Regardless of the screen size, a good TV is always a good TV
What is the Samsung UE32H6400?
We've already seen the 55-inch version of the popular Samsung H6400 range of TVs.However, whilst the average AV enthusiast might plump for the biggest screen affordable or practical, the reality is that most people are still buying the smaller screen sizes. There was a time when a 32-inch TV was considered huge but things change and nowadays that screen size would be considered suitable for a bedroom or perhaps the kitchen, rather than the main living room. That said, just because a screen is small, that doesn't mean it can't be well specified and the UE32H6400 is a good example of that.The TV includes two remote controls, Samsung's latest Smart TV platform, full calibration controls and plenty of inputs. There's also support for 3D although there are no glasses included as standard. When you consider that it only costs around £429, the 32H6400 starts to look like great value on paper alone. If it can deliver the kind of performance that we have found from many of Samsung's TVs this year, then the 32-inch version H6400 could be very tempting indeed. Let's find out...
Design and ConnectionsThe H6400 uses a transparent acrylic surround around a very narrow black bezel, which features a fairly small company logo at the bottom-centre. The H6400 sits on a silver quad-foot stand and whilst we have never really warmed to this design, the overall look is still fairly attractive. At least the quad foot allows for a degree of swivel, which makes a nice change these days, and the build quality is very good for a TV at this price point.
There’s plenty of connections too, including four HDMI ports, two of which are positioned at the side and two of which point rearwards. There's also SCART, component and composite inputs, along with a headphone socket, three USB ports, an optical digital output and a LAN socket. There's also built-in WiFi and an aerial terminal for the Freeview HD capable tuner. Finally, there's a jack for the bundled IR extender which allows you to use the new smart remote as a controller for your set-top-box.
The H6400 comes with Samsung's new Smart Controller, which fits comfortably in the palm of the hand. Using its touchpad you can flip between Smart Hub panels and scroll down webpages, and by pointing the remote, you can use the Motion Control sensors to move the on-screen cursor to navigate and enter text easily. There are also playback controls, Menu, Standby and Guide (EPG) buttons, plus one that activates the new ‘Football Mode’, although that is best avoided.
As for the second controller, it’s a standard Samsung design, rectangular in shape and a little smaller than previous years. Despite that, the buttons are still easy to find and are sensibly placed with most of the key controls placed in the middle two-thirds of the surface. There’s an indent at the back for your index finger so it rests comfortably in the hand and makes it easy to use. The H6400 also supports 3D, although it doesn't come with any glasses as standard.
The H6400 might sit further down Samsung's range but you still get a full set of features.
MenusThe H6400 uses Samsung's current menu system, which is sensibly laid out, intuitive to use and easy to navigate. It's also very responsive and each page provides some useful guidance for what the various settings are supposed to do. The Picture menu provides all the important controls for image accuracy , including the Picture Modes, as well as the Backlight, Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness, Colour and Tint controls . From the Picture menu, you can access submenus for Picture Size, 3D, Advanced Settings and Picture Options; whilst you can also apply your calibrated picture mode to other inputs.
In the Picture Size sub-menu you can select the aspect ratio, whilst in the Picture Options sub-menu there are controls for Colour Tone, Digital Clean View, MPEG Noise Filter, Motion Plus and Cinema Black. In the Advanced Settings sub-menu, you'll find all the key calibration controls, including Gamma, White Balance and Colour Space. There's a choice of a two-point or a ten-point White Balance control which should allow for a very accurate calibration of the greyscale. The Colour Space gives you a choice between Auto, Native and Custom; if you choose Custom you have access to a full Colour Management System (CMS).
FeaturesSamsung's Smart TV platform was probably the best on the market last year but things change and now they are facing serious competition from arch-rival LG, with their webOS-based Smart+ system. In fact we notice that since first reviewing Samsung's Smart TV System here, Samsung have made some changes including adding a bar across the bottom which shows apps you have opened previously and gives you immediate access to the more popular apps. This feature is very similar to the way webOS works, not that we're suggesting Samsung has been influenced by their Korean neighbour.
Aside from this new feature the basic platform isn't vastly different from last year, although Samsung have made numerous upgrades to improve both the features available and how you interact with the system. Aside from the previously mentioned Smart Controller, new for this year is a dual-screen feature, faster processing, improved motion and voice control and the latest version of Samsung's remote app. The Smart Hub itself has also had a slight facelift, with all the photo, video, music and social features being combined in one multimedia screen, thus making room for a new screen dedicated to games.
The picture was as good as we have come to expect from Samsung, with a solid performance straight out of the box.
As is aways the case with Samsung TVs, the best out-of-the-box choice is the Movie mode, which will deliver a performance that matches the industry standards as closely as possible for a factory setting. A list of suggested settings based on the measurements taken during the review can be found here.
As the graphs above show, the H6400 delivered a reasonable greyscale performance out-of-the-box, apart from an excess of green across most of the scale; whilst the gamma was tracking around our target of 2.2 quite precisely. The colour gamut performance was also impressive, with all the colours measuring close to their targets and combined DeltaEs (errors) all below the visible threshold of three. Overall this is an excellent performance and given the available calibration controls we would expect to improve this still further.
