Samsung UN48H6400 LED TV Review
Samsung's 6 Series does it all, but the competition makes it a tough sell.
Behind the Screens
When properly calibrated, the Samsung UN48H6400 offers top-notch color accuracy and very little grayscale error. This TV even has a decent contrast ratio, especially for an LED. Unfortunately, some of the results aren't so great out-of-the-box. There are also some things that we can't change, like viewing angle (which is pretty narrow) and so-so screen uniformity. At least the H6400 has good motion performance.
When calibrating a TV, we aim to set a display's peak luminance as close to 40 fL as possible, while adhering to a gamma of 2.4. We also correct white balance and color accuracy issues, assuming the TV allows those things to be altered.
I thought the H6400 would have similar results to the Samsung H6350. This was not the case: Fellow reviewer Lee Neikirk barely touched the H6350 during calibration, while I had to apply some significant tweaks to fix the H6400's color accuracy.
Below, you'll find the Samsung UN48H6400's original settings on the left, with our calibration on the right:
In addition to these adjustments, I went into the Custom Color menu and changed green and blue to the following values:
Green: Red=30, Green=65, Blue=11
Blue: Red=0, Green=17, Blue=53
With the base Movie settings, the Samsung UN48H6400 produces a decent contrast ratio. Even though it has a satisfying black level of 0.057 cd/m2 for an LED, the competition actually outperforms it. With its peak luminance of 199.2 cd/m2, though, this TV would make a decent addition to a moderately bright living room.
LCD panels typically don't achieve praise-worthy viewing angles, and the Samsung H6400 fits that description: It offers ±15° of contrast-rich content to either side. Content viewed past this angle has severely reduced contrast, and just isn't enjoyable.
Interestingly, the less expensive Samsung H6350 has a really solid viewing angle of ±37° to either side. Color us surprised.
A TV's color gamut should adhere to the Rec. 709 HDTV color standard, which dictates how the primary colors—red, green, and blue—should look. Before calibration, the H6400 didn't have the best color accuracy. Its primary colors looked decent, but its white point was skewed towards blue.
Post-calibration, I was able to fix the white point error and tighten up the primaries. If you plan on toying around with your H6400, know that it has a wide variety of options to tweak and calibrate to your liking.
The standard home theater gamma is 2.4, which is a representation of how a display transitions from black to gray to white. The H6400's pre-calibration gamma of 2.19 is ideal for a bright room. For a home theater setup, though, you want something closer to 2.4. All we had to do was lower the Gamma control from 0 to -2.
Grayscale & RGB Balance
A TV's grayscale refers to its range of blacks, grays, and whites. These are produced by an additive color method using the primary colors red, green, and blue. Because of this, grayscale error (expressed in DeltaE) and RGB balance are closely related.
Before calibration, the Samsung UN48H6400 had a high DeltaE of 5.41. After properly balancing the colors, though, I was able to get that DeltaE down to 1.4.
As for the H6400's RGB balance, it was a total mess before calibration. The blue sub-pixel was used way to much, while the red and green sub-pixels were underutilized. This Samsung's 2-point white balance was enough to balance the primary colors to a proper level.
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