Unfortunately, people after smaller TVs are expected to give up performance. It is almost impossible to find a display with a 120Hz refresh rate or more than a pair of HDMI inputs. These displays often arrive in Europe where space is a concern but rarely make it to the United States. This year Samsung has a 32” model, the UN32H6350, that includes these high end features and more.
Watching the Samsung UN32H6350 it offers a good image with great features. With the high-end features, including a 10-point white balance and color management system, it can produce wonderful images. The 120Hz refresh rate allows for smoother motion than 60Hz models but the black levels are only fair. Aside from a small uniformity error at the top the 32” Samsung is a very good picture.
|Display Type:||LED LCD|
|Inputs:||4x HDMI, 1x Component, 1x Composite, 1x RF|
|Streaming Services:||Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube, HBO Go|
|Display Size:||28.4" x 19.7" x 10.4"|
|Display Weight:||13.4 lbs.|
|Review Date:||May 27, 2014|
The Samsung UN32H6350 is a small TV that has almost all the high-end features built in. A true 120Hz refresh rate. rear LEDs. SmartTV apps. Full 1080p resolution. Four HDMI inputs. Samsung even has their higher-end styling on the H6350. Little touches, like a backlit remote, make the H6350 feel like a higher-end set.
There are also many higher-end feature in the Samsung H6350 that you can’t see from the outside. A quad-core processor helps keep the interface snappy where other 32” TVs often lag. It is the first 32” TV I have seen with a full 10-point white balance and gamma control to get an optimal image. A full color management system, also updated this year, is here as well. The 120Hz refresh rate enables black frame insertion. This improves motion resolution with adding the fake soap opera effect many of us cannot tolerate.
Even with all the features built into the H6350, picture quality still comes first. The preset movie mode does a good job out of the box and most people will be happy with it. For perfectionists like me, the 10-point white balance and color management system let you dial in the picture. I spent almost all my time watching the calibrated H6350 as I do with all displays in for review.
The 120Hz refresh rate of the H6350 helps with motion. There are three different ways you can adjust the picture: Frames can repeat many times, you can create new frames, or add black frames. By repeating frames you remove judder, the slight catching motion you’ll see when a movie pans. This doesn’t do anything to correct the problem of LCDs having motion blur.
Frame interpolation, or creating new frames, is a technique that people feel strongly about. Many hate it, some love it, and almost no one is neutral about it. I used it with sports and while it removes blur, it causes some other issues. Watching a pass during hockey, the puck will jump around. The interpolation tries to guess where the puck is going to be, but when it changes speeds it leads to different results. With movies and TV shows, the unnatural feeling to the motion always causes me to turn interpolation off.
Black frame insertion, called LED Clear Motion, uses the extra frames to add black images between them. This causes the pixels to refresh between images and remove most of that blurring. It also causes the light output from the H6350 to drop in half. With the backlight I still get 30 ftL of light, which is my ideal level, with LED Clear Motion turned on. Disable it and the H6350 can do almost 60 ftL of light.
For a bright room LED Clear Motion might be too dim but in one without direct sun, or at night, it improves the quality of moving images. There is a judder while there is none with blur reduction set to maximum. It might be a personal preference which you prefer, or you can use blur reduction during the day and Clear Motion at night.
Good Colors, Fair Contrast
The UN32H6350 has an image that pops off the screen. High-contrast images from Skyfall and Drive feature vivid colors against dark black backgrounds. Watching all of this high-contrast content I feel the Samsung produces a very good image. Where this LCD can’t hold up to the best models, and to my Panasonic VT60 plasma, is in the final Harry Potter film. As Voldemort and his minions gather atop a hill outside Hogwarts, is loses some shadow detail. Without a full array rear LED display you cannot reproduce this scene as well as a plasma.
Compared to all the other 32″ LCD TVs to come through here the Samsung UN32H6350 falls short with the contrast ratio. With a 35 ftL target, all other displays have a lower black level than the Samsung does. Even the older F5000 Samsung has a better contrast ratio. The Sony KDL-32W650A, another premium 32″ LCD, has a black level that is more than twice as dark as the Samsung. No adjustments to the brightness level could lower the black level, and it isn’t possible to raise the contrast level without clipping red. This is the best the Samsung can do.
