The front of the Samsung UN46B6000 has the same black bezel with a subtle red finish and clear edge that we've seen on other Samsung HDTVs. Below the screen is the Samsung logo, with a barely discernable touch sensitive power button sitting underneath it. There's a red and white glowing light just below the front bezel, which we believe is there to draw attention to the power button. The rest of the on-tv controls are also touch sensitive and embedded into the bezel at the lower right.
The back of the Samsung UN46B6000 has a clean matte black finish with various grills that act as vents. On the right side of the back you'll find all of the ports on the HDTV, arranged in a revers L with the ports facing out towards the right or down towards the bottom.
The Samsung UN46B6000 is an incredibly thin HDTV, measuring less than an inch thin, not including the stand of course. Although there are no features on either side of the HDTV, when looking at the television from the left you do see the left facing part of the revers L that holds various ports.
The Samsung UN46B6000's stand is a large rectangle with the same black/red styling as the bezel. Rising out of the center of the stand is a clear pillar that the HDTV sits on, which can rotate about 25 degrees in either direction.
The on-tv controls are the same touch sensitive controls we saw on the Samsung LN40B650. Unlike that HDTV, however, all the controls are not grouped together in one place. You will find the source, menu, channel +/- and volume +/- controls embedded into the beze on the front at the lower right. The power button, however, is found in the center of the lower part of the bezel just under the Samsung logo. This separation, combined with the fact that the touch sensitive controls are almost completely invisible and offer no tactile feedback, make them very difficult to use.
The Samsung UN46B6000's remote is a different design compared to other Samsung remotes we've seen. The look is similar with a glossy finish on the front and the buttons also look the same, albeit rearranged. The big difference is that instead of having the large bulge at the bottom of the remote for balance it's been replaced with a strangely curved bit of plastic at the bottom.
In The Box*(6.5)*
The Samsung UN46B6000 ships with a relatively standard set of accessories. There's a remote with batteries, a manual (on a USB key) and a cleaning cloth. There is no HDMI cable included. Getting the HDTV out of the box isn't too difficult, but there is some assembly required as the stand and the display need to be put together. This definitely requires two people as the thinness of the UN46B6000 means that the HDTV doesn't slot into the stand the way you would expect, instead it locks in the the back of the television.
Samsung's black with red finish design has drawn mixed reviews from the folks in our office. Some love it, and some hate it. People did like the clean lines of the UN46B6000, however, compared to the 'chin' that we saw on the LN40B650. The reviewer did like the design, appreciating the subtle red finish that adds a bit of color to the otherwise endless sea of black televisions.
In order to ensure that we tested the Samsung UN46B6000 under the best conditions we took time to calibrate the television. For our calibration we use DisplayMate software and have worked closely with the founder of the company to ensure that we are using appropriate calibration methods. DisplayMate is used by many manufacturers to test their HDTVs. Our calibration process is focused on ensuring that we get the most accurate picture quality. This means we're willing to give up things like brightness in order to get more accurate colors. If you want to calibrate your UN46B6000 you can pay for someone to come out to your home and do it, or you can use the settings we used, which are listed below.
You'll note that we turned the brightness down significantly, this was in order to get the black level to the point we wanted. We also had to adjust the Gamma setting, which is an advanced setting that not all HDTVs offer. This was to get the UN46B6000's gamma curve closer to our standard, left at 0 it's significantly off.
As with most HDTVs the Samsung UN46B6000 offers several different preset video modes, for various viewing conditions. Below are the modes offered and Samsung's explanation for when they should be used. As you can tell from our calibration above none of these modes will give you the ideal settings for the most accurate picture.
When we first measured the Samsung UN46B6000's black level we got a reading of .02 candelas per meter squared (cd/m2), which is incredibly low. We noticed, however, that the UN46B6000's backlight seemed to turn itself down dynamically when an all black screen was displayed, probably a power-saving feature. When we did our tunnel contrast test, however, with black sharing the screen with varying amounts of white we saw the black level rise up to between .10 to .12 cd/m2. Because this better reflects the black level that viewers will actually get while watching content we decided to ignore the black level reading of .02 cd/m2 and go with the lowest number we saw in our tunnel contrast testing, which was .10 cd/m2.
