I bought this TV from Amazon partly because of the reviews and partly after having viewed Samsung TVs in John Lewis. Picture quality is likely to be a matter of personal taste, but it seemed to me that the Samsung models had a clarity which was missing from the rivals like Panasonic and Sony. I didn't particularly want 3D, but was told that that level of detail was only achievable with a 3D TV, and of course you didn't have to watch in 3D if you didn't want to!
Amazon wasn't the cheapest at the time of ordering, but the sheer brilliance of the service combined with the no-fuss returns policy made it an easy choice. Since the time I bought mine I notice the price has fallen markedly, though it does seem to yo-yo a bit.
Time to mount it on the wall...it has to sit in the corner and the only way it can do this is with a cantilever arm bracket, and so I purchased one at the same time as the TV. Easy I thought, it's advertised as fitting *all* 32" TVs, including of course, Samsung. However, the ES6300 has a cunningly moulded back which ensures that no bracket (apart from Samsung's own) will actually fit: the screws are all either too long or too short, or the supports simply cannot be accommodated. After four tries I found one, but only after a visit to the local hardware shop for new screws/spacers etc. Sorted.
Next the set up of the TV, and this is where Amazon really came in handy. I found one of the most useful reviews on this site to be from Product Reviewer, who as well as providing lots of info in the review, was also extremely helpful in answering questions (cheers PR!) There are so many variables to choose from with the picture that you have to do a lot of experimenting. My first issue was with motion blur, most apparent in 3D where there was high contrast. I eventually found out how to set up the picture to counter this, but it took time. I then noticed that the picture appeared to be dropping a frame every few seconds or so. This was highly irritating and I couldn't find out the answer to this for while. The solution came with replacing the HDMI cable and making sure it was actually connected to the correct socket in the back of the TV. So, that problem is now sorted too.
So, after three weeks or so, we now have a TV with a quite stunning picture. Watching Game of Thrones - Season 1 [Blu-ray][Region Free] on the blu-ray player (Samsung BD-E6100 3D Smart Blu-ray Player with Built-in Wi-Fi (New for 2012)) is an amazing experience, and at times it feels almost as though there's only a clear pane of glass between you and the action. Films with lesser production values than Game of Thrones can however reveal distractions such as poor artificial lighting - you can almost sense the lighting and camera crew surrounding the actors - so prepare for the unexpected! The age of the film doesn't always seem to be a factor; for instance, the newly released Alien Anthology [Blu-ray]  [4 Disc Set] box set is quite incredible and looks like it was made yesterday.
A possibly unexpected feature of the Samsung is the quality of the sound. I was all prepared to hook the TV up to the existing sound system we have, but actually, in our case at least, doing that would have been to downgrade the listening experience. This TV has a crisp and detailed yet full sound quality, but it's possible to refine it further using the menu, for instance in highlighting speech or music. If you've ever struggled in the past to hear the dialogue in a film, then this TV will definitely be the one for you.
Having said earlier that I wasn't really interested in 3D, i soon changed my mind once I'd seen a few movies. In a word, it's sensational. Just try Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Blu-ray 3D + 2D Blu-ray)[Region Free]: watching this in a darkened room is a marvel, and the water sequences in particular are spectacular. Once again, the correct settings are important in order to enjoy the film at its best (these are laid out in full by other reviewers on this forum).
The fact that you can use a web browser though the Smart TV is probably only going to be of any use if you also download the Samsung Remote iPhone app; you can then use the phone (or in theory iPad, though at the time of writing this doesn't seem to be working) as a keypad. Trying to use the browser with the supplied remote control is frustratingly slow.
Of the apps, the ones we've ended up using most are iPlayer, LoveFilm and YouTube. They look fantastic and work beautifully - once you've installed the firmware - I had a few problems here, and have to say a big thank you to Product Reviewer for finding the answer as to how to download the firmware online (please see PR's Comment section).
I've been amazed by the quality of the picture on iPlayer and LoveFilm in particular; even though our broadband speed is nothing to write home about we don't seem to encounter any buffering issues on the TV. Other reviewers have raised the point about the proximity of your home hub to the television and how this can affect the streaming quality (in particular please see honeythief's excellent piece on this), so if your hub is more than five metres away then it seems like you might hit problems.
