Design and Connections
The remote supplied is again plastic in nature but is also fully featured with every conceivable option available. This does make the unit feel a little crowded and it will take a little while to find your way around all the different buttons and their functionality. A neat feature for those who watch a lot of TV in dimmed conditions is a back light which is accessed via an orange button at the very top of the unit. Source connections are placed on the rear and side panels of the TV. On the rear are three HDMI v1.4 slots with the fourth on the side panel. Also here are legacy inputs including two Scart, one component, one composite and a VGA slot. There is also an Ethernet port and USB input with a variety of audio inputs and outputs. So a well specified connections list which will keep most users happy.
Cinema mode is the closest to the standards we are looking for and is the most balanced in terms of colour neutrality and image detail. Next up we have a back-light adjustment tool along with the main front panel controls, Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness, Colour and Tint. Next is Eco solution which gives you control over three options. Energy Saving is the first of these and has four settings (auto, low, medium, high) that adjusts the amount of power the back-light uses to make up the image, thus saving energy. In practice this feature causes the image to change brightness in a very noticeable way that is quite distracting. The last two selections under the Eco menu are an automatic sensor which, as you would imagine, changes the back-light depending on the brightness of the scene playing and the room lighting, and a screen off mode which may be handy if you choose to listen to a radio station and don't want to waste power having the screen on.
Even with the main menu and advanced menu we are not quite finished with adjustable picture set up options. There are a further two menus we need to explore. These are the Picture Options menu and the 3D menu. Looking at Picture Options we have the colour temperature settings which give options of Cool, Normal, Warm1 and Warm2. We found that Warm2 was the closest to the picture standards out of the box. Next we have options for Size, Screen Mode, Digital Noise Filter, MPEG Noise filter, HDMI Black Level, Film Mode, Motion Plus and Screen Protection. Most of these settings are self explanatory with Motion Plus being of interest in terms of frame interpolation and motion control.
Further menus available help set up the Audio playback quality using the built-in speakers including a fully manual option. Looking at the audio performance from the C750 with its small built-in speakers and we found the audio quality to be good when compared to similar TVs. The stereo imaging was acceptable with a clear sound stage at reasonable volume levels. With film material there was a little distortion with the lower frequencies and if pushed the high end is likely to clip quite easily. However, with normal viewing at standard volume levels, we found the sound quality to be clear and concise for a flat panel TV. It will, however, never compare to having a separate off board sound system, which is an approach we would always recommend.
The Samsung does include some excellent picture controls with a full 10 point Greyscale option and a useful (if not perfect) CMS system. So we should be able to get some excellent results. Looking at the Greyscale performance first and as you can see the 10 point calibration control has worked very well. It is a little on the coarse side with some adjustments, but after an hour or so of fine tuning the end results were very good. Thankfully there are no issues with the low end of the scale with greys and blacks remaining balanced with no colour errors. The general greyscale tracking is as flat as you would expect given the control available, however there is still an issue with Gamma Luminance. Because we can only select from preset points in the menus, we cannot get the Gamma to track as we would desire towards the 2.2 reference. Plus by correcting the high end of the Greyscale we see a peak at around 90ire of just over 2.4. Gamma correction proved to be tricky and no amount of balancing managed to get it tracking as flat as we would like. Also note the scale of the graph. However, even though Gamma is not perfect it also doesn't overly hamper the image quality on screen, apart from perhaps some low level shadow detailing, which on an LCD panel is never a strong point anyway. Overall, we are satisfied with the end result here and it can be considered excellent.
Starting off with Standard definition material the C750 continues the excellent pedigree that Samsung have built over the last few years for scaling and de-interlacing quality. Scaling was solid with good image integrity and a lack of any edge enhancement, ringing or blurring to fine detail and edges. This was further enhanced with excellent video de-interlacing suppressing diagonal jaggies within the HQV tests, with all three moving lines looking well resolved. This helps on-screen with the likes of live football where the lines of pitches are solid with no obvious signs of jaggedness. And with film material the C750 also managed to detect all the various Pal and NTSC cadences tested. With Blu-ray material at 24p (with motion plus switched off) the Samsung managed to playback without too much induced judder, but not quite judder free which was surprising. The motion plus processing on most Samsung HDTVs allows a custom set up of their frame interpolation, something that LG has also started to offer consumers. It has been known that setting the custom settings with de-judder at zero can produce acceptable results for such a processing system, where the soap opera effect is non-existent. However, I found using the usual work around for the Samsung did not produce the normal effect; instead we would see image break up between scene cuts that would take a few moments to disappear. This is not ideal and the issue has been reported to Samsung. Switching motion plus off solves any issues we have.