This is still a very good black level for an LCD television. You can see from our comparison chart above that it's significantly better than the JVC LT-42P300, and compares favorably with the Plasma Samsung PN50A760 and the LCD Sony Bravia KDL-52V5100.
In this test we look at how bright the Samsung UN46B6000 was able to get when displaying a 20% white screen. The Samsung UN46B6000 did very well in this test, posting a peak brightness of 349.20 cd/m2. You can see below that this compares favorably with two other LCD televisions. The Plasma Samsung PN50A760 performed significantly worse, which is one of the trademarks of plasma displays.
Human eyes are very sensitive to contrast, thus the range of contrast from the deepest black to the brightest white that a television can display tells us a lot about how good the image is going to look. The Samsung UN46B6000's contrast ratio works out to 3492:1. This is an excellent contrast ratio, close to twice the average we see from all the televisions we've reviewed. Below you can see that it far outpaces the JVC LT-42P300 and even though the other two HDTVs put up very good contrast scores the UN46B6000's is significantly higher.
In this test we look at how well the black level of an HDTV holds up as black makes up less and less of the display. This is important because you don't want to see the black level rise dramatically when it's placed against a bright object as this sharply reduces the perceived contrast ratio. Thankfully this isn't an issue with the Samsung UN46B6000 as the black level stayed relatively constant as we go from a 90% black screen to a 5% black screen.
You will notice that there is a sharp rise from the 100% black to 90% black. This is the result of the Samsung UN46B6000's dynamic backlight, which is what led us to adjust the black level in our score above.
In this test we look at how well the brightness of whites hold up as we reduce the total percentage of white on the screen. As with the tunnel contrast test above this is important to see whether the HDTV is able to produce a steady contrast ratio. Below is the graph of the Samsung UN46B6000's performance in this test.
You can see that the brightness stays relatively stable throughout until it plummets almost 100 cd/m2 when the HDTV goes from 10% white to 5% white. This is likely the same dynamic backlighting effect that we mentioned in our tunnel contrast and black level tests above. This is a problem because the result is that if you have a very dark scene with just a couple of bright elements you're going to lose a significant amount of contrast. As such the Samsung UN46B6000 puts up a below average score here.
The uniformity of the Samsung UN46B6000's display varied sharply between an all-white screen and an all-black screen. With the white screen we saw a small amount of darkening at the corners, but no problems in the center of the display and an overall smooth appearance. With the all-black screen, however, we saw significant brightening at the corners, that extended well into the main display. We also saw blotches of light in the center of the display and along the edges. Edge lit displays like the UN46B6000 actually have their backlights lined along the edge of the display and then bounce them off materials behind the display to try and even things out. It looks like Samsung still needs to do some work in this area.
The Gamma curve is the curve along which a television makes the transition in the greyscale from dark to light. When we first measured the Samsung UN46B6000's gamma curve it came out close to 3.0, which is significantly higher than our ideal of 2.1 to 2.2. Thankfully the UN46B6000 offers a gamma controls that runs from +/- 3. Adjusting this control up to +3 and running our test again we measured the UN46B6000's gamma at a much better 2.47. This is still a little bit higher than we'd like, but is close enough that it shouldn't be a problem.
This is good because a gamma that's too aggressive can reduce the perceived contrast on the display, and as we mentioned in our contrast section above the human eye is very sensitive to this.
The Samsung UN46B6000 has a resolution of 1920 x 1080, and supports full 1080p content. The 'p' stands for progressive, which means all 1080 lines of content from top to bottom are displayed at once. This is the highest quality of HD content available, although it's generally only available from Blu-ray discs. Most of the content you'll see on your HDTV will come in a different format, and in this section we look at how well the UN46B6000 handled that content.
This is standard definition content, which comes in two flavors. In both cases you get 480 lines of resolution from top to bottom. This is the standard definition content you get from broadcast television or from DVDs. The Samsung UN46B6000 had some problems with overscan, meaning it cut off parts of the display. In this case it cut off 3% of the content on all sides. Thankfully that was the only major problem we detected, there were no problems with with moire patterns, which can appear in complex patterns, legibility or resolution.