As seems normal with these apps, access is more limited than on a computer; so for instance on LoveFilm you don't have the degree of Watch Now choice as you would have on your PC or Mac. On IPlayer it's the same, it's more restricted.
Anyway, if you set this TV up correctly then you're in for a treat. I'm not technically-minded and it's been a challenge, but as I say, I've found this forum to be very useful.
on 21 May 2012
Once setting up the TV and switching it on for the first time I was amazed by the sound that was being produced. The TV doesnt need any additional speakers as the speakers within the TV do the job. The TV itself is nice and slim with a new slim design. I have used this TV for gaming and for 3D and both are very good and effective in the way that the TV produces the image and the sound, the quality of the freeview is sharp and clear with the additional HD channels added as a feature, gaming is absolutely amazing once you have adjusted the settings. The TV comes with a range of different features such as the Smart TV feature allowing you to access the internet via the built in WiFi. The TV also comes with a 2D to 3D conversion which is handy if you want to watch Eastenders in 3D or play your games in 3D without any other necessary equipment. The TV doesn't come with any 3D glasses but you can purchase these for 17 pound or two pairs for 29 pounds which is minimal. The TV contains a gaming mode which is very handy if you are wanting to get the best graphics out of your TV. I haven't experienced any problems with this TV as stated by the other review which I believe is unjust, they were experiencing problems due to the manufacturing or delivering of the TV. This is something I have not experienced with my TV.
The TV contains an Arial and a satellite slot which will enable you to watch either freeview or Freesat, the TV gives you the options of, Arial, Cable, Satellite or Freesat. This is something I think is fantastic for the price of this TV. The TV is easy to set up with on screen instructions which allows you to quickly and efficiently set up the TV to your needs. If you are wanting to set up a surround system this TV comes with a digital optical cable slot to allow you to do so (although personally its not really needed). The TV also has component slots and 4 USB slots, as well as 3 HDMI slots and one HDMI slot which is used for 3D purposes. If you want to connect your router to the TV there is a Ethernet port for you to be able to do this.
The TV comes with 'Smart TV' which enables you to be able to access various different apps from the Samsung marketplace, with hundreds of free apps to add to your experience, these include, Facebook, Twitter, BBC News, BBC iplayer, games, sports, education and many more. (Please Ask me if you are wanting more information regarding this) You do not need to register any email address to access this. The Smart TV feature also has a fitness feature with lots of free videos for various different exercises and Yoga, it also has a calorie calculator and progression software to track your progress. Another bonus it the 'Explore 3D' app which allows you to watch various documentaries and trailers in 3D, these are free and really do give you an example of what the 3D is like. You can also watch Youtube via this TV so you could search for more 3D videos if you wanted to so you get an idea as to what the TV can offer.
As far as the specs are concerned the TV does come with 200HZ which is great when watching fast moving objects on screen and gaming, this is easy to turn on by simply accessing the options menu and turning on the Motion LED feature this will remove blurring and judder. The TV is light and comes with a unique stand which is different from the usual TV's which have the square/rectangle stands.
The TV is fantastic for gaming, Ive been playing Max payne 3 on this and I can tell you that the colours and image are amazing, Colours are displayed correctly with different variations of colours which help bring the game to life there is no motion blur or lagging with this TV and response times are excellent.
I would recommend this TV to everyone because it contains all the newest features at a reasonable price, It produces an outstanding image and a loud sound which is powerful for an LED TV which usually has muffled sound due to its size. Its slim and makes a room.
If you have any questions regarding this TV, please comment below and I will be happy to answer them with a quick response.
*Edit* With regards to the apps such as BBC iPlayer and ITV player etc. I have been told by Samsung that these apps should appear in the near future, this TV is brand new to 2012 with it being released in March 2012 so it is still early days.
Before submitting your questions please be sure to check previous comments just in case someone else has had the same query as you. I will reply to questions between 1 to 2 days of posting your question so please check back for a response between these times, If I am unable to answer questions I will place a comment letting you know.
