It's finally here! The moment that I can say that we, the hard working minds behind "The Other View", are truly a media and related tech review site; not that we weren't before, but I always wondered how we haven't reviewed a TV yet. You'd think with all the movies, cartoons, and video games we diligently review for you that we'd have a pretty slick setup. Well, we didn't, but times have changed and I am proud to present to you my review of Samsung's Class (54.6" Diagonal) 6050 Series with 1080p LED HDTV (UN55D6050TF or D6050 for short).
This monster of a TV measures 54.6" diagonally across and comes with a plethora of inputs and features. Starting off with the features, we have: 4 HDMI inputs, 3 USB 2.0 ports, and 1 of each of the following inputs component - D-sub, PC audio via mini jack, composite, and Ethernet. There is also an optical digital audio output (S/PDIF) and an audio out via mini jack. All of these inputs and outputs are located on the rear of the unit along an L shaped strip behind the power button. Since this TV uses edge lit LED technology, the panel is an amazing 1.2" in depth. If you need a visualization of that size, it's about the length of your thumb from the tip to the first knuckle. Of course, the panel depth doesn't include the stand which is about a foot deep.
The design of the D6050 is simple and clean. The main bezel is gloss rose black that at the edges you can see that it's actually a very deep red. There is a second bezel that's clear and placed behind the main bezel. Together, they're about 1.5" wide going all the way around.
There are soft touch buttons for all of your basic needs on the lower front right corner. They're very subtle and unless you're looking for them, you probably won't notice them. On the far right of them is a power LED that glows red when the TV is in standby and turns off when the unit is being used.
So let's get to the features. Obviously, the D6050 is a 1080p TV so native resolution is set at 1920 x 1080 pixels. The refresh rate can go as high as 120hz with Samsung's Auto Motion Plus. The main seller for the D6050 is Samsung's Smart TV. The Smart Hub allows you to access all kinds of things connected to your TV like videos, music, and photos stored on USB flash drives that are plugged into any one of the ports along the back. Also from the Smart Hub you can access the apps that are either already installed or you can download more from Samsung's marketplace. Apps include Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, and many more.
There is also an Eco Senor built in, which will automatically adjust the brightness of the panel to match the amount of ambient light in the room. If the room is dark, then the TV darkens to save on energy. It's a neat feature, but I ended up turning it off due to the TV randomly dimming while using it and having all the lights on in my apartment.
All of these features and specs sound good in theory and on paper, but I'm sure you want to know how the D6050 handles in real world usage. Well, it's pretty amazing. The picture quality is top notch, but that's only after the panel has been calibrated. Out of the box the colors are off, things aren't anti-aliased, and the refresh rate is set to 120hz. If you don't want to calibrate the TV, or don't know how, then just put the panel in "Movie" picture mode. This will take care of the color for the most part and fix the anti-aliasing. The refresh rate I found to be a combination of 2 different settings that you have to turn off if you don't like that interpolation thing that happens at a 120hz refresh rate. The first is the Auto Motion Plus and the other is called LED Motion Plus. Both are buried in 2 different areas of the advanced picture settings and both have to be turned off for viewing content the way you already have been for years. If you like the look of the faster refresh rate, then by all means turn them on.
The apps are pretty slick and if you used Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, or YouTube on another device, then you'll be fine as the layout for these 3 apps are the same as their console versions. There is also Facebook and Twitter which you can download and use while you watch something. The interface comes up and takes over a third of the screen while the video take up the rest. I wouldn't use it myself, but I thought the ability to do it was pretty neat.
For me, the biggest, pleasant surprise was the "ConnectShare" feature. That's what let's you play media off a USB flash drive or USB external hard drive on the D6050. It's broken up into 3 sections: photo, music, and video. Photo will only recognize .JPG's, but it displays them flawlessly and will resize the image to fit the screen. For music, I only have high bitrate .mp3's, but they also played flawlessly. While playing the music, you can see Meta data and album art displayed on screen. Video was the most impressive. I only came across a few minor issues. I had one file format not recognize and that was .MOV. Everything else I tried played and that goes for .AVI, .WMV, .MKV, and even .FLV. The files ranged from 480p up to 1080p and some of those 1080p files were huge. I was amazed that the TV was just able to play them directly from a drive.
I almost forgot the remote control. It has a nice feel to it and is 90% backlit by orange-ish LED's. The only portion that isn't backlit is the 4 way d-pad with the "Okay" button in the center. It's not the most amazing control in the world, but it could be an awful lot worse (hey Time Warner Cable!) The buttons are placed in a fairly logical arrangement and are easy to read and even easier to hit.
Lastly, there are the speakers. In short, they're okay. The speakers are rated at 15 watts a piece and fire down out of the bottom of the TV. They don't sound bad, but they are definitely lacking. Putting the audio into Movie mode helps with the overall quietness and "tinny" sound quality, but my suggestion is to just get a real speaker setup.
I only have one real gripe about this TV and once you take care of it, it shouldn't be an issue. This goes back to calibration and the fact that EVERY INPUT has to be calibrated individually. That means each HDMI input, each USB input, the component, and the composite inputs all have to be calibrated separately. And if you unplug anything from the inputs, then you have to recalibrate each input you unplugged.
Not a gripe, but something that should be noted is that the component and composite inputs are via dongles. Since the panel is so thin, standard RCA plugs wouldn't fit into the inputs properly. So Samsung has included a dongle that changes the plugs to 2 1/8" jacks. Just FYI.
Overall, Samsung's (54.6" Diagonal) 6050 Series LED HDTV is an amazing piece of technology and really makes me feel like I'm getting a theater experience in my home whenever I have to watch or play something for review. Out of 5 TOV stars, I'm giving the D6050 a 4.5 and its available now at your local wholesale club (Costco, BJ's, Sam's Club) for a MSRP of $1899.99.