This does not mean, however, that the UE46C9000 isn’t in many ways a very good TV. For instance, its gorgeously chiselled stand still cleverly delivers a strikingly good roster of connections the impossibly thin screen simply doesn’t have enough room to carry itself. These include four v1.4 HDMIs (able to carry the alternate-frame/active 3D format), a LAN socket, a pair of USBs, and a D-Sub PC port.
The quantity of multimedia functionality delivered by these connections is terrific. The majority of current photo, music and video file formats are playable via the USBs or from DLNA PCs via the LAN socket or Wi-Fi if you make use of the supplied USB Wi-Fi dongle. You can also record programmes from the TV’s integrated Freeview HD tuner to suitably large USB drives, and perhaps most notably of all, access Samsung’s Internet@TV online service.
This ring-fenced affair is a little hamstrung by its slightly cumbersome interface, but it’s very strong on the content front. Highlights include LoveFilm, the BBC iPlayer, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Picasa. Its distinctly ‘app’-like approach to online content is interesting too, though a little more quality control needs to be applied to the sort of apps the system plays host to.
Samsung continues to miss a trick even on a TV as premium as the UE46C9000 by not pursuing any endorsement from the likes of THX or the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF). But aside from not having as much colour management as it ideally should, it does have a pretty extensive suite of picture adjustments, including gamma control and the much-appreciated facility to adjust both the potency and emphasis of the set’s Motion Plus video processing.
The UE46C9000 additionally has a stab at delivering a next-gen remote control. But unfortunately, while this touch-screen, full-colour remote looks like a vision of the future, it’s actually extremely unintuitive to use, and ends up feeling like a real barrier to day to day use of the TV. Just as well Samsung has chucked in a much simpler, ultra-minimal ‘pebble’ style remote as well!
At first glance, the UE46C9000’s pictures look spectacularly good – almost impossibly good given the ridiculously slender chassis that’s producing them. They’re extremely bright, really vibrantly coloured, and extremely sharp and detailed. In other words, they couldn’t really try any harder to deliver the sort of aggression that will help them stand out in a store environment, and help grab and hold your attention once you get one home.