Skin Tones and colors are good on the Samsung. There is no red push to skin tones or issues with over-saturation. The opening minutes of Pacific Rim are a visual feast through the Samsung. Bright orange-red flames set against blue lightning below the ocean are vivid against the ocean. The resolution and detail are good enough that if you sit close you can see the flaws in the CGI monsters. Small textures including hair and fabric are detailed. I still don’t enjoy the film all that much but it shows off what TVs and projectors can do.
Four HDMI inputs give you plenty of space to add a Roku 3 or other solution, but having your favorite apps built-in is even better. The H6350 has a wide selection of apps and the quad-core processor makes the user experience a good one. The Smart Hub button on the remote provides fast access to your most popular apps on the bottom of the screen. Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube and Vudu are all available. Samsung also has a large app library to choose from where other important, but less popular, apps are available. HBO Go, Spotify, M-GO, MLB.TV, Plex, Vimeo, and more. It has a larger selection of apps available than the other 32” TVs I have reviewed to date.
App performance is a high pointl. Netflix movies look good now that Comcast finally can play back 1080p streams. The interface is the latest from Netflix including the improved login screen. Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Video and all the other apps I utilized work well. There is little to wish for when it comes to the app features of the Samsung. What it missing is better musical streaming support. There is no Amazon Cloud Player available but video support is good.
The main flaw most people will have with the UN32H6350 is the price. $540 for a 32” TV is expensive no matter what it has. The new 42” M-Series Vizio is only $530 at Amazon which is a big difference in value. I haven’t evaluated it yet, but it offers 14-zones of rear array LED lighting and a large selection of streaming services as well. When I reviewed the 40″ M-Series Vizio last year I found the Calibrated presets to be accurate but locked into a gamma of 2.2. Vizio also lacks a full color management system or a 10-point white balance and gamma control. The Samsung offers more options to get the best picture out of the display.
The main issue in my eyes is the higher black level and resulting contrast ratio. Every 32″m display to come through here to this point, even a $230 one, has measured better than the Samsung does. Watching movies I still feel the Samsung looks very good, but it could look much better with a lower black level. Perhaps it is a side-effect of the higher refresh rate, but it doesn’t offer the same performance I would expect in this area.
Another issue for me is a pair of points at the top of the screen where the backlight isn’t uniform. With letterbox bars you do not see this at all, but with a bright image like the sky you can notice it. This is sample specific but there is a chance of having this issue. When it comes to image flaws, this is the only one I have with the UN32H6350.
A Full Featured 32” Display
The last high end 32” TV I looked at, the Sony KDL-32W650A, offers good performance but falls short of the Samsung in a couple of areas. The picture controls are worse, with no 10-point white balance or full color management system. The black frame insertion on the Sony is not worth using as the flicker and light output are too low. Finally it has a weird stand that can work as a wall bracket but that prevents it from working with any other wall mount on the market. The Samsung will work with 200mm VESA mounts on the market. The Sony does have a contrast ratio that is almost three times as good as the Samsung and more accurate colors out of the box. The main benefits for the Samsung here are the 120Hz refresh rate and the lower price.
Compared to my favorite bargain 32” display, the Vizio E320i-B2, the Samsung offers more features and a better image. Apps on the Samsung are fast while they lag on the Vizio. The pre-calibration image is similar in performance, but the Samsung improves if you do choose to calibrate it. The Samsung is also 120Hz instead of 60Hz which makes a large difference. The Samsung also costs almost twice as much, which will rule it out for many people. The Vizio also has a better contrast ratio, which is the one aspect of performance that makes the most visible impact.
If you want a good TV but lack room for something larger than 32”, or you want the best picture quality on any TV you buy, the UN32H6350 is a good choice. The image is good and it has all the features you need. The main reasons to choose it are the 120Hz refresh rate and the very good selection of apps it provides. For pure image quality the Sony still comes out on top for a slightly higher price. The UN32H6350 is good but for the price the contrast ratio should be great.
|Pros:||Good Image, Fast Apps, Plenty of Inputs, 120Hz Refresh|
|Cons:||Price, Contrast Ratio, Backlight Uniformity|
|Summary:||For pure performance the Samsung UN32H6350 is very good except for the contrast ratio. It is expensive but it offers features, including a 120Hz refresh rate and 10-point white balance, that no other 32" display does.|