Samsung UN55B7100 55" LED HDTV

Want to talk about one of the articles in SPCR? Here's the forum for you.
MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Samsung UN55B7100 55" LED HDTV

Post by MikeC » Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:57 pm

Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

lm
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1251
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Location: Finland

Post by lm » Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:55 pm

I can't find any mention of it having overscan or not?

Btw, was the power consumption of the off-state verified by a test?

webs0r
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 1:12 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by webs0r » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:21 am

Hi Mike, good to see you took the plunge!

I got one of these December 2008. In Australia, I'm not sure, but it might be the same as the series 9 LED TVs - same as mine though I think from your photos it looks thinner.

Stunning display though.

My tips:
- go to avsforum and pick out video settings that match your taste from someone that has calibrated their set with a proper tool - this makes a huge difference in colour accuracy
- if you are driving it through a (silent) PC, consider using tools such as reclock to get judder free playback (ie 24fps film->50hz refresh). You'll be in heaven (or don't try to notice it in the first place!!).

I can't remember the last time I went to the movies!

lm -> it has a "just scan" mode where it will show the pixels 1:1 and reduce any processing. It's a little finicky as it sometimes forgets it on my HDMI input but it picks it up automatically as long as my PC isn't sleeping when I turn the set on.

psiu
Posts: 1201
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:53 pm
Location: Plymouth, MI
Contact:

Post by psiu » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:10 am

Hi Mike, nice review, is there any way to follow up with a test of HDMI input from your PC and and see how well it handles standby/hibernation or any power on sequences needed?

I have an older tv using HDMI and that's the failing--if you go into standby you need to reboot because the video just won't come back up--and unfortunately I've found it's not the PC since I ended up putting an HDMI Detective+ inline as well (for an extra $100).

Seems to be something the older HDMI-capable sets fail at, I would assume the newer ones can handle a PC better than that.
R.I.P. Felger Carbon & cpemma

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:11 am

lm wrote:I can't find any mention of it having overscan or not?
It has a good incremental picture zoom going from 4:3 to 16:9 to fill the screen.
lm wrote:Btw, was the power consumption of the off-state verified by a test?
Yes. Info added to table - 0W when off, 32W in "standby" - power on w/ no active input.

No problems w/ coming back on from PC sleep via HDMI. Some info on this added to the TV Monitor for HTPC section -- basically finding cables to work properly between components is hit and miss with all HDMI-enabled gear, but find one that works between them and you're OK, at least with this Samsung TV. I actually had only one HDMI cable that worked properly between the TV and the Blu-ray player or the PC, so used VGA & separate audio on PC and the HDMI on Blu-ray.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

sthayashi
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 3214
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Post by sthayashi » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:21 am

Hello Mike,

I've been reading reviews of a lot of the interesting home theater displays like this one. The 2 big issues I've read about with this device is 1) off-axis viewing, which you addressed in your article, and 2) screen uniformity or contrast uniformity. Have you noticed any issues with the latter?
[size=75][url=http://www.twolf1300.net/sthayashi/SPCR/systems.html]My Power Rig, Storage Rig, HTPC and Main Rig[/url][/size]

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:37 am

sthayashi wrote:Hello Mike,

I've been reading reviews of a lot of the interesting home theater displays like this one. The 2 big issues I've read about with this device is 1) off-axis viewing, which you addressed in your article, and 2) screen uniformity or contrast uniformity. Have you noticed any issues with the latter?
None.

The off-axis thing is a red herring, imo. There's virtually no change in any color except black, and you actually need an almost completely black screen to notice it. If you have 3 people on an 8' sofa 9' away from the screen, no one will notice any change in black when viewing a show. (Probably also true with 4 people on a 10' sofa.) It's w/ artificial test conditions that the black thing becomes evident; during a show you really have to be looking for it to see it at all. Mostly, black looks perfectly black. IMO, it's just one of those incremental differentiating technicalities to help sell "the next big thing", done with every technical product, whether it's a heatsink, CPU, or golf club.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

lm
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 1251
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:14 am
Location: Finland

Post by lm » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:54 am

MikeC wrote:
lm wrote:I can't find any mention of it having overscan or not?
It has a good incremental picture zoom going from 4:3 to 16:9 to fill the screen.
Thanks for the answer, but I rather meant whether it can give a 1:1 pixel mapping to be usable as a PC display - unfortunately many TVs can't do this and are thus unusable as a PC display device.

webs0r confirmed already that this device does indeed give you 1:1 with "just scan" mode.

