The Samsung UE46EH5300's HD detail levels are fairly strong for a 46in TV available for as little as £629.03 too, leaving you in no doubt at all that you’re watching a Blu-ray rather than a standard definition DVD.
There is, it must be said, a noticeable reduction in sharpness levels where there’s motion in the picture, proving the worth of the higher-level motion processing found on Samsung’s higher-spec TVs. But at the same time the ‘blurring’ is not nearly as bad as it often can be on other sets at the UE46EH5300’s relatively affordable price level.
Turning to the areas where the Samsung UE46EH5300 struggles a bit, while its backlight is pleasingly even, it isn’t capable of producing particularly fulfilling black level depths. Depending on how you set the backlight and contrast levels, you either get a noticeable grey pall hanging over very dark sequences, or else you have a rather muted picture that’s very low on shadow detail.
Your best bet is to try and strike some sort of compromise between blacks that look reasonably black and dark corners that contain at least a bit of detailing. Despite our best efforts, though, we never managed to hit on a completely satisfying balance.
The UE46EH5300 also proves a slightly average standard definition performer. Upscaled images look a touch soft, and colour tones slide a little with low-quality sources too, with greens in particular starting to look strained and over-dominant. That said, there’s nothing going on that actually makes standard def images in any way unacceptable.
One final picture flaw that might affect some living room set ups is the UE46EH5300’s limited viewing angle, which finds colour and, especially, contrast reducing considerably if you have to watch from anything more than around 30 degrees off axis.
If you’re a gamer, the Samsung UE46EH5300 is a potentially decent option, thanks to a very respectable input lag figure of just 35ms. Just make sure in order to get this result that you track down the set’s Game preset and make sure all noise reduction circuitry is turned off.
Sonically the UE46EH5300 is a bit disappointing. We’d hoped that the set’s bulk might have been used to integrate some meaty, full-range speakers, but there’s no great amount of power to be heard, and action scenes struggle to spring into life. On the upside, though, the sound isn’t as harsh as it often is on slimmer models, and there’s seldom much in the way of distortion.
While its shortcomings with dark scenes might stop the Samsung UE46EH5300 from being a particularly great option for serious movie fans, it certainly ticks plenty of boxes if you’re looking for a highly affordable 46in TV for relatively casual viewing that also delivers an extensive suite of Smart TV functionality.