Last Updated: November 2, 2013
2010 Series 6 Samsung LCD TV Sets
LN-C610, LN-C630, LN-C650, and LN-C670 LCD HDTVs
Like Series 5, Samsung Series 6 comprises a most extensive line of CCFL-based LCD TVs, covering a total of twelve different models spread over four sub-series, the C610, C630, C650, and the C670.
Screen sizes range from 40-inch to a massive 60-inch. Main upgrade over the less expensive Series 5 LCD TVs is 120Hz processing technology, while C650/C670 sets come with the much improved Samsung Apps Internet TV platform.
Aimed at those who do not care about 3D but who want to make the most of their TV budget, Samsung Series 6 LCD TVs offer more than just an appealing mix of features and style, and a performance that is very much in line with that of the latest edge-lit LED TVs for significantly less. More in this Samsung LCD HDTV review.
Should you prefer, you can join in our discussion on the latest Samsung LCD TVs by submitting your opinion to be included on our site.
Samsung UN60F8000 60-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Ultra Slim Smart LED HDTV
This high-end feature rich LED HDTV comes with Samsung's Micro dimming Ultimate LED backlight technology - among the best in its class for black level performance. It is also the TV with the best feature set.
Introducing Samsung Series 6 LCD TVs for 2010
Samsung Series 6 LCDs represent Samsung's entry-ticket to 120Hz LCD processing technology - with Samsung Auto Motion Plus™ 120Hz technology representing the main upgrade over the less expensive Series 5 HDTVs.
Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs are at present among the bestselling LCD HDTVs irrespective of brand. At present, five out of the top-ten bestselling LCD TVs come from Samsung - four of which being Series 6 LCDs.
Top in terms of sales is the 40-inch LN40C630 which at just under $800 is among the most affordable 1080p LCD TVs around. And if you want Internet TV capabilities, Samsung 46-inch LN46C650 is doing just as good.
But even the 46-inch LN46C630 equivalent is another popular choice; for just $90 more than its 40-inch C630 counterpart, it gives you more screen estate for your money. At the larger screen size, it is again the C630 sub-series with its 55-inch LN55C630 that is among the most popular. Series 6 HDTVs lack the supposedly more stylish design of the new for 2010 four-leg base support found on Series 7 3D LCD TVs, but otherwise 2D picture performance is basically very much the same. In this respect, Series 6 LCDs continue to build on the footsteps of their 2009 equivalents - delivering solid picture performance at an even more tempting price than their predecessors.
But do not expect any major improvement in picture quality over the 2009 equivalents; with the advent of LED LCD TVs, most of the investment by LCD TV makers is being channeled towards improved LED backlight technologies. But it is still good to see major TV makers like Samsung committed to deliver affordable mainstream HDTVs capable of solid performance.
Samsung Series 6 LCDs in detail...
As indicated earlier on, Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs cover four sub-series, the C610, C630, C650, and the CB670. Features-wise, these range from 'bare' 120Hz 1080p LCD TVs, to LCD HDTVs with Internet-enabled content and DLNA support.
However, apart from the different non-picture related features, all Series 6 LCD HDTVs share pretty much the same basic picture related specifications. The few picture related differences relate to the use of a shiny screen, and the marginal increase in the rated dynamic contrast ratio for C650/C670 HDTVs over C610 and C630 Series LCD TVs.
Samsung C610 and C630
The C610 series compromises three screen sizes, the 40-inch LN40C610, the 46-inch LN46C630, and the 55-inch LN55C610. Instead, the C630 adds a fourth screen size and in addition to the 40-inch LN40C630, the 46-inch LN46C630, and the 55-inch LN55C630, we also find the largest LCD TV from Samsung for 2010, the 60-inch LN60C630.
Both the C610 and the C630 Samsung LCD TVs come with an almost identical feature set with the real difference being Samsung's Touch-of-Color design which in the case of the C630 takes a subtle gray accent into the set glossy black bezel instead of the red touch found on C610 series HDTVs. We find that the neutral gray touch tends to blend better with most room decors; but even the subtle red touch on the latest Samsung LCD TVs is equally pleasing.
Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs come with touch-sensitive controls and Samsung's trademark, the transparent support stand with the much-appreciated swivel action, and the transparent plastic edge around the frame.
