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Sharp LC-52D65U Review

Posted by Adminstator | 8:13 PM | | 0 comments »

Description: Full HD 1080p 60Hz 52" Diagonal LCD TV
Resolution: 1920 X 1080
Power Consumption: 285W
Reviewer: Jack Burden
Date: April 2009

Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 14 feet

Up conversion from 480i and 480p: The Sharp has stellar processing in some cases. Horizontal and Vertical line information was displayed with no dithering in our HQV Film Resolution Loss Test. The processing was better than even many very high end TVs and one of the only units testing that did not exhibit strobing during this test in at least one of the test boxes.

Up conversion from a 480i signal was solid but the picture went a little soft. With a common 2:35:1 DVD one needs to use the Zoom aspect ratio feature which weakens definition in the picture even more.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
The blinds in the background in this scene from Step Mom displayed with no dithering movement and artifacts. This is an impressive result verifying excellent internal processing boards.

720p/1080i/1080p Picture Quality: The HD picture on the LC-52D65U was very defined once we calibrated the unit. There was a certain lack of depth as the picture information appeared somewhat flat to me. I believe this was caused in part by an overactive anti-glare screen, which also decreases the appearance of contrast in a brightly lit room. There was also a evident lack of dark shadow detail. Color information appeared natural and not over saturated.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Though the Sharp LC-52D65U wasnt overly bright after calibration these images from The Manchurian Candidate are impressive with vivid detail.

Black Level: Black levels look good front and center but off to the side at 40 degrees blacks begin fading to a dark purplish hue and this effect remains at further angles.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Note the difference in the top and bottom bars from the front and at a 40 degree angle. In the picture at right from this scene from Perfume it's easy to note the dark purple hue creeping into blacks.

Dark Shadow Detail: The LC-52D65U had relatively weak dark shadow detail which would be expected with the deficient contrast ratio we tested. See Calibration measurements and contrast here.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
The LC-52D65U struggled with dark shadow detail as in this scene from The San Fransisco Philarmonic playing in our Dolby Test DVD. Note the lack of detail in darker areas of clothing.

Color Rendition/Color Accuracy: Once calibrated, color information on the LC-52D65U appeared realistic and vibrant.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Sharp LC-52D65U Review
We felt colors were very realistic overall but that flesh tones were slightly washed out as in these two scenes from the HD version of comedy Benchwarmers.

Viewing Angle/Off Axis Viewing: As noted in black level section above, contrast begins to degrade at around 40 degrees on this LCD. Sharp is known for having high quality LCD panels which they manufacture at their own factories, so I was surprised at this result. We suspect it has to do with the anti-glare screen contained on this LCD.

Motion Lag: With fast motion the Sharp performed relatively well for an LCD. In scenes when the camera panned from side to side there was obvious jerkiness as if there camera was hitting bumps along the way. Though this is common with LCD TVs, it is never pleasant. This was also apparent in our HQV Stadium seating test. No moire' pattern appeared but the jerkiness as the camera tracked from one end of the stadium to the other was apparent.

False Contouring/ Mapping: There was some false contouring and mapping apparent in 480i test content. Lack of detail in dark areas also accentuated blotching.

Exceptions: While the anti-glare screen on this LCD does reduce a lot of glare from ambient lighting, it causes contrast and black levels to degrade at early angles.

Features: And I quote from the manual, "When using the remote control unit, point it at the TV." Despite inclusion of this comment for the vapid, the manual is clear and concise. This is not the high end Sharp with the latest and greatest features such as 120Hz processing (this unit has 60Hz processing) but it does have a fast response time for an LCD reducing motion lag in fast moving objects. It also has some interesting features such as a Monochrome setting for black and white content, and a difficult to use color management system. It also has an unusual picture Freeze feature.

