3D Blu-ray Evaluation: How To Train Your Dragon
For optimum detail with 1080p sources, choose the Screen Fit picture size mode, which provides true 1920 x 1080 resolution. Viewed in 2D, the movie is expectedly crisp, and in 3D, minute details are clearly visible.
As the 3D glasses provide a slight amount of color shift, the Samsung’s 3D mode automatically compensates, and the color accuracy in 3D mode is pretty much the same as it is with 2D content, which is to say very good. The color analyzer confirms that, as has been the case with every Samsung we’ve tested recently, the Movie mode and Color Temp Warm 2 settings provide studio-quality color accuracy.
Even before the movie starts, the black frames between the various copyright and other notices are just that—jet black. But, as is almost always the case with LCD-based displays, there’s a noticeable shift in contrast off axis, so you’ll want to be sitting front and center to get the best blacks possible.
In the movie’s opening scene, the young protagonist barricades himself in his cabin to escape the invading hordes. Shadow details are easily seen, and the many other darkly lit scenes throughout the movie are similarly detailed. That’s when viewing directly on axis, though, as there’s some, but not that much, contrast fall-off when viewed offside.
Broadcast HDTV Evaluation: Countdown With Keith Olberman (MSNBC via Dish Network)
Live studio programs shot in HD like this one are ideal for evaluating overall picture quality. Compared to fast action live programs like sports which can occasionally suffer from real-time MPEG compression artifacts, with a single camera show like this one, there’s nary a chance of that. Mr. Olberman’s suit is clearly detailed, and faint glints from the set’s lighting are seen coming from his wire-frame glasses.
With the Movie mode and Color Temp Warm2 settings, the Samsung delivers excellent color quality and natural-looking flesh tones, ever so much better than the out-of-the-box Standard mode delivers.
Mr. Olberman’s black anodized lapel microphones are properly rendered, and some of the show’s letterboxed segments feature deep black borders. But, off-axis, there’s some fading.
Behind the show’s host, the nighttime scene at Rockefeller Plaza is easily discernable.
Is this the best Samsung set? While the 9000 models are Samsung’s most expensive, their 8000 series models produce a better overall picture. That’s because their behind-the-panel optics are superior, and provide for modulation of the LED backlighting, something that isn’t possible with the super-skinny 9000. While the 8000 models are slim enough (less than 1” cabinet depth), there’s no doubt that the 9000 wins the beauty contest pageant, and the remote control’s ability to take your TV with you certainly adds to the appeal.
Samsung UN46C9000 LED 3DTV
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: 1 stereo audio input, 1 PC audio input, 1 stereo audio output, 1 optical digital audio output, 1 ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM RF input, 2 USB ports, 1 Ex-Link control port (for service only), 1 RJ-45 LAN port
Dimensions (W x H x D): 43.5” x 25.4” x 0.3” (w/o stand)
Weight: 25.4 lb. (w/o stand)
Warranty: 1 year parts & labor