on 4 January 2015
This is without doubt the best picture I've seen on an LED TV, the picture on the built in Freeview HD is stunning, you can see every detail. I've also tested out the 4K on Netflix Ultra HD (which is one of the Smart features along with 4OD, BBCi player, ITV Player, Demand 5, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Wakuki, Blinkbox amongst others,) the picture was unbelievable. I spent an hour adjusting the picture settings and the sound settings (surround sound option is the best) to get it just right as when the TV is first switched on the sound is rather tinny and the pic is a bit dull but once adjusted it looks fantastic. Looks equally good in a well lit bright room as well as a dark room. There is a feature on it for darker settings films like Harry Potter which enhances the black levels, very impressed with this. This TV was very easy to set up too. The voice activated remote is good fun, although you do need to be online for it to worked. I've gone for a wired option on the internet as it gives a better picture (use Category 6 or above cable). It does a decent job of upscaling HD to near Ultra HD. The stand looks nice, sleek design. The size is just right for an average sized front room especially one like mine where the sofa wall isn't that far from the TV so the space in between sofa & TV is limited therefore a 50" TV would be unwatchable at this near distance. Everyone who sees this TV is impressed and asks where I brought it (no shops seem to stock this TV for some reason). The only slight negative I can think of is that when watching a fast action sequence on Freeview HD there is some blur on fast moving scenes, although this doesn't happen on Blu Rays or on Ultra HD Netflix so maybe I need to do some more fine tuning. Also not keen on soccer mode and the picture quality on standard non HD channels is no better than any other TV. Other than that I would highly recommend this TV to anyone wanting a high quality picture that exceeds all other 40" pictures.
▣ Overview, Design & Connectivity ▣
This is one of Samsung's higher range 2014 series 6 TV's presenting a broad selection of Smart features and Active 3D technology.
In terms of design, this Samsung TV looks very smart - It's slim, featuring a super thin glossy bezel, along with a strong, sturdy and stylish brushed metal "fixed" stand.
There's an extensive set of connections around the sides and back of the TV, including 4x HDMI ports, 3x USB, 1x SCART, Component, Digital Audio (Optical), headphone jack, Audio out and ethernet. Samsung include both a default remote and smart remote with this TV, along with two sets of active 3D glasses and an IR extender. Wifi is also built in.
▣ Picture quality & 3D performance ▣
HD picture quality is outstanding, presenting impressive clarity and deep blacks. The colours were slightly oversaturated out of the box, but this was simple to correct using the picture options and now colours look very natural and accurate. Watching the football did highlight minor backlight uniformity issues, but it generally doesn't impact viewing experience and not unduly noticeable. This is something evident on all LCD/LED panels due to the technology. Response time is also reasonable with only minimal motion blur present. Viewing angles are excellent with only slight colour and contrast loss. I found both Samsung and LG TV's have the best viewing angles, with both of my Sony LED TV's suffering a slight blue hue at 45 degrees and beyond.
I was pleasantly surprise by the TV's sound quality, as there's actually a bit of oomph in the lower sound frequencies, which is scarcely seen in ultra thin TV's of today, so it's refreshing to own a TV where a soundbar isn't that essential. Sound from my LG and Sony is certainly not this good.
Gaming performance seems reasonable, boasting 40ms input lag which should be OK.
Active 3D is a welcome feature on this TV and I'm glad Samsung decided to implement full HD active 3D rather than the lower resolution passive 3D. I've been somewhat spoilt by watching Active 3D movies in my brothers dedicated home cinema, consisting of a Sony VPL-HW40ES Full HD Active 3D projector and 150" Seymour AV acoustically transparent screen, which is amazing. Nonetheless, this TV does an accomplished job at providing a pleasing 3D experience, presenting good picture quality and excellent 3D effects, with good depth. The glasses are light, but not that comfortable and the lenses are a little on the small side, but they're adequate.
▣ Smart TV & media features ▣
Samsung have done an excellent job at designing a fresh, sleek and modern user interface which is intuitive and works well. The bundled smart remote utilizes wii like motion and gesture control along with a small touchpad for simple, fast and accurate navigation through menus. Voice control also offers a unique way to launch content and works reasonably well. Pressing the smart hub button on the remote launches a shortcut bar featuring a selection of most used apps and services, along with access to the main dashboard.
