If 3D leaves you cold, and you don't care about Internet features (or have content via another device such as a Blu-ray player or set-top digital media player like Roku), the Samsung EH6000 is a good alternative. Performance isn't perfect, but is solid overall considering the price. Value isn't bad, but some say that the value offered by some step-down Samsung sets is even better.
The Samsung EH6000 series is available in a variety of screen sizes. All share similar features and specifications, so all should perform similarly. Options include the 40-inch Samsung UN40EH6000 (*Est. $650), the 46-inch Samsung UN46EH6000 (*Est. $820), the 50-inch Samsung UN50EH6000 (*Est. $1,120), the 55-inch Samsung UN55EH6000 (*Est. $1,400), the 60-inch Samsung UN60EH6000 (*Est. $1,525), and the 65-inch Samsung UN65EH6000 (*Est. $2,000).
Blacks are relatively weak, but overall picture performance isn't. Those looking for the best blacks possible won't be happy with the Samsung EH6000, but the set recovers from that shortfall with color performance that's very good. The matte screen finish robs some of the pop seen on TVs with glossy screens, but works far better in a room with higher levels of ambient light.
Screen uniformity is very good, a benefit of the EH6000's full array rather than the edge-lit LED technology used in many TVs -- including Samsung's more expensive offerings. However, CNET points out that the EH6000 has fewer LEDs than Samsung's previous (and much more expensive) full-array TVs. In fact, David Katzmaier notes, it uses fewer LEDs than edge-lit sets. In addition, the set does not use local dimming (turning off specific LEDs to obtain deeper blacks), explaining in part its only so-so black-level performance.
Some signal-processing bobbles are noted for the sharp-eyed, and performance of the enhanced refresh-rate features comes in for some criticism from a few reviewers -- but not all. Both Home Theater Magazine and CNET note that the backlight has a tendency to turn on and off between scenes when the screen is supposed to fade completely to black, something that could annoy some viewers.
The feature lineup is sparse. The EH6000 is a TV for those who want to watch TV, not access the Internet or see 3D movies. One step-up feature is an enhanced 120 Hz refresh rate, which Samsung markets as a 240 Hz Clear Motion Rate because of how it interacts with the backlight. Most say that the feature adds minimally if at all to resolution -- and that's typical of all sets with enhanced resolution when it comes to watching actual TV images rather than test patterns. The only other feature of note is a USB input for playing back photo, music or video files from a connected device such as a thumb drive.
The EH6000 doesn't strike out much new territory when it comes to cabinet design. The use of a full-array LED matrix means that the super-slim depth of edge-lit LED TVs is off the table, though the EH6000 is still more svelte than sets with standard CCFL backlights. However, the bezel surrounding the screen is slim, which comes in for compliments. The non-swiveling stand is a minus. The remote comes in for some criticism from CNET, TelevisionInfo.com and others as being small, with buttons that are crowded and tough to find by feel (important if you are watching in a dark room), though at least it is backlit. Some corners were cut in the connectivity department; most notably, there are only two HDMI inputs.
It's a good price for a set from a top maker, but not necessarily the best value. Several reviewers say that the EH6000 is a good performer, but then hedge their bets a little by pointing out that the step-down Samsung EH5000 is just as good -- or even better -- but costs less. The chief difference between the TVs is that the EH5000 only has a standard 60 Hz refresh rate.
The Samsung EH6000 is a solid choice for those interested in a basic but good-performing LED TV from a top-tier maker. If an enhanced refresh rate is not a must and you are in the market for a TV that's 50 inches or less, the Samsung EH5000 is also worth a look and costs less.
Excellent CNET's reviews are thorough, competent and completely hands-on. Though many positives are found, poor black levels and the lack of features hold the set back in the eyes of David Katzmaier. The 46-inch screen size in the series is tested, but CNET notes that comments apply to the entire lineup.
Review: Samsung UN46EH6000 Review, David Katzmaier, June 8, 2012
Excellent This tech-oriented site gives its usual thorough treatment to the 40-inch Samsung UN40EH6000. It's called "a strong performer" for those who can do without the extras such as Internet connectivity and 3D, though a later test of a set in Samsung's step-down EH5000 series earns it even a bit more praise when compared to this TV.
Review: Samsung UN40EH6000, Christian Sherden, Feb. 22, 2012
3. Home Theater Magazine
Excellent Though Home Theater magazine doesn't test as many TVs as the reviewers above, its reports are highly detailed, with the results of both hands-on viewing and bench testing revealed and explained. Scott Wilkinson grants the 40-inch Samsung UN40EH6000 the magazine's Top Pick Award. He finds some issues with black levels and image processing, but neither are deal killers. He says he has recommended the set to friends and family -- though he adds some step-down Samsung TVs might also be good choices for those who want to save even a little more.
Review: Samsung UN40EH6000 LED-LCD TV, Scott Wilkinson, June 4, 2012
Very Good ConsumerReports.org tests the 55-inch and 40-inch screen sizes in the Samsung EH6000 series. Hands-on testing is done, and discussion is greatly expanded over what we've seen in the past, though it's still nowhere near as comprehensive as what we've seen from other top reviewers. The site's ratings and conclusions are only available to subscribers.
Review: Samsung UN55EH6000, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated
5. LCDTV Buying Guide.com
Very Good This review of the 46-inch UN46EH6000 is not as smoothly done nor as detailed as some other professional reviews, but is based on hands-on testing. Positives and negatives are found, but in the end Jack Burden says that while this might be the right set for certain situations, he doesn't think it's a great buy overall.
Review: Samsung UN46EH6000 Review, Jack Burden, Not Dated
Very Good Reviews of all screen sizes of the Samsung EH6000 series are grouped together and can be seen from here. Positive comments far outweigh negative ones, explaining the set's overall rating of 4.4 stars following more than 80 owner reviews.
Review: Samsung UN46EH6000, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of Aug. 2012
Very Good BestBuy.com breaks out ratings for the various screen sizes of the Samsung EH6000 series on their own page. Most sizes that attract feedback fare very well with their owners, though a couple with fewer reports score a tad lower.
Review: Samsung - 46" Class - LED - 1080p - 120Hz - HDTV, Contributors to BestBuy.com, Not Dated