EDIT BBC iPLAYER IS NOW AVAILABLE ON THE SMART APP FUNCTION PLEASE UPDATE YOUR TV'S
Edit Lovefilm and BBC Sport are now available on the SmartTV feature, please update your TV,
If you are wanting to connect your PC, Phone or another device via the Allshare feature within the TV please visit the Samsung Website and type "Allshare" into the search box in order to be able to find the necessary software to do so. If you are wanting to share content from your phone onto your TV, be sure to download the phone app available on both Iphone and Android phones, there is also a cool app that allows you to use your phone as a TV remote and this app can also be found on both phones.
EDIT** ITV Player is now available to be installed so make sure you update the TV
on 29 July 2012
Feb 2015: So often you write a review with a new product then forget about it, but what people relaly want to know is how does it fair years down the line. So I'm updating this review. I've had the tv for 2.5 years now and it is still as good as new. Any issues with clouding I mentioned in my first review I don't even notice now. The sound is still brilliant and I never ended up purchasing a sound-system. I have SKY TV so have not used the Smart TV functions since since I first tried it out. Nor have I used the remote control app. So as suspected, I pretty much use this as a normal tv. I really don't think you need all this Smart tv stuff if you have Sky. Anyway, great tv - worth the purchase.
Jul 2012: I wanted a new TV for almost a year and suffice to say, like all of us, I did my research. So much so that I gave the assistants in Curry's a run for their money.
The research is over-whelming and it's not until you take a step back that you realise you actually don't need half the stuff these super dooper TV's can do. But there are a few things that were important to me. These were:
- How the TV looks when switched off
- How it handles action (I watch a lot of action movies and football)
- Quality of picture in SD as well as HD (Standard Def / High Def)
- Connection points
Now, with this TV it obviously comes with 3D and Smart TV, which I could give or take. But what I discovered was, if you want a great non-3D picture then the 3D TVs are the best quality.
I have not used the 3D, when I do I'll update the review.
SMART TV - Coming from a 7 year old TV, I was initially impressed. It was a novelty. However how much I'll use it I don't know. Set up was instant. The built in Wifi instantly found my server and connected. It has Netflix, Love Film and BBC i-player already loaded. There are two things that let the Smart TV down. The FACEBOOK app does not seem to allow me to connect. I get an information screen to say I need to log in through my settings but I'm unable to locate where to do it. If anyone knows the answer to this, I'd be most grateful. The other thing that lets this down is the navigation on the internet. Just don't bother! Even if you download the i-phone app that allows you to control your TV through your phone and use a qwarty board, you still have to arrow a curser around the screen. So if a Smart TV is what you're really going for, look for a different brand as I imagine this layout with the curser will be the same on all Samsungs.
HOW THE TV LOOKS - Really consider the size you need! I brought a 40 inch and I have a fairly large living room, however it just seems too big. I wish I had now gone for the 37 inches as it tends to dominate the room. Also I really am not a fan of the stand. I knew what stand it came with but it wasn't until it was in my house that I realised I didn't like it, but these are merely personal preferences. What I do like about the stand it that it allows the TV to swivel, so when I'm in my open planned kitchen / living room, I can turn the TV to I can still see it. The TV is very thin for it's price bracket, so wall mounting should be fine. I have not mounted the TV though. The only problem I think you may have is where the HDMI and power cables are in the back of the TV, they will jut out about an inch before bending downwards. Something worth looking at in the store when you consider wall mounting. The TV has a thing bezel edge. Without measuring, i'd say half an inch. There are TV's with much thinner edging but again, for the price, its a great looking TV. One last thing to note on this point is there are no control buttons on the TV so if you lose the remote you're screwed. Good job I have downloaded the control app on the phone. Also it doesn't have an off switch, only standby. But as LED uses such little electricity I am not too worried. 4 Star.
REMOTE CONTROL APP ON I-PHONE - This works great and is easy to use. There are two main purposes for downloading this free app onto your phone. 1) if you mis-place your control or its on the other sofa then you can just use your phone instead of getting up (great for those hang over Sundays if you can't be bothered to shift from the coach.) Also, if you need to enter any text through the SmartTV, then using a curser around the on screen keypad is just a time consuming nightmare, so you will want to use the qwarty board on the phone.
