Top positive review
127 people found this helpful
Excellent edge-lit LED TV
on April 1, 2011
After several months of using this TV, here are my impressions. Note that I'm using Antenna HD, PS3 Bluray, and DVD.
The thin bezel design and glass(stem) stand is gorgeous, it feels like the picture is floating on the stand. The thin bezel really enhances the picture by minimizing reflections. It's really refreshing to not have a thick glossy bezel shining at you when watching TV; although the bezel itself seems to get mighty hot after several hours of use. The screen is glass and it does have reflections in daylight. It will probably annoy those of you that have a lot of glare coming from windows.
HD picture quality is outstanding while SD ranges from good to OK. The SD quality really depends on your broadcasting source; higher quality SD means good SD picture. Blacks are good, but I believe the processing engine goes a bit overboard and saturates the blacks to a point where details are lost. I haven't found out how to tone down the blacks, even after shutting off all the processing. Colors seem to really pop out, if it's too much one can adjust RGB in the menus. Initially, this TV did not exhibit any noticeable clouding for several months but now I can clearly see clouding on a completely dark transition screen. I'm a bit disappointed it has developed clouding over time, but it's not bad enough that you'll notice it during tv viewing. This is an edge-lit LCD and there are inherit weaknesses. Motion picture quality is very smooth and artifacts are kept to a minimum; in fact, this is the smoothest picture I've ever seen on any HDTV.
This TV has quite a few options for tuning the picture. There's standard, dynamic, natural, and movie modes. Each mode has it's own saved settings. For my normal viewing, I started with the movie settings while in Standard mode and made a few adjustments to brighten up the screen. Movie mode has a "warm2" color tone that I changed to "standard" since I don't like warm colors for normal viewing. For movies, I use the movie mode where the colors and brightness are toned down, with relatively few adjustments made. The natural and dynamic modes are horrendous, don't even go there. There's some fine adjustments in each mode with backlight, contrast, sharpness, hue, brightness, color, etc.
Has HDMI 1.4 connections, which allow 1 Audio Return and single Ethernet connections (with specific high speed compatible HDMI cables and other HDMI 1.4 devices). Has 1 composite connection and 1 component (both use supplied extension plugs). Switching between sources is a tad slow to me, wish it was bit faster. Note that the optical out connection will transfer Dolby Digital sound from the antenna input, but it will only transfer stereo sound if you are connecting a device from HDMI and outputting the sound using optical out.
Sound comes from the back panel and these kinds of tvs always sound odd. It's definitely loud enough, but not as good as a tv with good front speakers. You can use simulated surround sound and it's not bad at all. The one annoying thing is your sound settings are kept the same as you change your input sources; even after you've configured one input source as having movie sound settings. You can use the equalizer to adjust the sound to your liking. I might buy a sound bar to accompany this tv.
I took a little while to play around with the apps, they're ok but respond pretty slow. Just your standard apps, nothing impressive. It does have an app store where you can purchase more apps but I didn't try that. I found youtube to be a bit odd. I started up youtube and it showed me the annoying orange video on startup; really strange it just loaded up with that video.
The photo viewer is pretty decent, seems a bit slow in rendering the pictures from a USB stick. I've also played some AVI and MKV files on the TV and it looks good to me. MKV files do not seem to have subtitle options.
I bought the Samsung SSG-3100GB bluetooth glasses for 2011 3D TVs. The glasses are great and much better than the old versions I tried out on a 2010 TV. It syncs up really well and I don't notice ghosting. There is a 3D button on the remote where you can convert 2D programming to 3D; this is done on the fly using the TV's processor. The 2D-3D is applied minimally so it isn't great; you will barely notice the 3D effects on the conversion. However, watching true 3D movies is great but 46" is really small for 3D. What others say about having a 50" plus TV is true if you want to experience the depth of 3D. What truly blows me away is playing 3D games through the Playstation 3. I started Wipeout HD up and I was giggling like a silly schoolgirl for a while. It really blew my mind how the 3D enhances the fun of games.
Remote is pretty decent. It has a your standard TV buttons as well as a way to control playback on other sources with fast forward, rewind, stop, play. Remote has a backlight you can activate.
Here are some basic calibration settings I used.
0) Standard Mode
1) Backlight: 13
2) Contrast: 93
3) Brightness: 45
4) Sharpening: 10 (keep this low!)
5) Color: 45
6) Tint R/G: 50, 50
7) Color Tone: Auto
8) Dynamic Contrast: Low
Additionally, I nearly turned off all the processing (including motion plus)
Very good TV with an inherit weakness in edge-lit LED technology in that you will find some uneven lighting and clouding. This might be as good as edge-lit LED is going to get. I gave it a 4 star here but it's really more 4.5 out of 5. I won't give it a 5 because true local-dimmed LED TVs have better contrast and color consistency, but you'll be paying a lot more (unless you buy the ugly Vizio LED TVs).
I upgraded to the newest firmware and noticed after rebooting it reset all my settings. I don't see anything different except I noticed how crappy the picture was. It's important you do not leave the it on the default settings as the picture quality is pretty horrendous. Use my settings as a baseline, especially keep sharpening low, turn off motion plus, and you will see the potential of this tv.
I recently noticed that my tv was tilted down to the left a little as it sits on the supplied stand. I took out a tape measure and noticed the left end was nearly 1/4" lower than the right side. This really bugged me so i took apart the stand and slipped a piece of paper folded several times in the gap where you screw in the stand. This helped balance it perfectly.