The front of the UN55B6000 has a minimalist look, with the bezel being formed by a single piece of glass with some subtle red highlights in it. The only distinguishing features being a small Samsung logo in the middle of the bottom of the bezel and a series of discrete touch controls on the bottom right corner. These controls are touch sensitive, and the lights only come on when you touch the area, so most of the time you don't even notice they are there.
*The UN55B6000 has an elegant, clean design
*The bezel has a light red accent to it from a layer of red injected into the bezel during manufacturing (Samsung describes this as ToC, or Touch of Color). You can get a better sense of this from this close-up shot.
The UN55B6000 has an elegant, clean design
We were not able to get a photo of the back of the UN55B6000, but our investigations indicate that it is probably the same as the LN55B8000, a photo of the back of which is shown below. The major features here are the ports on the right side, and the screwholes for the VESA mount.
The back of the LN55B8000; the UN55B6000 has a similar style
The thin profile of the UN55B6000 means that there is no room for any interesting features on either side of the case.* The thin profile of the UN55B6000 precludes any significant features on the sides* ()**Stand/Mount** The UN55B6000 is placed atop a very simple, but stylish mount; a single piece of glass protruding from an Aluminum base. This was shown in both black and shiny aluminum at the show; Samsung has not yet decided which one to go with for the final version, or if they should offer both. Samsung has also announced a new mount which is just 0.6 inches thick, meaning that, when combined with the 1.19 inch thickness of the screen itself, the whole setup protrudes just 2 inches from the wall.
The stand of the LN55B600 is an elegant affar of glass and metal
Overall, the UN55B6000 is a very stylish display, with a clean, elegant design that is extremely appealing, in a subtle, understated way.
Display Size & Technology
A 55-inch LCD panel with full HD resolution (1920 by 1080) is at the heart of the UN55B6000.
*The UN55B6000 uses a 55-inch LCD panel with LED backlights
Format & Resolution
The innovation for this model begins behind the screen: the display uses LED backlights placed around the edge of the screen to create the image. This has two advantages over the CCFL (Cold Cathode Florescent) lights used on most displays; LEDs use less electricity and don't contain mercury. So, Samsung claims that the UN55B6000 will use around 40% less electricity than a similarly sized model from their 2008 lineup, and the lack of mercury makes them easier to recycle and less likely to harm small furry things when you do throw them out to buy something bigger.
Brightness, Blacks & Contrast Ratio
because the UN55B6000 has not yet been released, Samsung has not revealed many details on the specifics of the specs. They didn't release any details of the black level or the contrast ratio the display will be able to achieve: we'll have to wait to get one of the models in for review before we can get any more specific.
Refresh Rate & Motion
The LN 55B6000 has Samsung's new 120Hz Auto Motion Plus processing, which they claim provides smoother motion and. The more expensive 8 series doubles this to run at 240Hz, but we haven't tested this yet, so we don't know how much of a difference the faster processing will make.
Again, Samsung did not provide any facts or figures for how the contrast and color holds up as the viewer moves away from straight in front of the display, but our brief examination of the pre-production unit on show at the CES show looked promising; we found that the contrast did start to fall off at about 40 degrees off axis, but it was still very viewable, and the color was still bright and very watchable at much wider angles.
We saw good, strong color in the pre-production unit that we looked at on the CES show floor, and Samsung is offering an extended color gamut that they call Wide Color Enhancer Pro. We weren't able to test this feature at the show.
Audio & Video Ports
The pre-production unit that we looked at on the show floor at CES had the ports hidden, but we did get a glimpse at the ports on the more expensive Series 8 model, and we think that the UN55B6000 will likely have the same number of ports and sockets. The LN55B8000 that we looked at had 4 HDMI Ports, an antenna port, 2 USB ports, a handful of analog inputs, a headphone socket and an Ethernet port. But, of course, all of this is subject to change between now and the launch of the product; Samsung may add or take away ports, based on what they think customers will want.
The ports on the UN55B6000 are probably similar in layout to the ones on the LN55B8000 (shown above)
Media & Other Connectivity
Like most of the other manufacturers, Samsung are looking beyond just video on their TVs. Their take on this is the Internet@TV system, which allows the display to run small programs called Widgets that grab data from the Internet such as stock prices, news feeds, photos, etc. The system behind these Widgets was created by Yahoo, but it is an open system that can be used by anyone who wants to get their content onto displays like this, and Widgets written for the Yahoo system should work on any manufacturer's display that supports them. Media on USB devices such as hard drives or thumb drives can also be played back on the UN55B6000, and there is also support for the new DLNA wireless standard, which allows devices such as PCs and media centers to connect to the display. This will require an additional wireless adapter, though, and no price has been set on this.
The UN55B6000 is probably not a good pick if you frequently want to plug in and remove devices; it doesn't have the side ports that are present on many other devices. So, to plug in a digital camera, camcorder or other device, you'll have to rotate the TV around to get access to the ports.
We were not able to test the speakers on the UN55B6000, and Samsung didn't want to comment on how many speakers there are or how powerful they are, apart from saying that the speakers are downward facing, and that they include a subwoofer for improved bass performance.
No remote was available for us to examine and try for the UN55B6000; Samsung said that they have not finalized the choice of the remote for these models.
The controls on the screen itself are, frankly, something of an afterthought; they are small touch controls on the bottom right corner of the display. They are only visible if you touch the area, when the backlights come on to show the individual touch areas.* The small touch controls are located on the bottom right corner of the screen* **Menu** We were not able to look at the menu system of the UN55B6000, so we can't comment on how good or bad the menu system is. Other Samsung models that we have looked at have had pretty good menu systems, though, so we expect that Samsung will probably stick with the same approach of having a series of top-level menus on the left side of the screen that control features such as Picture, Sound, etc.
The biggest feature on the UN55B6000 is the new LED backlighting system, which Samsung claims has big benefits in terms of lower power. We'll have to wait until we can get a unit in for review to see if this model fulfills the claims that Samsung has for this new approach to backlighting, but the signs look promising. the UN55B6000 will be available in the summer for a price that has not yet been determined.
Meet the tester
Alfredo Padilla is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.
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