Finlux S6030 (46S6030-T) Full HD LED TV Review

Hop To

Mark looks at Finlux's big-screen, low price 46inch S6030-T

by hodg100 Jul 20, 2012 at 12:00 AM

  • TV review

    1

    Recommended
    Finlux S6030 (46S6030-T) Full HD LED TV Review
    SRP: £549.00

    Introduction

    We were quite impressed with our first taste of the Finlux experience when we got hands-on with their flagship TV, the S8070, recently and but for some uniformity issues, we would have happily added it to the ranks of the AVForums Recommended list. Next up is their more mid-tier S6030-T which foregoes internet connectivity and Wi-Fi capabilities but does include the niceties of a Freeview HD Tuner, USB PVR recording and media file playback, again, via USB. The Finlux 46S6030-T is certainly priced very attractively. For just over of £550, you can have a 46inch TV plonked in your living room, or wherever it will fit for that matter, and that really isn't a lot of money for a decent amount of screen real estate. It’s only real mainstream competitor - at the time of publishing – is Samsung’s UE46EH5000 and that’s only because it’s currently being sold with a heavy discount from one online retailer.

    In a sense, the Finlux 46S6030-T is a bit of a no frills TV by 2012 standards, but we’ve countless other devices we can now plug in to our TVs to obtain the internet functions ‘missing’ here. Regardless of brand or heritage our prime focus will always be picture quality so let’s see if this Finlux can fit the bill.


    Design & Connections

    Unlike the S8070-T, the Finlux 46S6030T is unabashed in displaying the company logo front and centre, along the bottom of the brushed-effect matt black bezel. Beneath the logo are some very discrete, touch-sensitive controls for the basic features but one can also navigate through the menus using them too, although it’s an arduous process. The whole look of the 6030 is decidedly Samsung inspired, with its transparent strip surrounding the bezel but we like the general understated design. The base stand is similar to that of the 8070 in that it features a black rectangular insert in to the transparent casing but its feel is decidedly cheaper as it’s entirely constructed from plastic. It doesn’t swivel either so it will need placing somewhere everyone can see it from a reasonably front-on viewing angle, as the panel is not particularly good off-axis.





    The supplied remote control is identical to that of the 8070T, meaning it’s a touch on the large and heavy side. It makes button navigation easy enough but makes it difficult to operate with only one hand. The slightly rubberised feel to the rear of the remote does give it a nice, tactile quality and there’s no suggestion you’re ever holding one of those awful ‘no brand’ controls you’d associate with the less expensive end of the market.







    The 46S6030-T is equipped with a generous set of connections that should have Samsung and Panasonic bowing their heads in shame, given some of the skimping we’ve seen from those particular manufacturers on the HDMI port front. The 6030-T features (what should be) the required four HDMI connections – 3 facing outwards from the rear and one close to the edge. There are also 2 RGB SCART terminals, a D-SUB PC connection, Component and Composite Video connections with accompanying L/R audio jacks, aerial socket and a LAN Port. The S6030T also provides an output that allows connection of an active sub-woofer to supplement the in-built speakers and they could use it. Also, on the audio front, is an S/PDIF digital audio out and completing the connections, on the side, are two USB inputs and a CAM slot.


    Features

    This will be one of the briefer entries in our 2012 TV reviews as the Finlux 46S6030-T isn’t blessed with many of the Smart TV features we’re starting to take for granted. There is no internet connectivity, it can’t be controlled by a smartphone and you can’t connect it to your home network to stream media files. It will most assuredly not pour the milk on your breakfast cornflakes nor make you a better person through built-in fitness regimes either but – you know what – we don’t really mind. As convergence takes a hold in your household, it’s very likely your next – or even current - Blu-ray player, games console or set top box can stream BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Sky Now, Netflix and all the rest of them and act as a media streamer, to boot. If not, you could always hook up your tablet or laptop via HDMI.
    Naturally there will be some to whom the Smart features play a part in the purchasing decision, so the 6030 is likely not for them, being as it all it really can boast is some limited playback of media files from USB storage. We found it unable to play any MKV files whatsoever and it also demonstrated some issues with mp4 files, where video would sometimes break up or not show at all. There is the ability to record from the internal tuners via USB and the interface looks nice, in keeping with the rest of the GUI.