The H6400 includes both a two- and a ten-point white balance control, so it was a simple task to get all three channels to measure in equal amounts. This resulted in errors that were well below the acuity of the human eye, delivering a smooth transition from black to white that was free of discolouration. The gamma was still tracking around our target of 2.2 and overall this is a reference performance. The CMS employed by Samsung on their TVs is also extremely effective and we were quickly able to deliver a reference performance when measured at 100% saturation.
All the colours were hitting their respective coordinates for Rec.709 precisely, whilst white was also measuring exactly at its target of D65. There was a tiny error in the saturation of red but this certainly wasn't visible and, just like the greyscale, this is a reference colour performance overall. This impressive level of colour accuracy continued when we measured at lower saturation points and most of the colours were at or very near their targets. Only some undersaturation in red and blue slightly spoiled an otherwise impressive performance.Black Levels, Contrast Ratio and Screen Uniformity
The backlight uniformity on the H6400 was very good, with no obvious clouding or bright corners or edges. This can be evidenced by the ANSI graphic below, which shows the very uniform measurements where black is concerned. The H6400 was also pleasingly free of dirty screen effect, although there was some minor banding on occasion. We measured the native black level at 0.05cd/m2 which is very good for a LCD TV and the H6400 is also bright, hitting our target of 120cd/m2 for white. This resulted in a very good on/off contrast ratio of 2,400:1 and a suitably wide dynamic range. The ANSI contrast measurements gave an average black level of 0.06cd/m2 and an average white measurement of 98cd/m2 which resulted in an ANSI contrast ratio of 1,711:1, which again is very good for an LCD TV.Video Processing
The video processing on the H6400 was excellent and the Samsung proved extremely competent at deinterlacing and scaling standard definition content, with clear and crisp reproduction of fine details and no unwanted ringing. The H6400 had no problems detecting both 3:2 and 2:2 cadence correctly and, as long as the Auto2 Film Mode was selected, scrolling video text over film was also delivered perfectly. The quality of the video deinterlacing at 1080i50 was just as good as it was for standard definition and there were no apparent issues with 24p content. All this content was perfectly replicated and the motion handling also proved to be quite impressive for a LCD TV.
The H6400 delivered a sizeable input lag of 86ms when in the calibrated Movie mode but this dropped down to 46ms when the Game mode was selected. This is towards the higher end of the spectrum for this year but still low enough for most people. Unlike on some other Samsung TVs, renaming the input to PC didn't make any difference to the measurement. Whether you feel 46ms is low enough for your needs will probably depend on how much you game and how important input lag is to you. However for our needs we found the input lag to be low enough and the H6400 was certainly responsive enough to deliver an enjoyable gaming experience.
- Standby: 0W
- Out-of-the-Box – Normal Mode: 46W
- Calibrated – Professional Mode: 54W
Samsung UE32H6400 Picture QualityThe H6400 is capable of an excellent 2D picture thanks to its competency in all the areas that constitute a good image. The colours and greyscale are very accurate, the level of detail is exceptional and the video processing is first class. As a result whether you're watching standard or high definition content, the H6400 can deliver a wonderful picture that excels in all the key areas. In fact the smaller screen size means that standard definition can look exceptionally good. Of course it's with high definition content that the H6400 really gets a chance to shine and 1080i TV broadcasts look great. Once we moved on to Blu-ray the results were equally impressive, with natural and detailed images that took full advantage of every pixel in the high definition panel.
The motion handling was also very good for a LCD TV and film-based content looked excellent whilst even fast-paced sports was still very watchable on the H6400. The decent black levels and backlight uniformity meant that the H6400 could be just as effective at night as it could during the day and overall we found the Samsung delivered an excellent all-round performance when it came to 2D viewing. Unfortunately Samsung didn't provide us with any 3D glasses, so we were unable to review the 3D performance. However, based on the performance of the 55-inch version of the H6400, we would expect the 3D performance to be very good. Although given the screen size of the UE32H6400, it's debatable how much of an immersive impact the 3D could actually have.
The UE32H6400 is excellent and anyone looking for a well specified TV with a smaller screen won't be disappointed.
- Impressive blacks
- Great dynamic range
- Accurate colours
- Excellent video processing
- Comprehensive smart features
- Minor banding on pans
- Limited viewing angles
- Stand remains an acquired taste
- Bit small for immersive 3D
Samsung UE32H6400 (H6400) TV ReviewThe Samsung UE32H6400 is a great little TV that delivers a wonderful all-round performance. The design is attractive, aside perhaps from the quad foot, and the build quality is very good. There are ample connections at the rear and Samsung include two remote controls - the standard one and a Smart Controller. The H6400 also supports 3D but doesn't come with any glasses included, although it's debatable how effective 3D would be on a 32-inch screen. The H6400 includes Samsung's latest Smart TV platform, which remains one of the best on the market.
The image accuracy out-of-the-box was very good and after calibration the H6400 could deliver a reference performance. The video processing and motion handling were equally as effective, whilst the black levels, contrast ratio and screen uniformity were also excellent. As a result the H6400 could produce some great pictures and, given the smaller screen size, standard definition could look surprisingly good. There's no doubt that Samsung's UE32H6400 delivers plenty of features and performance for £429 and if you're looking for a smaller screen TV it should definitely be on your short list.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
2D Picture Quality8
Ease Of Use8
Value for Money8
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