Customer Review

493 of 521 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Struggle, Pain, and Joy, May 18, 2012
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This review is from: Samsung UN60ES6500 60-Inch 1080p 120Hz 3D Slim LED HDTV (Black) (2012 Model) (Electronics)
This review is for the 60" model.

First Impressions
The box is *huge*. The TV is *thin*. Not even an inch at the edge, and maybe just over in the center. The menus are pretty straightforward. (I don't care too much about the 3D or Smart features of this TV at the moment, and don't have much frame of reference for how to judge modern 3D, so I can't really review these aspects.) The screen doesn't seem too glossy, but it apparently works very well as a mirror because I can see a negative image of my kitchen when it's off.

One extremely annoying "feature" of these TVs that I've found out after purchase is the "CE Dimming" feature. This is not the "ECO Dimming" or anything you can control; It's hard-coded into the certain picture modes (Standard and Native, at least). This feature is something that will reduce the backlighting when there is mostly black on the screen. (For example, if there is 100% brightness white text on a pure black screen, it would actually display at a fraction of that intensity due to the backlight dimming). I've read that this is to reduce the appearance of light bleeding in from the edges, since it's edge-lit. This "feature" annoys me significantly, particularly because I am not allowed to control it. After searching around I found out this is called "CE Dimming" and you can hack it by going into the service menu (you can find the instructions online yourself), however messing with it apparently voids the warranty. The only picture mode I found that doesn't use this is "Movie" mode. But, movie mode looks terrible with its default settings.

After 3 days of struggle, experimentation, and research, I've found settings that actually give me a picture I can call "good" or better. I'm not an expert, but I'm technical and pretty picky. So, because I have found no calibration settings for this series of TVs yet, I'm going to provide the ones I am using, if only to prevent any of you from having to obsess over this for hours and hours. I'll offer a little bit of explanation as to why I'm setting it the way I am. I got some guidance and expertise from a known site, but as of right now they do not have professionally calibrated settings. What I did is by eye only.


Picture Mode: Movie
Backlight: 15
Contrast: 100
Brightness: 46
Sharpness: 10
Color: 50
Tint: 50/50

Dynamic Contrast: Off
Black Tone: Off
Flesh Tone: 0
RGB Off: Auto
Color Space: Auto
White Balance: 25 for all
10p White Balance (R, G, B): ON
- Interval 1: -8, -7, -7
- Interval 2: -10, -3, 2
- Interval 3: -9, -2, 6
- Interval 4: -9, -1, 8
- Interval 5: -10, 1, 10
- Interval 6: -6, 3, 10
- Interval 7: -9, 5, 10
- Interval 8: -1, 5, 8
- Interval 9: -5, 1, 6
- Interval 10: 0, 2, 0
Gamma: 0

Color Tone: Warm2
Digital Noise Filter: Off
MPEG Noise Filter: Off
HDMI Black Level: LOW
Film Mode: Auto2
Auto Motion Plus: Clear
LED Motion Plus: On

Comments on the Settings
Movie mode is the only mode I found that doesn't use "CE Dimming", which is a huge annoyance to me. (I'd rather see edge-lighting, easily. Not sure why I can't control that, Samsung.) Backlight, brightness, and color are kind of like salt and pepper: Use to personal taste in your environment.

A note about almost all the other settings: I like an eye-popping, colorful picture as much as the next guy, but I don't like it at the expense of information loss. From my own experimentation (in Standard and Native modes), all the Dynamic Contrast and Black Tone settings did was flatten out the low end of the blacks. Dark scenes look like "paint by number" with all kinds of banding and digital multiplication/division. Lame, worthless settings if that is the effect, and a problem in general with "digital" stuff.

Standard white balance isn't fine-grained enough to make the adjustments to any of the picture modes that are necessary, in my opinion. I messed with it for a long time, so I know. :) The only way to get actual, fine-grained color control is to use the 10p White Balance settings. Now, I only know this from messing around with it, but what this does is allow you to control the individual colors R, G, and B as 10 different intensities, from black to white. So, Interval 1 is the darkest reds, greens, and blues (close to black), and Interval 10 is the brightest R, G, and B, close to white. If you use "Expert Pattern 1" you can see how this works. Short summary?: Red is WAY over-represented and blue is WAY under-represented when everything is set at 0. Everything looked neon until I calibrated this, particularly the reds, and greens to some extent. (Maybe they can create a "1980's" picture mode!)

The noise filters aren't needed when you have everything calibrated correctly. They are kind of an excuse for having the eye-popping over-saturated settings that Standard and Dynamic mode come with. I'm not too sure on the Film Mode and LED Motion Plus. They didn't give me any noticible changes. The Auto Motion plus is nice, but I found that it starts getting choppy when you have other effects going on, including a lowered sharpness (I imagine it must be doing some extra calculations for that.) So, I only set it to Clear because it doesn't seem to get choppy with that set, but still provides some stability and smoothness in fast scenes.