NeilBlanchard
Moderator
Posts: 7677
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2002 7:11 pm
Location: Maynard, MA, Eaarth
Contact:

Post by NeilBlanchard » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:03 am

Hi Mike,

I like the review, and I'm sure I would love the TV -- but it is way too expensive. Any chance you will be looking at 32"-42" LED backlit LCD TV's?
Sincerely, Neil
http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/

nutball
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 1304
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 7:16 am
Location: en.gb.uk

Post by nutball » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:46 am

The standby power is a bit disappointing - I have one of the non-LED Samsung HDTVs, in standby it uses ~1-2W.

Regarding noise from the set, you said it's basically inaudible barring high-frequency whine. Is this at 100% brightness? The CCFL-backlit HDTVs I've had, including my current Samsun, buzz at <100% similar to the issue with LCD monitors well known around here. I'm curious whether LED delivers a buzz-free reduced brightness.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:16 am

nutball wrote:The standby power is a bit disappointing - I have one of the non-LED Samsung HDTVs, in standby it uses ~1-2W.
To be honest, that term "standby" has so many meanings these days that it's confusing. If we use it the way it's used around PSUs, it means power off w/ AC plugged in. It's the way I routinely used the TV -- power off w/the remote. And this is 0W for the Samsung TV. The 32W I measured was when the PC went into screen off (not standby, it never goes into standby because it's become the torrent box and squeezebox music server) and the TV screen went blank w/ power light blinking to indicate standby. Or turned the Bluray player off, didn't turn the TV off right away, and the screen went blank. There's no reason to leave the TV in this mode.
nutball wrote:Regarding noise from the set, you said it's basically inaudible barring high-frequency whine. Is this at 100% brightness? The CCFL-backlit HDTVs I've had, including my current Samsun, buzz at <100% similar to the issue with LCD monitors well known around here. I'm curious whether LED delivers a buzz-free reduced brightness.
I'd say it buzzes a bit all the time when it's powered on but I can't hear it from the viewing position w/ the sound off, and when the speakers are not muted, it's totally a non-factor. It also isn't that high pitched whine I've heard from LCD monitors but more of a buzz, lower in freq. I'm sure it's way better than most CRT TVs.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

diver
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:27 pm

Post by diver » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:29 am

I want one.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:31 am

NeilBlanchard wrote:Hi Mike, I like the review, and I'm sure I would love the TV -- but it is way too expensive. Any chance you will be looking at 32"-42" LED backlit LCD TV's?
In this regard, SPCR is more or less at the mercy of the sample suppliers. Chances are, no one will send us anything smaller than 40" because that's where the market demand is. Samsung mentioned an 8000 series sample in the future but I recall their smallest available sample was 46". It's probably safe to say the performance I saw in this model would apply to the 6000 series -- the difference appears to be fewer features -- Content Library, DLNA, Internet , USB 2.0 Movie Multi-Media Center. The only one I'd miss is USB.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

CA_Steve
Moderator
Posts: 7395
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 4:36 am
Location: Monterey Bay, CA

Post by CA_Steve » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:07 am

Thanks for the review - you may well be the first person to list the power consumption. :D

----stands on the sandbox----
My personal gripe - power consumption isn't listed anywhere with the current generation of TVs, just a vague "Energy Star - yes" or similar. I was comparing LED backlit TVs a couple of months ago and gave up when the downloaded manuals didn't even list power used. When you have to go into a store and look at the back of the TV to see the UL/CSA max power, you know there needs to be some regulation in the industry.

Or, it may be an opportunity to taunt the salesperson: "So, how much power does this set use?" See how long he wanders around for the answer until he gives up.
---steps down----

Mike, did you notice any edge bloom?
1080p Gaming build: i5-4670K, Mugen 4, Asrock Z97 Anniversary, MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, 8GB 1866 RAM, Samsung 860 Evo 500GB, Crucial MX100 256GB, WD Red 2TB, Samsung DVD burner, Fractal Define R4, Antec True Quiet 140 (2 front + rear) case fans, Seasonic SSR-550FX. 35W idle, 45-55W video streaming, 170-200W WoW, 318W stress test (Prime95 + Furmark)

Support SPCR through these links: Amazon and Newegg

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:56 am

CA_Steve --

Energy Star maintains a list showing operational and "standby" (meaning off but plugged in) power for all ES approved TVs. It's reasonably close for the Samsung TV to my readings: 120W. This is extremely low, esp for the size. Many of the similarly sized plasmas go 300W and up -- one reason I could not justify a plasma TV.

edge bloom... no, at least none that I think can be attributed to the TV. Let me put it this way -- with a good blueray, it's amazingly good, there's nothing offputting to notice but to just sink into the alternate reality offered on screen. With lesser sources, there are obviously more visible flaws but it's hard to accurately divide up problems with the sources vs problems in the TV.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

Zap
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 9:52 pm
Location: Kenosha, WI

Post by Zap » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:30 am

You can use GSpot Codec Information Appliance to compare the details of the media files that played versus the ones that did not play.

