Samsung UN55B7100 55" 120Hz LED HDTV Review

by Michael "SKYMTL" Hoenig     |     November 1, 2009

Samsung UN55B7100 55” 120Hz LED HDTV Review

Product Number: UN55B7100WFXZA
Price: Approx. $3800CAD
Warranty: 1 year
Manufacturer's Product Page: SAMSUNG Canada

Before I really start with this intro, let me get one thing off my back. Due to variances in identical panels we have found significant differences when it comes to comparing two HDTVs with the exact same product number. That is why this review will be based on my personal viewing experience of this Samsung TV over the course of the last 40 days. When push comes to shove, I’m like the 90% of you who will be reading this review; I don’t know all the technical terms for the prevailing technology behind this product and its settings, nor do I really care about them. What I do care about is that my hard-earned money was well spent on a product that will give me the best picture quality possible with a minimum of hassle. As such, don’t expect any technical mumbo jumbo in this review unless it is preceded with a darn good explanation and be ready for a lot of subjectivity.

Up for review today we have one of the latest and greatest HDTVs from Samsung which also sports an LED-based LCD panel: the UN55B7100. LED backlights are a relatively new feature on consumer-grade televisions but have begun showing up in greater numbers over the past few months. Basically, the use of LEDs allows manufacturers to replace the power hogging fluorescent lights in standard LCDs with a more efficient alternative. LEDs are also supposed to deliver a much wider dynamic contrast range, produce truer colors and are also more environmentally friendly since they use fewer hazardous chemicals than their fluorescent brethren.

Upon first glance the benefits LED LCD TVs bring to the table look perfectly suited for the discerning consumer but they also have their pitfalls. First of all, there are two different types of LED TVs currently on the market: edge-lit and local dimming (also called an RGB Dynamic LED) and each have their pros and cons. For the sake of clarity, the Samsung UN55B7100 uses the edge-lit method which results in an ultra thin profile and is supposed to deliver a uniform color across the entire screen. Conversely, edge-lit displays usually loose out to local dimming units when it comes to things like contrast and black rendering.

What really matters to most consumers is money and this is what sets the better LED LCD TVs apart from their traditional counterparts. For example, the TV we are reviewing here goes for around $3800 here in Canada which is expensive even when compared to even the high-end LCDs like the Sony XBR9 and Samsung B750 series. Early adopters however are more than happy to pay a price premium for the latest and greatest.

Even though it isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination, the UN55B71000 packs a ton of features into its slip form. Everything one would expect from a high-end set -from on board internet to a 120Hz refresh rate to a cleverly designed remote- is included. That being said, what we want to know is if it warrants its sky-high price tag.


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