When I said the ‘Internet’ back there, obviously I wasn’t quite telling the truth. For unlike Philips’ 9000 Series, Samsung’s online TVs don’t access the Internet as a whole, but rather just a carefully controlled, walled-in section of it. Based on Yahoo’s Widget platform, though, the content level of Samsung’s service – dubbed Media 2.0 – is actually pretty good compared with the efforts of rival services from Panasonic and, especially, Sony.
Not that you have to go online to enjoy Samsung multimedia content on the UE55B7020. For it also sports the brand’s Content Library – a startlingly extensive collection of multimedia stuff stored on internal memory. Among the things you can explore are a gallery of artworks and photographs, viewable as slide shows accompanied by music; a selection of recipes (accompanied by some god-awful music); some very rudimentary games (COD: MW2 has nothing to worry about); a few songs and stories for children; and even some fitness tips and programmes.
Intriguing though this sounds on paper, I repeat the point I’ve made in reviews of other Content Library TVs to the effect that I don’t currently find any of the content compelling enough to return to after an initial exploration. But maybe that’s just because my gaming and multimedia expectations are a bit higher than the norm!
The final UE55B7020 features worth getting into before, hopefully, being dazzled by another marvellous Samsung LED picture are its video processing combination of 100Hz and Samsung’s Digital Natural Image engine (DNIe); and the fact – mentioned in passing before – that its pictures are reproduced by an edge LED system, that can produce what Samsung none-to-modestly calls a ‘mega’ contrast ratio.
At first, it really does look like a case of business as usual for the UE55B7020’s pictures. Right away, I felt that initial buzz created by the set’s terrific combination of bold, richly saturated, accurate post-calibration colours, and startlingly deep black levels.
I know that on paper, edge LED lighting should not be able to produce the same dynamism as direct LED lighting, since it still has to reduce brightness to get convincing black levels, like ordinary LCD TVs do. But the UE55B7020 does every bit as brilliant a job of disguising this fact as its smaller sibling did.
In fact, the sheer size of the UE55B7020’s picture helps reinforce the image’s dynamism, especially as there doesn’t seem to be any loss in brightness despite the light generated by the edge-mounted LEDs having to travel further than it does with smaller screen sizes.
With HD, meanwhile, the UE55B7020 delivers mouth-watering levels of sharpness and detail. Indeed, again the screen’s size if anything makes the sharpness of HD sources even more gorgeous to behold – especially the console-generated, pixel-perfect glories of ”Call of Duty”. I lost count of the amount of times I got shot down because I was suddenly distracted by the sheer beauty of the image I found myself looking at. Well, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking too it.
The set also handles motion remarkably well, no matter what direction it’s travelling in (as proven by a perfect score on the jaggies test of the HQV Benchmark Blu-ray). This makes the recently reported blurring of Sharp’s latest direct LED TVs even tougher to take.