Also, are you sure you want to be mentioning torrented versions of videos? :oops:
Zap
Clan of the Bloody Fist

Trunk
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:13 am

Post by Trunk » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:37 am

The home networking function, also called DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) for no really good reason, but it's basically networking to access media files on your PCs from the TV.
It's called DLNA for a very good reason. It's a group of manufacturers and developers, an "alliance," that works together to create interoperability guidelines for digital media devices connected across your network. Devices that comply can become certified and bear the DNLA logo, which assures customers that they can expect a certain level of compatibility and performance.

In that respect, it is no different than using the "DVD" logo on a piece of hardware to indicate to customers that it will play the family's entire DVD library, which is comforting because the collection almost certainly cost a small fortune.
This requires a klugy software called Samsung PC Share Manager to be installed on the networked computers, and for specific folders to be marked for sharing with the TV. It never worked with the review sample, even though the networked computers (running Windows 7, Vista or XP) could be seen by the TV.
The DLNA certification means that the TV should not require the Samsung PC Share Manager to be installed in order to take advantage of the features. Instead, you should be able to choose from a number of available applications. A crowd favorite amongst the Windows Home Server users is TwonkyMedia. In fact, a quick search over at the Twonky site shows that it specifically supports the UN55B7100.

This is what's really nice about DLNA. As long as you have DLNA certified devices (admittedely, the list is somewhat limited right now, but it's growing) you can run one DNLA program on your server box (or PC) and be done with it. There is no need to run a proprietary application for each piece of hardware you own. Obviously, this is assuming you're not stricly brand loyal, in which case you could probably get away with one program. However, as you've noticed first hand, the Samsung software isn't the greatest, and I have to say that I've never been impressed with software that came bundled with electronics.

For TVs or stereo receivers that are not DNLA certified, you can upgrade their capabilities by adding a DNLA approved product like the WD TV Live. DNLA then allows you to navigate your media library via the device or even push media to the device, and through your TV and/or stereo. Therefore, you could potentially use your laptop or smart phone as a remote control to play music or movies.

I'm currently in the process of setting up my home so that each room will have multi-media capabilities. So far I have a Dell Dimension 3000 tucked away running WHS, a mix of computers, and an Xbox 360 in the living room which can access files on my Mac and the server. Unfortuantely, I don't run MCE or Vista, so I'm not able to use the Media Center Extender feature on the Xbox. It's a shame, since it's more elegant than just scrolling through the filesystem like I do now. I'm currently shopping for a media adapter for the bedroom, and am leaning towards the WD TV Live because of it's ability to play my DVD ISOs and its DNLA certification.

Maybe I'm getting old, but I'm sick of spending more time trying to get things to work than I do actually enjoying the content. I just want to sit down, press a button, and have things work. From what I gather, DNLA can offer this.

I lurk a lot more than I post, so I am unable to post the links to the appropriate sites. A web search of DLNA should pull up their .org site, and a search for TwonkyMedia should pull up their TwonkyVision .de site.

Anyway, Mike, I enjoyed this review. Keep up the great work!

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:56 am

Zap wrote:You can use GSpot Codec Information Appliance to compare the details of the media files that played versus the ones that did not play.
Good tip.
Zap wrote:Also, are you sure you want to be mentioning torrented versions of videos? :oops:
And deny the predominance of torrent videos out there? Let em come get me... and at least half the online population, too! :lol:
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

audiojar
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:17 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by audiojar » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:59 am

Wouldn't a LED backlit TV also have a much longer lifespan? That would be a nice bonus.

sthayashi
*Lifetime Patron*
Posts: 3214
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:06 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Post by sthayashi » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:00 pm

audiojar wrote:Wouldn't a LED backlit TV also have a much longer lifespan? That would be a nice bonus.
Longer compared to what? Plasma lifespans are generally rated pretty highly (usually around 60,000 hours last time I checked), and CFL LCD TVs typically have a similar rating. LED lifespans are around this area too. So compared to similarly competing technologies, no it doesn't have a longer life.

