A design identical to Samsung's EH5000 and EH6000 series.

All of the EH-series Samsung TVs feature this design. You know the one: a thin-bezeled screen, housed in matte black plastic, perched atop an oval-shaped stand. While not as flashy, light, or thin as their high-end ES-series products, they're still pretty easy on the eyes.

The usability of this design is also more or less flawless (though it's not terribly interesting). Like all of the company's 2012 TVs, the EH5300 makes use of Samsung's Jog Stick, which replaces traditional on-set controls. The TVs connectivity options are located on the right-hand side/back of the TV and offer a decent array of choices. Most notable of these are three HDMI inputs and two USB ports.

The only difference between the EH5000 and the EH5300 is that the latter gives you access to Samsung's Smart Hub.

The Smart Hub was our 2011 pick for best smart platform and it’s in the running to receive those honors again this year. It’s jam-packed with useful (or at least interesting) content, giving users access to social networks, TV, movies, music, a web browser, and a generous collection of apps. Take it from us: Samsung's Smart Hub is a highly welcome addition to this TV's basic functions, and makes a huge difference in the long run.

The menu consists of simple bundles of settings, with the usual array of categories like Picture or Sound. Most of these menus are divided into sub-menus for the more complicated TV features, should you want to fiddle with them. However Samsung has done an excellent job of hiding them away, allowing you to decide what level of complexity you’re ready to initiate.

The Samsung UN50EH5300 does a lot of things well.

The EH5300 has fairly deep blacks and very bright whites, giving it an excellent maximum contrast ratio. The TV also adheres well to international standards for HDTV color; in other words, the EH5300 makes most content look excellent.

While it didn’t showcase perfection in any one area, the UN50EH5300 has a solid skill-set in areas not related to contrast and color. It has decent motion performance, average audio, and wont result in a high electricity bill.

Almost everything about it is either acceptable or great, save for one thing: the viewing angle (how far from center you can watch without contrast issues) is very narrow, meaning it isn’t a great TV for large groups.

An excellent TV for a fairly excellent price.

We might have a few qualms if it were any more expensive than the $1199 MSRP, but we feel that—given its performance and features—the price is an appropriate representation of the TV’s value.

The whole package includes a sizable screen, great contrast and color, decent motion and audio performance, and access to Samsung’s friendly smart platform. The only drawback here is the TV’s narrow viewing angle.

This is a great budget TV if you want to save some money, but still have access to all the same internet features available on Samsung’s higher-end models. It’s got comparable performance parameters to more expensive 2012 Samsung HDTVs, and barring 3D, has almost all the same features as those higher priced models. The UN50EH5300 is a smart investment and a solid TV.

For the most part, the Samsung EH5300 trounced our tests with flying colors (no pun intended). It showcased admirable color accuracy and a highly respectable maximum contrast ratio, well beyond what we expect from an entry-level LCD. Furthermore, its motion performance was decent and it showed very fine screen uniformity. The bottom line is that this TV looks excellent and has one drawback: its narrow viewing angle.

Smoothly ramping uniform curves on all fronts.

Color and greyscale curves represent how smoothly a TV transitions from darker to lighter shades and hues. If the curves were wrought with bumpiness and "spikes," it would mean sudden increases/decreases in the luminance of a color or shade, to or from its neighbor on the light input spectrum. This sudden increase/decrease causes banding of shades/hues of particular brightnesses, and makes whatever you're watching look very unnatural.

The chart illustrates a result just short of color and greyscale perfection: In this example, the black line (representing the 0-255 greyscale spectrum) is perfect, with red, green, and blue just barely missing the mark. For human eyes, this is going to yield a wide spectrum of accurately depicted colors. This is an excellent result.

The EH5300's narrow viewing angle means group watching might be a risky activity.

Viewing angle is the measure of how far from center (or 90°) one can comfortably view content on a screen without a loss in contrast detail. Typically, the further you get from center, the less contrast there is between dark/light on screen. This lack of contrast causes a number of problems for the human eye as it attempts to translate what it's seeing to the brain.

The EH5300's total viewing angle of 39.78° leaves a lot to be desired. We consider a total angle of 45° to be average and acceptable: anything less is going to result in some complications. While it's not as highly tested as color/contrast within the realm of TVs, viewing angle is an important measure of a TV's screen flexibility. For example, how much choice do you have in determining where to watch from? Can the TV be wall mounted and still used successfully? If watching with a group, how far can you all spread out before the people on the sides end up complaining that the night sky is grey and the stars are some shade of cheap bathroom caulk?

For this reason, the EH5300's viewing angle is an issue. Though you could still watch with 2-3 people without much trouble, it's something to keep in mind.

Meet the testers

Lee Neikirk

Lee Neikirk

Editor

@Koanshark

Lee has been Reviewed's point person for most television and home theater products since 2012. Lee received Level II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Foundation in 2013. As Editor of the Home Theater vertical, Lee oversees reviews of TVs, monitors, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers. He also reviews headphones, and has a background in music performance.

See all of Lee Neikirk's reviews
Lee Neikirk

Lee Neikirk

Editor

@Koanshark

Lee has been Reviewed's point person for most television and home theater products since 2012. Lee received Level II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Foundation in 2013. As Editor of the Home Theater vertical, Lee oversees reviews of TVs, monitors, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers. He also reviews headphones, and has a background in music performance.

See all of Lee Neikirk's reviews

Checking our work.

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.

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