Samsung UE48H6700 (H6700) TV Review
It's really good - what were you expecting?
What is the Samsung UE48H6700?
The UE48H6700 is part of Samsung’s very well populated 6 Series of televisions.In fact we make it seven different models, where the H6700 ranks second of those, just under the H6900 but above the likes of the H6670, H6500, H6400 and H6200. The model we have here for review is the 48-inch version but there are also alternatives in 55 and 40-inch screen sizes where UE55H6700 and UE406700 are the product numbers.
As you would expect this TV comes complete with a vast suite of Smart features and there’s active shutter 3D technology, too, for those still interested. Priced at just under £900, the 48H6700 is around the same price as the recently reviewed Panasonic 48AS640, so it should make for an interesting comparison. So we’ll just get on with it.
Design & ConnectionsSamsung is doing a new line in understatement. They are clearly a confident company and no longer feel the need to show off with their designs, resulting in this rather elegant TV. A narrow black bezel frames a gloss black screen, which is underscored by a very slender silver lip and stamped in the centre with a very discreet SAMSUNG logo. The rectangular base stand contrasts the panel in silver and carries a pleasing brushed metal effect.
Around the back and sides are a full suite of connections, including 4x HDMI ports, 3x USB, 1x SCART, a headphone socket, digital audio input and both wired and wireless internet connections. The H6700 comes with a standard remote plus the new Smart Control handset which is more swish and allows for touch, motion and voice commands as well as providing a stripped down set of basic controls. It’s rather good actually and we’d have no issues using it day-to-day.
MenusAs ever, the Samsung Picture menus are replete with all the necessary controls to achieve highly accurate images. If you’re a fan of picture fidelity, go for the Movie Mode where most of the unnecessary picture controls are automatically disabled and you should get a fairly good approximation of the industry standards, colour wise. To put the icing on the cake, Samsung provides a full colour management system and detailed white balance options. We’ll touch on some of the more interesting processing options in other sections of the review but we’ll be keen to check out Samsung’s latest local dimming system, labelled Black Optimiser.
The usual massive array of Smart TV features
FeaturesBeing a fairly high ranking Samsung TV, the H6700 isn’t short of features, accessed through the Smart Hub. Samsung has unveiled a new shortcuts bar for the platform this year which is a tad reminiscent of LG’s Smart+ UI. You also get a more complete and comprehensive ‘main area’ which has 5 screens covering ‘On TV’, ‘Apps’, ‘Games’, ‘Film & TV Recommendations’ plus a new ‘Multimedia’ hub as themes. The 48H6700 is powered by quad core processing and therefore provides zippy navigation and execution of the variety of apps and services under its command, more on which you can read in our dedicated Smart TV Review.
You can see from the RGB Balance chart that there is too much green energy in the greyscale, whilst there is a lack of blue. Errors are significant, but not huge, and you could definitely see a noticeable greeny-yellow tinge to whites. There was a significant improvement with the colour gamut where our highest delta error is four, in cyan, and we shouldn’t have too much problem massaging everything given the high standard of calibration controls on board the H6700.
We could have left the White Balance as was following the 2 point calibration but we couldn’t’ resist eeking out that last bit of performance with the 10-point controls. The results, as you can see, are spot-on with both gamma and greyscale hitting their targets, resulting in delta errors that are all under than three. It’s generally considered that a dE of 3 is unnoticeable with moving video so we’re well within safe limits here.
The CIE chart, above top-right, reveals that we had to sacrifice red being fully saturated but everything else at full stimulation levels is just about perfect. The more detailed colour measurements shown below demonstrate that the under-saturation of red is carried down the line to less full shades but you’d be hard pressed to notice and everything else, save for Blue at 75% saturation, is more or less where we would hope.
Contrast, Black Levels and Screen Uniformity
You can almost always rely on Samsung to equip panels providing excellent contrast performance and this is true with the H6700. From a chequerboard pattern we took average black level reads of 0.043cd/m2 with the Black Optimiser control set to low, which we felt gave the best balance between dynamic range and detail retrieval. In fact, black levels actually rose on the pattern when set to High so the Low setting gives you better contrast with mixed content on screen. Admittedly, the higher configuration looks darker on all/near all black screens but you don’t get them all that often. Dark screen uniformity was also impressive with only a very faint and small patch of light bleed visible in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
It’s become a routine to report excellent video processing taking place within Samsung TVs and there’s no break to it with the 48H6700. Deinterlacing and scaling of standard definition signals were both almost totally pristine, in terms of maintaining all the detail and the H6700 is perfectly capable of detecing both 3:2 and 2:2 film cadences correctly. Provide the the Auto2 Film Mode was selected, scrolling video text over film was also delivered perfectly and the standard of video deinterlacing at 1080i50 was just as good as it was for standard definition and there were no apparent issues with 24p content. You may also want to experiment with the Motion Plus controls when watching fast moving content such as sport as it can deliver a perceived improvement in motion without too much in the way of artefacting.
