Samsung Series 7 UA55D7000
Excellent picture; good-looking
I’ve long thought that Samsung makes the best LCD/LED TVs on the planet, so I was looking forward to doing this review of one of its latest – a 55in, LED-backlit, 3D model that’s also ‘smart’ in that it lets you browse the web, get connected through social media and use a range of Samsung apps.
The UA55D7000 didn’t disappoint in the slightest.
First impressions count, and this is a beautifully designed model. Being LED-backlit, it’s super-slim – just 3cm deep – and the 55in screen is framed by a 5mm-wide black bezel and a clear polycarbonate frame about 1cm thick. The whole thing sits on a low, X-shaped silver stand.
The overall effect is of one of pure class – a product that looks as good off as it does on. It reminds me of an infinity swimming pool; one where the water seems to disappear over the horizon.
Of course, most important is the TV’s sound and vision, and the D7000 shines on both counts. The 1920 x 1080p image is super-sharp, with well-saturated and bright colours in
the Asian tradition. There’s no trace of motion smearing, and a high contrast ratio makes the blacks seem truly black.
On the audio side, even though there’s just about nowhere to hide any speakers, they deliver a nice, well- rounded sound. The audio is broadcast from the rear of the TV, though, so the set needs to be placed away from a wall. It’s fine when it’s on the stand, but when I placed it next to a wall, as it would be on a Vesa mount, the audio sounded a little muffled.
This is a SMART TV, which means that, if you connect it to your home network via its built-in Wi-Fi capability, it offers web browsing, Twitter and Facebook, access to BigPond TV and Movies, and a bunch of apps.
The Smart Hub is the place where you access all this content. It’s certainly not up to the Apple TV’s interface, but it’s pretty good-looking and easy to navigate nonetheless.
Among the included apps are useful ones such as YouTube, BigPond Game Analyser, BBC News, ABC iView, NineMSN Stocks and vTuner internet radio.
A heap more free or paid apps – including games – can be downloaded via the Samsung Apps portal.
All of this is accessed via a pretty neat remote control. The wedge- shaped unit has all the normal remote functions on one side, and a miniature keyboard on the other. It’s very well thought out, but you’d have to get the instruction book out to get full use of it.
So, is all this a good idea? Personally, I’d say internet TV is worthwhile for a quick fix, but you have to have decent internet speeds and, even then, live with indifferent image quality. If this was a big deal for you, I’d dump the Wi-Fi for a wired Ethernet connection.
As for the apps, web browsing and social media, speaking personally I don’t think a TV is the place for this. Most people I know like to multi-task, doing their internet thing while watching TV. You can’t do that if both are competing for the same screen.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
I was lucky enough to have a tour of Samsung’s R&D facilities in Seoul, South Korea, a couple of years ago and was blown away by the infinite pains the company goes to in order to get its products right. That attitude shows through in this TV. Highly recommended as a TV … but how useful its SMART capabilities will be depends on the user.