on 16 October 2012
After much research, store crawling, review reading and agonising, I took delivery of this TV from Amazon 2 weeks ago.
The bottom line is - it's a great TV. It does what I want very well, it looks great (I was aiming for a minimalistic set up/hidden cables/low-profile etc, the picture quality is good in sd, and spectacular in HD/blu-ray.
Set up was easy, sure - there's lots to explore and tweak if you want to (such as sound/picture qualities) but its fine out of the box. My set up has this TV at the heart, supported by a Yamaha YSP 4100 sound bar, a Yamaha YST-FSW050BL sub-woofer, a Panasonic DMP-BBT01EB 3d blu-ray player and a 1st generation Apple TV. I've managed to install them all without a cable now being in sight. The TV hangs on the wall (if you chose) and so makes for a very sleek profile (tip - buy the more expensive wall-hanging kit, the £10 one is now in my bin, I just didn't trust it).
I connected to the web using a wired connection & internet use is easy. It readily recognised all my other kit as mentioned above, via the HDMI connections I made (there are 4 connections I think)
On the downside, I'm not too bothered personally about some of the pre-loaded apps and links found on the home page, but I can ignore them or maybe delete them.
A note on the sound - it's 'common knowledge' that the sound on these super-slim machines isn't good. So I spent more than I did on the TV, buying a good quality sound bar, to find the TV sound is actually quite good! However, I'd say it's only really good enough for 'standard' TV watching, and not for music or serious cinematic effects. My advice would be to try it stand-alone first before you add a sound system, to see if it meets your needs.
on 27 July 2012
Bought this from another shop as it came with a 5 year guarantee, the picture is brilliant, even on standard definition channels. But who would want to watch sd on such a huge television! Although we have it in a home cinema system, the television speakers are crisper then most.
Blu-rays and hd channels look crisp and clean. Have tried the "explore 3d" feature in the smart hub and it was exhilarating, the depth in the picture was brilliant and giving a realistic 3d effect. the smart hub is, unfortunately, clunky, slow and unreliable. When searching the Internet through the television, the screen froze and was not happy. But all in all it is a very good television.
There has been an update for the Samsung smart hub and it seems to be working a lot more fluently.
Very pleased with the television, had it for three months now, and am still extremely pleased.
The problem with back light clouding still hasn't come to much, and is only obvious in the corners.
Well done Samsung...
6 months on now and there has still been no serious issue with the back light clouding. I watched the opening ceremony of the Olympics in 3D recently and couldn't believe how realistic it looked. I still love the television. It really is a lovely television.
It takes a lot for technology to impress me - it is the everyday functionality, the genuine usefulness, which impresses me, not the knowledge that the chips are five times faster than yesterday's or that the screen was polished by elves using moondust.
As a result much that is new is disappointing, and I am often a late adopter.
So when I was asked to test drive the Samsung S6800 I was not expecting much - it is, after all, just a TV, and I have owned a TV, in various different forms, for over thirty years.
And yet, crikey!
Probably the easiest five stars I have given this year. Here is why:
- Picture: unbelievably clear; sometimes it is like looking through a window; initially it was a little disconcerting, but after a few weeks I simply refuse to go back to a lower quality image
- Physical design: thinner than you would think possible, and despite having a 40-inch screen it avoids dominating the room
- PVR: the functionality for a PVR is built-in; just buy a USB external hard drive, plug it in and you are good to go, with scheduled record, series record and all that stuff. I bought a 1Tb Western Digital drive and now have many hundreds of hours of capacity
- Apps: there is a growing list of useful apps; I use BBC iplayer, ITV player, Lovefilm and YouTube, but there are plenty more for other interests
- Blu-Ray integration: I bought a cheap Samsung BD player and the TV recognises its sibling and I can use the TV remote to control both
- Bit torrents: this TV can play every video format I have thrown at it; the picture quality when playing low resolution downloads is supernaturally good - I have no idea how they do it
- USB slots: as well as using the USB slots for a PVR hard disk, or bit torrents, you can, for example, plug in an iPhone and the TV will offer you the chance to view the photos on it, plug in an Android and you can see everything, such as videos and podcasts
- 3D: and yes, this is a 3D TV; we don't bother with it much, but have enjoyed a couple of 3D blu-ray movies, and the quality is excellent
- 3D conversion: another freaky feature is the conversion of regular 2D broadcasts into 3D; again, no idea how they do it, but it really works
All in all, this is a quite remarkable TV. There is other functionality I have even tested yet, such as directly beaming content from a Samsung smartphone to the TV, or viewing digital photos, or playing MP3's or playing with several different picture modes (the default picture is amazing so I haven't felt the need to experiment.)
With so many features, every household will use it differently. Samsung are clearly trying to make the TV that every home should have and they have come pretty close to it already. Heaven knows what they will come up with next, but this is technology how it should be - a genuine leap forward but easy to use and with something for everyone in the family.
on 14 September 2012
After battling with a UE40ES6710 non-UK version and forking out for a UE40ES6800, I was happy it worked off the bat and found loads of Freesat and Freeview channels.
Setup took some time over several days - I only just worked out how to manage favourite channels at 3am this morning!
With all heavily featured devices nowadays, it's the configuration and juggling which features you'll really be using that takes the time. The online help is ok, a bit clunky but I'll get used to it.