    Test Results

    It may sound surprising but we’ve actually been going easy on the various manufacturers in this section with previous reviews. We entitle this section ‘Out of Box Measurements’ (OOTB) but what we have really been representing is the best OOTB following a basic set-up; involving selecting the correct Picture Mode and Colour Temperature to best match the industry standards and Contrast and Brightness to suit the viewing environment. We will also disable any dynamic contrast, backlight trickery and other features likely to have adverse effects on hitting the standards so what we’re left with is very much a sanitised version of the literal translation of this section.

    Below is how the Finlux 46S6030-T actually performed in its out-of-box state, which defaulted to Dynamic Picture Mode with a Colour Temperature of Normal. Note: This is the default configuration for HDMI inputs but the internal tuner defaults to the Natural Picture Mode but gives almost identical greyscale results. Are you ready for this?

    Regular readers will note the complete absence of the blue channel from the RGB Balance graph and just the fleeting appearance of red in the lower reaches of the greyscale. The reason being, blue is totally off the scale with an excess of around 30%, while red runs around 20% too low. The resultant picture is ridiculously washed out and bleached with the gamma response only adding to that. Add in the fact that peak luminance is not far short of 290 cd/m2, which is far too bright – we’d aim more towards 120 cd/m2 – and you can probably understand why we’ve been in such a hurry to perform that basic set-up, prior to commencing a full calibration. Delta Errors are averaging in the high 20’s, against a recommended tolerance threshold of 3. Our target of D65 for the colour and temperature of white is made a mockery of and is almost closer to being cyan! In short, it’s not a pretty sight.

    Moving on to the colour gamut performance against the Rec.709 standard and the S6030 fares a little better...
    …but not by much. As expected, there’s almost universal over-saturation and excessive luminance (brightness) and the calibration can’t come soon enough.

    Readers of the 40S8070 review will know we encountered problems with the RGB Gain controls – which are designed to affect the greyscale - in that model and unfortunately the exact same issues cropped up with the 466030-T. Any attempt to make changes to any of the channels, however slight, brought an immediate sharp rise to the luminance of the red primary, i.e. they don’t work. However, just by switching to a Picture Mode of Cinema, changing the Colour Temperature to Warm and setting correct Brightness and Contrast, we were able to make dramatic improvements.

    Although blue is still running a little high, it’s now only by around 5% and red is now only about 5% too low. To say images were looking vastly better would probably be underplaying it and the delta errors were now far more respectable, averaging just below 5. That’s better!

    We have no Colour Management System to correct the palette but just a few clicks down on the global colour control, again, brought some major improvements.

    The most important aspect to consider when setting the colour is its luminance. Are eyes are far better equipped to see when something is too bright or dim than of the wrong shade. We’ve been able to minimise luminance errors to imperceptible levels and it’s really only the off-hue performance of magenta that is of major concern.

    Now we have our hands on the latest version of the Calman calibration software (V5), we are able to represent the colour reproduction throughout the saturation points more easily than in previous versions. We have elected to measure at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% saturation for both the primary and secondary colours with a 75% luminance to best reflect real-word material. Hopefully the graph will remain understandable whilst also giving a better indication of the colour tracking performance.
    Tracking is actually quite linear, other than with the paler shades of magenta and cyan. Had we been able to correct the white balance, there’s little doubt we could have improved that as the lower saturation points have more white in the mix. Overall, it’s actually a very good set of colour results for the Finlux 46S6030T.

    Contrast and Black Level

    Whilst we’re making a few amendments to our review process, now’s as good as time as any to introduce this new section. We’ve always made mention of black levels and contrast (aka dynamic range) as it’s such a critical part of picture quality; put simply the greater difference between the dark and light portions of an image, the greater the contrast. Studies prove that it’s the dynamic range of picture that draws us in more than any other element. There are various ways to measure a display's contrast with the most popular being the ‘on/off’ and ‘ANSI’ methods.