Great processing, all round
We got precisely the same controller lag measurements with the H6700 as we did the H6400. Probably not too surprising and clocked at a steady 40.6 milliseconds by our dedicated assessment kit. The Game mode is activated by entering the System Menu and then further in the General submenu, for reasons that continue to elude us. Just make it a Picture Mode option from the Picture Menu already!
The following measurements were taken with a full screen 50% white pattern:
Out-of-the-Box – Standard Mode: 66W
Calibrated – Movie Mode: 75W
Calibrated - 3D Mode: 123W
Samsung UE48H6700 Video Review
Samsung UE48H6700 Picture QualityIn this post plasma age, it’s good to see that there’s an industry wide willingness to address some of the existing flaws in LED/LCD technology. Specifically, we’re talking about backlight uniformity issues, of which the H6700 had very few. The current glut of Football filling our screens did reveal it will sometimes throw out a slight, white-mottled effect on some panning shots, visible on lighter backgrounds, but it wasn’t what we’d consider obtrusive and didn’t really spoil all the other excellent picture traits present. As an aside, the stuttering issues we’ve seen with other CMR (Clear Motion Rate) enabled Samsung TVs seems to be thankfully absent so hopefully that’s been cleared up once and for all.
The H6700 combines its strong native contrast performance with some very accurate dimming to further the perception of impactful pictures. This is all furthered by the tremendously natural colour palette and abetted by the characteristically excellent video processing. The nature of the panel means it produces very sharp and detailed looking images – we’re talking HD, of course – but they don’t stray into the over-processed appearance we think some LCD’s do.
A tremendous all-rounder with much to recommend
The viewing angles aren’t the best and the fact the stand doesn’t swivel (seems no reason why this couldn’t have been engineered) means you’ll need to place it at an angle friendly to the whole room so that some of its occupants aren’t seeing a faded imitation of what the H6700 is capable of. Other than that caveat, there’s little to criticise as this is just a great all-round TV that’s equally at home with movies as it is sports, drama or documentaries.
The 48H6700 is also an accomplished 3D TV that comes complete with a couple of pairs of active shutter eyewear in the box, or at least that’s what’s advertised as the review sample was absent specs. Obviously we have a couple of sets retained as spares (read, left here as a result of forgetting to put them back in the box) so we were able to fully put it through its 3D paces where it also impressed. Images have real depth and we could only detect just the faintest bit of crosstalk on high contrast scenes. Motion handling was pleasing and colours were plenty bright enough and natural looking in the default 3D Movie mode.
- Great native contrast
- Near perfect colours
- Very effective dimming system
- Fabulous Smart TV features
- Lovely understated design
- Very small patch of light bleed
- Occasional dirty screen effect on panning shots
Samsung UE48H6700 (H6700) TV ReviewWe’re fans of Samsung’s new understated approach to design which is carried through into the H6700 by a narrow black bezel and contrasting silver-effect stand. There’s an excellent set of connections, including 4 HDMI and 3 USB ports and you get a choice of remote controls - a bog standard one and something much smarter which features voice, touch and gesture controls that actually work.
The new Smart Control is a perfect companion for Samsung’s updated feature-set which is an evolution, rather than a revolution, on what came before. Still, Samsung’s Smart TV platform is first rate and boasts the widest variety of streaming and catch-up video services in the business. There’s all manner of games and apps to have a look at too, plus excellent companion mobile apps and a superb media player.
In its Movie picture mode, the H6700 was already demonstrating an excellent degree of image accuracy and using the generous, and highly effective, calibration controls we were able to twiddle it into an ideal state. As we have come to expect from Samsung, video processing was also top-notch so there are no flaws in terms of handling film, streamed or broadcast content and the scaling of standard definition signals was also strong.
As well as performing the core processing duties very well, the H6700 is also blessed with at least one very useful extra. The panel has a very good native contrast level, in any case, but by engaging the dimming features, the improvement in perceived dynamic range was quite marked. This combined with all the other elements already mentioned resulted in the UE48H6700 delivering en excellent performance with just about everything we threw at it, whether in 2D or 3D.
We could, just sometimes, spot a mild dirty screen effect on the odd panning shot, there was a very small and light patch of light spill on a full black screen and viewing angles aren’t too generous but, other than those small minuses, it was pluses all the way for yet another desirable Samsung TV.
The Samsung H6700 performs as classily as it looks and duly receives an AVForums Recommended Award with some room to spare.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £899.99
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
3D Picture Quality8
Ease Of Use8
Value for Money8
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