Samsung UN50H6350 Review
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Behind the Screens
The Samsung UN50H6350 (MSRP $1,499.99) tested with decent black levels, plenty of brightness, accurate colors, and—after calibration—proper gamma and a low degree of error within the grayscale. While it could benefit from active dimming of its edge-lit LEDs, the H6350 is well-suited for a brighter room, and handles all the majority of motive content without excessive blurring or trailing.
Calibrating the UN50H6350 involved making changes to Samsung's pre-sets within Movie mode. I used the CalMan 5 software in conjunction with a QuantumData 780a signal generator to push test patterns to the TV and calibrate it to home theater specifications: a peak brightness of ~40 fL and a gamma of 2.4.
Calibrating the H6350 is quite simple. The TV's adjustment granularity is very fine, and it's easy to remove errors in white balance and gamma, achieving an almost perfect end result. Most of my efforts were spent matching the luminance at each IRE step to the ideal luminance for a 2.4 gamma curve, assuming a peak brightness of 40 fL.
Below, you'll find Samsung's original settings in Movie mode on the left, and my final calibration on the right.
Using a standard ANSI checkerboard pattern, I measured a black level of 0.065 cd/m2 and a peak brightness of 212.30 cd/m2 in Movie mode. The resulting contrast ratio—3266:1—is quite good, and within the ballpark of Samsung's Series 6 TVs from 2013. While the H6350 isn't as dark as Vizio's E480i-B2, it's capable of a higher luminance output, making it more suitable for a bright room.
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The UN50H6350 tested with an above-average total viewing angle of 74°, or ±37° from the center to either side of the screen. This is more viewing flexibility than either the F6300 or F6800 from last year, as well as Vizio's 2014 E-Series. Combined with the TV's ability to swivel, viewers should have no problem watching the H6350 from multiple locations around the room.
We judge a TV's color gamut—the spectrum of colors it can produce—by comparing it to the Rec. 709 HDTV color standard. The H6350's primary red, green, and blue points aren't perfectly aligned to the standard, but they're so close that they're perceptibly identical, which is a very solid result. Likewise, we found that—after calibration—the H6350's secondary colors (cyan, magenta, and yellow) are equally accurate.
The current Gamma standard for home theater viewing is 2.4, which represents how quickly (or slowly) a TV exits black and dark gray into middle and bright whites. Out of the box, the H6350 has a rather bright Gamma of 2.13, which is more suitable to a bright room. With some tweaking, however, the Gamma can be aligned perfectly to the 2.4 standard.
Grayscale & RGB Balance
Grayscale refers to the spectrum of blacks, grays, and whites that a TV produces using the additive color method, via its red, green, and blue sub-pixels. When the three sub-pixels are utilized together, they create the grayscale spectrum. If the sub-pixels are imbalanced in their output, however, the grayscale contains errors which are expressed as a DeltaE (error) sum.
Prior to calibration, the H6350 tested with a DeltaE of 4.52, which is higher than ideal. After calibration, however, its DeltaE was only 0.73, a negligible amount of error.
If we analyze this Samsung's RGB balance, we can see where most of the pre-calibration error stemmed from. Out of the box, the TV tends to favor the blue sub-pixel at the expense of the red and green sub-pixels, resulting in an imbalance in the RGB signal. Using the TV's 2- and 10-point white balance controls, I was able to remove almost all of the original errors while also correcting the TV's gamma curve.
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