The main dashboard categorizes Apps, Games, Films/TV shows and multimedia into 4 separate pages, with further options on each page. You'll find all of the major catchup TV services here including BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, along with Samsung's exclusive 4OD and ITV player apps. VoD services include Netflix, Wauki, Blinkbox etc., along with the much anticipated Amazon Instant video which works great and features a growing catalogue of movies and TV shows. I was also impressed with the extensive catalogue of kids programs which kept my nephew entertained. There's Peppa Pig, Chuggington, Shaun The Sheep, Fireman Sam, Postman Pat, Hey Arnold, Thomas The Tank Engine, The Shoe People, Paddington Bear, The Trap Door, Morph, pingu and bucket loads more. You'll find popular media and social apps, like Youtube, Facebook, Skype and Twitter etc., along with a variety of other apps and games.
Access to network devices, USB storage and Cloud services is inconspicuously place at the bottom of the multimedia screen, with the majority of page rammed with suggested internet content which I'm not that keen on. I would have prefered network devices to have a bit more prominence as this is the feature I mostly use. My network shares via Twonky media are detected and work fine.
Media support is extensive, with the TV supporting 1080p/30 (30 fps) & 1080p/60 (60fps) video in a wide range of formats (containers) including: avi, mkv (H.264), asf, mp4, 3gp, mov, flv, vro, vob, ps, ts and svaf, with a maximum bit rate of 30 Mbps. Supported Audio Codecs include: AC3, LPCM, ADPCM, AAC, HE-AAC, WMA, DD+, MP3, DTS (core,LBR) and G.711. So far, I've yet to come across anything that fails to play, with all of my MKV movie library playing perfectly. In contrast, My Sony offered very limited playback support and was rather disappointing. LG offers similar compatibility to Samsung and is pretty decent. My only criticism is how thumbnail folder/album art is displayed in landscape, rather than portrait, which results in thumbnails looking stretched and pixelated, which is disappointing. Both LG & Sony display folder/album art much better.
Web browsing can usually be quite a chore on Smart TV's, but Samsung implemented quite a usable browser based on Chrome, which is fairly quick and benefits from the excellent motion and touch control of the smart remote. HTML5 is supported (with a browser score of 453 out of 555, which is slightly better than the 446 out of 555 points that my 2013 LG 42LN575V TV scored), along with Flash Lite, so many video and streaming sites should work OK. It's not a computer replacement, but smart TV's are improving every year.
The EPG is well designed and presents a clear 7 channel/two hour viewing guide, which is easy to use. You can record TV to a connected HDD which works great, but make sure you use a fast HDD and format the drive using the TV. You can only playback recordings on the TV as they are DRM protected.
▣ Smartphone App ▣
Samsung offer the Smart View 2.0 app which is available on both Google Play and Apple App Store. Compatibility seems to be quite flaky here with Samsung only supporting a small selection of smartphones, which is surprising. I use a Galaxy Note 3 which is supposed to be supported and I've attempted to connect to the TV without success. I've tried wired and wireless connections, and two different routers resulting in no TV found. I also tried Wifi Direct, which locates the TV and seemingly connects, but then when trying to proceed within the app, connection is lost. This is very frustrating and disappointing. I've never had such issues with LG and Sony apps before, so I really hope samsung gets to grips and fixes compatibility issues.
▣ Conclusion ▣
I've been impressed by this TV and it performs admirably. Picture quality, sound quality, Smart functionality and 3D mode is definitely amongst the best I've seen on an LED TV, but I seriously hope Samsung can fix their Android app. LG also have some excellent TV's available this year, giving samsung some stiff competition. Sony also have a decent lineup offering superb picture quality, low input lag and an excellent smartphone app, but disappointing media support puts them behind the pack. For an all-round TV, this Samsung is difficult to beat.
I currently have an 5 year old 46" 8 series Samsung which was amazing at the time and still gives an amazing picture, it just lags behind in the online stuff, with limited apps and a wireless dongle which is very hit and miss. We were looking for a TV to enable us to move the kids' stuff from under the main TV and so the this Samsung 40" 7 series TV came along at just the right time.
Our demands of a TV? We need plenty of inputs for the array of things plugged in to the TV - consoles, Apple TV and a Blu Ray plays in addition to the possibility of playing stuff via USB. We were looking for a great picture, and one which could handle a PS4 without motion blur. Also we wanted it to look sleek and modern. We don't really need 3D but if it was there then it would probably get used. And finally, we wanted some sort of wireless catch up service as the TV didn't have access to an aerial or satellite dish (it's funny, other than sport we don't really watch programmes live any more - does anyone?).
So how did the Samsung perform? Setup was an absolute piece of cake. The box is incredibly thin, it's hard to believe that 10 years ago we all had mammoth screens taking up half our living rooms. I managed to get the set out and put it all together myself, although I think ideally it would be far simpler with 2 people. The set is amazingly light though and very well protected in the box.
