"Pleasant to watch and a decent value, but not perfect"5.0 starson by Thomas-K-Peltier
Pros: Picture Quality - Just amazing, clear, fluid and just looks great
Sound is decently powerful
Slick design, light & thin
Easy to set up and extremely easy to use
Cons: Using the web browser is slow and cumbersome with Samsung's included remote
Summary: My background: Art major, pro photographer, highend home audio/stereo veteran, home-theater veteran (sort of). Owned a couple of front projectors over the last decade, currently without one...still have a very large 2.35:1 Da-Lite high gain screen. I don't play video games. I mostly watch 1080i "hdtv" broadcasts, or else blu rays via a slightly old player. All connected with silver-plated HDMI cable (yes it does make a big difference...and this cable did not cost very much, either).Edit:
With the above in mind, most of my review is about my personal journey, and my perception of the tv, regarding image quality. I've not begun to dig into many of the "smart tv" features. They do seem to work fine, though. Would work better with a keyboard. Also my internet connection is not the fastest.
I've had this 46F6300 tv nearly a month. I had tried the 40 inch 5000 series, but returned it (it had the "sharp" panel, and it just plain sucked...Thankfully, this particular 46F6300 only comes with the Samsung panel, so you can order one from anywhere and not have to worry about the Samsung "panel lottery"). Having spent a lot of money on new camera equipment over the last 6 months, amongst other things...I wanted to see if I could live with spending a minimum amount of cash on a tv. It turns out, I could not. And 40 inches is smaller than two people can comfortably watch anyway. Sitting 12 feet away from any 1080p tv smaller than 80 inches, is a waste of pixels in my opinion...so I sit much closer. But sitting closer means there's barely room for two people...at least on the front row.
After some extra research, and joining AVS forum (a few debates on another forum)...and several visits to local tv showrooms, I concluded this F6300 would suit me. After living with it for 3 weeks at home, I can certainly be happy with it, but I will always want something better. The problem is, "better" costs anywhere from 50% more, to 150% more...or even 3000% more! At this time, there is probably only one other "1080p" tv I want: a Sony which costs over $2000...and it's only 55 inches. Currently the best looking tv I have seen in person, is the Samsung 4k. Samsung's demo looks a lot better than Sony's demo on their 4k TV's. But then Sony are pushing their 4k upsampled movie disc drive, so demo content relies on movie clips which lack the "wow" factor. OLED tv's will be putting every tv available now, to shame over the next few years, in any case. But until then, the new 4k panels, absolutely put most of the 1080p panels to shame, in terms of color, contrast, and black level (not even counting the 4-times-more pixels). That 1080p Sony I mention above, with its own dedicated 1080p demo in the store, does get close to the 4K panels...in my opinion...at least in terms of color palette and saturation without clipping (certainly not in detail, obviously).
Getting back to this Samsung UN46F6300...Comparing the F6300 to what I saw in the stores, in my opinion, the 7100 series is just not enough better to justify the price difference. Sure the 7100 has "3D", but if that's important to you, you might not be reading this. The biggest difference, is the 7100 seems to have solved the "dark corner" backlight issue of the 6300 (an inch square in each corner of the screen, is slightly dark at times...I can live with it. You're almost never looking in the extreme corners anyway unless there's a tv commercial where the whole screen is white, and you get bored with that...)
And the 8000 series, is also not that much improved over the 7100...yet costs quite a bit more. Certainly the 8000 still suffers from a lack of a really wide color gamut.
My opinion of 3D is, it's a cute feature if you have the money to blow, and young children...but really it's just the CG cartoons such as "Despicable Me", etc...which look good in 3D. Live action 3D looks fake to me unless it's shot with dual IMAX film cameras (almost nothing is anymore)...and all consumer 3D glasses I have viewed, ruin color saturation and balance...and destroy shadow detail...not to mention they're annoying to wear. So I see the current 3D technology as a slowly passing fad...But if you want the best panel from any manufacturer, it will be 3D anyway...except of course for 4K (currently)!
After quite a bit of fiddling with the settings, I can state that this F6300 appears to have decent black level, color saturation, contrast, and motion processing...with an adequate amount of shadow detail (not great, but definitely adequate). BUT TO ACHIEVE THIS, you need to watch in a dark room with the backlight turned down (a lot)...and the contrast set a bit above "50", with brightness below "50". To turn the backlight above halfway, and set contrast and brightness below halfway...destroys blacks, and the image loses its contrast and "crispness". Sure the brightness "grabs" your eyes and makes them take notice, but what they're noticing...does not look good. I suspect the 7100 series is just not that much better, here. Certainly it was hard to tell in the store, with their absurd demo reel that wasn't even connected via HDMI...
The "black tone" and "dynamic contrast" can be useful if the content needs them, but if the content is shot/edited correctly, you won't need these features. Certainly the gamma setting can vary, usually from "0" to "3". Rarely if ever did I need to go below "0".
So...In a bright room, the 6300 can go extremely bright (turn the backlight to 20 and the contrast up a lot)...but there won't be any blacks at all, or even dark grays. Given the display seems almost as bright as a searchlight in this mode...I guess that isn't surprising. The matte screen likely works very well in a bright room, but for me I would rather read a magazine or book in a bright room...or else look at the world outside through the windows. I don't agree with some who feel the matte screen "keeps the colors from popping" as well as is possible with a full gloss screen. I think it's mostly due to this matte screen being "glossy enough", yet still matte. The 5000 series had a much more matte screen that did look dull by comparison to the 6300.
Regarding the built in speakers...being an audiophile who used to have more time, and was more obsessed than I can currently afford to be...compared to the 5000 tv, the speakers in this F6300 sound fabulous! The 5000's sounded like honking geese (yet its speaker drivers were larger)! The 6300's equalizer needs very little adjusting. These speakers work just fine for when you don't want to turn the surround system on, and portray very nice "out of phase" stereo imaging from the "downconverted from surround to two channel" digital audio signal being fed to them (and this is still in the "standard" audio mode). The treble is plenty extended enough, given these are downfiring, and thus "quasi-omnidirectional" (as are most flat panel tv speakers). There are a few spoken-word documentaries, where the person was mic'ed with too much chest sound...which can be a tad annoying...but for soundtracks that are mixed correctly (90% or so of all tv and movie content), these tv speakers sound neutral. It's hard to believe so much sound can come from tiny 1x3 inch speakers firing down at the floor!
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Hope it helps, enjoy!
Updated on Jan 18, 2014
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