Audio Output: The Sharp had good voluminous sound and relatively crisp compared to most inbuilt speakers. It had good pop in the high and mid ranges as we could even discern fret buzz during replay of our Dave Matthews Dolby Digital test DVD. The bass however was weak even with the bass enhancer feature cranked all the way to 10. Overall though I thought the audio performance for TV speakers was excellent.

Video Aspect Ratio Sizing: With most inputs there are 4 options S. Stretch, Zoom, Side Bar, Stretch. You will want to use the Zoom setting for 2:35:1 DVDs. With HDMI input signals there is the addition of Dot by Dot and Full Screen options. The Sharp manual gives excellent instruction about which setting to use with varying content.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Using the Zoom setting while viewing the 2:35:1 480i DVD Step Mom rendered images a little soft as in this picture of the horse farm. Notice the blurry edges around the horses.

Inputs: As with most all TVs these days the Sharp has plenty of inputs. There are 5 HDMI inputs with one of these housed conveniently on the side of the TV. There is also a USB port placed there which allows the user to quickly load and view pictures or other content. To see the full input options for the LC-52D65U click here.

Aesthetic Considerations: The Sharp LC-52D65U scores very well in this category with nice clean lines and small non-distracting bezel. There is a thin gray metal speaker grill strip accented in the bottom of the unit. We measure the depth at an impressively sleek 3.8" making this TV ideal to wall mount.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review

Remote Control/Menu Functionality: There is a convenient set of controls placed on the side of the TV, out of view, but easily accessible should you misplace your remote control or need this option for a trade show. The accompanying manual gives clear instruction.

Price/Quality Considerations: At a $1449 average price the Sharp LC-52D65U delivers a big value for a 52" LCD. Picture performance is slightly above average in the crowded LCD TV market while aesthetically the Sharp has a big advantage. Compared with the Samsung LN52A550 the sharp is priced very competitively, about $400 less. The Sony 52XBR6 is priced well out this category and the Sony 52V4100 is of less quality and still about $250 more than this LCD.

Compare all our TV Reviews

Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). A rating in the 60s for any particular category of a product review indicates a serious defect which causes the product not to operate properly. Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.

Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony Playstation 3, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro, Sencore signal generator.

This review format and all of the headings, sub headings and paragraph titles are part of a copyrighted process. Any unauthorized reproduction or use, either in full or in part, of this product review format is expressly prohibited.

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Samsung LN52A850 Review

Posted by Adminstator | 8:12 PM | | 1 comments »

52" HD LCD 1980 X 1366 Resolution
Reviewer: Robert Wiley with Jack Burden

INTRODUCTION

The LN52A850 is the newest high end TV in Samsungs Winter 2008/2009 lineup. One of the key feature differences is the new DLNA compliance certification of this TV over the LN52A750. Another big feature difference is the slim 1.9" cabinet housing. It certainly looks sleek on the table stand. The Touch of Color red accents remain on this series. The 120Hz refresh rate (Auto Motion Plus) feature is still present as well. Find out below how we rate all these features (one especially needs be careful with the 120Hz refresh rate).

PICTURE QUALITY RATING: 93/100

Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 13 feet

Samsung LN52A850 Review
This scene from 300 shows the excellent definition and rich color of the LN52A850

720p/1080i/1080p Picture Quality: Color information with HD content is vibrant and accurate. Many LCD TVs have the tendency to oversaturate color information but the Samsung LN52A850 displays accurate, realistic colors along with deeply penetrating blacks to produce excellent depth. It's important to note again that the 120Hz (auto motion plus) processing feature needs to be turned off to maximize depth and not introduce a contrived appearance. You will be rewarded by this strategy. Dark Shadow detail in the Blu Ray version of 300 occasionally got oversaturated with blacks losing detail.

Samsung LN52A850 Review
Accurate color information is a trademark of this excellent TV as displayed
here in the Blu Ray version of Little Man

Up conversion from 480i and 480p: Processing is excellent on this high end TV. An excellent chip set is one of the upgrades you get when moving up the offering ladder of a brand like Samsung. The processing chip sets did an excellent job with 3:2 pulldown upconversion to native resolution – removing motion artifacts and smoothing images. I was very impressed. Motion lag and some jerkiness does remain as in most LCDs even with the 120Hz processing feature turned on.

