There are some genuine gems among the apps provided too, particularly those that focus on streaming video. The BBC iPlayer catchup TV app, the LoveFilm app, the AceTrax movie purchase/rental app, the BBC News app and Samsung’s own, fast-growing 3D content streaming app are all great additions to any TV’s functionality. Social media lovers will appreciate the set’s Facebook and Twitter apps too, while fans of simple gaming will find basic game apps galore to keep them busy.
The 40in screen is, as you would expect from its slimness, driven by edge LED lighting. It’s also a full HD affair as almost all 40in LCD TVs are these days, and it claims a ‘clear motion rate’ of 400. Most brands would probably just call this 400Hz, but Samsung feels uneasy about suggesting that its screen might have a genuine 400Hz refresh rate when what’s really happening is that a 100Hz native scanning rate is working with a scanning backlight and processing tools to deliver the equivalent of 400Hz.
The 400CMR figure is only half of the 800CMR figure claimed by Samsung’s D7000 and D8000 3D TVs. This raises the possibility of increased 3D crosstalk, as the screen may not respond as quickly to changes in the image content. Fingers crossed this won’t prove to be the case.
The onscreen menus in the UE40D6530 are excellent: clean, clear, colourful, and heavy on graphics and icons. Particularly brilliant is the Smart Hub: a new, beautifully presented one-stop shop for accessing the TV’s myriad sources, from the apps through to your normal TV broadcast channels. Also inspired is the TV’s interactive onscreen instructions system, which brings up an explanation of what each feature in the menus does as you roll your cursor over it.
Our concerns about the 40D6530‘s 400CMR causing crosstalk on 3D prove largely - though not completely - unfounded.
In fact, with the difficult (because it’s predominantly dark) lantern scene in Tangled the UE40D6530 delivered arguably the most crosstalk-free picture we’ve seen from an LCD TV to date. However, there was a touch more crosstalk during notorious bright 3D sequences, like the Golden Gate Bridge fight in Monsters Vs Aliens. This crosstalk isn’t the aggressive, rampant, colour-tinged type that so destroys the 3D pictures of Sony’s 40EX723 series; rather it looks like transparent outline echoes of occasional objects in the mid to far distance. Once you’ve noticed even this relatively gentle crosstalk for the first time, though, you do find yourself looking out for it again, which is unfortunate.
In other respects the 40D6530’s 3D pictures are pretty good, with decent brightness levels and colour saturations. Samsung should, though, introduce a special 3D picture preset, as we can readily imagine, for instance, people accidentally sticking with the set’s Movie preset they’d used up for watching a 2D Blu-ray when switching to a 3D Blu-ray, even though the Movie preset isn’t nearly bright enough to deliver a great 3D experience.