As with every 3D TV I have reviewed so far this year, the gaming experience in 3D is a major plus point. Yes, crosstalk issues are present with most material and accurate colour balance is non-existent in the majority of cases, but the sheer enjoyment factor of the extra immersion of 3D gaming wins me over every time. In normal Games mode the Samsung offers a rather average 38ms of lag time and this may very well be too slow for the more hardcore user. We would suggest again that you demo this TV with your console of choice before purchase.
The strong point of LCD technology is that of power consumption figures and this Samsung doesn't disappoint with a constant 105 watts in calibrated 2D mode, and 189 watts in 3D mode. This is the same at all three luminance levels we test, as LCD uses a backlight and is not self illuminating like Plasma. In stand by the C750 will use 1 watt of power.
Picture Quality - 2D
Picture Quality - 3D
One if the biggest issues with 3D playback is the need for enough light to get through the active glasses and at the same time retain colour balance and as much accuracy as possible. This is one area where LCD TVs do have an advantage over plasma models, with extra light output and in this Samsung's case, good colour balance performance. Images look bright enough with the glasses in place and there are no obvious colour drift issues with the majority of the 3D material we used. The fact that 100% of the movies available are animation titles does mean that with colour, you would be hard pressed to notice any obvious issues. However, we do now have a wealth of demo material that does feature natural skin tones and real backgrounds. With this material image performance was a little more varied in terms of colour balance, but nothing that would put us off. Obviously not everything is perfect with 3D playback systems just yet and the C750 is more susceptible to crosstalk issues. With full HD Blu-ray it is easier to ignore the artefact, but when switching to gaming and Sky 3D promo reels it becomes, at times, quite distracting. There have been two updates while I have had the TV here for review, but neither dealt with the crosstalk, which is more a technological issue with LCD than this single model. One issue that we did notice more on the C750 than other 3D screens is a slightly soft image and some added artefacts to fine lines like jaggies. This was more obvious with Sky side by side material than with the full HD BD experince.
We also have to assess the much touted 2D – 3D conversion option that takes place inside the TV using the latest video processing to turn ordinary TV in to 3D TV. We have to say that just having technology that can actually attempt to do this is impressive, even if the end results are far from it. At times, with static images on-screen you could be fooled into thinking you were watching a 3D program, but this feeling didn't last long. It is no surprise that any processing such as this is going to have to guess what an image should look like, and by doing so, you can also expect to see the issues of that approach. It is fun for about 10 minutes; after which you stop before you get a headache. It's a nice idea, but it no more than a gimmick in our opinion. Overall, given the price point of this TV the 3D performance is good if not ground breaking and this Samsung will certainly introduce many AV enthusiasts to the experience. We suggest that any potential owners, as always, fully demo to see if you notice the issues present and appreciate the 3D experience.
Next up we have [email protected] which offers a number of online application services including YouTube, Lovefilm, Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps and the BBC iPlayer (which was added during our time with the TV). Samsung state that this service is not just an added feature that will be ignored, but rather the applications will be updated on a regular basis, with new content added from time to time. This certainly appears to be the case as the service updated itself at least three times during its stay with us at AVForums. As well as the Internet features, the C750 also has a media player fed with content via the USB slot. This will play back the vast majority of video file formats. Plus the TV is also fully compliant with the DLNA networking protocol so you can connect your home network for viewing content from your computer. Finally there is the Samsung Anynet+ control feature that allows complete control over all your Samsung products.
- Good build quality
- Greyscale tracking out of the box
- Reference Greyscale when calibrated
- Good colour reproduction
- Easy to use menu system and remote control
- Added features like [email protected]
- Black levels
- Good dynamic range
- 3D performance with BD movies
- Good power consumption figures
- Nice contemporary design
- Quality scaling and de-interlacing with SD material
- Excellent calibration controls, especially 10 point Greyscale control
- Motion Plus issues with custom and clear modes causing motion artefacts
- Crosstalk issues with 3D material, especially Sky 3D side by side and games
- Some issues with screen uniformity and clouding of the backlight
- Colour gamut is ultimately restricted
- 3D Glasses are an optional extra and expensive to purchase
- Lag time may be an issue for hardcore gamers
Samsung C750 (LE40C750) Review
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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