First task was to link up with the TV with the wireless network. On screen instructions were very simple and not issues were encountered. We have a BT Home Hub 5 about 10 metres from the TV and it all went smoothly. No dongles, no missing (other than the WEP key). Simple, as it should be.
We tried using a portable aerial but were unable to get any stations (we live in NW Kent). This was more to do with line of sight than the TV but it was a shame. On demand services work really well, no lagging (partly due to fast broadband of course) and we were totally knocked out by the picture which gives rich, vibrant colours. We sit about 3 meters away and it is lovely to watch, even at wide angles. In fact I have to say I prefer watching this screen than my bigger, older Samsung, it is just so clear.
Sound: pleasantly surprised, there is an offer with a soundbar which improves the sound of course. We have been using the TV with speakers attached to a Sony Blu Ray player (connected to the TV by optical cable) and it blew us away. Not sure how much is to do with the TV but it sounds crystal clear.
Remotes: 2 remotes, one complicated (ie for dads like me), one more of a summary. The smaller one can be used as a pointer for the Smart Hub, which we really liked. Both feel good in the hand, I just like having more buttons at my disposal.
Voice commands: these worked to a degree but I just don't have the patience (ditto Siri) so I don't use them, although my kids do to impress their mates. Not essential, but a nice gimmick.
3D: wow. I said earlier we didn't need it but it is superb. The glasses take a while to get used to and then you forget they are there. I didn't expect the effect to work on such a small screen but I am seriously impressed. Again, it is so clear and real. You get 2 pairs of active glasses, and of course can buy more. I'd love to see Gravity on this screen, could be my first 3D Blu Ray purchase.
Football mode: thought I'd add this. My son finds putting this on with FIFA makes the game more realistic (I just think it looks more green!). No motion blur at all with the game.
Price: currently less than £700, not the cheapest but with the 3D glasses, the features, the remotes, the build quality etc I think you're getting a great deal.
All in all this is a pretty future proof (ok, let's say 5 years) screen which will handle all you can chuck at it. We have a lot attached and every single thing works well. I honestly have nothing to complain about, if the 8 series is better I'd really like to compare them to see how!
on 25 November 2014
I haven't given it 5 stars because nobody reads the 5 star comments.
My main criteria was it had to have FreesatHD and be Saorview compatible (MPEG4) for my particular geographical area, Ireland.
Delighted to say I can now pick up FreesatHD with a 7-day guide and Saorview also with a 7 day guide (using freeviewHD system), all with 2 cables (no set-top boxes with extra remote controls). Tidy.
The freesat channel list is just like our family is used to, except now we also have the HD channels.
My kids can still dial in their favourite channels.
The Saorview setup has the 7 day guide (great) but you do have to order the channels yourself. No big deal.
Switching between the two, takes 5 button presses, unless you use the smart hub which takes 2 presses.
By the way, the h6670 has two freesat satellite tuners and one terrestrial aerial tuner.
So you can record a freesat channel and watch another freesat channel.
But if you record on the terrestrial tuner (saorview), you can then only watch freesat.
This TV plays all media content I've thrown at it, avi/divx, mp4, mkv.
And is so quick to play the content (<2 seconds) compared to my old DVD player/USB 30 second "loading" time.
Upscaling is good. I've played some 480p mp4 content and it looks fine.
720p looks excellent. HD awesome.
Also the freesat 576i SD upscale is fine, we sit about 12 foot away.
Watched some champions league on ITVhd last night on "football" mode and it was excellent.
Smooth with zero ghosting/glitches as far as I could see.
I wanted to record live tv on my UE55h6670 and use the pause function. I have sucessfully used a TDK 32GB UHC(1) Class 10 Micro SDHC Memory Card (~20 quid) plugged into an micro USB adaptor. Didn't need to use a hardrive as manual says. Incidently, all the USB flash drives I tried didn't work (didn't pass speed test), including a Lexar 32GB 100MB/s JumpDrive S23 USB 3.0 Flash Drive Memory Stick and a SanDisk SDCZ36-016G-B35 16 GB Cruzer USB 2.0 Flash Drive. Interestingly, the micro SD card came up as "storage device" while the USB sticks came up as "USB Flash drive".
Finally, I wanted the On Tv function to recommend the freesat channels and not the saorview channels, so I had to change the Internet connection country setting from Ireland to UK using the mute-return-volume_up-channel_up-mute trick which allows you to change the setting on the terms&conditions set up page. This also changes your app store from Ireland to UK.