42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2012
I bought this TV in a bricks and mortar retail store and I'm glad I did, because based on a number of reviews I was about to purchase either the Samsung ES6800 or ES6900. The reason I changed my mind and bought this instead (and therefore spent £300 more than I originally intended) was simple - picture quality - it is superior in every way to the older two models, colour, clarity, motion, contrast. There was one other factor too, this has a small, unobtrusive black bezel while the other two have much larger naff plastic chrome-effect bezels, while this may seem trivial this thing is going to sit in your lounge for a few years so you don't want it to look ugly.
The picture quality is superb, motion is smooth and non-blocky, colour is bright and contrasty without being too vivid and unrealistic, both SD and HD look good but HD looks fantastic. I've found no need to adjust the out of the box picture, though there's plenty of adjustment for those who want to.
3D was a feature I wasn't really interested in, I thought it was a bit of a gimmick and I'd never use it, however, you can't buy a TV of this quality these days that isn't 3D capable. Then during the Olympics the BBC broadcast some segments in 3D and I decided to give it a try. I have to say I was really impressed, it really is effective and does give a truly three dimensional effect, for those old enough, it reminded me of using one of the old red plastic stereoscopic viewers that was a bit like a pair of binoculars where you used a disc of small slides (people under about 50 will have no idea what I'm on about). I'm not sure how much I'll use the 3D, I guess it depends how much is broadcast in 3D but for those who are into watching films and will buy 3D content then I'm sure this will be excellent. Even the 2D to 3D conversion is pretty good, I'd guess it works by examining the image stream for apparent parallax and then converting using that, as it seems to work best when there is a moving image rather than a still one.
Sound is perfectly good enough from the built in speakers for everyday viewing, I used to have my old TV connected to my hi-fi amplifier and occasionally would route the sound through that if I was watching something that warranted it such as a film or a music programme, with this TV I doubt I'll bother as the sound is pretty good anyway. If you do want to hook up an amp or home cinema receiver then there are the appropriate connection, although there's no analogue RCA, so those with older kit may struggle.
One of my reasons for wanting a Smart TV was to play back recorded HD content from a home NAS over DLNA and this TV does an excellent job of this. So far it has handled everything I've thrown at it - AVI, MP4 and MKV container formats with DivX, XviD, AVC(H.264) video and MP3, AAC and AC3 audio and the quality has been excellent with no stuttering or sync problems, and that's with it connected over wireless. The interface for DLNA delivered content is very simple, there's no thumbnails, metadata or anything like that, just the filename displayed, and there are two options for browsing content - all content or by folder. I keep all my content well ordered and with meaningful names in an organised folder structure. If you're not so obsessive as me, then you may get frustrated with trying to find stuff. I don't know whether other DLNA players do a better job as this is the first one I've used but this works well for me.
iPlayer integration is another feature I was keen on and this too works well. There's also ITV's replay service and I think there's Youtube but I've not tried these. There's a Lovefilm application and I believe there's a NetFlix one too though it isn't installed as standard, I've not tried these and probably never will. Other features such as the web browser are OK but if you have a computer then I very much doubt you'll ever use it, I won't, it's too cumbersome. I guess you could use the web browser to get to video sites that aren't directly supported by the TV. There's a handful of other applications built in such as games and Skype, but again, I can't really see the point of these and will never use them.
Gadgets and gimmicks:
This is the only reason this TV doesn't get 5 stars from me.
It has motion control and voice control - you can wave at it or talk to it to turn it on and off, change the channel, adjust volume, etc. - why? this seems like a complete waste of time to me, the remote control is a far easier and more intuitive way to do these things.
It comes with a wireless keyboard for using the Smart functions, again, I can see this might appeal to those who want to use their TV for web browsing but for me it's just another piece of gadgetry (admittedly a well made and nicely designed one) that will sit unused for a couple of weeks then be packed away in the loft.
There's two remotes, a traditional one and a Smart touch sensitive remote. The traditional one does everything you need, is far more intuitive and is far quicker in use than the Smart one, so again, I suspect the Smart remote will never get used. The Smart remote has an IR blaster thing than can be used to turn it into a universal remote but I can't be bothered to configure this and it seems like a lot of fuss for minimal benefit.
Finally, there's a camera built into the bezel to support the motion control and for Skype. As far as I'm concerns all this does is makes a bump in what would otherwise be a nice neat and very slim bezel.
I'd prefer it if Samsung just dropped all these gadgets and gimmicks and simply reduced the price of the TV, I'm sure that without the camera, Smart remote, IR blaster and keyboard then the TV could be a good £100 cheaper and it wouldn't be any the worse for losing them.
So in summary, a great TV with a great picture, great 3D, good sound, good connectivity, good Smart features and a bunch of gimmicks that you'll never use. Overall excellent and I'd thoroughly recommend it, but just pack all the extra gadgets straight into the loft and save yourself the trouble of unpacking them and reading the manuals.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2013
I bought this tv. I am returning it.
I tried every combination of picture settings, but always the picture (while seriously hi-def) looked plastic/digital, with a weird depth of field that was headache inducing.
I was very disappointed.... and asked for advice. The tech guys at John Lewis said that they had similar complaints about this model, and believe it is something to do with the way this generation of Samsungs TVs are processing their picture.
I will buy a new tv.