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Samsung UE40D6530 - 2D Picture Quality

John Archer

By John Archer



Our Score:


Turning to 2D Blu-rays, the 40D6530 is capable of looking seriously impressive. Spectacular, even. All the familiar Samsung LED traits are there: outstanding levels of fine detail; dynamic, natural and subtly blended colours; well-upscaled standard definition pictures; inky black level response; and good motion handling.

Motion doesn’t look quite as polished without any of Samsung’s motion processing in play as it does on the D7000 and D8000 models. But it still looks perfectly watchable, and you can remove pretty much all traces of judder and motion blur if you do call in the motion circuitry. Just be aware that setting this any higher than its ‘Clear’ mode can result in films suddenly looking video-like - something that certainly won’t be to everyone’s tastes.

While the 40D6530 mostly looks brilliant, though, it has an Achilles Heel in the shape of that dreaded edge LED phenomenon of inconsistent backlighting. During very dark scenes you can make out some quite extensive areas where the screen looks brighter than it does elsewhere - and whenever you see these ‘clouds’, they inevitably distract you from what you’re watching.

Samsung UE40D6530

You can certainly reduce the impact of the clouding if you avoid the crazily high backlight levels favoured by the TV’s limited set of picture presets. But even with the backlight reduced to 6, at which point the picture really starts to lose shadow detail and punch, the clouding could still be seen on dark scenes like the one where Bond, um, probes a lady friend for information in his hotel room in Casino Royale.

It must be stressed that the sort of backlight inconsistencies we’re talking about are subtle with the backlight set to 10 or less, and can’t be seen at all if you’re watching a bright scene. Furthermore, your awareness of the problem is massively reduced if you’re watching the TV in a bright room. So if you’re not the sort of person who likes to dim the lights when you’re watching your TV, the backlight flaws likely won’t trouble you, and will leave you free to wallow in the considerable glories exhibited by most aspects of the 40D6530’s pictures.

If, however, you consider yourself a serious movie fan who likes nothing more than to draw the curtains tight and turn the lights right off when watching a film, the chances are that the UE40D6530‘s clouding issues will disturb you at least a handful of times during any given movie.

One other issue that gamers need to think about is that our input lag tests on the UE40D6530 shifted rather erratically between a respectable 40ms and a potentially performance-affecting 70ms, even using the set's Game mode.

Finishing up with a the 40D6530’s audio, it’s fair to middling - which actually counts as a decent achievement versus the puny audio of previous Samsung TV generations. There’s not a lot of bass, but the mid-range and treble parts of the soundstage are just about open and clear enough to do the business. Oddly, the set actually sounds better at high volumes; at lower levels the sound seems thinner.


Under the right conditions, the 40D6530 can produce pictures good enough to make you purr like the most pampered of cats. Its design is sublime too, and it delivers a likable if not state of the art 3D performance. Throw in ample multimedia talents, moreover, and you’ve got a TV that does an awful lot for its surprisingly affordable price.

However, we can’t quite bring ourselves to give it an unconditional rave on account of its minor crosstalk and middling backlight issues.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • 2D Quality 8
  • 3D Quality 8
  • Design 10
  • Features 9
  • Sound Quality 7
  • Value 9

A Scotland

July 7, 2011, 5:47 pm

I have been looking at the 55D6530 as a possible purchase for some time now but have been put off by the amount of people who are returning their sets for backlight inconsistency, banding and clouding. It seems to me that if you can see banding and clouding in a picture such as to notice it several times during a film the TV is not fit for purpose and should be returned. What I cannot understand is how it could possibly score an 8 out of 10. In the case of the D7000 and D8000 models the forum feedback is overwhelmingly that it suffers from exactly the same problems and yet these sets were scored 9 out of 10 by TR.

Also isn't the "video" effect a deliberate processing feature of the Samsungs which is impossible to switch off except by using the Game mode preset? Blue rays movies (other than Pixar) look awful as a result of this processing and I think this should be addressed in your review.

Any assurances from TR on these issues would be welcomed as I am wondering whether I can continue to rely upon it for recommending TVs and I am soon to be in the market for one. Sorry for the moan but I have been an avid fan of the website for some time and thought you may prefer the opportunity to deal with a bit of feedback rather than have users simply switch off and disappear.