However, if you start looking at other technologies, such as DLP, then the LED LCD does exhibit a longer "life". However, it is still serviceable and can be brought back to life with a bulb change (which is typically a small but sizable fraction of the original cost of the display).
[size=75][url=http://www.twolf1300.net/sthayashi/SPCR/systems.html]My Power Rig, Storage Rig, HTPC and Main Rig[/url][/size]

cordis
Posts: 1082
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:56 pm
Location: San Jose

I have one

Post by cordis » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:31 pm

Interesting, I bought one of these just recently, so far it's been great. I actually get the best picture from the pc I have plugged into it, once I got an HD tuner for it that worked with my cable system. I wouldn't mind an extra composite or even component input, but generally it's been pretty sweet. I'm surprised to see a TV review here, but getting the specs for mine is handy. Thanks for the great review!

Wayne Redpath
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Post by Wayne Redpath » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:19 pm

Great review Mike.

...Wishful thinking...
I'd like to see a side-by-side objective and subjective comparison with an affordable TV like the LG 50PQ20 50-in. 720p Plasma HDTV at Costco for $859.99 .
After you cry because it's over don't forget to smile because it happened.

widowmaker
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:05 pm
Location: Toronto Ontario

Post by widowmaker » Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:51 pm

PIP is listed twice in the first page. :wink:
[size=75]You will never be strong enough
You will never be good enough
You were never conceived in love
You will not rise above[/size]

~El~Jefe~
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 2887
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: New York City zzzz
Contact:

Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:15 pm

that's because there is one picture

and then,

another picture.

josephclemente
Posts: 580
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: USA (Phoenix, AZ)

Post by josephclemente » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:58 pm

Wayne Redpath wrote:Great review Mike.

...Wishful thinking...
I'd like to see a side-by-side objective and subjective comparison with an affordable TV like the LG 50PQ20 50-in. 720p Plasma HDTV at Costco for $859.99 .
I'm still using my 54" rear projection television from the 90's. I recently browsed some 50" Plasma screens under $1,000 and was very impressed. I thought they looked a lot better than higher priced LCD displays.

I don't think I'd spend too much more than $1,000 on my next 50"+ TV. Or should I??
SilverStone SG05, Antec Kuhler H2O 620, Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-13 120MM, Seasonic X-460, ASRock Z77E-ITX, Intel Xeon E3-1230 V2, Samsung 30nm 1.35V 8GB DDR3 1600 RAM, PowerColor AX7750, Samsung Series 830 256GB SSD, Win 7 Ultimate x64
Link

RoGuE
Posts: 540
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:11 am
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Contact:

Post by RoGuE » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:20 pm

I'm not totally sure how I feel about TV reviews here..with no fans, isn't coil whine the only relevant thing to review here? (not the picture, or connections, etc).

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be ungrateful for a thorough review...just a little confused, since no one would use this with a PC. You may argue it could be used with an HTPC, but that's a stretch, no?

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:29 pm

josephclemente wrote:I don't think I'd spend too much more than $1,000 on my next 50"+ TV. Or should I??
A plasma that size will pull ~250W or more. iirc, energy conservation is important to you, Joe, no?
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

Wayne Redpath
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Post by Wayne Redpath » Wed Dec 23, 2009 12:27 pm

Okay, let's put some numbers on the energy costs of 125 W vs 250 W for Calgary, Alberta, Canada where electricity currently costs approximately 12.5 cents/KWhr.

12.5 cents/KWhr * 8 KWhr = $1.00

8000 Whr / 125 W = 64 hours

64 hours / 7 days = 9.14 hours/day

So if you watch that much TV then you could save $52 per year on electricity. However, not all the energy goes to waste because for much of the year the furnace would be running.
After you cry because it's over don't forget to smile because it happened.

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:47 pm

Energy consumption these days is not just about how much $ you save -- it shouldn't be. If we all make our buying decisions based on just that alone, we will undoubtedly accelerate global warming.

Energy/buying decisions around my home/work almost always take the greener rather than the cheaper approach -- as long as I can afford it, I'll go greener. For me, a <$1000 250W 50" plasma is a non-starter when I can get a 100W 46" Samsung UN46B7000 LED LCD for $1445. I'll gladly accept the smaller size and higher price tag.
Last edited by MikeC on Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

Wayne Redpath
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 7:42 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Post by Wayne Redpath » Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:36 pm

Modern TV's are more efficent than my old technology 36" CRT TV. I see modern digital flat panel TV's being more efficient mainly in 2 ways. Firstly the LED's (and LASER's which are not commercialized yet) develope more accurate and larger color gamut more efficiently than traditional digital panel TV light sources. Secondly the design of the flat panel directs the light more efficiently to the required viewing angles. My Toshiba model 36AF41 is rated at 112 watts power consumption which it sprays out indiscriminately all over my TV room.

Now, if I wasn't retired and poor...
After you cry because it's over don't forget to smile because it happened.

Post Reply