Samsung UN28H4000 LED TV Review
Tiny TV or massive monitor: You can't go wrong with Samsung's 2014 entry-level offering.
Behind the Screens
The UN28H4000 (MSRP $339.99) won't knock your socks off with jaw-dropping picture quality—Samsung has another TV for that purpose. It will offer a good-looking image when you plug your cable box into it, and with a little calibration, its picture quality is decidedly above-average.
One thing you won't find here is a really good contrast ratio, which will be upsetting to TV connoisseurs, but not so much to the general public. At least the H4000 makes up for its mediocre black level with an excellent viewing angle—sort of.
We start every calibration by putting a TV in Movie mode, which typically gives displays the most accurate color temperature setting. We adjust the screen for maximum color accuracy, as well as a peak luminance of ~40 fL and a gamma of 2.4. Here's what we changed:
When calibrating the H4000, the biggest issue was its RGB balance, which favored blue and neglected red. This was remedied by lowering the blue gain and jacking up the red gain, as well as slight adjustments to these colors' offset settings.
The black level of 0.15 cd/m2 on the H4000 isn't impressive at all, but once you compare it to the competition, it isn't the end of the world.
What's interesting is how much brighter the H4000 is next to its predecessor, the F4000. While not the worst contrast ratio I've ever seen, the H4000's final result is disappointing. Colors won't stand out as much as they would on a display with a darker black level, and dark scenes in movies won't show as much detail.
Finding a truly excellent viewing angle on an LCD is hard, so imagine my surprise when the H4000 tested with a near-perfect result. You can comfortably view this Samsung from any angle, which is normally something to praise. On a 28-inch TV, though, a wide viewing angle won't do you much good. Are you ever going to watch this display from a really obtuse angle?
Color accuracy on TVs is judged by how closely a display adheres to the Rec. 709 HDTV color standard.
Out of the box, the Samsung UN28H4000's color accuracy isn't that bad. Red and blue are both fairly accurate, while green is oversaturated—your eyes probably won't notice a difference. The color gamut after calibration (on the right) made red even more accurate, while the secondary colors magenta and cyan also saw improvements.
Gamma refers to how a display transitions from black to white. Without calibration, the H4000 has a bright gamma of 2.18, which is acceptable if you're in a sunny room. With some tweaking, I was able to get the gamma close to the home theater standard of 2.4.
Grayscale & RGB Balance
The grayscale spectrum—all of the blacks, grays, and whites on a TV—is made by adding various amounts of red, green, and blue. Sometimes the grayscale contains a certain amount of error, measured in DeltaE, when the input of these primary colors is imbalanced.
The Samsung UN28H4000 tested with a high degree of error prior to calibration, but I was able to bring this error down to a respectable level.
As far as RGB balance is concerned, the H4000 tends to favor blue sub-pixels, while reds are under-utilized. By adjusting the white balance settings, I was ale to correct much of the color imbalance.
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