HQV Processor Testing: We tested the Samsung TV with the Auto Motion Plus feature (120hz) on. With HD signals there was little to no background noise. During video resolution loss testing the LCDs processor performed superbly. Diagonal Filter tests also yielded excellent processing showing little to no jaggies on the horizontal moving bar test. The LN52A850 has a stellar video processor. The only drawback was during the film resolution loss test, there was slight distortion in the upper right quadrant block of the test screen.

Black Level: Honest black levels characterize this LCD TV. Black levels appear natural and without the haziness which is pervasive of most LCD TVs. This is partly due to the transparent plexiglass outer screen as opposed to a severe anti glare screen. The black levels are nearly plasma like.

Dark Shadow Detail: Blacks can get slightly oversaturated at times blotting out detail – especially with some HD content. Overall, though we liked the tradeoff with dark matter detailing still solid.

Samsung LN52A850 Review
Shadow detail was sometimes overpowered by oversaturating blacks
as seen in the hair of Lena Headey in 300

Viewing Angle/Off Axis Viewing: This Samsung TV has excellent viewing angle for an LCD – nearly 120 degrees before degrading contrast.

Motion Lag: As mentioned above there was consistent motion lag and jerkiness with almost any signal and especially when panning side to side. The 120Hz feature does cut down on motion lag but is not recommended for film content.

Exceptions: We recommend turing off the Auto Motion Plus feature when viewing film based content including TV programming. There is a good bit of glare from the gloss screen, but it's a tradeoff we like.

FEATURES RATING: 92/100

Video Aspect Ratio Sizing: Aspect ratio processing and sizing was spot on non-distorted from a variety of input sources. Selection is 16:9, 4:3, Zoom 1, 2, 3.

Inputs: There is plenty of input selection including 3 HDMI inputs, 2 component, one 15 pin D sub (for computer). This TV also adds an Infolink USB port.

Aesthetic Considerations: The LN52A850 is quite attractive at only 1.9" depth its one of the thinnest on the market. The Touch of Color is nice and classy. The bezel frame is a little large for me at 2.75" on top and bottom (of the screen). It can throw off significant glare as our pictures show.

Samsung LN46A750 Review
The thumb wheel is slick but not fast enough for us.

Remote Control/Menu Functionality: The menu system on the on the LN52A850 has an excellent little tutorial which helps the user understand what each function does. It's a slick looking- transparent menu but the scrolling navigation wheel is not fast to use. It's a little cumbersome when you want to make a quick adjustment. Another negative here is the gloss black remote which shows fingerprints too readily. The remote is backlit but does not have an aspect ratio button on it. The source button controls input selection.

To get to the Auto Motion Plus (120Hz) setting go to: Picture, then scroll down to Picture Options, then scroll down to Auto Motion Plus where you can turn it On or Off using the side arrow keys.

Audio Output: Audio output was excellent from our Dolby Digital Test disc. Volume level was plentiful and sound rich and full at just 35% of capacity. Virtual Surround sound effects also impressed us from the 10W X 10W speakers.

Features: Adding to the large increases in features and functionality of the 750 series such as Home Viewing Gallery or MPEG3 is the 1.9" depth and DLNA compliance (available only through certain devices using certain software. The aesthetics otherwise are very similar as is the menu system.

VALUE RATING: 85/100

At around $2500 this 52" LCD offers a ton of value. It's got a great feature set and picture and the 1.9" depth is a premium feature. This LCD sells at a nice discount to its Sony competition KDL-52XBR6 and just a slight premium to its own brother the Samsung LN52A750. Other price/quality competitors such as the LG 52LG60 and the Sharp LC-52D85U do sell at several hundred dollars discount to this LCD. It's a richly competitive LCD size range with most brands having several models in this important size category. In a crowded field of entries this LCD's strongest point is not its price.