SOUND - I had pretty much convinced myself I would need a sound bar. Hearing reviews on most thin TV's, the sound quality is very poor and tinny. Not with this one and this is where it really comes in to save you money. You DO NOT need a sound bar with this TV. I can not get over how good the sound is, not tinny at all and very loud. I am a bit of cinema buff and may still invest in surround sound at a later point but it is not essential. 5 star for a thin TV.
PICTURE QUALITY - HD wow, just wow. There are four main picture options - Dynamic (brightest), Standard, Natural and Movie. You can also adjust every element of the picture from backlighting to colours etc. Standard def is good too, obviously it doesn't rival HD but it is great. What I would say is you need to adjust the picture depending what you're watching. So for example, Finding Nemo in HD - just switch it to Dynamic. If you're watching an old SD movie from the 80's you will want the movie option and a bit of tweaking. If you're prepared to change the picture each time then it's great. 4 stars for this (would have 5 if it automatically adjusted to a perfect setting for each programme.)
ACTION - What made me go for this TV was the 200hz motion rate. Something worth noting here... most films are filmed on a standard 50hz motion rate. The extra hz on these LED tv's comes from them inserting extra frames to keep up with the actions to make it seamless. This really is down to preference. On a HD cartoon movie for example the motion rate switched on is great, but for a standard def movie I found it rater annoying, it just didn't seem real, so when I turned it off it actually looked more like the action sequences you see on a plasma. It's great to have the option. How the TV handled action was very important to me, and I am really pleased with it. Nothing will rival a plasma where action is concerned, however you will find that most plasmas in the £600 or less bracket are not full HD, only HD ready. They also start at a size of 42 inches, which was just too big for me. 4 stars for action.
CONNECTIONS - You can see from the item description the number of connection points. 3 HDMI cable are generous and what is great is it has a scart socket. A lot of Samsungs don't and you need an adaptor that many of my friends have had difficulty fitting into the back of their TV. So with a scart socket included I'd give this 4 stars. (What would have made it 5 was two starts and 4 HDMI cables.)
PROBLEMS - I have experienced problems with clouding. It comes and goes. I am in touch with the company I purchased this off to get them to come out and look at it. After a bit more internet searching I have found that this tends to be a problem with a lot of LED screens and it is pot luck if your screen does it or not. I have also read reviews where Samsung have admitted there were some TV's that were a manufacturing fault. Now when the clouding starts it is bad but if you turn the backlighting off the TV it helps to reduce it. It usually starts the longer the TV has been on, and you notice it on black / dark scenes. I just don't know if its worth the hassle to return the TV or not. I got an amazing deal on it because I ordered it from a company that doesn't deliver so its a real faff to return. If I just thought it was a fault with this set I would but it seems to be a frequent problem that I am seeing in a lot of peoples reviews. If this concerns you then just avoid an LED.
It's early days with this set. So as I discover new things I'll update.
Over-all FANTATSTIC value for money. Looks great, sounds great. Let downs - clouding and internet on the Smart TV.
If you're concerned about clouding, order off Amazon as they have a fantastic returns policy. I wish I'd paid a little bit more and got it from them now.
on 19 October 2012
I am not going to mention the picture or sound quality. I'm not going to talk about the apps. All these have been fully covered by other reviewers and I fully endorse how great these qualities are. I wish to talk about 'add ons' to the Samsung Smart TV which, unlike me, may negate you buying unnecessary equipment as this TV does it all.
The Samsung SMART TV opens up so much access to entertainment that I decided to discontinue my Sky TV subscription. I appreciate this is purely subjective but I don't miss it one bit. The other good thing (for me) is that as a result of the Sky package I had, the TV virtually pays for itself in about one year as a result of the savings I have made from cancelling my Sky subscription.
I decided I wanted to use Freesat with the TV in lieu of Sky(I of course had the dish fitted by SKY). I therefore bought a Freesat module. This was a mistake because all I had to do with this TV is connect the Sky dish lead directly into the TV and tune the TV to FREESAT. This is quite easily done from the menu. Just select FREESAT from the column marked 'digital' I advise you to be careful here because other satellite options (Astra & Eurosat) are offered up on the menu. Although you are able to tune to both these satellites, the TV guide is a bit of a mess. For example, you get four or five Channels tuned into Channel 4 TV. Also, there is no BBC1 HD or BBC HD channel on the Astra satellite (at least I couldn't find it). Once I tuned into FREESAT, everything was as it should be and the TV menu guide is exactly the same as the TV guide produced by the Freesat module.
