With the Tax man coming with a refund I thought I would do a review on my recent TV purchase.
As with any major purchase I did so much research before selecting the Samsung UN60ES7500 60-Inch 1080p 240 Hz 3D Slim LED HDTV. I looked at all the major brands including LG, Sharp, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Sony. I spent several weeks in my free time doing this, reading and comparing specifications, and checking customer reviews on sites like Amazon and Google Shopping. Where available for each model I looked at I read CNET and Home Theater site reviews as well.
Based on the available technologies I had to decide between Plasma and LED for starters, and then Active or Passive 3D. From my research online I discovered there were proponents in each camp, and finally I reached critical mass and realized without some hands on comparison I would never be able to decide.
My older son and I went down to the local Best Buy and basically tried all the brands mentioned above and both active and passive 3D technologies. The Samsung UN60ES7500 immediately blew away the biggest myth I had read of with Active 3D and that's not having enough of a viewing angle when move away from the center of the screen. In 2D and 3D TV we could see the picture fine when being on so much of angle where you wouldn't be able to see the front of the TV!
The TV picture for both 2D and 3D is FABULOUS! Totally blows away, as I would expect, my 5 year old 50" Panasonic plasma, and my 2 year old LG 22" LED TV. I could not be more pleased!
On the rare occasions I use the pass-through mode of my AV receiver, the sound quality if the TV speakers is decent; certainly far better than the two aforementioned TVs.
Of course while doing my research I came across complaints for this line of TVs from Samsung, such as you could not use a mouse or keyboard with it, but under mine int he setup mode are setting for a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. I'll have to try that on a later date and update this report. I also read complaints of different color lines down the display, light bleeding around the edges, and other issues, but as I said previously the picture on this unit is amazing!
More than a few of the reviews I had read mentioned the Samsung line my TV was a part of were turning themselves off for no reason. I'm theorizing this might have been because they had automatic power setting set to do this, or perhaps the voice command feature misinterpreted some TV dialog as a command to turn off the set. One reviewer mentioned when they removed theirs from the network this issue stopped, mine has been on my home network since the day it arrived, with no issues. The wireless network setup was quick and easy in fact and I've had no network related issues on either of my home wireless networks, both of which use different security settings.
Speaking of Voice Commands, this is one of Samsung's 'Smart TVs', meaning you can use a set of predefined commands and hand gestures to control it.
It should be noted I did NOT buy the set for these features, which is good because they are, in my humble opinion, not ready for prime time. Trying to get the TV to recognize, even with the TV muted, voice commands is a hit or miss proposition. It either does not recognize the initial command phrase, or it can easily misinterpret commands. How it thinks "TV Power Off"is the command for "Current Time" is beyond me. The hand gesturing also needs work. Trying to get the on screen menu to come up when holding using the waving gesture it expects, even after going through the setup calibration, rarely works, but get a bit tired and raise your hands while stretching, and Bam! it appears!
Hopefully subsequent firmware upgrades will improve this, but if you main reason for getting a Smart TV is for these features, you will be sorely disappointed.
The TV comes with a number of pre-loaded applications, such as a Netflix library and there is an application store you can choose more from. There are both free and paid apps. As the TV has a built in camera, there is also a Skype application. This is also a decent web browser; with a wireless keyboard and mouse this would be a very easy way to surf the web, check your email, etc.
So, in closing, if you're looking for a TV based on being able to dump your remote and use hand gesturing and voice commands to control it, this is NOT the TV for you. You'll be very disappointed in the poor implementation of these features based on today's firmware.
If on the other hand you're looking for a large screen, network connected 3D HD TV with a fantastic picture, a boatload of applications, and a plethora of other features this is an ideal purchase.
Because of the poor implementation of the Voice Command and Gesturing features, I'd give this TV four out of five stars.