OVERALL RATING: 90.75/100

Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). A rating in the 60s for any particular category of a product review indicates a serious defect which causes the product not to operate properly. Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.

Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, JVC HM-DH40000U HD Video Cassete player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro, Sencore signal generator.

This review format and all of the headings, sub headings and paragraph titles are part of a copyrighted process. Any unauthorized reproduction or use, either in full or in part, of this product review format is expressly prohibited.

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Samsung LN46A750 Review

Posted by Adminstator | 8:12 PM | | 0 comments »

INTRODUCTION

The Samsung LN46A750 is a current Fall 2008 LCD TV model. This LCD is next to the top of the lineup for Samsung's current model offerings second only to the LN46A850.

PICTURE QUALITY RATING: 93/100

Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 12 feet

Up conversion from 480i and 480p: Color information from this Samsung TV is natural and realistic and displays extremely well. There is notable motion blur/lag with the LCD regardless whether the 120hz Auto Motion processing is on or off. The jerky effect of the motion lag was evident in Braveheart, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Risky Business. In other words, it was not an anomaly with any one source. This may not be a result of the upconversion though. Overall I thought the upconversion processing was excellent delivering clear sharp images on even the most difficult old DVDs.

Samsung LN46A750 Review
Color information from this Samsung LCD is natural, realistic
and displays extremely well

720p/1080i/1080p Picture Quality: Motion Lag continues to be an issue even with HD content. We highly recommend that for any film source (I.e. DVDs, Blu Ray, movie programming) that the user tune the Auto Motion Plus (120hz) processing to OFF position. Otherwise, images may seem to look as if they are cardboard cutouts and all of the techniques the studios use to create realism in movies is removed. Watching movies with the 120hz processing on will reveal cheap movie sets in the background and will give the movie a kitchy non-realistic feel that is quite a turnoff. You will see detail in unintended areas. And picture depth will disappear entirely. Once the 120hz processing is turned off, the picture returns to an excellent experience with superb detail – yet not in unintended areas. The one drawback is that motion lag will be worse once the 120hz processing is turned off. It's a tradeoff you will want. Viewing the recent Blue Ray release of Iron Man was pleasurable in many ways. Blacks were excellent for an LCD and color rendition was spot on even in flesh tones. And there was more crisp definition than one could ask for in the suite of armor. This movie has lots of action and fast motion and panning side to side - all of which produced considerable motion lag jerkiness.

We only recommend the 120hz processing be turned on for sports programming. See directions on how to turn this function on or off below in the remote/menu function section.

Samsung LN46A750 Review
This TV is fairly dark for an LCD, but the black levels really shine.

HQV Processor Testing: We tested the Samsung with the Auto Motion Plus feature (120hz) on. With HD signals there was little to no background noise. During video resolution loss testing the LCDs processor performed superbly. Diagonal Filter tests also yielded excellent processing showing little to no jaggies on the horizontal moving bar test. This Samsung TV has a stellar video processor. The only drawback was during the film resolution loss test, there was slight distortion in the upper right quadrant block of the test screen.

Black Level: Honest black levels characterize this LCD TV. Black levels appear pretty natural due to the transparent plexiglass outer screen (as opposed to an antiglare screen). The black levels are not plasma like but are very good for an LCD.

Dark Shadow Detail: Blacks can get slightly oversaturated at times blotting out detail – especially with some HD content. Overall, though we liked the tradeoff with dark matter detailing still solid.

Samsung LN46A750 Review
Colors appeared natural and accurate (post calibration)
with several of our review DVDs

Color Rendition/Color Accuracy: Colors appeared natural and accurate (post calibration) with several of our review DVDs, blues in the mountain scenes and flesh tones on Mel Gibson's face in Braveheart.

