Thinner! Thinner! That’s what engineers at Samsung were saying to each other when designing the new Samsung UN55D7000. They have a produced a real stunner–a 55-inch 3D HDTV with full 1080p sporting a bezel that measures only 0.2 inches across.
At times the UN55D7000’s picture seems to hang in midair because the frame almost disappears. As the kids say-awesome! But it’s the technologies behind that make it a winner – a powerful 240Hz refresh rate with improved 3D performance.
Sports are a dream on the D7000 – we watched a classic Steelers/ Browns game on DVD – the deep black of Pittsburgh uniforms and the bright white of the Cleveland jerseys were clear and crisp. Puts, passes and kicks suffered no streaking or blur.
The clear action on the Samsung UN55D7000 is due to Auto Motion Plus, another great idea from the Samsung engineers: it calculates an image in between video frames and inserts that data. The result is a super-smooth picture with rich color and vibrant detail.
Samsung D7000 also has Ultra Clear Panel which helps reduce reflection of the screen. It boosts contrast as well as enhances natural color tones while improving shadow detail. Blacks are very deep and whites are full and bright due to the extreme 15,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio.
The D7000’s thin bezel utilizes Samsung’s “virtually edgeless” screen design. The black bezel is framed by a transparent edge bezel utilizing Samsung’s award-winning Crystal design based on dual-injection mold technology.
It looks translucent from a distance–up close you can also see the heft and solidity of the construction. The exclusive Quad Stand is thinner than last year’s model and has a lower center of gravity to increase stability. It is chrome colored and looks stylish and modern.
The slim screen construction is possible due to the LED-edge backlighting configuration. It features Micro Dimming for enhanced contrast and deep blacks. The thin profile also demanded that the controls (volume, etc) are in the side of Samsung UN55D7000—however, they are colored this time around and much easier to find.
At just over 35 pounds, the UN55D7000 is light for a 55-inch TV. Still, Samsung recommends sliding the Quad Stand out of the box and attaching it to the TV while it is still in the box. Then set it on end and slide the box off.
In the past, some Samsung LCD models suffered from ghosting in their 3D display. For example, a previous viewing of “Despicable Me 3D” evidenced some ghosting throughout. Samsung has improved their 3D technology and, this time around, viewing the same movie, ghosting was almost imperceptible. The Samsung UN55D7000’s Active Shutter Glasses (needed for 3D) are redesigned for 2011 – lighter and softer on the ear.
We did see some banding in high speed games like “Motorstorm Apocalypse” (PS3) in background scenery near the extreme corners. But it was intermittent and not distracting. The D7000 uses Wide Color Enhancer Pro which stretches pixels out to create a bigger and brighter color spectrum, enhancing luminosity and bringing out fine detail.
Samsung has focused on improved energy efficiency in recent years. The UN55D7000 uses 50% less energy than similar model from 2009 or earlier. Currently all Samsung HDTV’s exceed U.S. Energy Star standards. Samsung is also a member of the Korean e-standby program, which aims to reduce power consumption for electronic products. In China, Samsung has earned the Chinese Energy Conservation Certificate.
SRS Theater Sound is now available in all Samsung HDTV’s. It was developed to handle suggestions for improvement in three areas of HDTV sound: inconsistent volume levels, hard to understand vocals and poor sound dimension.
Samsung UN55D7000’s two 15-watt rear-facing speakers pump out Dolby Digital multi-channel sound. We found it had a lot of punch and muscle, especially for music and games. Readers wanting more oomph should look at the Samsung Sound Bar, or a Polk Audio SurroundBar. You can wall mount the SurroundBar below the Samsung TV, or use the supplied cradle to put it on an equipment stand.
For 2011, Samsung is designing all their consumer electronics around the “Smarter Life” theme. The D7000 includes Smart Hub, Samsung’s high tech menu system featuring All Share which allows you to search both on-line services as well as your own collections at the same time for movies, movies, photos and videos. Your collections are accessed via DLNA connectivity, usually with a single HDMI cable, although you can set it up wirelessly if you prefer.
With Samsung Apps, Samsung UN55D7000 allows you to browse the web with the built in web browser. This is the first built-in browser for Samsung HDTV’s and is a significant marker in the convergence of TV and the Internet. There is a QWERTY remote (a normal remote on one side with a full keyboard on the flip side), but it is redeemed separately.
You can access the Your Movie function, which suggests movies based on your past viewing habits. You also get the normal goodies like Netflix, Twitter and Facebook. Some consumers will enjoy making video calls via Skype.
All the connectors are located on the back of the UN55D7000. There are 4 HDMI, 2 USB, connectors for one set of HD component terminals, and 2 sets of composite AV jacks. A little annoying: to save space, Samsung is using mini-jacks for a few of the ports. They supply adapters to hook up standard cables.
Also included is a D-sub port to connect the D7000 to your PC video out. You can connect via Ethernet for Internet or use the wireless LAN. Don’t lose any of the adapters—many of the ports are non-standard.
You have to hand it to Samsung for innovation. As an example, for 2011 they premiered a 75-inch LED! Another hallmark for 2011 is the significant number of models available.
The Samsung UN55D7000 is a real milestone–a big, gorgeous picture with so little frame you think you are on the set of a futuristic movie. With a built-in web browser, Samsung is in fact channeling the future of the merging of two media.
And at the current low prices we see, you might be channeling a purchase in your future.
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