Test Report: Samsung UN55EH6000 LCD HDTV Page 3



In its Movie picture and Warm2 color temperature mode, the Samsung UN55EH6000F measures slightly cool with dark and mid-tone images. After calibration, it tracked D6500 across the entire grayscale range.

Most color points were spot on the standard REC 709 targets with the Auto color space mode selected. Blue was somewhat blue-green, while magenta was somewhat reddish. It seems the two main casualties of Game Mode are color temperature management and color point accuracy. The grayscale becomes less consistent — lumpier, if you will — though it’s still reasonably close to D6500 across the range. Color suffers a bit more. Red is accurate, but yellow leans a touch toward green, green a touch toward yellow, and cyan a touch toward both. Ironically, blue and magenta are closer to their recommended values. Even though colors in Game Mode are less accurate, the 55EH6000 is still better in this mode than most TVs are when fully calibrated.

With a contrast setting of 100, all “above white” information is visible. Measuring the contrast ratio proved exceedingly difficult, as the 55EH6000 shuts off its LEDs in presence of a 0-IRE (black) signal. I took initial measurements using partially black patterns from my usual source (a DVDO VP50 video processor). To check that I wasn’t getting excessive light bleed from the active areas in these patterns, I created an almost totally black JPG test pattern with slight gray dots in the corners (to keep the LEDs active). This resulted in slightly lower black level measurements, which tells me that my assumption about the partially bright patterns was correct. However, an inverse all-white JPG resulted in maximum light output measurements that were significantly lower than what I measured from the VP50. So even though the method is out of the ordinary, I believe the most accurate accounting of the 55EH6000’s contrast ratio came from the combination of the black JPG and white DVDO measurements. I don’t like using different sources for contrast ratio measurements, but in this case I think it was unavoidable. The 55EH6000 certainly looked like it had a contrast ratio of 4,200:1 and not the significantly lower numbers that the other methods reported.

With its Backlight control at 20, the 55EH6000 produced 62.22 ftL and 0.0143 ftL, for a contrast ratio of 4,351:1. With the control set at 0, it produced 7.37 and 0.0018, for a contrast ratio of 4,094:1. With LED Motion Plus active and the Backlight at 20, the 55EH6000 produced 33.12 and 0.0079 (4,192:1). With the backlight at 0, the results were 3.745 and 0.0009, for a contrast ratio of 4,161:1. — G.M.

Bottom Line

I’m not bothered by the absence of 3D or Smart TV features on Samsung’s UN55EH6000. I’ve never once chosen to watch something in 3D for pleasure; I’ve only done it to evaluate a display’s performance. And I love Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, etc., but I don’t think they’re required inside a TV. Every Blu-ray player already has media streaming, and an Apple TV or Roku media box offers?as much if not more functionality than what’s available in a television. However, I am interested in performance and price, and that’s where the Samsung falters. It’s not bright enough to offer a compelling argument for an LED-backlight over a cheaper CCFL one, and its overall performance is lacking compared with similarly priced plasmas.

I can’t help but wonder what the UN55EH6000 could have been. With its non-edge-lit LED backlight, and no 3D or Smart TV features, this potentially could have been a stripped-down videophile LCD TV, if only it had some sort of local dimming. Instead, it offers average picture quality and minimal features, all for a too-high price.