Samsung UN60F7100 60-in. LED HDTV - TV Testing and Final Thoughts

Article Index
Samsung UN60F7100 60-in. LED HDTV
Closer Look and Features
UN60F7100 Specifications
TV Menus and Features
TV Testing and Final Thoughts

A Word About Testing:

In everything we try to be fair, accurate and as objective as possible when it comes to testing hardware.  In the past, LCD reviews were done completely subjectively, but we have purchased some equipment that takes some of this out of the equation.  Take a look at our LCD Testing methodology over here to get a better idea of how we test LCDs.

Color Accuracy:

We started things off by breaking out the LCD Spyder and finding out how well this unit is set up and how well it produces accurate color.  We did this using the HDMI/DVI connection.

Calibrated

Display Calibrated

As you can see, the initial color profile was not too bad off.  In fact, the biggest adjustment on the entire TV was the brightness.  Samsung has tuned this TV to have an insanely bright picture and as such it works great in very bright rooms.  This is nice for sure, but in reality it can be a bit hard on your eyes with the brightness and the backlight turned to default settings.  In our review we setup this TV to be "accurate" according to DataColor's software.  In the end, the picture did indeed look a bit better when calibrated.  It was a bit softer and the colors were not quite as overly vivid.  It was a nice, subtle change for the better.

 

Contrast Ratio & Uniformity:

With the display now showing "perfect", we proceeded to take our contrast readings.  With the display calibrated we set out to find the "real" contrast ratio of the UN60F7100.  The updated software for the DataColor Spyder 3 Elite measure contrast ratio at different brightness settings as part of the lighting uniformity tests.  It runs the lighting uniformity and contrast ratio tests at 0% brightness on the TV settings as well as 25%, 50%, 75% and full on 100% brightness.  As you may expect, as the brightness level increases, the contrast ratio gets worse and the sweet spot is at 25% brightness.  At this setting the TV hits an amazing 22,004:1 contrast ratio.  When we tuned the TV for testing, it was set at 36% brightness, so the contrast ratio was still very good at this setting.  The graphic below shows how the contrast ratio and backlight bleeding affect overall contrast performance.

Contrast Ratio

 

This time around we performed the lighting uniformity tests with the DataColor Spyder 3 Elite.  It measures and collects information at 50%, 67% 83% and 100% brightness levels.  You can see that there is a bit of difference on the images for sure.  One thing that you should pay attention to is the percentage of difference on each chart.  Take a look below and then we'll recap.

Screen Uniformity @ 100%

Screen Uniformity @ 100%

Screen Uniformity @ 83%

Screen Uniformity @ 83%

   

Screen Uniformity at 67%

Screen Uniformity at 67%

Screen Uniformity @ 50%

Screen Uniformity @ 50%

In the uniformity tests above, at 100% brightness, there was up to a 35% difference in brightness from the hottest spot to the coolest spot.  While this seems incredible diverse, it's pretty typical of LED TVs.  Once we dim it down to 83% brightness, you can see some of the colors smooth out a bit.  You'll still notice that the top left is the coolest spot on the TV.  At 67% brightness, the uniformity got even worse.  At this setting we are seeing the cooler spots almost half as bright as the hottest spot in the center.  When viewing an image at this brightness, you can actually see the difference in brightness here.  Although when watching a movie or TV, you still can't really notice much of a difference.  

Finally we look at the uniformity at 50% brightness.  At this brightness setting - which is the closest to being the accurate adjustment - brightness uniformity comes into line and reaches a 16% difference.  This is very acceptable is instills some confidence in this display.

 

Conclusion:

3D TV is not all it's cracked up to be, yet still Samsung is still betting on this feature to sell a few more TVs before 4K really hits mainstream.  In the end, it is a good thing that Samsung includes four pairs of glasses with this TV and it helps add value to the product for sure.  At the very least, this is a $100 value that you may or may not like.  Still, for those times when the kids have friends over, you do have glasses for four people.  The truth is there is a lot of extra value with this TV.  The extra remote is a nice touch as well, but once you start using the smaller one - the one with virtually no buttons - you'll fall in love with it and probably never use another remote again.  I was impressed at how easily the remote was to get used to.  Typically you're used to a large remote with a bunch of buttons and now you're down to a few buttons and a touch pad.  I love it.

While the 3D feature doesn't add a lot of value to me, the remotes do.  Also the SmartHub is finally usable as it loads very fast thanks to the dual-core processor.  This is a huge bonus and I found myself looking through content on here more than once - which is a lot more often than I used on older TVs that initialized so slowly.  Still, it requires a good internet connection to fully enjoy and if you have a bandwidth cap, it will make it that much easier to exceed you cap and push you into the overages territory.

Voice Control is still a work in progress - and it operates much like the Ford Sync.  It has a very limited vocabulary and doesn't always pick up what you're trying to say.  It's an interesting idea, but I don't think it will offer that much in the way of value for a TV - yet.  

Overall, I am a fan of this TV.  The picture quality and audio is very nice and sharp and once it was calibrated properly, the image looked even better.  It was too vivid and sharp out of the box and movies such as Star Trek "Into Darkness" looked too vivid and therefor looked very fake and sound-staged.  Once the image was tuned correctly, it looks very good.  Very, very good.

Pros:
  • Smart Touch Remote
  • Up-converts 2D to 3D well
  • Full network media support
  • Apps, Widgets and Smart Hub with Family Story and Kids sections
  • Excellent image quality 
  • Fast, non-laggy menus
  • Two remotes
 
Cons:
  • No VGA connection
  • 3D Glasses are really cheap

BCCRating

 

I'd like to thank Samsung for sending us this TV for the review.  It was interesting and fun to talk to my TV - and not actually be crazy.  It will be hard going back to a smaller screen for my Xbox gaming.  If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the link below.