Samsung UN55C9000 Ultra-Thin 3D HDTV - TV analysis and 3D Viewing

Article Index
Samsung UN55C9000 Ultra-Thin 3D HDTV
Closer Look and Features
UN55C9000 Specifications
3in. Touchscreen Remote Overview
TV Menus and Features
TV analysis and 3D Viewing

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: 

Normally we have time to setup and work with the color accuracy using an LCD Spyder, but due to time restraints we were unable to perform this test.  The color does appear to be quite accurate and not over-saturated as stated before.

 

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 MD230. 

 Black Spot
White Spot
Contrast Ratio
0.14 461 3292:1

 

The contrast ratio of this TV is excellent, and even with Dynamic Contrast enabled we are seeing some pretty high ratios when displaying full black, then full white screen on the TV.  It hits almost 3300:1 and that is probably the best we've ever seen.

 

We use our luminance meter in a dark environment to measure brightness uniformity.  To measure brightness, we use a bright white screen and measure across the screen in a grid to get our readings.  The brightest spot is considered to be 100% and the blackest point (with a black screen) is considered to be reference 0%.  The other values are obtained by calculating the difference between the two.  The screen is often brightest near the center.

3D-Chart.jpg
3D Lighting Uniformity
2D Chart
2D Lighting Uniformity

 

As you can see the backlight drops off in certain areas of the display, and actually drops almost 24% off the brightest point.  While that may sound like a lot, often other "premium" displays from other companies can vary as much as 30%.  The Samsung UN55C9000 comes in with a maximum 23.4% variation - which isn't great, but isn't too bad for a huge, yet razor thin 55" display.

 

3D Viewing:

In order to view 3D content, you'll need to have some Samsung Active Shutter glasses for everyone that wants to enjoy the depth and experience of 3D.  Samsung was kind enough to ship a 3D Blu-Ray player as well as a 3D Movie (Monsters vs. Aliens) for us to test this out.  One thing that I enjoyed was the ability to turn any 2D content into 3D by way of forcing the TV to display run its 3D algorithms on the content in real-time.  This actually produced a pretty decent effect for watching NFL, NHL and some Oasis HD.  Overall, the depth and feel wasn't as great as an actual 3D movie, but it was still pretty decent for sure.  Honestly, forcing 3D in 2D programs was better than I expected.

Enable 3D
Enable 3D
3D Type
3D Type

 

Monsters vs. Aliens had some pretty epic scenes that make you dodge, duck and jump if you're getting into the movie.  The 3D experience was pretty cool for sure.  My kids sure enjoyed taking turns with the glasses.

 

 

Conclusion:

If you've listened to Weekly Tech Update, you already know what I personally think of 3D TV.  I think that the technology is promising but is still in its infancy.  While I do appreciate the effect and that the effect is actually very good, the problem currently lies in implementation.  It requires active glasses in order to make it work best with full resolution.  These glasses are not cheap, nor are they compatible with other systems.  This makes it very expensive.

That being said, I can't let personal preference and bias affect my overall view of the UN55C9000 TV.  The reality is that this TV is beautiful, elegant and exquisitely thin.  It is certainly a technological marvel, a work of art and one of the nicest looking pieces of furniture in my house.  The picture quality is great, and although the brightness measures in at just over a 23% fall off, you can't tell it by looking at it - the luminance meter tells the story.

If you don't have broadband internet or a robust home network, many of this TVs features will be lost on you.  Media Play, Yahoo Widgets, Internet@TV, Samsung Apps and more all require a decent internet connection to fully appreciate what the 9000 Series can do for you.  Once you combine all that functionality with a great picture experience - both in 2D and 3D, you've got a winner.

The remote is also a masterpiece.  It offers more functions and features than my old TV itself.  This is certainly an added value to the expensive bundle.  In the end though you are paying a huge premium for such a thin TV.  If you can afford it, it will certainly turn heads and give you the status that goes along with thin TVs, fast cars and fancy gadgets.

Pros:

  • Ultra thin TV
  • Includes ultra-thin wall mount kit
  • Touchscreen remote
  • Upconverts 2D to 3D very well
  • Full network media support
  • Apps, Widgets and Internet@TV
  • Very good image quality 
  • 4 HDMI inputs + Component

 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not all remote features work with Cable or Satellite

 

 BCCRating

 Gold

Even though this TV is very expensive here in Canada, it is a "Gold" Editors Choice product because of the many features, functions and aesthetics of this unit.  I'd like to thank Samsung for sending it our way for a review.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post in the forum at the "Comments" link below.