The result is a stylish minimalistic design.
Features and Conveniences
As stated in our introduction, main upgrade over Series 5 Samsung LCD TVs is Auto Motion Plus 120Hz technology. This has proved to be one of Samsung HDTVs strengths; it comes with a custom mode with independent slider settings for blur reduction (for video-based sources) and judder reduction (for film-based content) that let you select the desired blur reduction and judder effects.
It is not the scope of this Series 6 Samsung LCD TV review to go into the details of higher refresh rates and dejudder processing. Just take note that the resultant smoothing action applies mainly to film-based (24 frame-per-second) content; it helps eliminate judder (jerky movement) due to the use of 2:3 pulldown processing otherwise necessary with 60Hz HDTVs. For more information, please refer to our article on LCD Response Time.
120Hz processing also calls for an improved 4msec pixel response time necessary to support the faster refresh rate.
As expected, Series 6 LCD TVs get a few extra features over the corresponding C550 Samsung LCD TV feature set, like Samsung's InfoLink which is a form of reduced Internet-driven content that provides real-time feeds for stock, quotes, weather updates, news articles and the like straight to the TV screen via your internet broadband connection. There is also Samsung DB Wise feature that automatically adjust all compatible HDMI connected Samsung devices for the 'perfect' picture and sound quality. But other features are the same as those found on the C550 LCD HDTVs.
These include Samsung AllShare DLNA-certified network connection to transfer videos, music and photos from your network devices to your Samsung TV via the set Ethernet port.
Wireless connectivity is possible via Samsung USB 802.11n Wireless Adaptor (WIS09ABGN2). Despite that AllShare is being labeled as Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) compliant, these Samsung LCD TVs do not support third-party DLNA server software. You have to install Samsung's PC Share Manager on your PC; this lacks some of the basic functionality found on other DLNA servers. But the competition lacks DLNA support - so what you get here is always a plus!
Equally lacking on most of the competition is the presence of a picture-in-picture (PIP) feature. In view that these Samsung LCD TVs come with one tuner, you can only use the PIP feature together with an external source. Specifically, you can view TV broadcasts on the PIP screen (sub-picture) only when the main picture is from an external device connected to HDMI-1/DVI, HDMI-2, HDMI-3, HDMI-4, and PC. It would not work the other way round. Still, Samsung PIP is an added bonus over what you get from other TV brands.
The presence of an 'Internet' connection brings about an important convenience with Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs - the possibility to download firmware updates straight to the TV when connected to the Internet.
These Samsung LCD HDTVs come with a five-setting 'Energy Saving' mode that lowers energy consumption by reducing picture brightness; included is the option to turn the picture off while leaving the sound on like when leaving the room; this lowers energy consumption to around 20W.
Part of the energy saving menu is an Eco sensor which once activated, will automatically adjust the panel brightness according to the light level in the room; this can also help reduce energy consumption. You can set the minimum screen brightness level used by the sensor to your desired level to avoid a too dim a picture for your viewing habit when the Eco sensor is activated.
As with other 2010 Samsung LCD TVs, all Series 6 LCD TVs exceed the latest EPA Version 4.1 of the ENERGY STAR program requirements for TVs by over 40% Power consumption as reported on the list published by EPA is 104W for the 46-inch LN46C630 when in default mode. Cnet reports 153 Watts in default mode for the same LCD TV but then adds that this falls to 54 Watts in power saver mode, rising to 92 Watts when properly calibrated. The Cnet measurements render these Samsung LCD TVs among the most energy efficient for 2010, literally consuming half the power of an equivalent size 1080p plasma TV. As expected, they are not as efficient as LED TVs but they are quite close.
As with the rest of Samsung HDTVs for 2010, you would not get a real onscreen user manual but you get a very basic on-screen HD connection guide, apart from an onscreen troubleshooting guide which comes in handy when customer service reps are diagnosing owner problems over the phone. Text explanations for basically every function in the TV menu are also available.
As with most HDTVs, Samsung includes a Game mode on all its 2010 LCD TVs; this causes the TV to default to Standard picture mode while most of the video enhancement processing is eliminated to minimize processing delays.
Samsung uses its Wide Color Enhancer on all its LCD TVs for 2010; this is said to enhance color by reproducing richer, accurate colors.
