Review Price £3,099.25
Samsung UE46C9000 - Now for the bad news…
It doesn’t do any harm whatsoever to the UE46C9000’s instant picture appeal, either, that it upscales standard definition pictures unusually well (adding detail without emphasising noise) and handles motion excellently, reducing judder and blurring without leaving the picture looking unduly processed.
Also striking is how rich and bright the UE46C9000’s 3D pictures look, especially when considered against the relatively drab 3D pictures of the Panasonic plasmas we usually champion on this site.
However, the reason we still pick the Panasonic 3D plasmas over the UE46C9000 as 3D displays is that the Samsung model suffers really quite obviously with crosstalk noise: that endlessly distracting flaw whereby you see obvious ghosting around some objects in 3D pictures – especially those in the mid or far distance. If anything, the aggression of the UE46C9000’s picture merely exaggerates the crosstalk, making us recall fondly how enjoyable it is to see so little crosstalk on the 3D plasma TVs we’ve tested.
It’s worth adding while talking about 3D, too, that the UE46C9000’s smallness compared with its 55in brother also reduces the impact of your 3D viewing.
The UE46C9000’s bold presentation hides another aggravating picture weakness. For while dark scenes look pretty good with your 3D glasses on, with 2D footage it’s noticeable that the screen’s black levels really aren’t all that impressive. There’s a distinctly milky look to parts of the picture that should look black. Furthermore, in keeping with alarmingly many edge LED TVs we’ve seen of late, you can see during dark scenes subtle but still easily identifiable areas of backlight inconsistency, where some parts of the picture are brighter than others. This problem only appears during very dark scenes, but that still makes it a reasonably regular distraction.
Thankfully the UE46C9000 is rather more successful sonically. For rather than the thin, feeble, bass-free sound you might have expected from a phenomenally slender TV, you get a surprisingly loud, dynamic, wide-ranging audio performance that really proves the worth of building the speakers into the stand rather than attempting to accommodate them in the screen.
While the UE46C9000 is unfeasibly glamorous, generously featured and capable of producing occasionally spectacular pictures, its 3D and black level shortcomings are impossible to ignore on a 46in TV costing north of three grand. Especially when the sheer spectacle of the TV falls short of the showboating grandeur of its larger sibling.