Abstract: If you're a technology geek it's hard not to get excited the first time you hear about 3D HDTV. It's one of those amazing Jetsons-esque technologies that seems like we'd never quite get to, along with hover cars and robot butlers. PCSTATS cuts through the marketing hype and tells you if the 3D Samsung UN55C7000 55-inch HDTV is worth it.|
Home Theatre >
a technology geek it's hard not to get excited the first time you hear about 3D
TV. It's one of those amazing Jetsons-esque technologies that seems like we'd
never quite get to, along with hover cars and robot butlers. While it's true that my car still can't fly and this is
about as close we've gotten to robot butlers, watching TV in three
dimensions has at last arrived in the living room, thanks to the Samsung UN55C7000 3D LCD HDTV.
Everyone's first question with this
technology is "how does 3D TV look?" PCSTATS will be getting to that answer shortly, but
first let's go over the important specs.
Samsung's UN55C7000 is a 55" HDTV, with native support for 1080p resolutions.
3D viewing on Samsung's latest display requires the use of Samsung's 3D
active shutter glasses, which can be purchased separately but are typically
included as a bundle with Samsung's high-end 3DTV offerings. The glasses are
essentially electrically powered liquid crystal lenses that flutter in sync with
the 3DTV at up to 240Hz, and are a far cry from the old red and blue disposable
anaglyph 3D shades you played with as a kid.
Samsung's use of 3D on the UN55C7000 LCD HDTV also
introduces 240Hz refresh rates, which increases overall fluidity for movies. The
increased refresh rate enhances Samsung's Motion Plus interpolation technology,
which can remove the appearance of jitter between frames of movies. Personally
though, I don't like the effect Automotion has on movies when it operates at
120Hz or 240Hz and prefer to watch movies with this feature off. In most other
respects the Samsung UN55C7000 inherits the standout features from previous
Samsung LCD HDTVs, including the ability to play media off a simple USB storage
device, over a home network, or in limited respects from the internet directly.
It's internet connectivity allows it to stream Youtube videos, connect to Skype
and download new Samsung web apps, all accessible through the UN55C7000's own
built-in media player.
||Samsung UN55C7000 55" 3D LCD HDTV
Screen size: 55"
HDMI, (1) Component, D-Sub, RF-coaxial, Optical,
Dimensions: 49.7 x 32.8 x
USB 2.0 Ports: 2
Includes: Remote control, Batteries,
Cleaning cloth, owner's instructions, Quick setup
guide, blanking bracket, TV holder, cable tie, holder wire,
holder-wire stand, holder-ring, antenna adapter, AV adapter,
component sound in adapter, LAN adapter, component adapter, PC
adapter, optical adapter
There's also a number of options for connecting traditional home theatre video
and audio sources. Samsung's UN55C7000 is equipped with four HDMI
ports, a component (YPBPR) input, and a VGA
input for connecting a PC, along with accompanying coaxial audio cables. You
also get legacy inputs in the form of a composite and RCA audio adapter.
The massive 55" diagonal screen puts the UN55C7000 into Samsung's largest class of
LCD HDTVs. The overall dimensions of the television with its stand
attached is 32.9" tall by 50.5" inches wide. The screen itself is an astonishing
1" thin, making it ideal for a wall or arm mount. The entire
HDTV weighs in at a hefty 54lbs (24.5) with stand, or 48.9bs (22.2kg) for just
the screen, in case you want to mount it on your wall using the 400mm x 400mm
Samsung's estimated retail price for the UN55C7000 is $3250 CDN ($3100 USD, or £2230 GBP),
which makes it significantly less expensive than last year's top-end HDTV
models, which don't support 3D viewing.
How does a 3D TV look?
3D viewing on the Samsung UN55C7000
can vary a lot depending on the video source and your home theatre setup. The
optimal setup is to have a 3D-encoded Blu-ray disc (in PCSTATS' case Monsters
vs. Aliens on Blu-ray 3D), 3D glasses calibrated properly and a dim room where
you're sitting about nine feet away from the 3DTV.
If that's the case you're in for a treat.
With a 3D Blu-ray disc the content will pop out of the screen at you,
looking like it's extending into space. You'll also notice a significant amount of depth
looking into the display, with foreground and backgrounds on different
planes as you watch. When it all comes together it's an immersive experience
that really shows how much the perception of depth can add to movie
In my personal
viewing experience, getting the most out of 3DTV definitely requires proper calibration and
setup. Trying to watch the Samsung UN55C7000 in non-optimal conditions caused the picture to
be afflicted with ghosting on foreground images and blurry backgrounds, which
in turn led to eyestrain very quickly.
Fortunately, with some adjustment of the 3D optimization and
Picture Correction settings it was possible to get a good 3D image going,
although even at its best there was still some ghosting and flickering noticable on
certain foreground elements, particularly on objects that looked like they were
coming out of the 55" screen towards me.
Experience with 3D viewing can vary a lot depending on the viewer...