Viewing Angle/Off Axis Viewing: Off angle viewing was very good on this LCD. Contrast doesn't begin to degrade until around 120 degrees at side angles – an excellent result. This is due in part to the non-antiglare transparent gloss screen used with this LCD TV as well as the quality of the LCD panel.

Motion Lag: There was motion lag and jerkiness evident in our Dolby Digital test Blu Ray DVD.

Exceptions: Turn the 120Hz processing OFF when watching film and show content. The screen does throw off a lot of glare on this TV especially for an LCD.

Note: For this reviews purposes, I have not subtracted points for the LCDs glare issues since lighting conditions can be controlled. If you have a brightly lit room or background lighting you will want to take this into account.

FEATURES RATING: 90/100

Video Aspect Ratio Sizing: Aspect ratio processing and sizing was spot on non-distorted from a variety of input sources. Selection is 16:9, 4:3, Zoom 1, 2, 3.

Inputs: 3 HDMI inputs, 2 component, one 15 pin D sub (for computer) and a USB port round out a generous supply of input compatibility.

Aesthetic Considerations: The LN46A750 is quite attractive if not a bit cheap feeling. It doesnt have the weight that it's previously reviewed brother plasma has. The back panel is made of thin plastic. The plexi overscreen coat is also a little cheap feeling. The Touch of Color accenting is nice yielding that subtle red tone.

The bezel frame of the LCD is too hefty for me at 3" in width on the sides and 2.75" on top and bottom. It's glare can detract from the picture as well.

Samsung LN46A750 Review
The gloss black remote shows fingerprints too readily

Remote Control/Menu Functionality: The menu on the LN46A750 is slick looking- transparent but the navigation is not swift. The scrolling wheel on the remote is slow to use and a little awkward. Another negative here is the gloss black remote which shows fingerprints too readily. The remote is backlit but does not have an aspect ratio button on the interface. The source button controls input selection.

To get to the Auto Motion Plus (120Hz) setting go to Picture, then scroll down to Picture Options, then scroll down to Auto Motion Plus where you can turn it On or Off using the side arrow keys.

Audio Output: Audio output was excellent from our Dolby Digital Test disc. Volume level was plentiful and sound rich and full at just 35% of capacity. Virtual Surround sound effects also impressed us from the 10W X 10W speakers.

Features: Adding to the large increases in features and functionality of the 650 series is the 750 series. Upgraded features in this LCD television take network and multi media capability to a higher level. The LCD is MPEG and JPEG compatible using USB 2.0. The LN46A750 LCD series also boasts a Home Viewing Gallery or MPEG3, an internal flash memory with premium content as well as enhanced audio technology through an integrated woofer design. Users can now connect and utilize the data stored in a variety of digital devices, turning their HDTV into a media hub.

VALUE RATING: 88/100

For $2000 this 46" HD LCD packs a lot of punch. It is near the top of Samsung's lineup for 2008 (the LN46A850 is highest). Price wise, the unit is compatible with Sharp's LC-46D85U, though it is several hundred dollars more than LG's 47LG70. Given its positive features 120hz processing (use for sports only), Touch of Color styling, excellent black levels and viewing angle vs. its negatives motion lag, glare from the screen (from any lighting behind the viewer), large bezel (frame) I put it priced very fairly in a crowded field of entry's. This LCD's strongest point is not its price.

OVERALL RATING: 91/100

Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). A rating in the 60s for any particular category of a product review indicates a serious defect which causes the product not to operate properly. Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.

Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, JVC HM-DH40000U HD Video Cassete player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro, Sencore signal generator.

This review format and all of the headings, sub headings and paragraph titles are part of a copyrighted process. Any unauthorized reproduction or use, either in full or in part, of this product review format is expressly prohibited.

