Samsung UE46H7000 review
|Review: June 2014|
In a nutshell: Samsung's Series 7 LED TV is a superior television with truly excellent picture quality, impressive audio with twin dedicated woofers, superb Smart TV and outstanding connectivity. The 46-inch model is highly recommended.
Most buyers of a Samsung TV probably opt for one of the Series 6 models, but if you're buying a screen bigger than 40 inches, you might well consider one of the high-end models. The Series 7 and 8 TVs really deliver the picture quality needed for a big screen, and for that reason we've chosen the 46 inch version as our benchmark for reviewing this year's H7000 series.
Design & looks
The design of the 2014 Series 7 range is gorgeous, and it sets itself apart from the more mundane Series 6 range in several ways. When unpacking the TV the first thing you might notice is the almost impossible slimness of the panel - it's just 33mm - making it one of the thinnest TVs we've ever reviewed.
The gracefulness of the screen is further enhanced by the so-called Floating Canvas design and U-Stand. While all of Samsung's 2014 range have very narrow bezels around the screen, the H7000's bezel measures just 5mm, making the picture really appear to float in mid-air, with just a narrow black line to separate it from reality. The base is slim and modern in looks, and sets off the slim lines of the screen to good effect. It's all particularly impressive when you consider the relatively large size of the screen - 46 inches is an excellent size for a family, but you'll need a large room as you'll want to sit at least 10 feet away for best results.
The Series 7 uses a conventional remote control, but also has a pebble-like Smart Control. The Smart Control uses a touchpad and Wii-style motion control to access the Smart TV functions on screen. You can also use it to give voice commands to the TV.
The TV is rated A+ for energy performance. In normal use it consumes just 60W, and a mere 0.3W in standby.
The most compelling reason to choose the Series 7 over the Series 6 models is the enhanced picture quality. Whilst the performance of the H6670 and H6700 models is impressive, the H7000 moves the quality to a new level of refinement, which is particularly important if you're buying a screen size larger than 40 inches.
One of the benefits of the Series 7 is its use of Samsung's Ultra Clear Panel, which enhances the vividness of the screen, delivering bright, rich colours even in daylight viewing or with room lights turned on. At the same time the screen is capable of generating impressively dark blacks, so overall contrast ratios are superior to anything we've seen on a lesser Samsung screen. Viewing angles are relatively wide too, so even if you have the whole family watching, the people on the edge of the sofa will experience almost the same image quality as the person hogging the middle!
The Series 7 also includes a more advanced version of micro dimming, called Micro Dimming Pro. This varies the backlighting over different parts of the screen, dimming it in places where the image is supposed to be mainly dark and brightening lighter parts. The result is improved contrast ratios, deeper blacks and a more vivid, immersive feel to the images.
The Clear Motion Rate (CMR) of 800Hz is also a step up up from lower models, and serves to reduce motion blur to a minimum. Samsung's Motion Plus interpolation function tends to produce a "soap opera effect" in default settings, but set it to Custom mode and make some adjustments to the Blur Reduction and Judder Reduction and you'll soon find a setting more to your taste.
Gamers will find this to a responsive screen without much lag, provided that Game mode is selected. There's also a Football Mode, which may get some use, as we understand there may be some football on the telly this summer!
Overall, this is one of the best performances we've seen from any TV so far this year, and we'd have no hesitation in recommending the Series 7 model based on picture quality.
The Series 7, like all Samsung LED TVs, uses active shutter glasses. These have the advantage of retaining full 1080p HD resolution, but can sometimes suffer from artifacts such as ghosting and flickering. On the Series 7, these effects are minimal, and the TV's 3D performance is excellent.
Two pairs of active shutter glasses are included in the sales package.
The superior audio quality of the Series 7 is a match for its other features. Although all slimline televisions suffer from a lack of bass, the UE46H7000 is better than most, with four separate speakers, including two dedicated subwoofers, delivering an overall power of 40W (10W x 4). The subwoofers deliver the bass that's missing in cheaper TVs, making the audio experience much more satisfying. Having said that, if you want the best from your home cinema set up, it would still be worth considering a dedicated 5.1 home cinema speaker system, especially if you enjoy action movies.