I give the picture (once it is set correctly) a 5/5. The fact that I can't adjust certain "features", combined with the level of screwing around it requires to make the picture look good makes me lower that. Seriously Samsung... why can't there be a default mode in here that has professionally calibrated settings? You must know that the reds are way too saturated, right? You can still set it to "Standard Mode" by default to create eye-popping pictures that make people buy the TV. But with all your expertise, why not just have a mode that has all this stuff pre-calibrated and save us the time?

EDIT (2012-05-28): After further tinkering, I think I have refined settings to make the picture pop a little more without ruining the picture. Use above settings, but adjust to these:
Dynamic Contrast: LOW
Black Tone: Darker
HDMI Black Level: LOW
Color Space: Native

EDIT (2012-11-06): Now there are finally professionally calibrated settings available (have been for a few months). You can do a search for "un60es6500 calibration" and it's one of the top results. But, there are problems with those settings. The major one is the regular "White Balance" blue offset setting. They say to use 28. The problem with this is that increasing the offset makes the black baseline move up. So, 100% black now appears brighter. I've adjusted their settings and come up with a slight modification that I think looks fantastic. (Also, my experience with the latest firmware 001023 from Nov 1 was NOT GOOD. It wouldn't allow any picture mode except Dynamic. I did a factory reset, and things are better now.)

Picture Mode Movie
Backlight 17
Contrast 100
Brightness 45
Sharpness 10
Color 60
Tint G50/R50

Dynamic Contrast Low
Black Tone Off
Flesh Tone 0
RGB Only Mode Off
Color Space Native
10pt White Balance On
Gamma -1
Expert Pattern Off
xvYCC Off

Color Tone Warm2
Digital Noise Filter Off
MPEG Noise Filter Off
HDMI Black Level Low
Film Mode Film2
Auto Motion Plus Clear
LED Motion Plus Off

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

Setting Value
R-Offset 25
G-Offset 25
B-Offset 25
R-Gain 18
G-Gain 23
B-Gain 25

EDIT (2012-12-02): I've recently updated to the latest firmware version 001024 and I think it is an improvement. With that update, I've adjusted my settings to the above, but with Gamma -2 and Black Tone: Dark and Color Tone: Warm 1. Looks great to me!

EDIT (2013-01-02): I've recently updated to firmware version 001025. I might be me imagining it, but I think the video quality degraded slightly, and the issue with SmartHub (where the SmartHub will just pop up randomly, for a second or two, for no reason) is still there. Samsung needs to get their sheet together, because this is just silly, for a $2000 product. But hey, once you've got their money, who cares!

EDIT (2013-02-18): The SmartHub problem is fixed now. It apparently just needed to be updated to the latest version, and wasn't an issue with the firmware, as I'm still on 001025 and haven't had that issue in over a month.
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Tracked by 15 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 67 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 7, 2012 4:36:11 AM PDT
M Schlottke says:
After 1 day, I totally agree with the overpowering Reds. I am going to try these settings.
My son loves the new tv and asked why the tv made his games look so real.
VERY easy to do the intial set-up out of the box.

Posted on Jun 12, 2012 8:46:58 PM PDT
Jon says:
This is leaps and bounds above how it came out of the box. I bumped the backlight up to 18 and the color up to 60 but this looked good as it was anyways. The 10p white balance adjustments made a huge difference it seems. I was getting frustrated with the settings but seem to have it dialed in now. Was surprised at the lack of posts about this elsewhere with this TV. Only had a few days with the TV so far but have been really enjoying it, more so now. Thank you for posting this.

Posted on Aug 1, 2012 12:17:13 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 1, 2012 12:18:44 PM PDT
J. Tyrrell says:
This is from Television most calibrations are done in movie mode (same for If you haven't found the magic numbers yet,this might be worth your effort.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 2, 2012 6:36:45 PM PDT
Some Dude says:
Thanks... unfortunately the link doesn't give detailed 10p settings, just the basic ones. The biggest issue was tinkering with the 10p.

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 5:18:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 14, 2012 5:25:12 AM PDT
Dixon says:
Hey thanks so much for these settings! They really make for a great picture. I can't believe how good it looks now! Just wanted to let ya know that it was a big help. Thanks again!

Posted on Aug 14, 2012 8:00:43 PM PDT
Wow, thank you for posting these settings. Night and day difference, well done!

Posted on Aug 20, 2012 11:48:30 PM PDT
G. P. Yung says:
How even is the backlight? Any clouding for flashlighting? I'm sending back a 65ST50 which had awesome blacks and colors, but I couldn't live with the banding and DSE. I know sometimes its luck of the draw, but thank you for the great review.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 21, 2012 6:44:47 AM PDT
Some Dude says:
Well, I don't have much experience with other TVs, but at standard backlight levels, the picture looks totally uniform if the screen is a solid color. On a totally black screen with the backlight at 15/20, I only notice I slight clouding at the lower left edge. Likely just on my specific TV.

Also, there is a slight degradation in contrast (very slight) if you're more than 10 degrees off center. You only notice it if you're trying to.

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 11:31:24 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 4:28:50 PM PDT
NYCchick says:
Thank you SO much for sharing your calibration. I almost returned this 2 hours after pulling out of the box.
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