For TV and video, it's great, but not much else
Jan 30, 2013 (Updated Jan 30, 2013)
Review by Eric Hwang
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Great picture quality, thin profile
Cons:Price is more than most, media sharing sucks
The Bottom Line: If you just want a TV for movies and cable, this one has a great picture. But if you're looking for a media center, forget it.
Recommend this product?
The television is huge and for a while, I was concerned that it might be too big for our room. But after a couple weeks, we got used to the size. The TV itself is very thin (less than 2" thick) and would look great mounted on the wall but for some issues mentioned below. The stand is quite large and moves the TV about 6" away from the wall but allows the TV to swivel about 10-15 degrees. The 58.6" width makes it tough to find furniture to accommodate this monster TV. Along with its bulk, it's also not light and you'll need two people to move it.
The picture is incredible—clear, sharp, great contrast, and, with the correct settings, very smooth motion. Even though the refresh rate is only 120Hz, the LED backlighting and processor speed makes the apparent refresh even faster. At first, I thought the whole 480 Clear Motion thing was a gimmick, but it is noticeably smoother during action scenes. The sharpness along with the large image size gives Blu-ray movies a three dimensional quality that truly immerses you, even without 3D turned on. The dynamic contrast and auto brightness/backlight works great, keeping the picture adequately bright for the room light level without sacrificing the black levels. Now I don't have to adjust the brightness to go from day to night.
Wireless connectivity is was not always reliable. I ended up getting another router to act as a repeater hub and connected the TV and Blu-ray player using ethernet cable. It works very reliably now.
I do like the way the Anynet + HDMI-CEC works with connected devices. Even though I have a programmable remote, I find myself using the TV remote since it controls the connected devices, except for the stupid Comcast cable box.
The AllShare media sharing is one of the worst implementations I've ever used. It doesn't work with my iPod, iPhone or any of the Mac computers that are on the same network. Using Plex as a server on my Mac and even though all of my music is in MP3 format, none of it is recognized by the television. None of the .MOV or .M4V files show up either. At the very least, I thought I could set up a nice slideshow of photos as background images during a party, but even a thumb drive full of standard JPEGs comes up as an unsupported file format. All of these same files play fine on my Sony Blu-ray player. As far as Samsung's media sharing goes, it's is a great idea, but completely fails to deliver.
The TV apps aren't very useful, except for Amazon Video and Netflix. Everything else requires additional fees and I figure we pay for enough between cable, Netflix and Amazon Prime. The web browser and search function are totally useless since entering alpha characters using the on-screen keyboard is slow and tedious. I've also read that the Samsung remote keyboard doesn't even work with the web browser, but I have yet to confirm that.
The 6500 Series is supposed to have 2 pairs of 3D glasses included. However, the 6550 do NOT include 3D glasses with the television, while almost every other series of Samsung 3D televisions includes at least two. Fortunately, this television works with the least expensive 3D glasses I've found: Samsung SSG-4100GB. About $20 a pair.
The 2D to 3D conversion is only marginally better than standard 2D. Not worth having to wear the glasses.
The TV's built-in speakers are down-firing. It makes dialogue hard to hear. There also isn't an option to use the speakers as the center channel speaker like I had on my last TV. Considering how muddy voices sound, I suppose that's actually a good thing.
The processor sometimes gets bogged down and it stops responding to the remote, especially when using the apps. Try to load any folder with more than a dozen items in it, and the TV appears to hang.
Many features, such as PIP and closed captioning, only work when TV is the source. However, since I use a cable box, these features aren't available.
The printed user manual is nothing more than just a setup guide. Any topic about the operation of the TV doesn't seem to be very thorough. Many of the topics have just a list of the options available with no explanations for what each option does.
Some of the connectors on the back of the set are recessed, others stick straight out the back including 2 HDMI, USB, the cable and ethernet connections. This makes it harder to place the TV flush against a wall unless you buy right-angle cables.
Audio connections use a 1/8" jack instead of the usual RCA jacks or an optical connector. However, HDMI usually includes the audio. I can't comment on whether the audio return on the HDMI works, but it doesn't work on the optical output. Audio coming in on HDMI is stripped of surround channels when it leaves the optical output of the TV.
There is only one control on the TV itself. A joystick that controls several of the TV's functions, but is not the most intuitive.
The on-screen menu will immediately preview the changes made to picture, audio, network, etc., but the changes won't be saved until you press the enter button. This might escape you a couple of times before you realize you didn't actually save the setting.
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