This is the lowest resolution of content that quaifies as HD, with 720 lines of content from top to bottom. 720p is used on the internet and sometimes by sports broadcasts. The Samsung UN46B6000 had the most problem with 720p content. There were no oversan issues, but we did notice some cross-hatch patterns that appeared when the HDTV was displaying complex patterns. We also noticed problems with displaying high resolution patterns. The problems weren't so bad that the television was unwatchable, but they were there.
This level of HD content has the same resolution as 1080p, but the 1080 lines of resolution are alternated between two sets of 540 lines and interlaced together, which is what the 'i' stands for. Broadcast HD is 1080i because it cuts the signal that has to be sent in half. The Samsung UN46B6000 had no problems displaying 1080i content.
Like anything that emits light your HDTV puts off a certain temperature of light. The industry standard for color temperature is 6500 Kelvin (K) and we adjust calibration on HDTVs to get as close to this number as possible. It's extremely important that color temperature stay stable whatever a television is displaying. This is because variations in color temperature can cause blue or yellow casts to the content on your HDTV. Below you can see a graph of the Samsung UN46B6000's color temperature across the greyscale, from black to white.
The Samsung UN46B6000 did a good job in this test, with some variation from the mean, but not enough to cause serious problems. This can be seen more clearly in the graph below. Here we plot the same data as above in a color space. The red circle on the graph indicates the area within which the human eye is incapable of perceiving changes in color temperature. You can see that the vast majority of points fall within this circle, indicating that the UN46B6000's variation in color temperature will have little impact on your viewing experience.
All of the colors that an HDTV produces are created by mixing red, blue and green lights. In this test we look at the accuracy of those three colors. Below you can see each of the colors graphed against intensity, so this tells us what the curve of color looks like as they go from very dark to very bright.
What we're looking for here is a smooth, concave curve with no plateuing at the end. This is exactly what we see from the Samsung UN46B6000, which is excellent. We also look at a range of photographs searching for artifacts, which are things that appear on the display that shouldn't be there. With the Samsung UN46B6000 we noticed some minor false contouring. This happens when the HDTV should display a smooth gradient of light, for example the light from a sunset, but actually creates noticeable contours. The effect on the UN46B6000 was much less noticeable than we've seen on other HDTVs, but it was there.
Overall the Samsung UN46B6000's color performance was above average. The false contouring is not uncommon and was minor enough that we only deducted half a point for it.
All HDTVs must display colors in the same way, matching an international standard known as Rec.709. This is done to ensure that the colors you see on your television are the same as the colors the creator of the content wanted you to see. Below you can see a graph of the Samsung UN46B6000's measured color gamut against Rec.709.
The Samsung UN46B6000 did not perform particularly well in this test. You can see from the graph that there was significant error across the board and especially in the blue to red range. This means that you can expect the colors on the UN46B6000 to be slightly off from the colors the content produce actually wanted you to see. Few HDTVs actually do well in this test, but the UN46B6000 was poor enough to fall below our average score of 5.31. For those geeky enough to be interested the exact color coordinates defining the UN46B6000's color gamut are listed below.
The Samsung UN46B6000 supports a 120Hz refresh rate, which is twice the standard 60Hz. LCD manufacturers have been increasing refresh rate in an attempt to reduce motion blur, with some televisions up to 240Hz now. On the Samsung UN46B6000 the 120Hz refresh rate seems to help significantly with motion blur. In particular Samsung has added more discrete control over the blur reduction, with options from 0 to 10. You definitely see the reduction in blur as you turn up the refresh rate.
Unfortunately the Samsung UN46B6000 didn't do as well with motion artifacting as it did with motion blur. Artifacts are things that appear on the display that shouldn't be there, usually due to a processing problem. The biggest problem with the Samsung UN46B6000 in this area was a very obvious rolling shutter effect, which is noticeable in white and black areas of the display. We also saw some areas of leading and trailing brightness that shouldn't be there.
