Samsung UN46D6000 LED LCD HDTV Page 3

JAG on HDNet via Dish Network looked spectacular, with super-sharp detail and excellent color in skin tones, blue water, and "peanut butter" naval uniforms. Also shadow detail in dark scenes was great, with lots of subtle details clearly visible.

Turning to Blu-ray, Cars looked similarly beautiful. The black letterbox bars were quite dark, but I could see a bit of light in the corners, especially in dark scenes. The LEDs turned completely off in the black fields that separate the opening shots, but it seemed quite natural. This effect was not so natural on Master & Commander—the drop to full black between the opening titles was somewhat distracting, and the non-uniformity was very evident in the black-background title screens. Also, shadow detail in the watchman's below-deck walk wasn't great—increasing the Gamma setting helped more than the Shadow Detail control.

That high Gamma setting made Seven Years in Tibet on Blu-ray look a bit washed out, so I settled on a value of +1, which yielded pretty good shadow detail in the night scenes. Otherwise, the colors were gorgeous, and detail was superb, though the letterbox bars were a bit light in the corners. The lack of dark-field uniformity was nowhere more evident than in the opening shot of Stargate: Continuum on Blu-ray, which consists of a field of stars against the black of space. However, the shadow detail in the scene of the Achilles steaming across the Atlantic was pretty good.

The detail in Star Wars VI on DVD was as good as can be expected from standard def, but of course, it was somewhat softer than Blu-ray or HDTV. The drop to full black between opening titles was obvious but fairly smooth, and the non-uniformity issue was clear in outer-space scenes. Shadow detail in Vader's shuttle cockpit and Jabba's dim lair was quite good, and colors were excellent.

To use the Smart TV functions, you must create an account that includes typing in an e-mail address, which is a pain with the telephone-style keypad. (Fortunately, Samsung offers a free remote app for certain Android and iOS devices that provides a virtual QWERTY keyboard, making it much easier to enter text.) Then, you must install the apps you want—I installed BBC, Hulu Plus, YouTube, and Netflix. Oh, and you also need to enter the picture settings again—Smart TV defaults to the Dynamic picture mode.

With a downstream speed of 5Mbps in the studio, I had no trouble with any streaming. YouTube plays full screen, and it looked surprisingly good—I watched Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir sing Lux Aurumque, which is a sublime piece of music. Sure, I could see some jaggies and other artifacts, but it was better than I thought it would be.

With a Netflix account, I could access high-def content, so I watched an episode of Numb3rs, which looked a bit soft compared to broadcast HD, but better than I expected. There were some obvious artifacts in zooming shots and geometric grids, but no buffering pauses, and the color was excellent. Running a network bandwidth test while this stream was active revealed that it was using 2.73Mbps, and the screen blanked momentarily a couple of times during the test, but there were no buffering pauses. The Twilight Zone in standard def looked crisp and sharp in the correct aspect ratio.


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