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LG 42LH55 Review

Posted by Adminstator | 8:11 PM | | 0 comments »

LG 42LH55 Review

Model: LG 42LH55
Description: 42" LCD TV with 120Hz Processing
Resolution: 1980 X 1080
Includes: Swivel table top stand
Reviewer: Robert Wiley
Date: Summer 2009

Price Considerations: The LG 42LH55 is hitting a very attractive price/quality price point at around $1500 all in. It compares extremely well in price to not only other LCDs in it's quality category but also upper end plasma models. Its a bit more than the Sharp Aquos LC40E77U which sells for around $1000 but with 2 inches less in screen size and less features. The Samsung UN40B7000 is slightly higher at $1650 and has a similar feature set and compares well, but again with 2 inches less.

Quality Comparison: With picture quality, reduced motion artifacts, increased response time, sleek good looks, a swivel stand, good menu system and excellent calibration this LG is comparing well with the best TVs on the market – even top tier plasma (now that Pioneer is out of the game).

Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 10 feet

HQV Benchmark: Processor testing with the LH55 showed excellent results..

Calibrations: The 42LH55 calibrated excellently to D6500 due to expansive and easy to access white balance controls. To dial the TV in perfectly follow the following settings:

Picture Settings:
Picture Mode: Expert 1
White Balance: Warm
Brightness: 65
Contrast: 85
Color: 48
Tint: G1
Sharpness: H:52 V:52
Backlight: 50
Other Settings:
Dynamic Contrast: Off
NR: Off
Gamma: High
Black Level: Low
Real Cinema: On
For complete picture setting including White Balance settings please see the 47LH55 Calibration page

Special Note: One of the foremost adjustments to make with this TV is to turn the 120Hz/240Hz TruMotion processing off when watching film based content. Doing so will yield a much more natural picture as the film director intended. While this feature is great for sports programming and gaming, leaving it on even at the low setting will present you with unwelcome added effects in motion scenes in particular. Strange "canned" background set visual information will appear and disappear depending on whether there is motion.

HD Picture Quality: Dark shadow detail and color information in the new Blu Ray release of The Road Warrior was very accurate. I was extremely happy with motion sequences, black levels, and let it be noted that the anti glare screen can be a big plus with ambient lamp lighting in a room.

LG 42LH55 Review

Deep Black levels provide for excellent contrast in this scene from The Road Warrior.

Digital Broadcast Signal Picture Quality: The TV did a remarkable job with this process and displayed a beautiful picture with natural colors, good black levels and lots of detail. Color information was vibrant but not over saturated in The Three Amigos and our staple copy of Risky Business which usually presents TVs with more problems that it did the 47LH55. I was very pleased and impressed that LG has not overlooked up conversion processing from a lowly 480i signal source.

LG 42LH55 Review

This shot of Tom Cruise in Risky Business shows a good contrast presentation from this rough 480i DVD.

Contrast Measurement: Though certainly not the richest and deepest we've experienced, black levels on the 42LH55 are adequate and the excellent dark shadow gray scaling helps to make up for any deficiency in this area. LG lists a dynamic (read dubiously tested) contrast ratio of 80,000:1. Our post calibration ANSI contrast measured modest but respectable 167:1. This TV has great balance and during viewing we did not sense a lack of deep blacks or of bright whites during sunlit scenes.

To See more detailed notes on dark shadow detail, color accuracy, viewing angle, and motion lag please click here to see the extended review.

Features: The LH55 is not LED backlit but nevertheless uses less power and is Energy Star 3.0 rates. As mentioned above, the TruMotion (120hz/240hz) feature is a key element of this TV. It works for sure, but should be turned off for film based and TV content. It will provide many unwelcome picture oddities with film based content. Sports programming and gaming are awesomely enhanced by the TruMotion feature. There is a keen new Picture Wizard feature which gives some basic calibration tools to allow users to adjust the 5 basic settings depending upon ambient room light. It's an interesting and somewhat useful feature that we have not encountered before.

To see the extended review on video aspect ratio, inputs, aesthetic considerations, remote and menu functionality, and audio function click here.

