Wednesday

Samsung UN26EH4000


The Samsung UN26EH4000 is part of Samsung’s small line of LED-LCD TVs. This specific model is the smallest LED-LCD TV that Samsung offers in this years new line. The TV has a 26″ screen, a 60Hz refresh rate, a 1366 x 768 screen resolution, 5W x 2 audio output system and LED backlighting. The EH4000 series comes with two HDMI ports and one USB port. Unfortunately, this series only comes with 720p max display, but on a such a small screen you can hardly tell the difference. The Samsung UN26EH4000 is available now and is priced at $299.




Series information
I performed a hands-on evaluation of the Samsung UN32EH4000F, but this review also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.

Models in series (details)

Samsung UN26EH4000                           26 inches 

Samsung UN32EH4000F (reviewed)    32 inches

Design

 
If you're looking to fill a space in your living room, you don't want a gaudy TV uglifying things up; so compared with its peers the EH4000 is actually attractive. It features a slim bezel all around in a tasteful piano black, and while it doesn't have a swivel stand, the set is so light that it's just as easy to physically move anyway.



The remote control is the most fully featured of its kind, but usability is an issue. The remote is basically the same as its more expensive brethren, but shrunken, so all of the gaps are removed. Ergonomically, this makes changing channels and menu options by feel quite hard. Thankfully, the remote is backlit so you can see what you're doing in the dark.


Features 

 
As the Samusng EH4000 costs the same as buying a couple of peripherals for the company's flagship sets, you can't expect much in the way of features. Like the other 32-inchers we tested, the Samsung has a 720p (1,366x768 pixels) resolution, but it will accept a 1080p signal. At this screen size, you won't notice the lower resolution unless you practically touch your nose to the TV.

The TV has no dimming or other fancy tricks but does include the company's Clear Motion Rate 60 processing for some smoothing.

While we don't usually mention this on more expensive TVs, as they usually include a wider range of streaming options, the Samsung does include some media playback functionality as we'll detail shortly.

Features List

- 26″ Screen
- 60Hz Refresh Rate
- 1366 x 768 Screen Resolution
- 5W x 2 Audio Output
- LED Backlighting
- 2 HDMI/1 USB
- 720p Display



Picture settings


The Samsung does offer some advanced controls for such an inexpensive TV, including a two-point grayscale. Despite not including a Color Management System, I was able to eke quite a good picture out of this television.
Connectivity
The Samsung lacks Internet connectivity but does include movie playback through the single USB port. Other connections include two HDMI ports (one each of component and composite) and a digital audio-out for external audio from the onboard tuner. Interestingly for a small TV it lacks an analog PC input, perhaps excluding it from use as a monitor for some people, though there is always the option of using an HDMI port.
Picture quality
Samsung has a reputation for producing high-quality LCD televisions, and while high-end models like the ES8000 tend to lean on this a bit too heavily with little payback, the EH4000 is the kind of high-value TV you'd expect for the money.
Black levels are the best of its type, and shadow details are easily discerned while still retaining cinematic punch. Color fidelity is also a highlight, with tones akin to last year's LCD favorite, the Samsung D630, if lacking that last hint of accuracy.
Comparison models (details)
TCL L40FHDF12TA40 inch LCD
Samsung LN46D63046-inch LCD
Sony KDL-32BX33032 -inch edge-lit LED
LG 32CS46032-inch LCD
Panasonic TC-P65VT50 (reference)65-inch plasma
Click the image at the right to see the picture settings used in the review and to read more about how this TV’s picture controls worked during calibration.


Black level
The Samsung was the best in our lineup of 32-inch TVs in terms of absolute black, and only the 46-inch D630 had a deeper black level. If you want reference-level blacks, you're obviously in the wrong place, but for a bedroom TV, the blacks were perfectly acceptable.
Where the EH4000 really excelled was in shadow detail. From challenging scenes in the final "Harry Potter" movie to to the complex night scene at the 12:24 mark in "Watchmen," the Samsung was able to fill in the details that TVs like the LG and TCL simply weren't capable of, giving images much-needed depth.
Color accuracy
While the TV lacks advanced color controls, the color I was able to get out of it was the best of our small, 32-inch group. Colors were natural-looking and well-saturated, and skin tones were as true as you could expect from a $300 TV. Even in the monocolor palettes of "Star Trek," the strong blues and greens look as true to the source (by way of the accurate Samsung D630) as you could expect for this amount of money.
Video processing
The TV lacks a dedicated 24p mode, and so Blu-ray playback isn't as silky-smooth as you'll see on some TVs. The playback was actually the jerkiest on our test fly-by of the USS Intrepid in "I Am Legend" and so therefore earns a fail.
If you activate the 60Hz mode (LED Motion Plus), you can get some additional smoothness, and based on my observations it wasn't as obnoxious as some of the 100Hz modes I've seen. Yet, even with this mode enabled the TV wasn't able to divine much more in the way of motion resolution out of our synthetic test with only 350p visible.
The TV was able to handle interlaced content well, with a pass in our 1080i deinterlacing test. This is especially fortunate given the TV's inability to display 1080 content natively due to its 1,366x768-pixel resolution.
Uniformity
Due to the combination of a small size and a direct backlight, I didn't notice any problems with backlight leakage or spotlighting in the corners.
Bright lighting
Though the Samsung had the glossiest screen of the TVs we tested, it was still comparatively matte. When I watched the TV in a lit room there weren't any distracting reflections exhibited. When viewed under these conditions it also boasted the greatest level of contrast of any of the sets and so is a good choice for rooms with low- to midlevel brightness.
Geek Box: TestResultScore
Black luminance (0%)0.0207Poor
Avg. gamma2.2445Good
Near-black x/y (5%)0.2649/0.2616Poor
Dark gray x/y (20%)0.3125/0.3327Average
Bright gray x/y (70%)0.3129/0.3264Good
Before avg. color temp.9853.352Poor
After avg. color temp.6475.9488Good
Red lum. error (de94_L)1.6264Average
Green lum. error (de94_L)1.698Average
Blue lum. error (de94_L)4.0588Poor
Cyan hue x/y0.2167/0.3233Average
Magenta hue x/y0.326/0.1546Good
Yellow hue x/y0.4251/0.5116Average
1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)FailPoor
1080i De-interlacing (film)PassGood
Motion resolution (max)350Poor
Motion resolution (dejudder off)310Poor
PC input resolution (VGA)0Poor


ATSC tuner?

If you plan on watching, free, over-the-air programming, then yes. As of 2009, all over-the-air broadcasts use the ATSC standard. Pretty much all HDTVs manufactured over the past few years will include this feature.