    The former is simply a measure of the calibrated peak white output, using a full white pattern, divided by the measure for a totally black pattern. There can be certain pitfalls in this method, particularly with the LED LCD TVs that will sometimes shut off their backlights altogether, thus giving a false representation of their actual abilities. The ‘ANSI’ method uses a checkerboard pattern of alternating black and white segments that will give a much better indication of real world intra-frame contrast. To get the full story on both the contrast performance and screen uniformity, we will measure all the segments and calculate a contrast ratio based on that. We will give you both the on/off and ANSI numbers but we place greater emphasis on the checkerboard results.

    The Finlux 46S6030-T did very well indeed in both tests, displaying excellent black levels and very good uniformity in the ANSI test and returning a very similar result in the on/off measurements. Below is a representation of the checkerboard results, please note all numbers are in the Candela per Square Meter (cd/m2) unit of luminance measurement.
    The centre portion of the screen is especially impressive, in terms of its screen uniformity, but, as the higher numbers indicate, there is a little bleed toward the corners. With an averaged black level of 0.04 cd/m2 against an averaged peak white output of around 115 cd/m2, the Finlux 46S6030-T is punching well above its weight with an ANSI contrast of 2942:1. The 6030 gave a very similar figure for the on/off test; based on a black level of, again, 0.04cd/m2 against a full screen white output of 110 cd/m2, gives an on/off contrast ratio of 2750:1.

    Video Processing


    The Finlux 46S6030T performed identically to the previously reviewed 8070 here and Vestel’s in-house processing makes a decent job of things. Scaling of standard definition shoes a little softness so your DVDs might not look the best but it can be of benefit to ropier broadcast TV. With the Film Mode engaged the S6030 was able to pick up on the most common NTSC 2:3 cadence, although it was unable to lock on to the PAL 2:2 equivalent. Video deinterlacing was also good with most fine details holding up under scrutiny and there were absolutely no issues in handling 1080p24 material without judder, skipped frames or artefacting. The Movie Sense option adds motion interpolation to pictures and it did work reasonably well in its low setting for fast-paced video but, like the 8070, added a blue cast to the picture and some blue trails on moving objects.

    Gaming Performance

    The Finlux 46S6030 returned slightly more impressive results than the flagship S8070, displaying a 49.6 millisecond latency to the input signal of our dedicated testing device. In terms of that figure, it puts the S6030-T amongst the laggier displays we’ve measured but we found it fine for some casual pursuits where absolute split-second precision wasn’t required.

    Energy Consumption

    Standby: 0.5W

    The following measurements were taken with a full screen 50% white pattern:

    Out of Box - Dynamic Mode: 77.2W
    Out of Box - Natural Mode: 68.1W
    Calibrated Movie Mode: 58.4W

    Picture Quality

    The Finlux 46S6030-T is attractively styled in a very ‘Samsungesque’ way. The matte black bezel is fairly slender and is surrounded by the transparent strip popularised by the Korean’s. The supplied base stand doesn’t swivel and looks and feels rather cheap, however, and we’d have preferred the remote control to be of more manageable proportions. Connections-wise, we were very pleased to see the 6030 sports 4 HDMI ports amongst its inputs, making a mockery of recent models from Samsung and Panasonic that have been skimping on that front. The menu system’s gold and black colour scheme is quite unusual but we liked it and it’s also very well structured and responsive to the commands of the remote. The menus don’t contain a lot in the way of smart features, with just USB PVR recording and (quite limited) Media file playback via attached storage but this is a 46” TV costing less than £550, so we shouldn’t expect too much and, besides, you’ve probably got something you can plug in to it that can give you pretty much the same functionalities the various smart platforms provide.

    Predictably, the out-of-box Dynamic mode looked dreadful; the amount of blue energy in the greyscale took it off our usual scale; colours were far too bright and over-saturated and the backlight was set to nuclear mode. The default picture somehow managed to combine being washed out and garish, all the same time. Following a quick change of picture mode and colour temperature, pictures dramatically improved and that was almost as far as we got as the white balance controls were as broken in the 6030 as they were in the 8070 but we did manage to tame the colours to a very acceptable degree.