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Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). A rating in the 60s for any particular category of a product review indicates a serious defect which causes the product not to operate properly. Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.

Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro ACP6500, Sencore signal generator.

This review format and all of the headings, sub headings and paragraph titles are part of a copyrighted process. Any unauthorized reproduction or use, either in full or in part, of this product review format is expressly prohibited.

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Samsung UN46B8000 Review
This scene of Hally Berry from X-Men The Last Stand shows how high contrast can appear on the 46B8000.

Strengths

  • Aesthetics – 1.2" depth. Great looking TV.
  • Good deep black levels – Avg. to good contrast.
  • Excellent color saturation
  • Optional 240/120Hz feature for sports programming
  • Great connectivity options for such a thin TV
  • Dual Remotes are cool.

Weaknesses

  • Weak Volume/Audio output
  • 240Hz feature with Film based content (turn off feature)
  • Price
  • Difficult calibration
  • At times over saturation of colors

Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 15 feet

Processor Testing:This LED TV tested very well in when we ran it through a series of processor video board testing.

Calibration: Calibrating white balance was somewhat difficult on this TV. Blue tones were especially difficult to dial in perfectly as they lacked consistency. To dial in close to D6500 follow the following picture settings:

Picture Settings
Picture Mode: Movie
Color Temp: Warm 2
Brightness: 44
Contrast: 93
Color: 43
Tint: G47/R53
Sharpness: 10
Backlight: 7
Picture Settings
For complete picture setting including White Balance settings please see the UN46B8000 Calibration page

480i DVD and Broadcast Viewing: For any film based material start by turning off the 120Hz/240Hz rate feature as follows: Click Menu/picture/Scroll down to Picture Options/Press enter/Scroll down to AutoMotionPlus 240Hz/Press Enter/Scroll or press to Off position. It is important to turn this feature off (see more on this feature under features section below).

Samsung UN46B8000 Review
The 46B8000 did a good job with this shot from Wedding Crashers. There was no flicker from the horizontal blinds in the background and though the scene is bright there is still good shadow detail in the background.

720p/1080i/1080p Picture Quality: There is nothing subdued about this LED TV, from its super thin good looks to its super saturated colors. Blacks are rich and deep and colors vibrant if not over powering at times. Some dark shadow detail is lost and and subtle color notes forgotten. But it's a colorful picture many will relish. Read our extended picture notes below.

Samsung UN46B8000 Review
Hugh Jackman's hair is fully detailed in this scene from X-Men The Last Stand.
Samsung UN46B8000 Review
This is a clean, clear presentation of a detailed and colorful shot from the Blu Ray version of Rocky.

Black Level/Contrast: With color information both light and dark appearing so deeply saturated, contrast effect is excellent. Blacks appear inky and sometimes lose dark shadow detail. White light sometimes is distractingly too bright. Contrast appears more intense on the screen than the average of 187:1 post calibration ANSI checkerboard pattern contrast that we measured. See calculations here.

Dark Shadow Detail: As a result of the super saturated blacks, shadow detail can get lost in some scenes. In others, it was fine.

Samsung UN46B8000 Review
This type of scene from X-Men The Last Stand presented challenges as the 46B8000 couldnt maintain shadow detail in characters cloak.

Color Rendition/Color Accuracy: We found color rendition continually vibrant but over saturated. Blacks can get oversaturated at times as can white.

Viewing Angle/Off Axis Viewing: At 40 degrees off axis contrast is significantly reduced and black levels become hazy. However, the destruction of contrast and black levels stops there, not continuing as viewing angle widens. The screen remains perfectly viewable even at from side angles (with the reduced contrast).

Motion Lag: The UN55B800 did a good job eliminating motion lag and judder. There was some notable jerkiness in a few scenes panning side to side with the AutoMotionPlus feature turned off.

False Contouring/ Mapping: When viewing the rough 1997 Risky Business version of Risky Business much false grain and mapping information was visible. This was somewhat surprising given the excellent results of the 55B8000 in processor testing.

Inputs: Amazingly with this thin screen Samsung has managed to fit 4 HDMI slots, a PC slot, a LAN Cat 5 slot (for Internet connection), 2 USB ports, and a component video input.

Samsung UN46B8000 ReviewAesthetic Considerations: The 55B8000 comes with a 20 degree swivel table top stand. The stand is heavy, sturdy and a nice matte silver accent to the all gloss black screen. There are accompanying screws to further secure the stand to the TV. The super thin screen itself we measure at 1.2 inches in depth. It is obviously sleek and attractive with the surrounding frame measuring 2" in width. The frame has a subtle invisible edge feature with clear acrylic on a silver backing.

Remote Control/Menu Funtionality: The Samsung UN46B8000 comes with 2 remote controls. One is substantial, backlit, complete and well designed with gloss black finish and every ergonomic enhancement imaginable. The remote wheel is catchy but not necessary. Clicking the edges of the wheel accomplish the same tasks as scrolling the wheel and expedites changes. This standard remote control contains a discrete button called P. Size for changing the video aspect ratio. The second pod-like diminutive remote contains a center arrow keypad for controlling basic functions; power, next channel, and volume. The TV menu is not accessible with this remote.

Samsung UN55B8000 Review

The overlaid Menu system is very attractively laid out and thorough, but slow and cumbersome to navigate.

Audio Output: Sound volume levels seem weak from the 10W X 10W built in speakers. We can understand the challenges for speaker placement in a 1.2" deep TV. For a majority of programming changing the mode to movie, and utilizing the Clear Voice feature will help a lot to improve voice tone in DVD and broadcast material. SRS TruSurround is a useful feature for HD content but it doesnt help voice tone. Overall, we were not impressed by audio delivery from the UN46B8000.

Features:The Samsung UN558000 is loaded with extra features, some surprising, others more useful. AutoMotionPlus 240Hz Refresh Rate. Samsung has increase the frame rate conversion to 240Hz on the B8000 as the one of the premium markup features. See our complete article about 120Hz/240Hz rates here. This feature is awesome on the Standard setting for sports programming and gaming. Turning it off during film and broadcast viewing will save you from the cardboard cutout soap opera effect and deconstruction of cinematography that this feature creates (in film playback).

Internet Connectivity: Connect to the Internet to see Yahoo news, Flikr, witter, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Video. The package is canned and weak in our opinion and this is not a feature you will use much if at all, especially when you get frustrated by the slow click and wait response (sometimes up to 5 seconds). The feature is frankly a little gimmicky. You can make this feature wireless with an optional accessory.

Media Play: Use this feature connected through USB to keep picture and video files.

Clear Voice, SRS and Movie sound options are listed above under Audio Output.

Video Aspect Ratio Sizing: 16:9, 4:3, Zoom 1 &2, Wide Fit, Screen Fit round out a complete set of options for viewing modes controlled by P. Size button on the remote.

Price Considerations: At $2100 the UN46B8000 is not a discount TV. It demands a premium for its premium build quality and some of Samsung's newest technology including 1.2" depth, LED backlighting, Internet connectivity, a nice heavy table top stand and remote, and one of the best looking panels we've seen. Competition hails from the Sony KDL-46XBR8 (local dimming LED backlit see review here) which sells for $2500 and measures higher in contrast. Both sets have their own advantages in certain areas so read the reviews to decide. LG has several models that will provide competition in the future in the LG 47LH90 ($2500) has 240Hz processing and the LG 47LH50 ($2000) which has 120Hz processing but Internet capability including Netflix. The Sharp LC52E77 is a non-LED backlit lower end unit from Sharp.

Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). A rating in the 60s for any particular category of a product review indicates a serious defect which causes the product not to operate properly. Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.

Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro, Sencore signal generator.

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