Samsung’s UN-46C7000 ($2,599 list) is one of the smallest 3D TVs available. Its also a snap to set it up and get it running. Woah! bragging rights to one of the smallest 3D TV’s is completely contrary to the current trend pushing bigger badder Cinema Theaters in your home.
This guy has all kinds of inputs. Like the four HDMI inputs, all 1.4a compatible. Input #1 also supports connections to a personal computer, while Input #2 is the audio return channel (ARC) connection for an external AV receiver. There’s also a single analog component video (YPbPr) connection, and a composite video connection. These are actually stereo mini plugs with breakout cable adapters for analog, component and composite video. The same for the Antenna input – adapted to go from the standard threaded F-connector to a mini slide-on coaxial connector.
With CEC support on the HDMI, firing up your Blu-ray player also powers up the TV and switches to that input automatically. You can feed digital audio from TV programs to your AV receiver through a Toslink output jack, cable not included. HDMI input #2 will provide an audio return path to your receiver.
Samsung’s menus are four image presets, labeled Dynamic, Standard, Natural, and Movie. If you are into calibration, you’ll need to use Movie mode. You can also select from four different color temperature settings, five different aspect ratio settings, and a host of ‘green’ energy setting modes called Eco Solution. There are five different settings for screen brightness – including one that turns the image off, but leaves the sound on – and there’s also an ‘Eco Sensor’ that adjusts picture brightness based on ambient room lighting conditions.
There are other image ‘enhancements’ that Samsung has included: three different black levels, three settings for dynamic contrast, and a shadow detail enhance/reduce adjustment. Ok, now we are getting pretty complicated in detail…be careful here messing with these settings will result in odd gamma curves if you don’t know what you are doing.
Samsung 3D TVs recognize when 3D content is streaming through their inputs, unless it is encoded in the HDMI v1.4a frame packing format. This format, which delivers movies in the 1920×1080p @24 Hz format, is so unique that if you start playing a 3D Blu-ray disc, the UN46C7000 will automatically switch into 3D mode – no further adjustments required.
The two frame-compatible 3D formats (1080i side-by-side and 720p top+bottom) can be selected in the 3D menu by turning 3D ON. You will then be presented with a menu of 3D frame compatible formats to choose from, including side by side (1080i), top & bottom (720p), and several esoteric formats like line by line, vertical stripe, checkerboard (also known as quincunx), and frequency. That last format alternates full-frame left and right images in a similar manner to active shutter 3D, but at slower frame rates.
Samsung also has a 2D to 3D conversion algorithm built-in to all of their 3D TVs.
Full specifications and other product information are available here – http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs/UN46C7000WFXZA
Current Web prices on this TV range from $1,370 to $2,200 as of November 10, 2010.
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