3:2 Pulldown & 24fps*(8.0)*
3:2 pulldown refers to the process by which an HDTV takes a broadcast signal that comes in at 60 frames per second (fps) and turns it into a 24fps image. This is necessary when you are watching a film that should be displayed at 24fps to give it that film-like look. The Samsung UN46B6000 did a decent job of this. We look at a test pattern and noticed only minor errors due to processing. When looking at test footage we noticed a slight 'jaggy' effect on the screen, but nothing major. The Samsung UN46B6000 is also capable of handling native 24fps content that comes in from a DVD or Blu-ray player, although we should mention that you probably want to turn off the 120Hz refresh rate when watching such content to retain the film-like look.
The Samsung UN46B6000's viewing angle is not very impressive at 23 degrees from center, for a total viewing angle of 46 degrees. We measure the effective viewing angle as the angle at which the contrast ratio of the HDTV falls below 50% of maximum. Below you can see a graph of the Samsung UN46B6000's contrast ratio across angles.
You can see clearly in this graph that the Samsung UN46B6000's falls below 50%, the red line, just shy of 25 degrees from center. This means the Samsung UN46B6000 probably isn't a good choice if you need an HDTV for a large room where people will be viewing the television from a wide range of angles. If you're going to be sitting on a couch directly in front of the television this won't be a problem.
The Samsung UN46B6000 has a very reflective display that does a poor job of diffusing light. Even when the light was shined at an angle it can be very noticeable on the display. When watching a sample clip we were quite distracted by lights shining onthe display. You should be very careful about how you set up the UN46B6000 to make sure that stray lights don't shine on the display.
Like many HDTVs the Samsung UN46B6000 offers a variety of different video processing options that can be turned on to improve video quality. In this section we look at whether they actuall make any difference.
Ergonomics & Durability*(5.85)*
At first glance the Samsung UN46B6000's remote looks similar to the remotes we've seen from other Samsung HDTVs. There's a glossy finish and a nicely curved back. The buttons provide good key travel, but could provide better tactile feedback. The balance is good, the remote is bottom-weighted so it gets a little more precarious as you move your hand towards the top. We love the backlight on the remote, which has a dedicated button to turn on/off and gives off a comfortable orange glow when turned on.
Unfortunately there's one significant difference in the UN46B6000's remote that we don't like. Unlike the remote for other Samsung HDTVs that had a nice rounded bulge at the bottom that made for a good grip the UN46B6000's remote has a strange plastic 'wing' that juts out from the bottom. This makes it awkward to hold when you shift your hand down and is extremely distracting as you just can't figure out how to position your hand to hold it comfortably. Every person we handed the remote to, without fail, complained about this feature. Hopefully Samsung will abandon this design in the future.
Button Layout & Use*(6.10)*
The Samsung UN46B6000's buttons are laid out slightly differently from other Samsung remotes. The most obvious difference is that the Volume/Channel buttons and the D-Pad have swapped places, so the D-Pad sits above the Channel/Volume controls and just below the number pad. This still places most of the key controls in easy reach of most people's hands when holding the remote at neutral, although those with small hands may have to stretch just a bit. The labeling on the buttons is very good with large text, although some of the abbreviations used can be a bit arcane. We were happy with the wide range of angle that the HDTV responds to.
Programming & Flexibility*(1.0)*
The Samsung UN46B6000 cannot be used as a universal remote, but it can control other Samsung devices connected via HDMI using their Anynet+ technology. We're not big fans of proprietary systems like this, but will award one point for it.
Sound quality from the Samsung UN46B6000's built-in speakers was a bit below average. It was clear, but was also a bit flat and tinny. If don't particularly care about audio quality you'll probably be able to live with it, but if you care even a little you'll probably want to buy a separate set of speakers.
Turning on the simulated surround sound feature on the Samsung UN46B6000 had almost no discernible effect. Certainly it came nowhere near the quality you'll get from even a cheap set of surround sound speakers.
We measured the Samsung UN46B6000's maximum volume at 76.5 decibels. This is a bit below average, as you can probably tell from the chart below, but is still plenty loud for most situations.