    Contrast performance and black levels were very strong for a TV costing so little and, when combined with the impressive uniformity, we were presented with some very nice pictures indeed. Video processing is of a good standard, although the somewhat soft scaling of standard definition combined with the lack of 2:2 film cadence detection will detract from your DVD collection, if you’re not using a scaling player. The weak points of the pictures are some of the usual suspects when it comes to LED/LCD TV technology – blurry motion, restrictive viewing angles and some panel banding but we never found any of them too distracting during the review process. Gaming performance won’t please the competitive players out there with an input lag approaching 50 milliseconds but we found it fine for our increasingly casual roster.

    If you can put your brand snobbery to one side – and there’s no real reason not to – we’d recommend giving the Finlux 46S6030-T some consideration. For its combination of strong contrast, general proficiency and believable colours, against an extraordinarily attractive price-point, it’s an AVForums Recommended Award winner. Just don't go expecting the latest and greatest in the way of features!

    Conclusion

    7
    AVForumsSCORE
    OUT OF
    10

    Pros

    • Excellent blacks
    • Good uniformity
    • Convincing colours - after adjustment
    • Some good video processing
    • Subwoofer out
    • Nice menu structure
    • Price

    Cons

    • Some panel banding occasionally visible
    • Ineffective calibration controls
    • Soft SD scaling
    • No real smart features
    • Viewing angles could be better
    You own this Total 0
    You want this Total 0
    You had this Total 0

    Finlux S6030 (46S6030-T) Full HD LED TV Review

    The Finlux 46S6030-T is attractively styled in a very ‘Samsungesque’ way. The matte black bezel is fairly slender and is surrounded by the transparent strip popularised by the Korean’s. The supplied base stand doesn’t swivel and looks and feels rather cheap, however, and we’d have preferred the remote control to be of more manageable proportions. Connections-wise, we were very pleased to see the 6030 sports 4 HDMI ports amongst its inputs, making a mockery of recent models from Samsung and Panasonic that have been skimping on that front. The menu system’s gold and black colour scheme is quite unusual but we liked it and it’s also very well structured and responsive to the commands of the remote. The menus don’t contain a lot in the way of smart features, with just USB PVR recording and (quite limited) Media file playback via attached storage but this is a 46” TV costing less than £550, so we shouldn’t expect too much and, besides, you’ve probably got something you can plug in to it that can give you pretty much the same functionalities the various smart platforms provide.

    Predictably, the out-of-box Dynamic mode looked dreadful; the amount of blue energy in the greyscale took it off our usual scale; colours were far too bright and over-saturated and the backlight was set to nuclear mode. The default picture somehow managed to combine being washed out and garish, all the same time. Following a quick change of picture mode and colour temperature, pictures dramatically improved and that was almost as far as we got as the white balance controls were as broken in the 6030 as they were in the 8070 but we did manage to tame the colours to a very acceptable degree.

    Contrast performance and black levels were very strong for a TV costing so little and, when combined with the impressive uniformity, we were presented with some very nice pictures indeed. Video processing is of a good standard, although the somewhat soft scaling of standard definition combined with the lack of 2:2 film cadence detection will detract from your DVD collection, if you’re not using a scaling player. The weak points of the pictures are some of the usual suspects when it comes to LED/LCD TV technology – blurry motion, restrictive viewing angles and some panel banding but we never found any of them too distracting during the review process. Gaming performance won’t please the competitive players out there with an input lag approaching 50 milliseconds but we found it fine for our increasingly casual roster.

    If you can put your brand snobbery to one side – and there’s no real reason not to – we’d recommend giving the Finlux 46S6030-T some consideration. For its combination of strong contrast, general proficiency and believable colours, against an extraordinarily attractive price-point, it’s an AVForums Recommended Award winner. Just don't go expecting the latest and greatest in the way of features!


    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £549.00

    The Rundown

    Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

    8

    Screen Uniformity

    8

    Colour Accuracy

    6

    Greyscale Accuracy

    6

    Video Processing

    7

    Picture Quality

    7

    Sound Quality

    5

    Smart Features

    6

    Build Quality

    6

    Ease Of Use

    7

    Value for Money

    7

    Verdict

    7

    Our Review Ethos

    Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges.

    To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

    Write your Finlux 46S6030-T LED LCD TV review.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice