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Great Picture - Software May Need Work
on March 25, 2014
This review is of the first 24 hours of use on our new UN50H6400.
Setup was fairly easy. Onscreen display guides through the basics of source and internet connections. It did have some issues connecting via WiFi. My wireless router is dual band with both 2.4 and 5GHz bands with the same SSID. I ended up having to rename the 5GHz band SSID in my router before the TV would connect. *Update* 03/30/2014 We ended up connecting the TV via hardwired connection to the network for higher bandwidth streaming 3D playback as the WiFi could not keep up.
Initial picture quality is amazing. This is coming from someone who has been used to watching a smaller and much earlier model of LCD HD TV. The contrast between lights and darks and the details that can be seen in high contrast scenes is something I noticed right off. The 3D demos available on the TV also looked amazing as did a couple I tried from Netflix. The simulated 3D looked surprisingly good as well, testing it on a couple of video sources. I'm not sure I would want to watch most shows this way, but it works better than I would have thought. I have yet to calibrate this TV properly, but will update when I have a chance to delve into the advanced settings more thoroughly.
Had a chance to do a full calibration with a colorimeter. The 10-point white balance worked very well requiring significant adjustments to red and some to blue above 50%, although there was not a significant difference in grays at each step < 50%, while grays above 50% were fairly similar as well. The 2 point calibration would probably get most people close enough. That said, once the 10-point was complete, the white balance looked fantastic at all levels. Color was only slightly off from factory defaults at 100%. Lower % values varied a bit, but I did not mess with trying to adjust these because I believe it would require access to the service menu. Sharpness was best at < 10. Much more introduced significant moire effects in test patterns. When viewing full screen grays, there is visible light falloff in the corners of the TV and there is a kind of stage curtain effect at even points across the top and bottom of the screen. I don't know the technical name for this, but it is like stage lights shining up and down from the bottom and top. This must be due to the way they redirect the edge lighting, and is probably common for most edge lit LED TVs. It is not noticeable during regular viewing. After a full calibration, this TV looks even better than it did initially. No serious complaints from me on picture quality.
The remote has been redesigned from the 2013 models which I had considered buying, but did not like because of the lack of play/pause/FF/RW buttons. Samsung has added these buttons to this model and it works very well. The Wii like feature of pointing and clicking works okay, but sometimes the cursor and the remote get way out of sync and are not pointing at the same spot. I quickly learned that having your finger (or thumb) from the touch pad activates the cursor and removing and retouching the pad resets the cursor. Overall this work fairly well. The cursor does not appear to work in the Apps though. Netflix and Amazon Instant video still requires using the arrow keys to navigate and you must bring up the pop-up on-screen remote to use the keys that are not on the physical remote. This is a mild inconvenience. I would personally have preferred that the remote be larger and include all the buttons.
This TV will primarily be used for streaming video through Netflix, Amazon, etc so these features were of prime concern. As noted above, the remote doesn't seem to work the same in the apps. Otherwise, Netflix and Amazon both played wonderful looking HD video. One item I did notice was that Netflix was much darker than all the other sources and apps and I had to turn up the back-light for just this app. Not sure why this is yet. Once, during an Amazon Prime Video playback the sound cut off for no apparent reason. I tried closing the app and restarting but then realized the sound on the entire TV was out, not just in the app. I had to power off the TV and power it back on to get sound back.
I have also tried Hulu and Vudu apps. Hulu has some issues properly refreshing the list of videos after using the back button. There also seem to be some issues during peak times with playback at 3.2Mb/s quality setting. There were no problems streaming at this setting the other night, but today it keep having to pause to buffer the video. Once the setting was lowered to 2Mb/s there were no more issues. This was not our connection as we were getting 50+Mb/s through several test sites around the U.S. at that time. I suspect this is a bandwidth issue on Hulu's end. Also tried a couple movies on Vudu with no issues. Very nice looking 3D as well.
Other Apps: I only briefly played with other apps, including the web browser. After opening the web browser, the first thing I did was set the search engine to Google from the Bing default. As soon as I entered a search the browser crashed and I had to restart it. I attempted to search again and the entire TV froze and required a power cycle to get it working again. I haven't been back to try the browser again. *Update* 03/30/2014 Browser still has issues. I was able to go to a couple sites today, but it eventually locked up the entire TV and only by unplugging the TV could I get it to do anything. There haven't been any software updates that I have seen yet, but its only been a week.
Summarizing my initial impressions: The picture seems great. Software is buggy. At least software can be fixed with updates. Hopefully Samsung will address these issues. I will try and update this review as I use the TV more.