Samsung's 2010 TV lineup has something for everyone. Between plasmas, LED-based LCDs and traditional CCFL LCDs, it can be tough to keep all the different lines and model numbers straight. If it helps, all new LED-based models begin with "UN," all new traditional LCD models begin with "LN," and all new plasmas begin with "PN." In the LED realm, the 2010 line includes eight series, from the entry-level Series 4 up to the top-shelf Series 9. To confuse things even further, the Series 6 line includes a few subsets that offer different features. In this writeup, we're looking specifically at the models that end in "6500." The 6500 models fall near the middle of the complete LED line but still boast many of Samsung's higher-end video technologies and features. The primary omissions are 3D capability and 240Hz processing, available in the Series 7, 8 and 9 models. The 6500 lineup includes screen sizes of 32, 40, 46, 55 and 65 inches.
We have not performed a hands-on review of the UN46C6500, but here is an overview of the TV's features. This 46-inch, 1080p LCD uses edge LED lighting: Rather than employ a full array of LED backlights behind the screen, this TV's LEDs are located around the edges. Two of the main benefits of the edge-lit design are improved energy efficiency and the ability to offer a slimmer cabinet design; the UN46C6500 has EnergyStar 4.0 certification and a cabinet depth of 1.2 inches. (The 6800 models go one step further by adding the company's new Precision Dimming technology, in which light is targeted more precisely to improve black level and overall contrast--somewhat akin to local dimming in a full-array LED system.) This TV features Auto Motion Plus 120Hz technology to reduce motion blur and film judder. The UN46C6500 can link to your home network via a wired connection, and it's also WiFi-ready. The AllShare feature allows you to stream digital media content from a DLNA-compliant server, while Samsung's [email protected] portal lets you access the new Samsung Apps store, which includes apps for VUDU, Netflix and Blockbuster video-on-demand, as well as YouTube, Pandora, Flickr and Twitter.
The connection panel includes four HDMI inputs but only one component video input--a trend we're seeing with many new higher-end TVs. It also has a PC input and an RF input to access the internal ATSC and Clear-QAM tuners (picture-in-picture functionality is available). The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals. Dual USB ports are available for video, photo and music playback. The Ethernet port is located on the rear panel, or you can attach the optional Samsung USB adapter ($79.99) to one of the aforementioned USB ports. The UN46C6500 lacks an RS-232 or IR port for integration into an advanced control system.
The setup menu offers an excellent assortment of video adjustments, starting with four picture modes and four color temperature presets, plus RGB gain and offset controls and a 10-point white balance control to fine-tune the color temperature. There's also an advanced color management system to more precisely tailor the color points. The menu includes adjustments for shadow detail, gamma, fleshtone, digital and MPEG noise reduction and edge enhancement. The Expert Pattern and RGB Only modes are designed to aid in the video-setup process. The Auto Motion Plus 120Hz menu includes more options than we've seen in older Samsung models--with settings for off, clear, standard and smooth, plus a custom mode in which you can separately adjust the blur and judder functions. There's also an LED Motion Plus control that allows you to reduce motion blur without enabling Auto Motion Plus. The UN46C6500 has six aspect ratios, including a Screen Fit mode that displays images with no overscan.
On the audio side, the TV's setup menu includes five preset SRS TheaterSound modes, a five-band equalizer to further tweak various frequencies within each mode, SRS TruSurround HD, SRS TruDialog to improve vocal clarity, and an Auto Volume function that reduces level variations between TV shows and commercials.
The UN46C6500's Eco menu includes an Energy Saving mode (with six options) to lower the backlight level, as well as an Eco Sensor that automatically adjusts the picture to suit the room's ambient lighting. You can set up the TV to turn itself off when it has received no signal for a designated time.
Comparison and Competition
You can compare the Samsung UN46C6500 against its competition by reading our reviews for the LG 47LE8500 LED LCD HDTV, the Mitsubishi Unisen LT-55154 LED LCD HDTV, and the Vizio M55NV RazorLED LCD HDTV. Also, please visit our LED LCD HDTV section for more information on a variety of different products.
Read The High Points, The Low Points and the Conclusion on Page 2
• Edge-lit LED-based LCD TVs can suffer from brightness-uniformity
issues, and their black levels are generally not as deep as you'll find
with the better full-array LED-based TVs with local dimming.
• LCD viewing angles are not as good you'll find with a plasma TV.
• The UN46C6500 lacks 3D capability.
• It also lacks an IR or RS-232 port.
• You must pay extra for the WiFi USB adapter.
The UN46C6500 is a full-featured LED-based LCD TV that puts Auto Motion
Plus 120Hz, Samsung Apps, and DLNA media streaming in an attractively
slender package. Its MSRP of $2,099.99 places it at the higher end of
the price spectrum compared with similar models. The TV's edge-lit LED
design and slim profile give it a higher price premium than a
traditional LCD TV; so, if you don't care about the TV's cabinet depth
and want to save some money, you might consider a traditional LCD with
a CCFL backlight. Samsung offers quite a few of those, as well.