Having disconnected the Sky box, I had no means of recording television programmes. Fortunately, The Samsung Smart TV allows you to connect an external HDD drive and use that to record programmes. I just happened to have an old 500Gb external hard drive (Mains powered) handy and therefore fitted that to the TV. It works like a charm. (you can also connect an external HDD drive that is not mains powered i.e. simply connecting via the HDD's USB connector).
To record a programme, you do exactly as you would do with the Sky box; go to the TV menu and click on the programme you want to record. You will then get the option either to record the programme or schedule it for viewing. If you select record and the programme is one of a series, you will then be given the option to record the whole series or just the one episode. The TV will carry out the recording whilst in Standby mode. An one hour long HD programme uses about 38Gb of memory on the hard drive. Playback quality is superb.
The only disadvantage with the external hard drive compered to the Sky box is that you can only record one programme at a time and the TV will switch to the programme that is being recorded; in other words, you can't watch one programme and record another at the same time. However, most TV channels will re-broadcast the same episode later in the week and late at night. That is when I make recordings; while I'm tucked up in bed asleep.
There is of course various iplayers you can connect to through the apps on the TV. I don't make recordings from channels that have this facility. Frustratingly, the one that is not available to Samsung is 4oD and therefore Channel 4 is where I make most of my recordings (OK I'm a Homeland Fan).
As for movies, I subscribe to LoveFilm and for £4.99 a month (at time of writing) I have access to 'Watch now' movies, a lot of which are in HD. Also, Lovefilm has a lot of old TV series for instant viewing; 24, Lost, Greys Anantomy and the like. All the apps are connected via WiFi to the internet. It is advisable therefore to have a contract with your broadband provider that gives you unlimited broadband access.
Why did I say experiment? Well, the hard copy instructions that is supplied with the TV is very basic. You therefore have to rely on the 'electronic' guide found in the menu of the TV. This can be a bit cumbersome trying to find a solution to what you want to do with the TV.
Other devices (that I haven't tried yet)that can be connected to the TV include a computer keyboard and mouse. This connection is made via Bluetooth. I intend to purchase these in the near future to make it easier to connect with and use the World Wide Web through the TV.
The only advice I can give is before you buy a peripheral (if that is the right word) for this TV, have a look on the back to see if there is a socket that will fit something you already have (satellite connection). Enjoy the TV, I do.
on 27 July 2012
Out of the box and mounted on the wall, I turned on the TV and... what disappointment. The default settings for this TV are quite frankly awful. I watched some of the Open Golf in HD and thanks to the 'MotionPlus' being enabled when golfers swung their clubs it looked like a stroboscope - horrible judder. But all is not lost - this Samsung is actually a terrific TV once the picture is calibrated. Well priced for a slim bezel 55 inch and packing a lot of smart options. I 100% recommend the settings below and I hope they help you enjoy this fantastic TV they way it should be enjoyed!
Picture preset: Movie
Black Tone Off
Dynamic Contrast Off
Color space Auto
Color Enhancer Off
Color Tone Warm2
Digital Noise Filter Off
Mpeg noise filter Off
Film mode Off
HDMI Black level Low
Motion Plus Off
LED Motion Plus On
on 9 July 2012
1) Very sharp, even standard definition is great
2) 3d is good - the 2d-3d conversion is great - I really didn't expect this to work!
3) remote is easy to use
4) HD Freview tuner is good.
1) SMART TV is slow to load - expect this to take 30s+ from standby (the TV turns on quickly but if you are turning the TV on to use the SMART features, best go make a cup of tea. If you have already been into the SMART interface, returning to it is quick
2) The 3D flickers at the periphery of vision this can be distracting - but you forget after a while that the flickering is there if you get immersed in a film
3) the 3D is 'into the screen' - so don't expect things to be flying out at you
4) The SMART Apps are very poor, most don't recognise the optional QWERTY keyboard (e.g. searching youtube requires that you use the original remote and onscreen keyboard) many of the apps refuse to 'see' the keyboard at all, so you will be reaching for the remote very often.