Overall, we're very happy with the picture quality and clarity though the colour can seem a bit too strong. More fine tuning needed...
The 2D-3D conversion works well - and I keep wondering "how do they do that, then?"
My new HDMI cable that was v1.4 didn't support Anynet+ (connected a BD-6100 player) but my 4 year old cable does. Anynet+ is a bit silly though as the whole point of it is to control both devices using one remote control... but you need the BD-6100 controller to switch it on first (but not to switch it off). Crazy.
on 3 August 2012
It is a very good smart TV. You need to update the firmware once you unbox the TV. It can update via wi-fi, but it didn't work for me, instead I've updated it via USB. (Downloaded the new firmware from samsung.com, extracted it, copied to a usb drive, and plugged it to the TV.)
After updating the firmware, the experience with the smart hub was much better.
As a TV, it is already perfect, in this size.
on 4 October 2012
I did not believe this TV would be this good.Best price elsewhere over £100 more.Set up really simple. Found wi-fi connection and downloaded firmware OK. Picture quality is fantastic on HD and the 3D experience much better than anticipated even on non 3D programmes. (Shan't be paying more to Sky for it!)Only downside so far is that supplied hand set is useless for web surfing but hope to be able to connect usb keyboard once wife has finished using it with PC.
If you are thinking of buying it just do it.
on 15 August 2012
Edit: June 2013 screen failed ! Bands of lines across screen.
I'm so glad I had a 5 year guarantee, new screen fitted good as new.
I would urge everyone to take out extended warranty on such an expensive item.
I am so pleased with this tv. The picture is amazing, even if i sit right in front of it. I had to adjust picture settings as these are set far too bright, I was told this is so they look good if displayed in store. I turned the backlight down to half way, and I have contrast on 60 and brightness on 50. This is what looked best in my opinion, and in my living room, much more natural and easier on the eyes.
I have found a wired connection to be a lot better then wireless, i dont know if this is down to the wireless adaptor in the telly or the wireless network in my house. I have a 4mb broadband connection, and i was able to stream hd movies direct from lovefilm.com. I updated the firmware recently and the Smart hub seems easier to use now. I did look at the more expensive models the es7 and 8000, I didn't think that voice and motion control would be of much use to me, the salesman in store couldn't get it to work properly anyway.
I wasn't that bothered about 3d but after watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics I was blown away, it looked like confetti was falling in my living room.This is by far the most realistic 3d images i have seen.
In conclusion a great tv if you can fit the 55 inch in your lounge you will be blown away
on 18 September 2012
I thought this would be a bit of a step up from the ue40d6730 that I'd seen at a friend's. When it arrived, the micro-dimming on the screen caused there to be noticeable blotchy clouding on the screen. From reviews, I read that this is not unusual.
The other more annoying fault is that when the TV is connected to an AV receiver, the sound will often cut out for a brief moment when a scene changes. I've read elsewhere that this is a problem with the way that the TV decode signals when they change from 1080p and 1080i.
Whatever the reason for it, it is annoying enough for me to return the TV.
on 26 September 2012
Once setup this TV looks very aesthetically pleasing. The initial setup is straightforward enough to have the TV and Wi-Fi connection up and running quickly (that's despite the lack of a proper manual - Yes, there is a basic setup guide but it is of little help). The best thing about this TV is the HD picture quality (of course, in standard definition the picture suffers from the usual compression artefacts seen on larger screens).
One of the let downs for me is the UE40ES6800's barely adequate PVR and EPG functionality. Although the EPG is fast loading, it is rather basic (certainly compared to my crusty old Humax). For example, there's no one-touch scheduling or even a program name search facility. Like all TV's I've seen in this price bracket, the UE40ES6800 only has a single-tuner which means you can only record and watch channels from one multiplex at a time (so, yes, you will still need that separate dual-tuner PVR to watch and record from different TV channel multiplexes simultaneously). Another annoyance it the lack of a 'skip' function on playback (really handy for skipping over adverts on Humax). In addition, from a usability perspective, there are times when it seems that the number of button presses required to do even the most basic of things (like deleting a program) is excessive.
And so on to the so-called Smart features...It's worth bearing in mind that, despite hype to the contrary, there are not yet that many apps available for Samsung Smart TVs and most of them are unremarkable to say the least. Hopefully the quality and number of apps will improve in the near future - But I'm not holding my breath.
Another frustration is how slow it is use the Smart Hub and web browser. Apps seemingly require updating nearly every time they are run which means you need a lot of patience - Performance wise it is nowhere near as slick as on your average smartphone. Obviously, entering long strings of text using the remote will drive you insane. An alternative to buying the £70 keyboard is to use the free Samsung Remote app on your Samsung smartphone to input text - It's OK but not great. As an aside, another phone app which works quite well (at least on a Galaxy S2) is Samsung AllShare which enables media on your phone to be played/displayed on the TV.
In summary, as a HDTV the UE40ES6800 is good but otherwise leaves me feeling somewhat underwhelmed.
on 17 November 2012
Picture good. However I returned this TV as when I connected it via the optical audio output to my Bose sound unit the audio kept cutting out on Freeview HD channels. This is a known fault with Samsung Tv's as I discovered on the internet but they have not addressed the issue. I returned the TV for a Sony set and this works fine with the external sound system. Amazon did a good job at sorting out the refund for me!