set. While feeling very cheaply made it is easily adjusted by accident causing weird volume spikes or drops before you realise you moved it. I actually have been looking for a micro-USB to 3.5mm without in-line controls for my set-up. This shouldn't stop you from picking these up, just my set-up has the controller on me at all times. If you are a console gamer looking looking for semi-wireless surround then the 7H and wireless Astro mixamp could be a perfect fit.


Antec Bias Lighting for HDTV with 51.1-Inch Cable (HDTV BIAS LIGHTING)
Antec Bias Lighting for HDTV with 51.1-Inch Cable (HDTV BIAS LIGHTING)
Price: $25.07
12 used & new from $18.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Near perfect compliment to my TV., October 3, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Works as promises helping with eye strain and enhancing perceived contrast. Will help with calibration if in dark home theater environment by defusing out going light from the set and at 6500k makes colors more natural.


Panasonic VIERA TC-L42E50 42-Inch 1080p 120Hz Full HD IPS LED-LCD TV
Panasonic VIERA TC-L42E50 42-Inch 1080p 120Hz Full HD IPS LED-LCD TV

247 of 263 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All I had hoped for in an LED/LCD, May 30, 2012
I bought this from a big box retailer, but have always found the Amazon community to offer great non-pro reviews of mid-level products often skipped by online review sites. Panasonic has picked up the mantle of plasma king since the demise of Pioneer and I hoped the TC-l42E50 would have close to the same impact on LED/LCD market. I have tried LED displays from other major brand names with a 3rd the performance quality of the Panasonic. Let's get this out of the way right now if you are expecting plasma level PQ (picture quality) namely black level performance out of this TV then pack it up and ship it back, because it is not happening. Panasonic has taken the Samsung/Sony approach to this television and offer a screen that pops with intensity, one of the sacrifices being black level performance. You gain a plethora of features that with the right adjustments can make this display outshine it's competitor's. Panasonic has taken great measures to ensure great motion performance with the addition of the 360 backlight scanning feature. This feature breaks the screen into 3 section in which a smart dimming function on the LED's switch them on/off very quickly (120hz frequency) to improve pixel response time and alleviate motion artifacts such as judder, trailing and ghosting/streaking. The math breaks down like this 3 sections x 120hz = 360hz (simulated) for the 360 backlight scanning. They offer an additional motion smoothing technology when set to weak offers no artifacting or Soap Opera Effect (SOE) often seen with this technology, but if gaming on this TV recommend turning off or set to weak due to potential controller lag. Speaking of gaming if you are a gamer than I cannot recommend this TV enough from racing games too first person shooters(FPS)this set can handle anything you can throw at it. I have tried everything from 120hz-480hz televisions and none can perform a third as well as the Panasonic at a about 50% less to the of the main competitors equivalent. Don't let all the fancy jargon confuse you it is all marketing speak. All TV's including plasmas are 60hz with scene interpolation of some kind that inserts frames in between existing frames to give the illusion of a higher refresh rate whether it is Panasonic's:600hz sub-field drive or Samsung's:Auto motion plus they are still a native 60hz. While shopping for a television let that be the last deciding factor, but let your eye's be your guide. Visit a big box store ask for a remote and immediately take it off the Vivid picture settings and set it for Cinema,movie or natural setting in the user menu to get a better idea how the set will function in the real world. This will turn all the post processing nonsense off in most case and let you see the true performance of the display, so you can make an educated decision. If you prefer the look though the Panasonic E50 can still deliver that performance, although adjustments aren't as robust as it's competitor's they are sufficient. Let's break it down.

Picture: While not as deep as a plasma display still impressive for an LED/LCD. Black levels are good, but not great colors are natural and accurate making movies and games really pop. Could use a few more adjustment option like a THX or pro mode for better white balance control, but certainly not the worse I have seen.

Sound: Like a few of the review have said nothing to write home about, but again not the worse I have heard. If you are in the market for home a theater and gaming set-up most likely a quality surround sound is already a consideration. Since I have a pair of wireless surround sound headphones TV audio quality is not a concern for me.

Connectivity: While wi-fi ready this display is not wireless out of the box, an additional dongle is needed for internet connectivity.

Build Quality: While this TV doesn't have the paper thin bezel made popular by LG & Samsung it would be right at home on a wall mount or traditional stand. It sports a 1 inch glossy black bezel with a quarter inch clear boarder around that for an all around attractive frame. Panasonic has manage to also avoid some of the pitfalls associated with Edge Lit LED technology namely light bleed and flashlighting. In a completely dark room the screen is solid black or really dark blue through the entirety of the screen with no areas of backlight bleed on any of the sides. There is also no pooling of light where the LED's are unable to reach certain areas of the screen. I have seen $4000.00+ LED TV's not be able to achieve this feat, so very impressive.

I hope I was able to give an overall impression of the Panasonic TC-L42E50 television.
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2013 12:03 AM PDT


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