Customer Review

258 of 295 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Three TVs enter. One TV leaves., May 26, 2013
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This review is from: Samsung UN55FH6030 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz 3D LED HDTV (2013 Model) (Electronics)
(Note: to skip my long-winded story and read only about the FH6030, go to "TV #3" below)

***Background: I had a 42" Panasonic PX600u plasma for seven years and loved it. But the set started to lose its luster, and I was tired of lowering the blinds during the day to watch TV. Most plasmas sold seven years ago did not have the best anti-glare coatings. So, I decided to go with an LED, knowing I would have to make some sacrifices in picture quality, but would in turn gain a set that was much brighter and performed significantly better in daylight.

***The Goal: 50-55" with a great picture for around $1000. I didn't care about 3D or Smart features. I have an AppleTV and PlayStation that handle the Smart features. Unless your TV will be mounted somewhere that can't accommodate any additional devices, there's no need to ever use a TV's built in Netflix, Hulu, etc. They are horrible at it compared to AppleTV, Roku, Xbox/PS3, etc.

I did not want to have to go through three TVs to get one I liked. But if I was spending $1000 for something I would hope to have for ten years, I was going to be picky.

***TV #1: What sucks about buying a TV is that you can't judge the picture in stores because the settings are all jacked up and you're viewing under florescent lighting. Your best bet is to do a ton of research online. But what I discovered is that many TV manufacturers have different panel makers for the same model, and those panels can perform very differently. CNET may rave about one model, and you can get the same model with a different panel and have poor result. With that said, I found a great deal for a 50" 2012 Samsung ES6500. Reviews online were mixed, ranging from stellar (Consumer Reports) to just OK (PC Mag). Given Amazon's fantastic return policy, I ordered it. The picture wasn't bad. However, the details in dark scenes were horrible. In addition, this TV just wasn't that bright -- the main reason I switched from plasma to LED. The TV also exhibited some pretty bad "clouding" and "flashlighting" (terms I learned on AVS Forum when I found a thread full of people who hate this TV). Apparently, this is common for many edge-lit LEDs, but this model is much worse than most. I gave it about a week and returned the set.

***TV #2: Even though it had no reviews, everyone loves Sony. I took a risk on a 50" 2013 Sony R550a. The problems I had with this Sony made me miss the previous Samsung:

- It was even dimmer than the Samsung (and I had the Eco settings off)

- No matter what I did, I couldn't get the picture to "pop" and give me any sort of wow factor

- Not as important, but the Sony was pretty ugly in person and the chrome stand and bottom bezel created annoying reflections

- It did not handle fast motion in a hockey game well

- It's a semi-matte screen, but still not very good in a bright room

- And most of all, when the camera panned during hockey, soccer or golf, it had this annoying cloudy effect. After doing some research, I found out this is called a dirty scree effect (DSE).

I gave the Sony more than a week, but just couldn't get past the picture issues so I returned it. Also, I don't know if this means anything, but apparently the new Sony models are made with LG Panels.

***TV #3: I read great early reviews on Samsung's 2013 TVs, so I took another risk and ordered the 55" FH6030. I've had it now for five days and LOVE it. Here is how it compares to the previous two TVs:

- Very mild dirty screen effect. I have to look for it to see it. With the Sony R550a, I could not escape it. I don't recall if the ES6500 had DSE as I didn't even know what it was then, and it didn't stand out like the Sony

- Much more uniform and has less flash-lighting and clouding compared to the ES6500. It's also better than the R550a in this department, but the Sony wasn't that bad to begin with. It's important to note that the FH6030 is direct-lit unlike the previous two TVs that were edge-lit. This makes the cabinet slightly thicker, but typically allows for a more uniform picture.

- Much better shadow detail and performance in dark scenes than the ES6500, but not quite as good as the Sony R550a

- Much brighter than both the ES6500 and R550a

- Handles glare much better than the R550a and slightly better than the ES6500

- The picture "pops" far more than the R550a

- Off-angle viewing is not the greatest and worse than both the R550a and ES6500

- No issues in handling fast motion. It's better than the R550a and pretty much the same as the ES6500

I'm giving it five stars because I'm factoring price in. But if I'm rating the TV without factoring in cost, then the poor off-angle viewing and less than impressive detail in very dark scenes would make me drop it to four.

Still, I'm happy enough with this TV to write my first Amazon review. After being very frustrated from having to return two prior TVs, I feel somewhat victorious for finally landing a set I love.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 29, 2013 8:42:15 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 29, 2013 8:47:10 PM PDT
Sean says:
I am curious if you could do me a favor...could you take a picture of the rear of your TV close up whereyour HDMI ports and whatnot are? It seems like my rear panel isnt flush with the ports..meaning the metal connector sticks out. I'm not concerned about it...but if its not then way its supposed to be then I'd obviously like to get it exchanged.

Here is a picture of what my back HDMI area looks like.

Posted on Jul 28, 2013 10:37:55 AM PDT
techguy115 says:
Given you are a fellow avsforum member, will you please run the test from to see if this TV shows FULL HD 3d or lowered resolution like years before. Thank you.

Posted on Jul 29, 2013 5:57:23 PM PDT
Steve says:
We have a small "TV Room" ...couch is 16 feet from TV sitting on a credenza, there's an armchair even closer to the TV..currently have a 42 inch old HDTV there...can't decide whether to get the 46 inch UN6030 or the 55 inch UN6030, TV is cable-based, we watch sports, news shows, games, no Blu Ray, our kids are grown and gone to their own places ....I went to the TV showrooms, couldn't figure out ....and don't want to overbuy, but currently a one week sale on all these 3 sizes of UN6030s ... thoughts?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 28, 2013 9:08:47 PM PDT
Numnuts says:
Steve in CT...............when in doubt, ALWAYS go bigger-less regrets.

Posted on Jan 27, 2015 10:48:43 PM PST
Chen Xulian says:
That was a pretty great review. I bought the same samsung tv to replace my previous 10-year old junk but I couldn't stand the cables just hanging around behind the TV. Just not used to them, I guess. I saw this brand called FlexiMounts and they had a ""cable management mount"" for a pretty reasonable price that worked perfectly. It's a must buy if you're as OCD as I am. Hope this helps!
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