5) BBC iPlayer (pre installed APP) doesn't work, it will say that the TV needs a firmware upgrade but the TV thinks it is up to date.
6) Support is VERY poor, I emailed Samsung support (about point 5) and they were not helpful, so I called them, the man said that the firmware for the 'on-line' install was out of date and said he would send a link so I could download it manually and update via a USB stick, he was confident this would solve the issue (sounded like it was a common problem) - but I never got the email with the link in! - BBC iPlayer continues not to work.
7) The SMART Aps interface doesn't allow you to change the top 2 rows of icons (the big ones), this is annoying because most of them I will never use (or cant use - see point 5)
8) The web browser did not work out of the box it said it was updating but always failed with an error 'ERROR_EXE_001' this took 3 days of continually re-trying to update until the problem was fixed - which seemed to be server availability at Samsung (Early morning UK time worked for me)
9) so far the TV has turned off unexpectedly once and the tuner reported no signal from my aerial once (a power on/off solved this) so it doesn't look that reliable
10) The Smart TV seems to show you adverts on the interface home page (top right corner) - just something to consider if you are used to the TV being a passive device, the SMART TV is closer to a mobile phone in that it uses your viewing habits to market to you - I guess - expect to agree to many 'privacy policies' (I.E. Agree to allow Samsung and all the App suppliers to know what you are watching and when) if you want to take advantage of the SMART TV.
In summary, picture is brilliant, but if you are buying the TV for the internet access and SMART Apps, don't, you will be very disappointed, get a cheaper TV and a Laptop / tablet instead!
on 29 May 2013
So after researching for months, I finally settled on this model for me new TV.
It's slim, looks modern enough (not as sexy as the 8000 series, but not far off, and a LOT cheaper).
The picture is great, but spend some time getting it setup properly. It helps to turn off all the image enhancement gubbins and turn the backlight down.
When my set arrived the colours were horribly balanced, but some time with a THX reference video file loaded via USB and some blue tint glasses soon sorted things out (that's me being OCD, simple visual tweaks while watching normal TV should suffice).
The sound, which others have criticised, seems perfectly acceptable to me. Sure, it's not going to be enough for home cinema fans, and yes a sound bar or external speakers will enhance things. But in normal TV viewing I was actually pleasantly surprised by the power and depth of the output, so don't let that put you off.
The smart features were a total bitch to set up, continually updating then forcing apps to be removed and reinstalled. Eventually things settled down (I think it just had a lot of updates to install) and now everything is stable. One word of warning though, the included Wifi needs a VERY strong signal. The TV isn't great at telling you this and lets you log into a wifi network, but then produces countless errors during use. I eventually tracked this down to a signal problem (despite the router only being a couple of rooms away). In the end, I installed a wireless bridge about 3 feet from the TV (I can't run ethernet as the TV is wall mounted with chased cables) and everything has been working perfectly.
Other people have complained about clouding (lighter patches that appear on dark scenes when watching with the lights off). I did notice this initially, and it WAS distracting. But after a month or so, the issue mostly disappeared (I now simply do not notice it, unless I specifically stare at a black screen in a totally black room). It seems to be a problem with all LED panels to be honest, so I'm not sure it's specific to this model. Anyway, it DOES clear up after a while (I assume the set 'settles' once out of its packaging, mounted and left in stable thermal environment) and is not a major issue unless you plan on watching very dark movies in a pitch black room (in which case why not just get a projector or a modern plasma).
All in all though, I'm very very happy with the set. It's both slimmer and actually smaller (it terms of overall dimensions) than the 5 year old 40 inch set it replaced, despite being a 46 incher.
on 5 October 2012
To put this review in context, prior to this Samsung I had a 37 inch Toshiba LCD which was about 4-5 years old.
First off, I was amazed at how thin and lightweight this set is. I lifted it out of the box and it was light as a feather compared to my old Toshiba. The outer bezel is very thin and hardly noticeable, and its thinness makes the TV seem even smaller. In fact I wish I had bought a larger size, but the 40" is honestly big enough for a small living room.
