3D for everyone

John Archer is surprised to see a 3DTV for only £1,500, and wonders if there’s a catch

This 46in TV with full HD and frame sequential 3D playback costs just £1,500, not in excess of £2K like every other active 3D TV. In other words, it promises to be the set that brings 3D to the masses. Since it uses a standard CCFL backlight, it’s loads fatter than the wafer-thin delights of Samsung’s edge LED models. But it’s still fairly stylish for all that.

The 465C750’s connections give even less indication of the TV’s budget nature. For, as well as four v1.4 HDMI inputs, the set sports two USBs for multimedia functions and an Ethernet port.

The latter is there to provide no less than three services. First, it supports the set’s Freeview HD tuner, so that you can access the platform’s future interactive services. Secondly, the Ethernet allows the TV to jack in to a DLNA PC, for streaming in multimedia files you might have stored there. And finally, you can use the port for accessing Samsung’s Internet@TV online service, which has been greatly improved by the additions of Twitter, Facebook, LOVEFiLM and perhaps best of all, the BBC iPlayer. So far as we know, Samsung is the first TV brand to get the iPlayer working on a TV.

Impressively for this price point, you can also use the USBs to record programmes from the Freeview HD tuner to USB HDDs, which can be from any brand. The 46C750 further belies its striking affordability by being exceptionally flexible with its picture calibration tools. Particularly important for a 3DTV is the 46C750’s impressively adjustable Motion Plus system.

There’s also a passably flexible colour management system, plenty of noise reduction options, gamma adjustments, black level and contrast boosters, and even a shadow detail booster that brightens dark picture areas while leaving the overall brightness level intact.

A disappointing aspect of this Samsung is that it doesn’t ship with any active shutter 3D glasses. You can get one pair sent to you when you register your TV purchase online, but factor in the cost of another pair.

Cross purposes

The 46C750 is a good 2D performer for its money, and thankfully, the quality extends to its 3D performance, too. Certainly its 3D images look brighter and more colour-rich than those of most rival brands. Add in some respectably clean motion handling and it’s easier to appreciate the extra detail of the full HD 3D format versus passive 3D technology.

Samsung is one of just two brands at the moment to offer 2D-3D conversion on its 3D TVs. And contrary to expectations, I’d say the 46C750‘s converted images look quite good, adding decent depth without creating many perspective errors – especially with HD material.

For all the 46C750‘s good 3D work, though, it doesn’t take long to spot a rather predictable problem: ghosting around objects in the mid and far distance. Otherwise known as crosstalk noise, this is evident with both Sky’s side-by-side and Blu-ray’s sequential frame 3D systems, and can regularly distract from what you’re watching.

With some surprisingly decent sound quality keeping the pictures company, the 46C750 can be considered a good value buy even if you never use its 3D facility. And the presence of the latter at only £1,500 will definitely turn some heads.

HCC VERDICT

Highs: Good 2D pictures; plenty of set-up options; surprisingly effective 2D-3D conversion
Lows: 3D playback suffers ghosting noise; very limited viewing angle
Performance: 4/5
Design: 4/5
Features: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

Specifications

Full HD: yes including 1080p/24 Tuner: yes Freeview HD and analogue
Component video: yes 1 input (rear) HDMI/DVI: yes 4 v1.4 HDMI inputs (one side)
PC input: yes 1 D-Sub Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Sound: 2 x 10W
Brightness (claimed): 500cd/m2
Contrast ratio (claimed): 300,000:1
Dimensions: 1119(w) x 679(h) x 80(d)mm Weight: 17.6kg
Features: Video/JPEG playback from USB; gamma adjustment; active 3D output; degree of colour management; various 3D platforms supported; multiple AV presets; noise/digital noise reduction; black level adjustment; left/right field switching for 3D; depth level 3D adjustment; 2D-to-3D conversion