For around £600, this TV offers a screen refresh rate of 100 Hz, an active-shutter 3D mode and a decent built-in media player. It could prove to be a great-value option, which is why we insisted on getting our hands on it one way or another.
We tested the 46" (117 cm) version of the EH6030, but this TV is also available in 32" (81 cm, UE32EH6030) and 40" (102 cm, UE40EH6030) models. Beware, though—the screen panel could change from one model to the next. Our test results therefore only apply to the 46" model.
After setting up our kit on the shop floor, the first thing we did was get an up-close look at the screen's subpixels with a macro photo. The results show that the 46EH6030 uses a PSA screen panel, a Samsung-made variant of VA technology.
Our tests showed that the default picture settings in the EH6030 give good-quality results, even if some pricier TVs do a much better job. The test results with the EH6030 in Movie mode (which gives the most accurate picture, according to our various tests) are as follows:
- Contrast = 2850:1, that's a little on the low side for watching films in pitch-dark conditions but it's perfectly fine when you've got a bit of background lighting.
- Delta E 94 = 2.3 (the lower the Delta E, the more accurate the onscreen colours. With a Delta E under 3 colours can be considered accurate).
- Colour temperature = 7000 kelvins, which is a little cool and a little blue-heavy.
- Screen responsiveness = 10 ms, which isn't bad. It's on the better side of average compared with the other TVs we've reviewed.
- The viewing angles aren't so great, however. Variation in the onscreen image can reach up to 200% when viewed from the sides of the screen. This TV therefore scores lees than 1/5 for viewing angles, which is clearly quite disappointing! You'll therefore need to make sure your sofa is lined up facing the TV screen directly.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to take our usual clouding photo for this TV, as the in-store lighting was too strong. We were, however, able to take various black-level readings across the screen, which in turn showed that the black wasn't consistent over the display. The maximum deviation reached 44%, ranging from 0.04 cd/m² in the corners of the screen to 0.07 cd/m² in the middle of the panel. This kind of discrepancy won't be noticeable in a brightly lit room, but we know from experience that the central part of the display may look a bit washed-out when watching TV with the lights off.
All in all, that earns the UE46EH6030 three stars for clouding.
As with its other 3D TVs, Samsung has opted for active-shutter technology here.
Two pairs of 3D glasses are supplied as standard. Plus, Samsung's models are among the cheapest on the market right now, at just £15 a pair. They may not be the most stylish eyewear around, but they're comfortable and light.
Here's what our test images look like through the 3D glasses (Top: Samsung UE46EH6030 / Bottom: Samsung UE40ES6300):
Unfortunately, 3D picture quality in the EGH6030 isn't on par with Samsung's ES6300 and ES6710. The picture in 3D mode is often prone to crosstalk, where images for the left and right eyes end up overlapping onto one another.
DESIGN & BUILD
There isn't a huge choice of connections here. The UE46EH6030 only has two HDMI ports, plus one USB port, one SCART socket, a combined composite/component connection, and an Ethernet port for DLNA and firmware updates.
We tested out the built-in multimedia player by hooking up an external hard drive to the USB port. However, we soon found out that the USB port isn't powerful enough to run a 2.5" hard drive. You'll therefore need to make sure your drive has an external power source. But apart from that, the media player here is exactly the same as in Samsung's other 2012 TVs. It's compatible with loads of video container formats (AVI, MP4, MKV, Mov, MTS and M2TS) and codecs (AVC-HD, H.264, X.264, WMV, DivX and Xvid).
Seeing as we didn't test this TV in our lab, we weren't able to fully analyse the audio output. This TV has the same audio system as Samsung's 5000- and 6000-series TVs (2 x 10 W), so in theory it should reproduce the frequency range for human voices pretty well. That's fine for watching TV shows, but the lack of bass isn't so great for films. A proper home cinema speaker kit or sound bar would probably still make a wise addition.
POWER USE & NOISE
Power use is a little higher than with Edge LED models. We measured consumption levels at 1 W on standby and 85 W in use, which makes for 146 W/m² for this 46" screen (117 cm).