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on May 18, 2012
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.

Struggle
--------
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.

Settings
--------

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.

Overall
-------
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

ADVANCE SETTINGS
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

PICTURE OPTIONS
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

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

WHITE BALANCE
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.
5150+ comments| 501 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 9, 2012
I got this TV to upgrade from an older Samsung 46" 60htz LCD which I loved. I spent a lot of time comparing TV brands when buying that first TV and didn't have to do much shopping for this one. I knew that I loved Samsung's picture over any other TV except for some of the Sony Bravias but they're overpriced IMO. I wanted a 55" 3D with at least 120htz and this one fit the bill. I bought the last one on Amazon so I came back here for this purchase. They delivered it quickly and it was in perfect condition as expected.

I was initially aprehensive about this TV after seeing it only got 3 1/2 stars in customer reviews so I read all the reviews. I found that the people who gave the TV a negative review were all upset about the Smart TV internet features. Slow connectivity when using a browser, Netflix, Youtube, etc. I understand their reason for being upset because a TV that includes those features should function properly. Unfortunately these rely heavily on your internet connection speed which may not be fast enough to support them. Oh well, buy a faster internet plan. This TV is on the low end of the Smart TV spectrum so I wouldn't expect those features to perform as well on it considering the other 3 models above it have dual core processors built into them to handle that. Buy one of those models with the dual core if you're main reason for having a TV is to surf the internet or watch youtube. Or just use your computer for that like the rest of us. The actual "TV" is top-notch and the 3D is spectacular!

I agree with some of the reviewers that the picture needs tweaking to get it right. I was fully prepared for that because I had to tweak my last Samsung for a while before getting the picture just right but once it's set, it's awesome. This TV has even more options to tweak so it can get confusing for the inexperienced but it's capable of producing one of the best pictures out there if you know how to tune it. The Dynamic, Standard, and Native picture modes are actually pretty useless unfortunately. Set it to Movie mode and start tweaking. Yes, it starts out dark so increase the backlighting and brightness, bump up the color and sharpness, high auto contrast, darkest black level, etc... If anyone wants my specific settings I'll list them if you ask.

The 3D is simply awesome. Home theater 3D isn't going to be as good as going to an IMAX theater but it's still pretty sweet. One thing to keep in mind is that the picture mode settings that you did in TV mode don't carry over to 3D mode nor do they carry over to the other sources, HDMI in, Component In. So, if you have a PS3 hooked up to HDMI you'll have to edit the picture settings for that source to match the main TV settings so you get the same picture in both. Game Mode limits the amount of settings you can tweak so you have to use your judgement with that but if you match everything you can it'll work out fine. Just remember to turn Game Mode OFF before watching movies because it degrades picture quality.

I'm sure this isn't the best review out there for the TV but it might be of some use to some of you. If you're considering a 3D TV and you're not overly concerned with using it as a web browser and just want a great TV then this is it. Once dialed in, the picture is fantastic and the price is right. If you're interested in the Smart TV features MORE than watching a great and inexpensive 3D TV then pay more money for the next models in the series that have the dual core processor. Regardless, stick with a Samsung because it's always the best picture for the money.
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on March 26, 2017
The panel died after 4 years and the cost of replacing the panel is more than the cost of replacing the TV. When it was working it was a pretty good tv as far as picture quality goes. The SmartHUB appts such as Netflix leave something to be desired as they are very slow. Netflix would often fail to connect (after spinning for a time) and it was often faster to browse Netflix on a tablet and then select the TV as the viewing option. I wouldn't buy a Samsung tv again - the reliability just doesn't seem to be there.
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on March 3, 2013
I purchased this TV four months ago because of my positive experience with an older model Samsung television. I do not have cable/satellite, so my plan was to use this television primarily for its Smart features. Unfortunately, right from the get-go, there were issues with the applications: sound but no picture on Netflix, a green line through the screen on Hulu, and absolutely no connectivity to Amazon Prime. I worked with the Samsung support team to uninstall an update that was causing issues, which then allowed me to use the apps.

