Samsung UN40EH5000 LED LCD HDTV Review$679.00
The Samsung UN40EH5000 has some tough competition in the contrast comparison chart you see below. With a really strong black level of 0.05, this Samsung shows a great contrast ratio, even compared to televisions with some of the best ranges on the market. It was surprising to see this model outperform the higher level Samsung UN40EH6000 in both black level and peak brightness. You will see that the UN40EH5000 has a few advantages over the more expensive EH6000 throughout this review. More on how we test contrast.
Color & Greyscale Curves
The black line in the gamma graph below represents the amount of grayscale detail a television shows throughout the range of light and dark values determined by the contrast ratio. This particular graph tells us that the amount of detail is almost perfect. The smoothness of the line shows that, for every one of the 256 input values, the UN40EH5000 has a resulting output value that is different than any other. Having 256 unique gray values from dark to light means having a great amount of detail at every luminance.
The slope of the line is ideal, except for the early part of the chart in the dark gray region. The highly slanted line here means that the gray values will transition from dark to light too quickly, going from dark black to dark gray rather suddenly. After middle gray, the line has an ideal slope. From a dark gray, all the way to the brightest white, the UN40EH5000 shows a ton of detail as well as transitioning evenly, in accordance with the input signal. This is one of the best grayscale graphs we have seen in a long time. Great job Samsung.
The color curves in this chart represent the amount of detail distinction in the three primary colors. You can see that they all have different trajectories. The ideal would be that they all are in line with each other, reaching from 0 to 100% luminance without any flat lines or bumps. We see no bumps really, the smoothness of these lines is excellent, but both the red and blue lines peak before the brightest possible input. After a certain brightness, the red and blue values can have no more detail, as shown by this peaking. The greens seem to be the most accurate, showing that the red values are oversaturated throughout most of the spectrum, and the blues are undersaturated for most of the spectrum. Other than these foibles, the detail in color is mostly very good. More on how we test color performance.
The color temperature proved to be too cool for us (it was busy going on dates with cheerleaders and drift racing Nissans). Throughout the spectrum from dark to bright, the color temperature was too high, veering towards the cool and showing a blue tint to pictures. We had the color temperature set on Warm 2, which was the warmest setting possible. Other settings bumped the color temperature up to about 10,000K, way away from the ideal of 6500K. More on how we test color temperature.
Accurate is the best word to describe this color gamut. Rarely do we see all three primary colors and the white point matching the Rec. 709, the international standard set of HDTV colors, so well. This is another one of the advantages the UN40EH5000 has over the more expensive EH6000 series by Samsung, which had some very gray greens and oversaturated blues. Such accuracy is a very strong mark of quality for this television. More on how we test color temperature.
This section reviews how well the black level and the peak brightness are maintained given differing amounts of black and white on the screen. We find this test important because we picture stunningly bright stars in a night sky, or the jet black nose of a polar bear in the snow. Both of these scenes would be less visually powerful if the blacks were brighter or the whites dimmer. In both tunnel contrast and white falloff tests, the UN40EH5000 did not brighten the black level when there was little black on the screen, nor did it dim the peak brightness when there was not much white on the screen. More on how we test picture dynamics.