July 7, 2011, 6:32 pm

Interested to know how this compares to the D7000 particularly as a 2D only TV (since I have zero interest in a 3D TV other than the fact that all manufacturers best 2D sets also have 3D built in these days). Given the fact that there's about a £400 price difference - is the D7000 worth £400 more than this? £1100 - £1200 is a big jump up from £750!


July 8, 2011, 2:11 am

The video effect you describe is just a result of (what i consider to be) a motionplus bug. Clear or Blur Reduction 10 and Judder Reduction 0 normally correctly decrease motion blurring without introducing the video effect, except during 24/25p on TV or blu-ray. Ok you can turn it off for your blu-ray input but it's annoying having to do it constantly for TV.

The Game mode preset is the one that turns off the undefeatable image smoothing, something that I found there was quite a lot of. Game mode loses 10-point white balance, judder-free 24p and motionplus too.

Mine is away being "fixed" for bad uniformity/bleed but I don't hold out much hope. Also the undefeatable smoothing (I think this is the case on ALL Samsungs from 2010 and 2011) is a deal breaker for me, so I will be getting a refund and looking elsewhere.


July 8, 2011, 2:23 am

The bezel is tiny enough on the D6530 for me not to be bothered in spending more for the D7 or 8000.

The '800Hz' of the D7/8000 is also something that I wasn't interested in as it's produced by interpolating frames and the 400Hz on the D6530 was producing very clear movement for me.


July 8, 2011, 5:48 pm

Disagree with review. Returned 2 D7000 models due to horrific bleeding on both sets, which made blacks appear grey.

Since settled on this set, and very happy. Clouding is there but only apparent on corners. General Pq makes up for thus weakness.

Also not fussed about 3D, after initial buzz, I haven't bothered with 3D for ages. 2D picture is on par with D7000, so IMHO the D6530 represents better value for money that the 7&8 series.


July 8, 2011, 6:49 pm

I do get the feeling that the D6530 is the sweet spot in value for money if you want a great premium 2D set from Samsung. Just can't see anything to justify the massive price jump between this and the D7000/D8000


July 8, 2011, 8:41 pm

@gdawg304: Just can't see anything to justify the massive price jump between this and the D7000/D8000

Been looking at the D8000, one area I think it beats this is on how it looks. The 8000 Series just look amazing. Yes, I must admit the price jump does seem high though.


July 9, 2011, 3:19 am

On Amazon, it says that until July 31, when you buy this TV you get a free package including two pairs of 3D glasses and a Megamind 3D Blu-ray disc and also 50% off a 3d blu ray player. What do you think?


Don Kanonjii

July 9, 2011, 2:19 pm

What i am finding very difficult with using Trusted Reviews as a source for TV reviews and recomendations is the glaring omission of measured input lag on the different inputs/modes. Eg: x ms input lag when gaming over HDMI but only X via VGA or something. Given that of late SO MANY TV's have such high input lag that they are practically useless for anyone who is even remotely serious about gaming. Some measure at a whopping 95ms...that's almost a whole second before your button press is registered on the screen. AV Forums and hdtvtest always test for input lag, I am dissapoint to find it rarely (if ever) mentioned in TR TV reviews. Even if it was litterally a quick paragraph stating the input lags on different inputs that would really help a lot of people.


July 10, 2011, 3:09 am

It's a personal taste thing but I actually prefer the look of the D7000 to the D8000, and apart from the casing they're technically identical (apart from the 8000 being £100 more expensive). Don't think it's worth a £500 premium though over the D6530. I'm more interested to know how the 7/8 is better performance-wise as I'd be watching the screen not the bezel. (although it's nice if it looks good...unlike last year's Panasonics!)


July 10, 2011, 12:47 pm

Er... there are 1,000 ms in one second, so 95 ms is less than a tenth of a second, not "almost a whole second". Though I agree that a 95 ms lag isn't ideal, especially for racing games etc.


October 15, 2011, 4:57 am

In the review of the D6530 the pictures show a black stand - but in fact the stand is brushed aluminum. This mistake is also made on several retailer sites.


January 13, 2012, 4:43 am

Does anyone know if there is a difference between this model and the D6510, other then the stand? (Ie a actual difference between the tv's itself, not ascetically )

cheers .. this tv hit £649 during the sales, sigh what a deal that would have been.

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