The H7000 also includes support for Dolby MS11, which allows the system to decode a wider range of audio formats, including HE AAC, and all AAC bitstreams.
The Smart TV system on the Series 7 is the same as on Series 6 TVs. It's an excellent system, with a very user-friendly interface, and runs smoothly thanks to the dedicated quadcore processor. The Smart Control can be used to access menus quickly and easily and makes the system very intuitive.
Samsung seems to have covered all bases with their Smart TV apps, including catch-up TV via the BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport, ITV Player, the 4oD service from Channel 4, and Demand 5 from Channel 5. You'll also find staples like Netflix, Amazon/LoveFilm, Skype, Twitter, Facebook and others. The new Games Panel offers casual gaming access to categories including racing, sports, action and family games.
The TV guide recommends programmes based on your viewing history.
Social media are fully integrated into the Smart TV system, so you can keep up with your facebook and twitter feeds and watch your friends' videos.
Connectivity is pretty much the same as in the high-end Series 6 models, with both Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners plus built-in Wi-Fi Direct, a generous 4 HDMI ports (one of which supports ARC for connecting to an audio system), 3 USBs and ethernet. A range of other connections are also included, making it possible to connect to most devices around the home, including wireless streaming of content from compatible tablets and smartphones. You can even stream broadcast TV content to your smartphone, although this seems like the wrong way around - better to stream video and photos from your smartphone to the big screen we think.
Although it costs a couple of hundred pounds more than the most expensive Series 6 TVs, the Series 7 justifies its price in a number of ways. First there's the beautiful design. Secondly, the enhanced picture quality from the Ultra Clear Panel, Micro Dimming Pro and the faster 800Hz response rate. These factors are particularly important if you're considering upgrading to a 46 inch or larger screen. Thirdly, the improved audio performance from the four-speaker system.
A TV selling for £1200 has to demonstrate its worth across the board, and the Samsung UE46H7000 does just that. While the new Series 8 models may represent the ultimate, the H7000 is a brilliant TV with a more conservative flat design and is good value at the price.
Samsung UE46H7000 features include:
- 46 inch LED-backlit screen
- 1920 x 1080 resolution
- Micro Dimming Pro
- Ultra Clear Panel
- Wide Colour Enhancer (Plus)
- Mega dynamic contrast ratio
- 800 Clear Motion Rate
- 3D Ready (Two pairs of active 3D glasses included)
- Film Mode
- Game Mode
- Football Mode
- Smart TV with voice commands
- Quad Core Processor
- Freeview HD, Freesat HD, twin tuner
- Audio: Dolby MS11, DTS Studio Sound, DTS Premium Sound 5.1, 10W x 4 sound output (RMS), 2.2 channel down firing speakers
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet (LAN) x 1, HDMI x 4, USB x 3, headphone x 1, component in (Y/Pb/Pr) x 1, composite in (AV) x 1, digital audio out (optical) x 1, Scart x 1, RF In (Terrestrial / Cable input) x 1, Anynet+, CI+ (1.3) slot, AllShare, screen mirroring
- Samsung Smart Control, TM1460A + TM1240A remote controls
- Energy efficiency class: A+
- Typical power consumption: 60W
- Size without stand (WxHxD): 1033.3 x 596.9 x 33.2 mm
- Size with stand (WxHxD): 1033.3 x 639.2 x 208.8 mm
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Samsung UE46H7000 user reviews
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Average rating from 1 review:
Reviewed by Ciaran
on 14th Jan 2015
I bought this tv after reading the reviews and to be honest the picture quality was very off out the Box. Also blacks are no where near close to what the reviews state even after calibration the set has alot of light bleed! Viewing angle isn't the best as with all samsung LCDs. Perhaps I'm too used to amazing pictures of my Plasmas. In a nut am rather disappointed by the set and just can't understand why manufacturers have stopped making plasmas. LCDs picture does not come close to plasma.