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Samsung UE48H6400 review

 Review: July 2014  
 

Rating: 4 stars

In a nutshell: Samsung's 48 inch H6400 TV delivers a big screen experience at a surprisingly low cost, making truly large screens affordable for the first time.

Today's best buy: Samsung UE48H6400 from Gameseek (£486.11)



 

Introduction

If you ask most tech journalists what's big in TV in 2014 they'll say UHD. But UHD (4K) is still far too expensive for the mainstream and there's practically nothing to watch yet. The real revolution in TV this year is the fall in prices of big TVs - 46 inches or bigger - and the Samsung H6400 is at the forefront of this revolution.

Design & looks

The H6400 sits in the middle of Samsung's Series 6 range and has typical Samsung styling. Its key styling features are the ultra-narrow 10mm black bezel surrounding the screen that makes the picture appear to float in mid-air and the chrome quad base that allows you to swivel the TV left and right. It's a good look, and particularly impressive in its 48 inch incarnation. Despite the size of the screen, the television manages to stay reasonably slim too, at just under 5cm thickness.

You'll need a large room to enjoy this, as the screen is viewed ideally from about 10 feet away, but if you have that kind of space, you'll certainly benefit from having a TV this big.

The TV comes with a conventional remote control, but also has a pebble-like Smart Control included. The Smart Control uses a touchpad and motion control to access the Smart TV functions on screen. You can also use it to give voice commands to the TV, a feature previously available only high-end TVs. Another feature new to the Series 6 range is a quadcore processor, ensuring that the TV responds fluidly to commands and there are no frustrating waits.

Energy consumption is extremely low, despite the screen size, at just 59W in normal use, giving it an A+ rating.

Picture quality

When a screen is this big, any defects will rapidly become apparent. Fortunately, the H6400 is equipped with a top-notch LCD panel, with excellent contrast ratios thanks to the deep blacks this panel is capable of reaching. The TV uses direct LED back-lighting which ensures excellent uniform illumination and brightness. Viewing angles are reasonably wide, although there is some degree of fading and loss of saturation when viewed from an oblique angle, which is a consideration with such a large family-sized TV. 

The 400Hz motion rate is no problem at 40 inches, but at 48 inches is beginning to show some limitations, although Samsung's excellent motion interpolation options do well to smooth out the jaggies without introducing too much "soap opera effect" or over-smoothing.

In Game mode, lag is relatively small, making this a good choice for gamers - and who wouldn't want to experience their favourite games on such a huge screen?

A screen this big is bound to impress and create a splash, but connoisseurs may be aware of some of the shortcuts that have been made to deliver a big screen at such a low cost. The step-up Series 6 models do provide a more polished performance thanks to local backlight dimming and faster refresh rates and are worth a look.

3D

48 inches is an excellent size for watching 3D TV, delivering a truly immersive experience. The UEH6400 uses active shutter glasses, and the 400Hz CMR is just fast enough to minimise any annoying ghosting and flickering effects.

Two pairs of active shutter glasses are included in the sales package.

Audio quality

The H6400 uses full range downfiring speakers, and max power output is 10W x 2, which is typical for a mid-range TV. There are no dedicated subwoofers here, so the sound tends to be on the weak side. The 3D surround effect can add a little depth, but overall the audio quality is average for a slimline television. We'd recommend adding a dedicated soundbar or speaker system if you are serious about enjoying your movies.

Smart TV

Samsung's Smart TV system hasn't changed much since last year, but that's not a problem, as it was already the best system on the market. The interface is very user-friendly, especially when using the Smart Control, and it runs smoothly thanks to the quadcore processor.

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

The connectivity options available in the H6400 are also excellent, with a Freeview HD tuner plus built-in Wi-Fi Direct, a generous 4 HDMI ports( on 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.

Conclusion - incredible big TV value

If you're in the market for a big TV and are tempted by the affordability of Samsung's UE48H6400, then we'd encourage you to go for it. This is a TV that over-delivers on value by a bucketload.

The direct LED backlighting ensures excellent picture quality even at this size, and although the UE48H6670 delivers a more polished performance, it's more expensive too.

The TV is smart, modern and stylish, has outstanding Smart TV thanks to the full range of services and the superfast quadcore processor, and has excellent connectivity too, with built-in Wi-Fi and 4 HDMI connections.

We might have pulled an extra star out of the bag to give this a full 5 star review, except that we're meanies. Seriously, we'd rate this as 4.5 out of 5.

 

Samsung UE48H6400 features include:

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Samsung UE48H6400
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Reviewed by razvan from United Kingdom on 4th Apr 2016
Excellent TV. Great quality at a great price. The only problem with this TV is the remote. It has a poor design and its not practical (I always end up holding it the wrong way around). It doesn't even have a button for "sleep timer". You have to go through the whole menu to get to the function and it takes much more time than it should. For the remote of a "smart" TV it really is a "dumb" remote design.
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