Top positive review
Excellent images but...
28 February 2011
The picture quality is excellent. Colour balance, contrast & brightness are very close to real colours, with skin tones & greens noticeably accurate.
The image quality is pin sharp. This takes some getting used to. A friends older & similar sized, plasma screen wasn't this sharp. This mean that I've become very aware of any sets that might be lacking and distracting from the enjoyment of any viewing.
I'm assured that you get used to this, but it is a little unnerving.
Scenes with lots of views of landscapes & nature are excellent. You can easily loose yourself watching documentaries from the African Planes or trekking the Himalayas.
Connectivity works well. I'm able to view a whole range of material on an external hard drive I have.
I'm not so impressed with Samsung's 'PC Share Manager' software. Many of the same files haven't been made available through my Windows XP Home computer that could be read off the External Hard Drive. I can't even get it to work currently on my Windows 7 64bit laptop.
The DLNA software that Toshiba pre-installed on the laptop is also not compatible with the Samsung TV, which is a shame. This means that I can't currently stream video content off various websites straight to the TV. :'(
The Internet apps will need to be downloaded & installed. Good if you have a fast connection, not so good if it is slow. Once installed they work well and can be updated occasionally. The BBC iPlayer was the first to get checked. This was easy to use through the remote and I was quickly able to watch both SD & HD content without any drops (good Internet connection helps).
Sadly all the current adverts for Samsung's Internet@TV feature the Skype logo when Skype is NOT supported or available on this range. You need to spend more to get a TV in the LED 7000 & 8000 range. Also to benefit from Skype on these TVs you are limited to one camera available on the Skype website which costs over £100.
In terms of reception, the UK version is capable of receiving from FreeView, analogue (soon to be switched off) or Cable. Some EU versions also have the ability to decode Satellite channels, which is a shame as I would have like to tune in to FreeSat directly on the TV.
Sound output via a Scart socket to my elderly Surround Sound system was easy to resolve (plugged it in & all works just fine). I haven't had to change any settings in order to push the sound output from any of the additional picture sources. Basically anything displayed on the screen is output (Note: I'm using Scart#2).
In respect of image quality for fast moving things such as Football, not that I'm a footie fan, I can't seen any problems. sometimes there's a little 'electronic shadow' but it is hardly noticeable.
As for upscaling SD images, the result is very nice for the TV's image size. For the guru, there is a little patchiness on curved edges, for example, but this isn't too hard to put up with. HD content from Sky come out really nice, so most of my viewing is on these channels when available.
The TV doesn't 'jump' to a HDMI source when available. Instead you need to scroll through with the 'Source' button. It does jump to a Scart source though it you start playing a DVD, for example.
Personally I detest stretching 4:3 images to fit on the 16:9 screen. Changing the picture size is relatively painless with the 'P.Size' button on the remote. This leaves black borders either side of the image, but at least the picture looks correct again. Video footage from the external drive & YouTube automatically changed the screen to the correct ratio.
As is typical for any Television, a little of the picture is trimmed of the edges, but not too much in this case. If you are unsure what I mean, compare a video on a Computer monitor to that on a television and you will see a little more of the film. This isn't too serious as the camera men & women know to keep the points of image nearer the centre of your TV.
Overall I have been very happy with this product. Even with people suggesting that Plasma is the way to go, I can't fault this.
Enough typing, I have some viewing to do!