Samsung UN46D6000 LED LCD HDTV

Price: $1300 At A Glance: Exceptional color and detail • Deep blacks • Non-uniformity clearly visible in letterbox bars and dark scenes • Smart TV functions well implemented

The Samsung UN46D6000 LED-edgelit LCD TV is among the best-selling flat panels from several retailers, and for good reason—it's a superb performer in almost every respect. Out of the box, it turned in the most accurate measurements of any TV I've ever reviewed (that is, after I selected the Movie picture mode), its color and detail are exquisite, its blacks are very deep, and the Smart TV online content looked better than I've seen from most displays. The only real fly in the ointment is the non-uniformity of illumination in dark scenes and letterbox bars, which is endemic of just about all LED-edgelit LCDs. But if you can get past that, the UN46D6000 is an exceptional value I would recommend to anyone looking for a flat panel on a budget.

The UN46D6000 is an LED-edgelit LCD TV, which, in this case, means the illumination is provided by white LEDs at the left and right edges of the screen. (In some LED-edgelit LCDs, the LEDs are at the top and bottom or on all four sides.) The refresh rate is 120Hz, and the set offers Auto Motion Plus frame interpolation, synthesizing new frames to display between the actual frames coming from the source device in order to combat motion blur. However, this also causes a side effect called the "soap-opera effect," because it makes movies look like they were shot on video. Fortunately, you can turn frame interpolation off if you like, though I prefer the sharper motion detail it provides.

Another feature designed to reduce motion blur is called LED Motion Plus, which flashes the LEDs on and off in groups from top to bottom in sync with the frames. This reduces the amount of time each frame is visible, but it also darkens the picture a lot, and I couldn't see much difference in motion detail turning it on and off, so I left it off.

Samsung has come up with a concept called Clear Motion Rate (CMR), which attempts to quantify the effect of panel refresh rate, LED flashing, and video-processor speed together. For the D6000 LED LCD, the company claims a CMR of 240, but the meaning of this number is unclear. Samsung calls it a "relative scale," but relative to what? The company hasn't told me yet. As soon as it does, I'll update this review accordingly.

One of the primary features of this set is its Smart TV capabilities, which means it can access various online content sources via downloaded apps as well as media files stored on any device connected to your home network. It also has a USB port to which you can connect a USB storage device such as a hard-disk drive that holds video, audio, and/or photos.

To help with setup, the UN46D6000 provides two internal test patterns—one for setting Brightness and Contrast and one for setting Color and Tint. And an RGB-only mode is extremely helpful in setting Color and Tint—simply set this control to Blue-only, which displays only the blue channel of information, and set the Color and Tint so the bars look indistinguishable. This is far better than the blue filter glasses you get with most setup discs, which can be very inaccurate, especially with LCD TVs.

Geeky features include 2- and 10-point grayscale calibration controls, though this is among the most accurate TVs out of the box I've ever seen, so the 10-point controls are completely unnecessary. Of course, don't try to adjust either set of controls without the requisite training and equipment.


Jarod's picture

I sure wish I had the same luck with my UN40D6000 that I have been goin through hell with. Im on set number 3 now and the only reason I keep going back to it is because it is a TV for my wife in our bedroom and she loves the style. I had 13 dead pixels on my first set with white blobs all over the screen with a black screen or any full screen color on the first one. On the second one I had 7 dead pixels with even worst uniform issues. So now I am on set number 3 and it has 4 dead pixels with the same uniformity issues. Netflix is unwatchable on my set due to drop outs and as you said when you stream movies in turns the settings to torch mode. On the UN40D6000 if you stream content with Netflix it will not allow you to adjust video settings. Stuck on torch mode I am very surprised the difference between the 46 and 40 in version. If you were to tinker with my set you would not have given it a Top Pick. Must be alot of variation between sizes. Between dead pixels, unwatchable Netflix, white blobs during all black scenes, discolored corners due to flashlighting, and I can not recommend the UN40D6000. All of my settings were the exact same as yours except the gamma was left at 0 and I did not adjust the hi and low RGB. Thankfully you had better luck with the 46 unless they sent you a ringer. Love the podcasts and keep up the great work Scott!! Im a huge fan!

Scott Wilkinson's picture
How incredible that we've had such different experiences with the same model line! I can't imagine that there's any functional difference between different sizes of a given TV line, so I have no idea how this could happen. In fact, Samsung didn't have a review sample to send me, so they bought the TV at a retailer and had it shipped directly to me. I kid you not...Samsung had no chance to tweak the set before I got it directly from a retailer's stock.

I'm amazed that the set would not allow you to adjust the picture controls in streaming mode, since my set did. It did go back to torch mode for the Smart TV menu, but not for streamed content. Strange...

Thanks so much for the kind words! I'm grateful to have fans such as you!

Jarod's picture

Thanks for the reply Scott! Ya Im just as amazed as you at the difference in our sets. On the AVS forums many people are having either great luck or bad luck with the UND6000 line and I guess quality control is all over the place. After about the 100 hour mark or so is when the dead pixels start to show up. I got off the phone with a Samsung rep earlier and he indeed confirmed that some of the early sets functionality in streaming mode would not work so I guess all of mine have been early models. If it wasn't for these problems, including the little gnomes with flashlights in the each corner of the set as TJN likes to call it and the dead pixels and streaming issues, it would be an excellent set. Thanks again Scott!!!

Scott Wilkinson's picture
Jarod, because of your comments, I've arranged to keep the D6000 for a while, and I'm going to run it up well past 100 hours to see if any pixels go dead. I'll keep you posted about the results, and if I do see dead pixels, I'll update the review accordingly. Thanks for bringing this up!
Jarod's picture

Cool thanks Scott! Looking forward to seeing if any show up. Thanks again. I have an update that I will post about my 4th (4th lol thats not a typo) 40UN40D6000 I just picked up and upon early run in it looks like a completely different set! Having great luck so far.

SunriseGatefield's picture

I thought I'd chime in on the issue about adjusting picture settings while watching streaming video--Netflix and the like. I had a Samsung UN55D6900 for a few weeks (so my remarks might not apply to the D6000, though what I'm about to say is true of the D6400s so...) and I initially thought that you could not adjust the picture while watching Netflix and other streaming video. The reason is that hitting the Menu button--which usually brings up the picture and other settings--wouldn't do anything during streaming. The trick, which I discovered by accident, is that you need to hit the "Tools" button, which brings up a number of options, one of which is picture settings. Was this your experience with the D6000, Scott? Is this of any help to you, Jarod?

Incidentally, at about $2000, and despite the great color and features, the flashlighting and uniformity issues with the D6900 were too bothersome to me, which is why I returned it.

Jarod's picture

Thanks Sunrise. I had actually tried that Tools does not work either.

redwolf4k's picture

I noticed the set seems to shudder, or skip frames when watching content on direcTV. The set is being fed a 1080i 60hz signal via the set top box.

Regardless of the settings I use, including the excellent settings provided in your review, it seems that every so often the picture stutters or runs at 2 frames per second. Even with Auto Motion Plus set to OFF I run into this problem.

Do you know what is happening here? I am currently using your settings. I don't have this problem with blu-ray discs or video game sources. I simply have this problem with DTV, so I assume it has to do with feeding a 1080i 60hz signal to the set.

Thanks, and great review!


Seti80's picture

Hi Scott,

What is the build date on this particular Samsung set you tested? Also what is the version number of it? Thanks