The Samsung UN46B6000 offers a decent selection of input ports. The ports are arranged in a revers L in the back, with the actual ports either facing out towards the left side of the HDTV or down towards the bottom. Along the left facing leg you'll find all four HDMI ports, which is a good number. You'll also find a 3.5mm audio input here, which is used to get audio from a computer and is associated with either the VGA port or DVI to HDMI.
Facing downards is the VGA input for connecting a computer to the HDTV. There's a dual use composite/component input, which allows you to connect either a component or a composite video input. Because you can't do both at the same time we deducted half a point from the UN46B6000's score. You'll also find the antenna port here, with support for analog or digital cable or OTA signals.
What the Samsung UN46B6000 is missing is an S-Video input, which is seen on most HDTVs. We're also not excited by the limited number of composite/component inputs. If you have a lot of older A/V gear you probably won't have all the ports that you need. If you're using more modern equipment with HDMI connections you should be fine.
Like most HDTVs the Samsung UN46B6000 has an optical audio output for connecting audio devices to the HDTV. There's also a 3.5mm audio jack for connecting a pair of headphones to the HDTV. Unlike most televisions, however, it doesn't have a standard Left-Right analog audio out. Instead you can use an adaptor, with the 3.5mm audio. This is a hassle and so we only awarded half a point for it.
In addition to the audio and video inputs/outputs the Samsung UN46B6000 has a LAN port, which allows you to connect an ethernet cable to your television. This cable can be used to access internet content via a widget system and can also allow you to access media stored on a computer on the network. You will need to have Samsung's included software installed on the computer.
Like the Samsung LN40B650, the UN46B6000 has two USB ports. This allows you to connect two USB devices to the computer to view media content stored on them. Either ports will support USB flash drives, but only one of them will support USB hard drives.
The placement of the Samsung UN46B6000's ports is a mixed bag due to the reverse L arrangement. Those ports that face out towards the left side of the HDTV can be easily accessed, even more so due to the swiveling stand. Those that face down, however, are much less easy to access. This is further exacerbated by the fact that the downward facing ports are those you need to fiddle with the most like Component, VGA and Antenna connections. The labeling on the ports is good as long as you're behind the HDTV.
Ease of Use*(8.0)*
The Samsung UN46B6000's menu system is the same that we've seen on other recent model Samsung HDTVs. There is a tabbed interface that takes up the left side of the display with the tabs arranged at the far left. Most of the interface is taken up with a list of menu options, with various controls like sliders, pop-up menus and sub menus. These are consistent, so you won't have to figure out how to use multiple types of sliders.
There's a very helpful information box at the bottom of th menu that gives you a clear idea what the selected function will do. The menu is navigated using the directional pad on the remote. Overall the interface is simple and easy to use. Most of the more obscure and advanced functions are hidden in sub-menus, so the average user won't be overwhelmed by them.
The Samsung UN46B6000 divides options into the main menu and two separate sub menus At the top level you have the standard features like mode, backlight, brightness and contrast. This is usually enough for the novice user and it's nice that Samsung hasn't confused them with more advanced features they won't care about.
For those who do want more control, however, there are two sub-menus that give you a plethora of options. The Advanced Settings menu let's you adjust dynamic contrast, black tone, gamma, color space and white balance, amongst others.
The Picture Options menu let's you select a color tone, HDMI black level, use a blue only mode for calibration and also has advanced controls of the 120Hz refresh rate, with individual control over blur reduction and judder reduction. All in all it's a quite complete set of picture options.
The Samsung UN46B6000 offers a reasonable selection of audio options. There are five audio modes available: standard, music, movie, clear voice and custom. We like that there's also a full equilizer on board, with the ability to tweak each of these presets to your own liking.There's also speaker selection, a volume equalizer feature and of course the simulated surround sound option.
In addition to the picture and sound menus there are five other top-level menus on the Samsung UN46B6000. These are Channel, Setup, Input, Application and Support. The Channel menu let's you manage the channels that the receiver picks up. The Input menu let's you label your various inputs. The Application menu gives you access to media playback features, the Anynet+ feature for controlling other Samsung devices and the InfoLink system, which gives you access to the internet via various widgets.
