"Be ready for compromise."2.5 starson by tvseb
Pros: Good 2D to 3d conversion
Relatively smooth Smarthub operation on high speed and through LAN (not wifi) even with single core processor.
Allshare is a nice feature
Cons: Picture quality is a compromise. Corners are noticeably brighter and uneven (flashlights) between the both in intensity and the area of brighter hot spot.
Blotchy screen in dark sequences.
Does not support CR2 picture file format (RAW)
Summary: I picked up the TV three weeks ago and quickly found out that the edge lit LED technology was a step backwards in terms of picture quality. The research on some forums prior to the purchase raised a few red flags about blotching, flashlight effects and uneven screen dark levels in general. It was hard to verify at the store due to internal lighting (most sets are displaying bright demos and the blotching requires a uniform black screen in dark room to be seen). When the TV was offered at a sale with the Samsung speakers in a package I pulled the trigger. Soon after setting it up with the room dark (watching movies) I noticed bright light coming from all four corners into the center as well as a brighter blob in lower middle of the screen. None of the corner "flashlights" were of the same shape and intensity making it very annoying when watching a movie framed with black bars on top and bottom. The uneven screen intensity is also very apparent when watching black scenes (any outer space movie sequence is ruined). There is also a couple of darker horizontal bands running across the whole screen. Those cross with several bands running vertically. Again it seems that the edge lit technology is at fault with the led intensity not matched up between different modules. This can be seen only on a very dark greys and other uniform colors and is very noticeable when watching kids daily cartoon which use uniform colors for backgrounds. Also, with the screen black when viewing from sharp angle (close to 10-20 deg to screen plane) a few rainbow hues or bands are noticeable with green,re and yellows. It seems that the panel directing the LED light to individual pixels from the edge acts a bit like a prism and splits the white light into its components.....
Samsung was no help with these issues. The set was set to published calibrations in movie mode and they suggested changing the settings to eliminate the issue. It can be reduced but does not go away with their suggested back-light setting. Moreover, the suggested settings throw off the calibration into much darker picture. After struggling for 10 days I exchanged the TV for another one. Big plus here to BB as it was hassle free. Got a better set, still has the same issues. Now I'm wondering if this technology is so bad that it should not have made it past the R&D or if this is specific to some of Samsung's sets. Looks like someone invested in the plants to maybe gain the first to market reward and bet that the issues can be resolved prior to completion and in the end failed to do so. Once built there was no going back? In for a penny in for a pound? Not sure how they thought this would be acceptable. The thicker direct lit LED TVs have a better screen uniformity (have an older LG that looks much better in comparison). BTW it seems that the uneven hot spot and corner issue is present in other brands of edge lit LEDs, alhtough Samsung seems to have more issues with it then others.
Smart features are nice, even with single core processor in this model it handles the hub features OK with some lag time that is not too annoying. The offer of apps is relatively good. The only issue is the limited internal memory of ~800Mb which can be filled up quickly. I did not see anything on any expansion through external SD/ or other memory cards.
One plus for this TV is the 2D to 3D. It seems to be much better at the conversion then other manufacturers. Works very nicely.
The TV's Allshare feature works nicely to share media files from PCs/notebooks when installed on the devices but note that CR2 file format is not recognized.
Buyer beware. The screen quality is a lottery with these sets and the problems are not limited to Samsung although they seem to have more issues with this. This seems a general problem with the edge lit LEDs technology. If you are picky and watch a lot of movies in totally dark room it will bother you. Wait for OLED, hopefully no one screwed up that line. Due to the price I am willing to put up with it but not impressed at all with this.