Samsung 55B7020 v 46B8000


Standard Member

I'm about to get a new tv to replace my old LE37M87. I've narrowed it down to 2 options, both Samsung LED sets.

55B7020: It's massive. Stupidly massive. Which is awesome. This definitely appeals.
46B8000: I'm not sure a size increase from 37" to 46" is worth it.

55B7020: It's more expensive. A lot more. £2500 with 5 year warranty (but I hope to haggle to £2300).
46B8000: the shops I'm dealing with are quoting about £1900 for this set (and Samsung might reintroduce their Eco cashback).

55B7020: 100hz.
46B8000: 200hz. Do I care? This function definitely won't be used for movies.

55B7020: LED sidelighting. Slight clouding in the corners when I've had demos. Surprisingly didn't bother me much.
46B8000: Am I right that this is fully backlit? So there will be NO clouding? What is "active backlighting"?

55B7020: slimmer than the other one.
46B8000: I don't actually care once it's turned on.

55B7020: SD will look crap, frankly. Really crap. Sky+ isn't brilliant. Won't be getting Sky+HD until at least summer.
46B8000: Less crap (presumably - because of the size). All other inputs are HD (X-Box 360, PS3, upscaled DVD).

Basically I'd prefer a 55B8000 but the bastards won't make one. I really do want the bigger size, and am willing to pay for it, but I'm just wondering if the 8000 series has THAT much better picture quality (re: clouding/200hz/active backlighting) to make it worthwhile sacrificing the size.

In the demos that I've had, I was genuinely impressed by the 55B7020's quality (on reference-level blu-rays such as The Dark Knight, Watchmen and Monsters Inc). It does have the 'wow factor' but maybe that's because of the size? I was watching out for the clouding, and did see it, but mainly on menu screens and credit lists (important to me - I'm in them!). During actual footage, it was definitely less noticeable, if at all. Actually, films in 2.35:1 suffer more because there's always the black bars against which to measure the clouding. Fill the screen at 1.78:1 and you're fine. Even 1.85:1 films barely show it.

If it sounds like I'm trying to justify the bigger and more expensive set, that's because I am. 55" is important to me (ahem). I just want to know if the picture quality of the 46B8000 is significant enough, along with the price benefits, to sacrifice that size that I dearly want. I think I've got all the facts; I'm just after opinions now. I know of course mine is the only one that counts (in this situation - it's my wallet!) but I'm curious.

Many thanks in advance for your help/thoughts, but I would like to ask you not to suggest other sets. I've spent weeks narrowing it down to these two, and can't be doing with the headache of other comparisons...

Cheers, Rick

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