The setup menu let's you adjust language, do network setup, access V-chip settings for parental controls and a couple of other miscellaneous options. The support menu is perhaps the most interesting, with a self diagnosis options, software upgrade and information about contacting samsung. It's nice to have this information built into the television.
Like the Samsung LN40B650 the UN46B6000 has a manual loaded onto a USB drive. The information on the USB drive can only be accessed by plugging it into one of the USB ports on the HDTV. There's also a more traditional quick setup guide, which walks you through connections, but there's no paper version of the full manual. The problem with a USB manual that only works with the HDTV is that if the television isn't working neither is your manual. We recommend you download the PDF version from Samsung's website.
The Samsung UN46B6000 is a full 1080p television, which means it can natively support the highest quality of HD content, which is usually only found from Blu-ray discs. It can also handle all of the other standard formats. For content that is supposed to be viewed at 24 frames per second, it supports this natively if you have a DVD or Blu-ray disc, or it can perform the 3:2 pulldown process for broadcast content. Finally the UN46B6000 supports the xvYCC expanded color gamut, although you'll need content that comes with that specific color gamut and this is not widely available yet.
The Samsung UN46B6000's can play photos either off a USB device or over the network. Photo playback looks the same in either case. You are given a strip of photo thumbnails that can be sorted in various ways. You can enlarge the selected photo by pressin the center select button of your remote's directional pad. This takes it full screen where you can zoom and rotate the photo. There's also a photo slideshow option, with support for background music if it's also stored on the USB device or available on your network. The biggest problem we saw with the photo interface is that it was a bit slow to respond.
Music & Video Playback*(3.0)*
Music and video playback are both supported from either an attached USB device or over your network. The interface is very similar to that we saw from photo playback, with a strip of either music or video files that you can move between and with multiple sorting options. Music playback is limited to Mp3 files, but video playback supports a wide variety of options including AVI, MKV, ASF, MP4, 3GPP, PS, TS. That last refers to ripped DVD files, which is a nice feature you don't often see. Once again we noticed a bit of a slowdown, and we were also dissapointed that there's no support for AAC or WMA music files or WMV and MOV video files.
The Samsung UN46B6000's internet connectivity options offer the potential for a whole new world of online content. Unfortunately as of now it's pretty limited. Samsung offers a variety of online widgets, giving you access to services like Twitter, USA Sports, weather amongst others. From a media standpoint, however, all you get is support for Flickr and Yahoo's video site. It's dissapointing that we don't have access to services like Hulu, Youtube and Netflix, which is where the real promise of a web connected television lies. To be fair, however, this is more the fault of content companies rather than Samsung.
The Samsung UN46B6000 does have additional media options like a built-in DVR, DVD or Blu-ray player.
One of the touted benefits of LED backlit televisions is lower power consumption, and the Samsung UN46B6000 would seem to deliver in this area. To test power consumption we adjust the backlight to get the brightness level as close to 200cd/m2 as possible. In the case of the Samsung UN46B6000 this was achieved by putting the backlight at a setting of 5. We the run a standard video and check to see how much power is being draw at 2, 4 and 6 minutes. You can see our results below.
The Samsung UN46B6000 turned out to draw an average of 106.73 Watts at a backlight level of 5, which is above average for all HDTVs and is the best score put up by a television 46-inches or larger that we have reviewed. You can see below that the UN46B6000 beat out all three of our comparison HDTVs. The outlier is our Plasma model, which tend to be power hogs.
Samsung's B6000 line of LED backlit televisions are available in four sizes, 32, 40, 46 and 55 inches. This is the least expensive of Samsung's three series of LED backlit HDTVs, with higher-end B7000 and B8000 models also available. Size is the only differentiator in the four models of the B6000 series, as all sport 4 HDMI inputs, LAN for internet and network access and 120Hz refresh rate.
Meet the tester
Alfredo Padilla is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.
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We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.Shoot us an email