Samsung UN55D7000 55″ LED 3D HDTV Review
The expectations for this generation of Samsung HDTVs reached a fever pitch at the last CES show since the new D-series looked like the one that every other manufacturer would have to beat. For the most part the UN55D7000 hit many high points and played the part of an enthusiast level, $2000 set. It was a joy to use due to an intuitive, user friendly menu system and the amazing color accuracy, deep blacks and faithful 1080P/24 content reproduction could have propelled it to the forefront of our “must have” list. Motion performance and even stereoscopic 3D viewing were also some of the best we have encountered in the sub-$3000 category.
You may notice we said “could have” and therein lies the D7000’s major drawback. With the hard lessons Samsung learned from their past foibles in the high end range this could have been a well priced, benchmark setting HDTV. The strengths we saw in contrast, saturation and shadow detail could have been leveraged into picture quality not seen at this price point in some time. Indeed, the UN55D7000 could have been many great things but once again Samsung’s glaring quality assurance issues reared their ugly heads and ruined an otherwise flawless viewing experience.
Vertical banding, clouding and a general lack of screen uniformity are the name of the game here and they really do a number on picture quality. Instead of even colors across the screen, the left and right thirds are noticeably brighter to the point where their emphasis on over saturation leads to darker bands appearing at regular intervals. This is both distracting and disheartening considering the D7000 aces nearly every other test. Samsung quite obviously has some problems here that are likely a byproduct of the slim design being chosen over substance.
We may be coming off as sounding overly harsh but like it or not, the UN55D7000 is a miss in our books. We’d never play Russian Roulette with $2000 but that’s exactly what is being offered; maybe you’ll luck out and get the H303 panel that supposedly fixes some of the more glaring issues but there are still tons of H301 and H302-equipped sets on retailers’ shelves. Would we take that chance? Nope.
There is a hell of a lot to like about Samsung’s newest entry into the $1999 market. It has all the hallmarks of a great TV with the potential for eye opening picture quality, superb motion performance, a stunning design and a class leading menu system but the issues were so glaring, they just couldn’t be overlooked. In essence the UN55D7000 is a good looking product which has the potential to be an outstanding HDTV but its aspirations were ultimately sunk by a spectacular lack of panel uniformity.
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