Blu-ray Evaluation: Taken
Detail: Clean and sharp, the newly-configured Auto Motion Plus 120 Hz de-judder control can be dialed up or down to reduce, if not outright eliminate, film-induced judder. Some cinephiles like their movies with obvious film judder (it’s more “movie-like” that way, they say). I like how the Samsung smooths out the judder, with no artifacts (the default mid-setting works just fine).
Color: This action thriller has a retired government spook (Liam Neeson) on the hunt for his kidnapped daughter in Europe, and features a lush color palette with natural skin tones that the Samsung does a great job with (on the test bench, it turned in a virtually perfect colorimetry score).
Blacks: An early scene has Neeson’s character wearing a black leather coat in the back seat of an SUV at night, and the Samsung does a great job producing nice, inky blacks.
Shadow Detail: That same scene shows that the Samsung is free of dreaded “black crush”, revealing dark details of the vehicles interior.
Artifacts/Noise: Even with Dynamic Contrast turned off, the Samsung still does some noodling with the backlight levels on very dark scenes, producing some visible shifts in brightness at low average picture levels. It can’t be turned off, unfortunately.
Broadcast HDTV Evaluation: Southland (NBC)
Detail: Shot on film (as most episodic prime time shows are), then converted to 1080i high-def, this series is wonderfully sharp and crisp, and the 7000’s de-blur 120 Hz feature does a good job of sharpening up the detail. The default middle position provides great results.
Color: Wonderfully rich, but without overt exaggeration, the 7000’s virtually perfect colorimetry ensures natural skin tones without the orangey tinge that some other sets display.
Blacks: A cop show set in LA has the various lead actors wearing the distinctive all-black LAPD uniforms, and the 7000’s deep black quality is superior to most other LCD sets.
Shadow Detail: With good blacks usually comes good shadow detail, and the 7000 doesn’t disappoint here.
Artifacts/Noise: None noted.
While pricey, the Samsung’s stunning cabinet design and thin depth make it ideal for both wall mounting as well as tabletop mounting. The supplied stand features manual swivel, and Samsung offers a novel optional wall mount system that allows the set to be closer to the wall than can be achieved via a conventional wall mount. At the #4 backlight level setting, the 7000 still puts out a healthy 45 foot-Lamberts of brightness, more than enough for daytime viewing in a well-lit room. At that level, calling up the Info screen shows a dial gauge showing how “green” the set is compared to conventional LCD, and I measured a relatively paltry 110 watts of power consumption, which will certainly keep the greenies happy. Off axis viewing is also noticeably improved compared to most other LCD flat panels, but still short of what plasma provides in this area. The occasionally noticeable picture shift during scene changes and fades-to-black is about the only nit I can pick with the 7000, which in all other respects is a champion performer.
SPECS & PRICING
Samsung UN46B7000 LCD HDTV
Screen size: 46” diagonal
Pixel resolution: 1920 x 1080
1:1 Mode: Yes
Video inputs: 4 HDMI, 1 component, 1 composite, 1 RGB PC
Other connections: 2 stereo audio inputs, 1 3.5mm PC audio input, 1 optical digital audio output, 2 USB, 1 RJ-45 LAN, 1 ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM RF input, 1 service port
Dimensions (W x H x D): 44.4” x 30.2” x 10.8” (w/stand)
Weight: 50.5 lb.
Warranty: 1 years parts & labor