We had been waiting for the new Led TVs from Samsung for quite a while. The brand new H series was recently launched and it brings with it some new stuff, various improvements , but in my opinion some minuses as well. The absence of a webcam on the 40H7000 model, the throwback on the design part of the 40H6400 ( as well as 50H6400 or 55H6400) series and other models as well , points to the fact that Samsung focused most of their attention more on its top models: the curved and UHD models .
Today, we will review the Samsung 40H6400 tv set because in my opinion it comprises all the technologies of the korean manufacturer at a decent price for most of us. It is one of the most sought after models on the market in previous years as well (ex-Samsung 40F6400) thanks to its features (Smart TV, Wi-Fi, 3D active and Full HD).
Samsung 40H6400 ( as well as 50H6400 or 46H6400 ) is very similar to its preceding model of last year . The slim bezel is embedded into a transparent plastic coat and the chrome-plated X shaped pedestal stand has been slightly redesigned though there isn’t any remarkable difference. The pedestal stand is swivel-capable to the left and to the right (approx. 20 degrees) but the TV cannot be leaned forward or backwards.
The back chassis seems to have been made out of cheaper plastic, and is not as sleek as we expected . The connections are positioned in the back and on the lower side we have the usual joystick that Samsung has been using the past couple of years on all its models. To sum up, for an untrained eye it is very hard to detect the differences between last year’s model and this new one. A regular Smart TV which keeps along the lines the manufacturer has accustomed us with.
Connections and control
On the connections side we were surprised to see that Samsung have thought to include a Scart connector on the 40H6400 model. We are currently living in the HDMI and Wireless era so we honestly have no idea why this connection was necessary.
On the side there are the three USB connections (for flash memory drives, external hard-disks, etc.), TV signal jack, and 2 HDMI connections. On the back side we have 2 extra HDMI connections, the CI slot and a few additional (audio and component). As we can see the number of connections is more than enough for the regular user.
How we operate the 40H6400 Smart TV ?
In this matter Samsung has pleasantly surprised us by introducing besides the classical remote control, an additional point-and-click type remote, similar to LG’s Magic Remote. The additional remote is found on most of H tv series and comes as a replacement for last year’s remote which only had a microphone and a touchpad (which is also present on the new Smart-Touch remote ).
We have tested the new remote and we are very happy with how it works. It’s light, easy to use and very accurate was what we found upon use. Simply point the remote towards the screen and select what you want to set up or run. By means of the touch button in the middle, you can scroll through apps or tv settings. By tapping the Keypad button a complete remote control will appear on your screen where we can select any setting we want for our TV. You will see a pointer (a small bright dot) moving on the screen which helps to accurately select the feature you want. The Smart-Touch remote control (as Samsung called it) will probably be one of the most popular upgrade of the 2014 TV series.
Image quality and 3 D
We have never given extremely technical details in our reviews about image quality. for tv sets we reviewed . We always compared the images rendered by the new TVs versus the models in previous years and we have tried to determine what improvements were made.
Firstly, the new H6400 series comes with 400Hz Clear Motion Rate for a smooth image flow even in a special image mode as for football matches (although I think this has only been introduced as a marketing scheme to increase sales for the upcoming football championship). Fast motion is quite smooth and the artifacts have been greatly reduced on this new model.
We haven’t noticed any progresses on the black and white levels, and the display modes are almost the same as last year’s series. We do, however, have some additional settings on the menu but they are for more advanced users. For the rest of you, I think the best viewing mode for the TV is Movie Mode as the warm tones and image flow gives you the impression of a cinema in your own home.
There are no innovations on the 3D rendering either, maybe just the glasses (there are 2 pairs included) which have been slightly redesigned – i’m only talking about the shape of the frame. Otherwise the processing of 3D material stays true to the 2013 models, but we also have a slightly better playback quality on fast 3D scenes .
To conclude : the major improvement is the CMR of 400 Hz which helps with watching tv shows or videos from other sources in better quality. As an added bonus, on some HD materials the images are very similar quality-wise to those on the leading range F7000 ( read the full review ) series of last year.
Menu and Smart TV
We have played a little in the menu of the 40H6400.
What is obvious at a first glance is that for every feature in the menu Samsung added a helping picture on the right in order to make it easier for us to understand what exactly we are setting up. It is an extremely welcomed feature, especially for those who had trouble understanding what is adjusted on accessing different settings from the menu of the TV.
As a Smart TV we should have experienced a revolution…but we will probably have to wait a couple more years for that to happen. If we are to talk specs the Samsung 40H6400 model comes with a Quad-Core CPU (compared to the Dual-Core last year) which should mean a huge improvement on the running speed rate of apps in Smart Hub. Unfortunately, it seems not much has changed or maybe we haven’t tested this aspect enough.
The apps are loaded with the same mediocre speed and even when you go through the applications pages in Smart Hub, we have noticed a slight lag. There is no progress on the Internet browser either compared to last year, moreover if we open more tabs we can notice that the performance greatly decreases and many bottlenecks occur even if we benefit from a superior CPU.
Samsung 40H6400 comes with approximately 23 preinstalled apps, but of course we can add more: games, online TV channels, online magazines and newspapers, social networking apps and many more.
If you change from the apps page you get on the Multimedia page where we see recently played files or popular videos on Samsung servers and at the bottom we can select between storage media: USB flash, external hard drive or media-server.
We like Smart Hub because we have many applications available and the majority are free (except for paid movie channels, etc.). The interface is simple but well set up, and accessing applications or files stored on the devices connected to the smart tv is made easy.
We do not like it because we do not have a really fast Smart tv this year either, and so the Samsung 40H6400 model boasts with a Quad-Core CPU only on paper, because in reality I haven’t noticed any improvements in running speed or loading applications.
Media Player and other features
Samsung TVs have always had a much more capable media-player than its rivals (LG or Sony). On the H series of 2014 they followed the same principle.
We can run from an external hard disk video files: DivX, MP4, Xvid as well as high quality material like Mkv. The sound is accurately played regardless of whether we are talking about of Dolby Digital or DTS and the subtitle font used has been enlarged – as you know from the previous series there was a problem with the visibility and ease of reading the subtitles to the videos even though it was set to large .
Other features found on Samsung 40H6400:
– We have Screen Mirroring on this year’s model as well;
– The Picture in Picture ( PIP ) feature – which allows viewing from 2 different sources: digital, aerial along with HDMI, etc. – isn’t missing either;
– Auto Volume automatically adjusts the sound, a very useful option for those who watch TV late at night and don’t want to disturb others.
We have reached the end of our review of the Samsung 40H6400 model. If I am to be completely honest I am not very impressed by the new Samsung TV range of 2014, or at least not by the basic and mid-range models, I am not talking about Ultra-HD or other tomfoolery. Let’s see what were the conclusions drawn:
The design hasn’t changed at all, what is more I can even see a regression in terms of materials used. Although we have a Quad-Core CPU, the Smart TV experience is poor. There aren’t any improvements in the running speed of various applications and the browser tends to block if you open too many tabs…. A media player on Android is a speeding beast if we were to compare. The price is too high even if we are talking about a new model, and I think we can successfully opt for one of last year’s model which is on discount now in almost any electronic store.
We didn’t entirely dislike the new 40H6400 model. We love the innovative Smart-Touch remote which works accurately and is easy to use. It is perhaps the most useful novelty brought forth by this series of TVs. We also like the image quality which we can safely say is better than last year’s model (40F6400 ) those 400 hz CMR making a huge difference from this point of view.