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Samsung UN55D7000 55″ LED 3D HDTV Review

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Panel Uniformity

Panel uniformity has never been one of the strong points of edge lit LED sets due to the nature of their backlighting system. Unfortunately the UN55D7000 simply carries on this tradition in spectacular fashion.

Simply put, the word “uniformity” isn’t in this HDTV’s dictionary. Against a completely black screen, the left and right edges are noticeably brighter than the rest of the screen and this effect carries over into standard viewing scenarios as well, just with less extreme results. Luckily, there wasn’t any backlight bleeding that we could detect.

Yes, things get even worse depending on the source used. In some cases like you can see above, the D7000 move away from the vertical bands to random clouding across various parts of its screen area. We found this could be replicated when either using Game Mode or increasing brightness in HDMI-streamed content.

As you may be able to see in the video above (as the image pans left or right) the high brightness of the outer edges causes vertical dark bands to form at certain places. Not only is this highly distracting but it handicaps picture quality to an embarrassing degree.

We’re not quite sure whether these issues are due to Samsung’s move towards slimmer designs but in our eyes, uniformity problems like the ones we experienced have no place on an HDTV that costs upwards of two grand. We also need to mention that our set had an H302 panel and supposedly a newly released H303 version almost eliminates these issues. Unfortunately this also means buyers have once again entered Samsung’s infamous panel lottery…

Viewing Angles

The D7000’s viewing angles were generally very good and the panel retained most of its contrast and black levels when viewed up to about 15 degrees off center. Past this, there was a noticeable drop off in shadow depth while colours began looking a bit washed out. Considering some higher end sets start losing contrast when viewed even slightly off center, this result is actually quite good and rank up there with some of the best we’ve tested.

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