Set up was not as easy as I hoped. My old bracket was the perfect size but the screws were too small and too short to screw into the back of the Samsung. I had to take an emergency trip to B&Q to purchase an array of new screws and washers, and thankfully this sorted it. (A shame none come with the TV, though it does come with a sturdy-looking floor stand). Once on the wall, the second problem arose, and it's the same problem with most new TV sets: The mains power cable is way too short. It is maybe 1 meter long, and dangles off the wall and the plug is about 3 feet off the floor. I had the same problem with my old Toshiba. It's fine if you are using the floor stand, but for those of us wall mounting, it's a case of getting an ugly extension lead. OR, here's a better solution: I ordered a replacement 5 metre version of the double-pin mains lead from Amazon, however it wasn't official Samsung and appears Samsung don't supply longer cables. Just be aware that if your set is mounted closer than 1 inch to the wall, you will have problems getting a plug that fits the back of the set. (The L-shaped plug from Samsung does not appear available anywhere in a longer length. And believe me, I searched).
Once I got the set mounted and plugged in, it took me through an initial setup wizard. This was quick and easy. It even spotted my home network and let me connect straight away. I'm not that bothered about the Smart TV stuff (I have a PC for all that) but it was reassuring that it connected so easily. The picture setup was fairly simple, though I found it necessary to tweek the settings considerably once it was up and running. There are so many different settings to play with, and it can be overwhelming, but a bit of trial and error will get the picture you desire. I went for the 'Movie' preset and turned the LED backlight down about halfway.
Standard def is alright, not mind blowing, but perfectly good. HD TV is also good, but again not mind blowing. It is certainly a lot better than my old Toshiba.
And then we have the 3D functionality. Well, I must admit, I am impressed with this. My first 3D test was Marvel Avengers 3D on Blu Ray. The picture was impressive. Active 3D means you don't lose resolution, though you must tolerate some eye strain and it seems essential to use a darkened room, as everything outside the TV flickers in your peripheral vision. It should be noted, this is a general thing, not just for Samsung. However, one thing I am disappointed with is the 3D glasses packaged with this Samsung set. They work fine, but are hideously uncomfortable and look utterly ridiculous. Very cheap and plasticky, they seem designed for noses the width of a pencil and they don't even fold up like normal glasses. I will tolerate them for a while but I can see I'll have to get replacements one day.
The 3D picture itself is superb, at least on Blu Ray. (I don't have any 3D television channels so don't know about them). Also 2D on Blu Ray is very good. I found no problems whatsoever with motion blur or anything like that. Flawless really.
Sound is good, or as good as you might expect from a flat screen with concealed speakers. Perfectly adequate for normal TV viewing or fun movies. However I would recommend getting a proper 5.1 setup if you want to get the most from this.
Value for money is great with this set. But a word of caution: Track the price for a few days, as it seems to go up and down very frequently. I noticed after I placed my order, a few days later the price dropped by £20. And now, it's gone up again. So be careful to snag it when it's low if you're on a budget.
In summary: Good sound. Good picture. Difficult setup - especially 'physical' setup of wall mounting and cabling. 3D very good. 2D very good. SD good enough. HD good. Networking/smart features good enough, but I don't care that much about these.
An ideal entry level 3D tv for a small/medium living room.
EDIT: After 3 weeks of usage, a fault has developed where a vertical line of brightly coloured pixels appears in the middle of the screen. Adjusting the brightness/contrast helps to hide it, but it comes back randomly. Amazon have agreed to send a replacement so lets hope that won't have the same problem.
EDIT: This seems to have noticeable problem with vertical banding. Google it.
EDIT: The vertical banding has worsened considerably since I bought and installed this set. Internet searches tell me that it is a common problem with LCD sets but really this is unacceptable. Once you notice the stripes coming down the screen it's hard to ignore them. Lucky for me I don't watch football, apparently its terribly distracting on a screen full of green grass and lots of camera movement. I find the problem to be awful on scenes of blue skies - which show up the vertical stripes at their worst. Be aware, the set might appear great to begin with before it develops this problem after a few weeks. I am going to live with it until I get a new television by a different manufacturer maybe next year. I strongly suggest you search Google for some reviews of this television with regard to vertical banding issues - before you buy it.
on 26 September 2012
I bought this TV after doing a lot of research. I even got a subscription to Which? so that I could have a look at their consumer reviews. At the time of this being written (Sept 2012) there seems to be a consensus among technology reviewers that Samsung are making the best TVs at the moment. The ES6300 seems to back up this viewpoint.