Even with the apps working, they did not work as quickly or efficiently as my Roku. Many of the covers/titles in Netflix still did not show up, but at least it was usable. The latest issue has caused me to not be able to use the TV at all. After clicking on an app, it says that it is connecting. After awhile, it times out and tells me that I am not connected to the internet, so I go into the settings to find that the internet is, in fact, connected yet none of the apps will work.

I contacted the support team again only to get this response: "We apologize for the issue you are having with Smarthub. Please know that the issue is not related to your Samsung device. We are experiencing high traffic on our server. We ask that you try to access SmartHub at a later time. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused." When I explained that the Smart Hub was the only feature that I use, she said, "We are working to increase bandwidth on our servers to prevent further instances such as this from occurring." Clearly, that is not an immediate solution to the problem.

Another, unrelated con to purchasing this TV is that the picture quality is nowhere near a good as some of the older model, flat screen Samsungs. Even after following instructions to improve picture quality from another reviewer, the picture still looks pixelated and lackluster in comparison with my older model.

The bottom line: If you're planning to use this TV solely for its internet connectivity and Smart features, save yourself the hassle (and a lot of money) and buy a Roku instead.
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on January 24, 2013
This TV has great picture and sound, and is extremely thin and lightweight. I love being able to stream YouTube and Amazon Prime videos seamlessly through Smart TV. HOWEVER, the whole reason I purchased an ultra-slim TV was to be able to mount flat to the wall. The power cord and two HDMI inputs project straight out of the back, rather than sideways, forcing the TV out at least 2". I am getting some 90 degree HDMI connectors and hoping the power cord wont be too much of an issue on its own. Serious design oversight IMO. Oh well.

**UPDATE**

The HDMI ports are stacked on top of each other, so there isn't enough room for two 90 degree adapters pointing down. You need one 90 degree and one 270 degree adapter so they point in opposite directions. There, I just saved you 5 bucks.

Too bad the power cord still projects out too far. I cut a small hole in the drywall behind it to get the TV lying as flat as possible.
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on January 30, 2016
I bought this because I wanted a TV capable of running Netflix, YouTube, and to connect to my PC so it could play movies and sound files.

The TV does not play .mkv files from my computer (.mp4 and .avi work). The Netflix app is terrible and the quality is bad. I looked online for answers and followed advice (updated firmware, deactivated/reactivated the app). I could/should have bought the non-smart version and just ran the HDMI cable...would have saved myself $500 (difference between smart/non-smart version of this TV in 2013).

I bought a 15' HDMI cable and connected my PC directly to the TV, I run Netflix from the browser. Do not waste your money on a Samsung Smart TV, the apps are not even remotely worth it.
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on March 10, 2013
I purchased this to replace a 46" Samsung I got off of Amazon a few years prior.

PROS:
1) Extremely thin bevel (outside non-screen frame area) Bevel - I should have done my research more carefully; I completely missed how thin the bevel was and missed an opportunity to fit a 55" in the space -- measure carefully!

2) Built in Wi-Fi and comes preloaded with Hulu, Amazon and Netflix. Awesome if you don't have an ethernet port nearby or don't want another wire to wrap and bundle.

3) Picture - very clear, no dropped pixels. Blacks look real good. Everything you would expect from Samsung.

4) 3D w/2 pairs glasses - we're not heavy into 3D, but for the rare occasion, its nice to have the feature and the glasses on-hand.

CONS:
1) Pre-loaded apps -- all the fitness and kiddie stuff is junk. Its bloatware in my mind that should be an optional download.

2) WiFi often doesn't connect automatically; need to go to network settings and tell it to connect. Odd because it would auto-connect initially and at some point stopped working that way. If by chance a setting got changed, I can't locate it and it would seem too easy to inadvertently change to be a good feature.

