One last point to cover about the Samsung UE46ES6800’s HD pictures is their motion handling. This is solid, with minimal judder if you use the provided motion processing tools - tools that can deliver their smoothing tricks without making the image look processed provided you stick with the Clear setting.
There is evidence of resolution loss over moving objects, though, even with the Motion Plus system in action. Careful tinkering with the judder and blur reduction options can yield benefits, allowing you to combat the resolution loss without making the picture look unnatural and over-processed. But motion certainly doesn’t seem quite as convincing as it does on either Samsung’s 8000 series or the recently reviewed Sony 46HX853.
3D under the microscope
Turning to 3D, the UE46ES6800 is a mixed bag. On the one hand, Samsung’s uncanny knack for retaining more brightness and colour richness than most active sets despite the inevitable dimming effect of active 3D glasses remains intact. There’s bags of detail in its 3D images too, with no sense of any line structure or sharpness loss that you get with passive 3D technology. Flickering didn’t trouble us either, at least when viewing in a reasonably darkened room.
There are two problems with 3D, though. First, the backlight inconsistencies noted earlier are more marked during 3D viewing, partly because the panel has to be driven brighter, and partly because the appearance of these ‘2D’ clouding areas over a 3D image makes them stand out more.
The other 3D issue is crosstalk. Samsung’s 8000 sets have almost got rid of crosstalk this year, but we frequently spotted it on the UE46ES6800 - especially, though not exclusively, where bright objects appear against dark backgrounds. It’s nothing like as bad as the crosstalk horror show witnessed on, say, last year’s 7 series models from Sony. But it can distract at times, as well as reducing the sense of sharpness in the image.
The final picture point to consider on the UE46ES6800 is standard definition. And happily the set makes a pretty good fist of it, adding extra detail without emphasising noise, over-stressing edges or losing colour accuracy. Standard definition pictures look a bit softer than they do on Samsung’s flagship sets, perhaps, but not to a really annoying degree.
Sonically the UE46ES6800 is one of Samsung’s better efforts. The volume the set can hit before things start to distort are good, the soundstage is propelled a decent distance from the TV’s surround, and there’s even a fair dynamic range, with a spot of (albeit slightly boxy) bass at one end and some lively treble handling at the other.
Samsung has long been keen to associate itself with games consoles in its marketing, so it’s just as well that our final measurement for this test, input lag, came in at only around 34ms - low enough not to dent your gaming skills in any serious way. Please note, though, that to get this level of input lag you need to hunt down the TV’s Game mode, bizarrely tucked away in the General submenu of the TV’s System menu.
The Samsung 46ES68000 is a very credible mid-range LED TV, especially once you take its affordable price into consideration. It’s not, though, a perfect one, especially if you’re interested in its 3D capabilities.