Review: Samsung Series 7 3D TV

Make: Samsung

Model: Series 7 LED 3D TV

By Branko Miletic

Samsung recently released its new 3D TV platform—a range of 40 to 55-inch LED LCDs called Series 7 and much like many of its rivals, has decided to tie its reputation to the success or otherwise of this new technology.

Whether or not 3D technology takes a firm hold out there in suburbia is best left to history, however let me say that watching 3D TV really is an experience.

Depending on what you are watching, the 3D vision really does give extra 'life' to a movie; the increased depth of vision that 3D delivers is as about as lifelike as one will get on a digital screen—anyone that went out to the cinema to watch Avatar will vouch for that—though finding movies to watch is one of the two biggest issues of this technology. At the time of writing, there was not one movie on the shelves of Australian retailers that was in a dedicated 3D format. Availability at retail outlets will depend on when the movies get made in 3D, which are slowly starting to roll out in cinemas this year.

3D games are multiplying like rabbits in springtime so there will be no shortage of 3D gaming opportunities, while on television Channel 9 has recently announced that the 2010 State of Origin Rugby League series will be broadcast in 3D. And with plans of the 2010 Football World Cup being broadcast in 3D, the lure of this technology becomes more and more irresistible.

So on with the review. What is there to like or dislike. First, there is the issue of the glasses—somewhere a cross between Robocop and Clark Kent, these USB-rechargeable 3D glasses have been labeled everything from 'dorky' to 'nerdy'— so let me add one more superlative to the list—'passion killers'— forget watching any 3D Rom-Com and expect a snog after the credits—the 3D glasses are so non-couture they could turn Cameron Diaz into Ugly Betty in a micro-second. But then again, if we all remember 20 years ago, the prevailing wisdom was that only Wall Street wannabes were going to buy a mobile phone!

Getting back to the TV, one thing that Samsung has done well is make the Series 7 about as easy to set up as plugging in an electric kettle—in fact, that's basically all we had to do in our road test. Even with the supplied Samsung Blu-ray player, it was basically a case of two cords (with one of them an HDMI cable) being plugged in and then pressing the power button on the remote control—the TV set itself up, defaulting to all the required optimum settings automatically.

Once the Blu-ray disc was put into the player, the movie (in this case the supplied Monsters vs. Aliens flick) played straight up—the only thing left to do was to choose the required volume settings and make the popcorn; so for simplicity in set up, Samsung deserves a solid 9.5 out of 10.

The picture from the supplied movie was not only clean and crisp—apart from some items that were in the background of the shot, there was also very little blurring, and the refresh rate during the action shots was seamless. The resolution was as good as we would expect from Samsung and even the smallest of items on the screen looked near lifelike.

Overall Samsung's 3D Series 7 is a thin, relatively light and well designed unit that is so far as good as anything else out on the market—the only downside (bar the glasses of course) is the chicken and egg scenario of the lack of available 3D content.

But then again, that has always been the bane of new and revolutionary technologies.

Pros: very easy set up, great resolution, wafer-thin profile
Cons: lack of available 3D content; current price and those dorky glasses.

4 shacks out of 5