3) Stand - its not a major con - I just feel that the stand is not as substantially made as my prior Samsung. Perhaps to keep the price point down or increase margins they are pulling back on the quality here. I like the design, I just wish it had a bit better material and weight -- it doesn't feel perfectly suited to hold a TV on an open media table.

Overall, I really like the TV, and would definitely purchase again for a wall-mounted TV due to its super-thin profile.
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on April 13, 2013
I replaced my old rear-projection Mitsubishi 65" TV when it got a "brain disease" after 10 years of excellent service. The fidelity of colors displayed by that top-level rear-projection TV was uncommon. I am a perfectionist and did not believe that one can find an LCD/LED TV displaying pictures of such a quality colors. After several trips to consumer-electronics stores to compare pictures on various TVs, we decided to purchase the Samsung UN65ES6500.
After cumbersome adjustments of color settings in the newly purchased Samsung TV (be aware that there are separate color settings for the TV and for the DVD inputs!) the displayed colors are very good. The picture is stunning. The sound from its two 10-watt speakers is better than I've expected from tiny speakers installed in a slim housing. The 3-D picture is good.

Disadvantages:
1) The user manual is a joke.
2) Multiple color adjustments are very complex. There are 10 separate adjustments for B/W setting! Without a decent user manual it takes much time to set it up correctly. My wife gave up after 20 minutes.
3) There are no standard RCA-type audio jacks for an external audio amplifier, if you want to use external speakers.

Summary: I recommend it as a very good HDTV, better than most of other products.
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on March 18, 2013
I received this TV two week ago. I was supposed to received it on a Friday but I didn't get it until Tuesday. The biggest thing I was worried about was light bleed. This TV has a little bit of it but not enough to send it back. The whole screen has to be black before you really notice it. I have not calibrated it yet because I want to get 50 hours on it before I do. But, I do notice the soap opera effect. I did not purchase the TV for the SMART features, I have a ROKU for that. It does have a great picture and all pixels are firing. The speakers are good if you have a quite room, but if the dishwasher is going or kids are screaming, you will definitely need a sound-bar. This was my first HD LED TV. I did get a 5 year warranty in-case the light bleed get worse or the mother board goes out. The 2d to 3d conversion is pretty cool also, my kids love it. Looking forward to getting a 3d blu-ray player. I did not take off stars for the smart features because as I said, I have a ROKU. I rated it 4 stars because of the light bleed as each of the four corners, if it didn't have that, I would have gave it five stars. Like I said, this is my first HD LED TV, so I do not have anything to compare it too.
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on November 3, 2012
I bought this TV on August 2012. The picture quality was excellent, and it was exactly what I was expecting since I already owned two other Samsung HDTVs. However, the 3D functionality wasn't working for my PS3 or my computer (it worked only for the 3D features offered directly from the TV, but not for external devices). I tried everything: using different HDMI cables, going through every single option in both the TV and my PS3, read every internet article about the subject, and nothing worked. In the end I wound up calling Samsung because I figured it was a problem with the TV.

It was a painful process because I had to call them multiple times, and every time I had to go through the same description of what was going on. I believe they thought I was doing something wrong, so they kept on escalating the issue hoping someone would make me realize I was making a mistake with my setup; but of course no one was able to help me because no one knew what was going on. In the end they sent a guy to my house, who of course didn't know what the the problem was either, so he just decided to replace the main board on my tv. I am happy to say that the 3D functionality started working after that, but man, it took them a long time to finally conceed that the problem was on their end. In fact, they actually made me buy a Samsung Blu-Ray player just to make sure it wan't a problem that somehow all my external devices had.

Still, I'm going to give the TV 4 stars because I'm quite happy with it now that it works, plus I haven't seen anybody else having the same issue in forums. I don't usually write reviews, but I wanted to let people know what the problem could be in case their 3D functionality doesn't work.
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