Samsung Smart TV Review – UA40D5900VR : First look
Sometimes one need not have a reason to treat oneself and hence despite the sudden downsize on my current account finances, I decided to bring home this svelte black mirror from Samsung – 40” LED Smart TV UA40D5900VR and since then lot has changed. Well apart from the size, space and loads of functional benefits, TV watching is now a visual treat compared to the small bulky CRT I had for last couple of years. I have only spent couple of hours playing around so this review is best judged as first impression but I do plan to spend time over the coming weekends to have a more objective assessment.
Launched in India in July 2011, UA40D5900VR is most superior model in Samsung LED series 5 supporting Smart TV functionality. It has a slim rear, glossy bezel and beautifully crafted crystal finish. Overall build quality seems sturdy with high quality plastic
Resolution – 1920 x 1080, 100 Hz
Key Features – Clear Motion Rate, Digital Noise Filter, Mega Dynamic Contrast Ratio, Wide Colour Enhancer Plus
Technology – Edge LED
Speaker – 2 built-in speakers (combined audio output of 20 W) – adequate
Connectivity – Standard options – 4 HDMI and 2 USB ports along with 1 each of Component In, Composite In, Digital Audio Out, PC In, RF In, Headphone Jack, PC Audio In, DVI Audio In and an Ethernet slot
Key Considerations for selecting UA40D5900VR
Samsung Smart TV UA40D5900VR
Internet Connectivity– UA40D5900VR has LAN support and is wireless ready i.e. it needs an external wireless adaptor (USB dongle) sold as a separate accessory from Samsung. In-built wireless adaptor is available in Series 6 onwards. Last I checked wireless adaptor accessory was not available from my local Samsung store. Using wired Ethernet connection is messy but it worked absolutely issueless, something which I had doubted earlier.Decrypting Naming Convention– Samsung has introduced HD TVs across generations starting with Gen 4 and recently Gen 8 was introduced. Further there is categorization based on sub series (A, B, C and D) with D being the latest. Various models with subtle differences exist under a given generation and series e.g. LED 40 inch has 4 models which are available in India namely UA40D5000, UA40D5003, UA40D5500 and UA40D5900. There are feature differences across these models and Samsung official website has a great comparison tool. Not delving into aesthetic differences and without going into lot of technical details below is a brief comparison to review the pack
- Each successive series has more add-on features and equally is more expensiv
- None of the series 5 model has 3D, web-browser, Skype or in-built wireless adapter
- If you don’t care for a thicker bezel 40D5500 will suit just fine since the only difference between 40D5500 and 40D5900 is bezel design with 5900 sporting a more thinner make
- Camera support is not available in Series 5, supported in higher series through add-on Camera accessory from Samsung
Self Help Documentation :
Connect Share : Samsung scores ahead in this segment and boasts of having the widest range of media format support across the competition (.wmv, .flv, .mkv etc.). One can connect a USB or an External HDD and render the content on TV.
Mounting : Both table mount and wall mount options exists – rest assured your LED can be hung with just a single nail using the slim wall mount support. Interestingly LED wall support is adjustable in case you want to change the angle of your TV which I believe is not the option with LCD mount.
Remote : Standard one sided remote having basic TV functional buttons and few add-on for Smart TV functionality
Open Web Browser :There is no web browser support in Series 5 LED models with support available in Series 6 and onwards. I personally feel browser is of not much use unless there is support for external wireless keyboard and again I don’t intend to use my TV for general web browsing or tweeting
Data Input :Standard remote available is the source for data entry and is quite tedious and painful process if one needs to enter large textual data. There also exist android based app (install-able on Android based Smart Phones) which can be used for data entry as well as an accessory remote (two sided) from Samsung with one side as remote and other sporting a full featured keyboard (Currently not available in India). In comparison LG has introduced a sleek pointer remote (again an additional accessory) which is better equipped for data entry and is easier to use
Application Store : Smart TV features work only when internet connection is active (a warning is thrown off in offline mode and control return backs to main menu). Samsung has a lead compared to competition with more than 200+ apps available in the store front, although it is debatable as how many of them are actually active or usable from TV context. I did try few apps and I must say except data input intricacies, overall experience was pretty good.
Apps Store Layout –Thestore features dozens of apps and few streaming services in well-defined categories like Video, Lifestyle, Info, Music etc. Brief description about application along with memory requirements is available which helps in app selection. Apps are available free of cost.
Few apps which I tried were
BigFlix – I installed the BigFlix app which was not pre-installed. BigFlix provides access to couple of movies, music videos and trailers which can be played-out free of cost. Content available through BigFlix app is limited but the website promises to introduce 500+ HD movies on 7th Dec 2011- no details on pricing yet.
AP news ticker – An innovative app which overlays a news bar at the bottom of the screen with TV content playing in the background. It updates stories in real time and also providers the option to get more detailed stories
Cons: no in-built wireless adapter, no camera support, un-optimized input interface, limited usable apps