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Samsung UE46D7000 - Smart Hubs and Smart Moves

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Samsung UE46D7000

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Considered at its most basic level, the Smart Hub is simply an improved home screen, like a computer desktop. It gives you a visual, icon-driven representation of all the sources available to you and allows you to select the source you want simply by clicking on the icon associated with the source you’re after.

There’s no understating just how superb an addition the Smart Hub is to the 46D7000’s onscreen menus. Its simplicity and the effortless way it handles so many different source streams is one of those classic Eureka moments, where you find yourself scarcely able to understand why nobody has done this before.

Included on the Smart Hub, alongside the normal tuners and AV inputs, are dedicated Movie, music and photo icons to cover such content stored on your PC or USB drives. But you can also access the TV’s new open Internet browser; jump into Samsung’s ‘app store’; or access a Video section through which you can get information on films, send film-related messages to friends, or downstream films.

The Apps part of the Smart Hub shows a user-adjustable list of five ‘headline’ apps, but heading deeper into the app store, you can find many more pre-loaded ones, plus the option to download more according to your wants and needs. There were around 40 apps available during our tests, including a variety of games, video ‘stores’, catch-up TV services, social network sites and information sources. But this number will have increased greatly by the time the TVs are available in stores.

All the apps available for adding to the TV were free at the time of writing, but you can bet your bottom dollar that some of the future apps will require a one-off payment or a rolling subscription.

Samsung seems to have been stung by the criticism of crosstalk aimed at the 3D performance of its 2010 3D TVs, and so claims to have worked hard this year to slash the response time of its 3D LCD TVs to around 3ms. Further improvements have been made to Samsung’s 2D-3D converter, which now works on five different parameters when trying to calculate where objects should be placed when adding depth to a 2D image. And it’s nice to see, too, that the 46D7000 can also auto-detect an incoming side-by-side 3D image, rather than forcing you to switch the TV into the appropriate playback mode manually.

For all the 46D7000’s cutting-edge functionality, though, for us its single biggest leap forward from last year comes with its picture quality. Particularly where 3D is concerned.

The main reason we say this is that the 46D7000’s 3D pictures suffer far less with crosstalk noise than last year’s. This immediately makes them look much more consistently credible, sharp and easy to watch, as well as massively increasing your appreciation of what 3D can bring to the table.

GoldenGuy

March 22, 2011, 2:43 pm

Compelling product if it's all that you say it is John. Typically excellent picture quality, atypically decent audio, minimal crosstalk, comfortable glasses, great UI, and nice to see built-in Wi-Fi quickly becoming a standard over inelegant, stingy dongle solutions. Not bad for the money.

But if I'm looking at that weird raspberry and custard illustration correctly, am I right in thinking that this TV essentially has three bezels?!

TheOpsMgr

March 22, 2011, 3:55 pm

@John - you mention £800 cheaper than the 55" in the intro but £100 in the conclusion (compared to ???)

GoldenGuy

March 22, 2011, 6:42 pm

@ sthair

Maybe the £100 comparison is in relation to a 46" equivalent in that premium series.

Enigma

March 22, 2011, 7:12 pm

Well done Sams.

TRULY great to see minimalist bezel/'frame' round the screen but it needs to be unobtrusive.

Good to see 8/10 for sound but REALLY it is time TVs 42" and in particular larger ones now came as standard with a soundbar - more so for 3D TVs.

Ripsnorter

March 22, 2011, 10:52 pm

Does anyone know if it's possible to change the stand? I really don't like Samsung's "chicken foot" look but don't want to wall hang my TV either.

breathe

March 23, 2011, 2:53 pm

What other sizes are these 7000 and 8000 series Samsungs available in? I'm looking at a 40" probably (maybe 42" if the minimal bezel allows me to get a bigger screen) but dont want to have to drop down the product range and miss out on features to do so.

I also wish companies would offer TV without speakers. I have surround and never bother with built in stuff on this size TV

Robbo

March 24, 2011, 1:28 pm

Yes, both the D7000 & D8000 will be available as 40" models. D7000 is my early favourite, just awaiting a 40" review before I purchase. I also want to read the review of the lesser spec, and cheaper D6100 when that's released.

breathe

March 24, 2011, 5:22 pm

Cheers Robbo! Sounds like you're in the same situation as me, liking the D7000 and looking at a 40"

Clockwerk

March 31, 2011, 1:21 pm

Does this model have defeatable dynamic contrast? This was noted in reviews of the previous generation and I wonder if Samsung have taken note.

derick

August 23, 2011, 11:12 pm

There is a difference between the D8000 and D7000, however it is only activated in the US. The D8000 has a hardware/chip based control over leds, simulating back-led performance. For us europeans, there are only minor details that separate them, design, mostly.lcdbrand.com

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