Samsung UE40H6400 review
Samsung's UE40H6400 (or the 40" Samsung H6400 Series 6 Smart 3D Full HD LED TV to give it its full title) is a 40in Full-HD, 3D-compatible LED TV with impressive image quality and a good range of smart TV features. It's more or less identical to last year's UE40F6400 in design, with the four-legged stand and black bezel looking reasonably stylish.
For this review we tested the 40in model in the Samsung H6400 Series 6 range (UE40H6400), but it's also available in 32in (UE432H6400), 48in (UE48H6400), 55in (UE55H6400) and 65in (UE65H6400) and 75in (UE75H6400) screen sizes. All models have identical specifications except for their dimensions and power usage. We're confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.
On the back and side of the UE40H6400 are four HDMI ports, one of which is audio return channel (ARC) compatible. This means it can send audio back to a compatible speaker system so that sound from other TV inputs can be amplified. Also present are three USB ports that can be used to connect external media such as an external hard disk or flash drive. You can then record to an attached disk or view video, photos and music from it. Component, SCART, gigabit Ethernet and 3.5mm headphone connectors are also present, but sadly missing is an audio input. The UE40H6400 has Wi-Fi built in, which means you can connect your TV to your Wi-Fi network without having to trail wires around your living room.
Samsung's selection of online services are typically excellent, and the UE40H6400 is no exception. Thanks to the UE40H6400's quad-core processor, navigating menus and opening applications is an extremely quick and smooth affair.
All the catch-up TV apps you'd want and expect are available, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand 5. Subscription services such as Netflix and Wuaki.tv are also preinstalled, as is YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. You can organise these apps across various home screens so that your favourite streaming service choice is only ever a couple of clicks away.
We were both impressed and disappointed by the UE40H6400's search function. If you type or speak a word or phrase for a search the TV will display results that are sourced from various installed applications. A search for "Royal Ascot", for example, showed results for a TV programme that was currently on air, an upcoming listing for which we could schedule a recording, and a selection of YouTube videos. Searches for specific films would also reveal results from the Wuaki.tv app, although search terms for programmes available on Netflix, BBC iPlayer, 4oD and Demand 5 did not appear. It's a shame that not all applications can be searched in this way and we hope that Samsung and the app developers will work on this to make such searches possible in future.
You get two remote controls with the UE40H6400. One is a standard remote control and the other is a pebble shaped remote control that lets you move an onscreen cursor for easier navigation and selection. This remote control works fantastically well, and we'd be happy to use this kind of remote control permanently. The pebble remote control also lets you control the TV by voice, but the technology is patchy at best, and we preferred to press buttons rather than speak to the TV.
Audio quality from the UE40H6400’s built-in speakers is acceptable but it’s worth buying a home cinema setup if you want to enjoy loud, booming audio from games and films.
Image quality on standard definition TV pictures was initially unpleasant, with jagged lines and much noise, but turning on all the noise reduction settings made a significant difference. Whether you prefer the slightly soft appearance of these processed images will be down to personal taste, however, and you can fine tune them to your preference.
If you want to make the most of Blu-ray and HD TV content you’ll need to spend a considerable amount of time tweaking the UE40H6400’s many image settings. Out of the box the UE40H6400 was able to display 87.5 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut which, while not a superb score, should still be good enough for most tastes. We recorded an excellent contrast ratio of 5,265:1, although in scenes with dark and light spots the TV won't be able to take full advantage of this because of its lack of local backlight dimming, a feature which would have reduced the backlight for darker parts of an image to increase contrast.
The default "Normal" mode isn't a great starting point, and we instead preferred the brighter and more vibrant "Natural" image preset. This preset is blindingly bright, though, so you may want to reduce the brightness initially. Even so, it's a good place to start when optimising your device for movies and TV.
The UE40H6400 uses active 3D shutter technology to display 3D video. Glasses for active 3D TVs are more expensive than passive glasses, but the quality of the UE40H6400’s 3D video is superb. Two pairs of 3D glasses are included with most sizes in the range, including our 40in test model, and watching 3D movies was a great experience. There was no hint of crosstalk or ghosting, and if you have an extensive collection of 3D movies and games, you'll absolutely want to play and see them again on the UE40H6400.
The Samsung UE40H6400 is an excellent mid-range TV that’s ideal for a small living room, though the wide range of sizes means you should be able to find a model to suit any room. With brilliant 3D performance, decent all-round image quality and an excellent choice of online services, it's our current Best Buy. Buy the Samsung UE40H6400 now from Currys
|Contrast ratio||Not disclosed|
|Video inputs||4x HDMI, 1x SCART, Component|
|Audio outputs||Optical S/PDIF|
|Streaming TV services||BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD, Demand 5, Netflix|
|Price including VAT||£518|