Samsung UN40EH6000 LED-LCD TV Page 2

I started my real-world watching with Jurassic Park on Blu-ray. The first thing I noticed was that the LEDs turned completely off in the full black fields between the opening title screens, even though I had disabled all dynamic-contrast features. There was even some momentary back-and-forth between completely off and on during those black screens—I presume because there's something in the signal that tells the LEDs to light up—which was somewhat distracting.

Once I got past the opening titles, the picture looked beautiful, with gorgeous colors in skin tones, green foliage, and red Jurassic Park logo on the Jeeps. Detail was razor sharp in the texture of bones being excavated, particles of sand, and skin pores.

Next up was Stargate: Continuum on Blu-ray, which exhibited the same LED on/off problem in black interstitial screens. The black of space in the opening starfield was not terribly deep, but it exhibited much better uniformity than any LED-edgelit LCD I've seen, including Samsungs that are much more expensive than the EH6000 line. The shadow detail was very good in the scene of the Achilles steaming across the Atlantic, and the colors of skin tones, camo uniforms, and blue sky were spot-on. Likewise, the detail was superb in the Tokra city, ice crystals, and nubby sweater of Mitchell's grandfather.

Turning to Master & Commander on DVD, when the Oppo BDP-83 player was sending 480i, the opening text flickered, but not when the player was doing the upscaling. As before, the black interstitial screens caused the LEDs to turn off momentarily; this was especially distracting between scenes 1 and 2.

Given what I'd seen in previous titles, I was surprised that the shadow detail in the watchman's nighttime walk below decks was quite poor, with lots of low-level detail lost in solid dark gray. Colors of skin tones, blue sky, and green cactus on the Galapagos Islands were all good, and detail was as good as upscaled standard-def can be.

I also watched a bit of Star Trek: The Motion Picture Director's Edition DVD. (I know, I know, it's a terrible movie, but the visuals are great.) The black of the opening starfield was not all that deep, though the uniformity was excellent. As with M&C, playing the movie at 480i resulted in flickering text, but upscaling in the player solved that problem. The detail in the San Francisco skyline was rather soft, but the color of skin tones and blue sky was quite good.

To test the set's frame interpolation, I used some of the opening shots from Cars on Blu-ray. As expected, the Clear setting had no effect, since this is a film-based (24 frame-per-second) program, while the Standard and Smooth settings didn't seem to do all that much, except to make the image look more video-like. So I left Auto Motion Plus on Clear so it would sharpen video material while leaving film content alone.

The UN40EH6000's off-axis performance was pretty good. Of course, as I moved farther away from the center axis, the color shifted and desaturated a bit, especially skin tones, and blacks lightened beyond about 15 degrees, but only a little, and it held steady beyond that rather than getting progressively worse.

Bottom Line
I ended up really liking the UN40EH6000. In the Movie picture mode, its color and grayscale are very close to the industry standards without doing a full calibration, which few buyers would pay for with a set this inexpensive. The detail and color are superb, and I love the dark-scene uniformity of full-array LED backlighting.

I don't like that the LEDs turn off completely in interstitial black screens, which is somewhat distracting. However, I don't see this as a major problem because it doesn't happen all that often, and when it does, it's only momentary. And you definitely want to feed this TV a signal better than 480i, which is no big deal in my book, since this is only seen now with standard-def broadcast programming being watched by fewer and fewer people. I was surprised that the shadow detail was good on Blu-rays, but not on the DVDs I tried. And the black level was certainly adequate but not super-deep on real-world material.

Would I recommend the UN40EH6000 to my friends and family? Yes—in fact, I already have. And those who wanted to save a few bucks have gone with the step-down UN40EH5000 ($750), which is essentially identical to the EH6000 except with a refresh rate of 60Hz and no frame interpolation, which is no problem, since I found that feature to be fairly ineffective. If you want Smart TV functionality, go for the UN40EH5300 ($800). Based on my experience with the EH6000, any of these sets should provide a very satisfying video image for under $1000.

hawkeye_wx's picture

My dad watches some shows on a few cable tv channels that are still SD... old movies, classic tv shows like M*A*S*H, etc. Would the 480i content flickering issue you found make this tv not a good choice for him?