Firstly, the screen quality is outstanding. To be honest, at this price bracket there is probably little difference between the top makers (Sony, Panasonic etc). I have spent a long time walking through John Lewis, Currys and Comet looking at the different TVs and there has never been any that I've thought 'Thats awful!' (and really TVs in demo mode, under shop lights in a row with 20 other TVs are never going to replicate what its like in your home). However, I have been blown away by the quality of the ES6300 since I've got it home and had a chance to play with the settings. It can even make some Standard Definition TV look HD! The colours are vivid, blacks are deep and it looks incredibly smooth.
As for the 3D, I have played with this, watching a few programs in the TVs conversion of 2D to 3D, and it does add a level of depth but its not something you'd bother with every day. When you put on a 3D film though, it really is quite impressive and very immersing. I have only watched Cars 2 3D so far but that really did make it feel like objects were popping from the screen. As a point of note, I have found that its best to watch 3D in a darkened room with no shafts of sunlight coming in - only because a big contrast of light within the room while you are wearing the 3D glasses does tend to make the fact they are effectively flickering (I think about 60 times per second), much more apparent.
The Smart Hub is great and as more apps are created for it I'm sure it will become more and more useful. At the moment we only really use it for BBC iPlayer and that works brilliantly well (although we do have a slightly better than average broadband connection). The internet browsing I have just found too frustrating when you don't have a keyboard (or even the slightly faster reaction of typing using the PlayStation controller on a PS3) but I understand that hooking a wireless keyboard up is fairly straightforward and should make the internet side a lot more tolerable. The internet browser seems fine but it seems not to play videos particularly well (maybe it doesn't have a Flash player but I have found it doesn't play videos on Apple's website either!).
Setting up the TV was a doddle and after it had done a firmware update (and several software updates for the Smart Hub) it was ready to go within minutes. In terms of setting up the screen I have found a few people with several different ideas of the best way to get the best image but I strongly suspect it mainly comes down to personal preference. Personally my best piece of advice is to turn the sharpness right up as this is what turned a lot of SD images into appearing almost HD! A friend of mine has a an additional sound system for his TV and I considered one for this, but to be honest I don't think it really needs it - the sounds are surprisingly crisp, clear and deep. I also have an external hard drive attached and video playback off it is perfect. The TV seems to recognise all the major video file formats so its had no problem playing things recorded off another TV, from my camera or downloaded videos. Unfortunately my HDD was already formatted in a different way from which the TV can record too (FAT32), so maybe buy a large capacity and fast connection (above 4.6mps) USB key if you want to record off the TV. A friend has just bought a wireless external HDD and he has found that to be excellent with his Samsung TV (and older 6 series).
All in all I really don't think you can get a better TV for the money.
on 18 September 2012
This will be a shorter review than most, only because there are already many excellent reviews here which more than cover any points I want to make (Product Reviewer's is fantastic with an extraordinarily detailed and helpful Q&A running in the comments).
So let's keep it simple. The tv is very slim, relatively light and easy to assemble. When connected up and switched on, the onscreen process quickly and efficiently takes you through the set up.
And that can be that.
You will already have a superb picture and great sound. Over time you can tinker to your hearts content with the many settings if you want to but you can do that while watching an already fabulous telly!
Smart TV works well and I've used the BBC iplayer app most of all so far but early days. My home broadband is ok, usually runs between 3-5 Mbps, and buffering has not been an issue. Picture quality via the app massively better than I was expecting so great, easy catchup tv.
3D looks amazing too but not had much time to play with it yet - great that the set comes with glasses so you can try straight away if you want to.
Happy to answer any general questions but for the detailed stuff, ask Product Reviewer!!
Overall VERY pleased with my new tv - it was bought to replace a 3 year old Samsung LCD TV damaged by a power surge during a thunderstorm recently and I had thought it was great - but this is a serious step up (and £200 cheaper than the old one!!)