Picture Controls: Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs come with one of the most exhaustive set of user-adjustable picture controls - one of the most complete irrespective of brand. Usually, it is LG that is the king here but not anymore!
Of particular interest to demanding home theater enthusiasts is the presence of two useful calibration modes termed Expert Pattern 1 and Expert Pattern 2 that provide the user with built-in test patterns; it is like having a built-in calibration disc. These sets include also red, green, and blue only color filters (RGB Only mode) for color settings and fine adjustment of hue and saturation as further explained here.
As part of the standard basic picture adjustments for contrast, brightness, sharpness, color, and tint, Samsung provides a backlight setting to adjust the panel brightness (at the backlight level); a proper setting can help reduce the set running costs while still maintaining a bright enough picture. Four adjustable picture modes are available - Dynamic, Standard, Natural, (originally referred to as Normal), and Movie - with the Movie being the most accurate out-of-the-box picture setting. Each of these modes comes with independent memory inputs; this greatly eases optimization of picture parameters for different connected devices.
Four selectable settings are available for color temperature; these can be further customized via the new 10-point gain/offset 'White Balance' menu - a system similar to that found on LG and Samsung plasma TVs, but that according to Cnet, works better.
Additional picture adjustments are also available under the 'Advanced' menu. These include:
- four pre-set Black Tone adjustment that affects shadow detail;
- four pre-set Dynamic contrast control to adjusts the picture contrast on the fly;
- edge enhancement to sharpen image detail;
- flesh tone setting to enhance the pink flesh color on the screen;
- seven-position gamma adjustment to control the progression from dark to light;
- two-preset color space settings - plus a custom setting to adjust these Samsung LCD TVs color gamut;
- digital and MPEG noise reduction, including an automatic setting;
- xvYCC Color to increase the color space when watching movies from an external compatible high definition source;
- and three Film modes - Off, Auto 1, and Auto 2 - to engage 2:3 pull-down and that works also with 480i and 1080i sources.
The menu system on 2010 Samsung LCD TVs is the same as the one found on 2009 sets. It is one of the best TV menu systems - with big, highly legible text placed against a transparent background. Navigation is easy and intuitive while as indicated earlier on in this review article, helpful explanations are present on the menu screen.
Equally functional is the TV remote supplied with this year line of Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs. It is a standard clicker that does away with sleek looks in exchange for a more user-friendly experience. But there again, there is an extra bonus from Samsung here as well; the clicker comes with backlit keys - a feature often missing on the competition at this HDTV category.
Connectivity on Samsung Series 6 LCD TVs is among the most complete, complemented by four HDMI 1.3 inputs with CEC support ( (Anynet+) to control compatible HDMI devices connected to the TV via the TV remote; HDMI 1 also serves as DVI.
Other connections include two USB 2.0 ports, two component video inputs, two composite video inputs (one shared with one of the component video over the Y/Video (green jack input), audio inputs for composite and component video, a digital audio out, a VGA-style PC input sharing the same DVI audio input, and an Ethernet port. An Ex Link input is included for servicing.
Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs come with 10W per channel sound. There is also SRS TruSurround HD for a virtual immersive soundstage over the set stereo speakers, as well as support for both Dolby Digital and DTS. Sound quality is better than what you generally find on flat-panel TVs but you still need to hook up your TV to a proper sound system to enjoy these Samsung LCD TVs at their best.
C650 and C670 Samsung LCD TVs
Top within Series 6 are Samsung C650 and C670 LCD HDTVs. Feature wise, these are basically one and the same thing in that the real difference between the two is that the C670 version is a Best Buy exclusive.
The most significant upgrade brought about over the rest of the Series 6 lineup is the presence of Samsung Apps, Samsung latest Internet@TV application. This is definitely Samsung's major winning application for 2010 and represents significant improvement over previous implementations. The application now loads faster than in the past - almost instantly. Equally important, the new Samsung Apps come with faster navigation both between different widgets and within a widget. The result is a much better widget experience - one that is both functional and enjoyable in use.
Services include Blockbuster, Netflix, Vudu, and YouTube for video content, access to photos on Picasa, and Flickr, updates on Twitter (unfortunately, access to the popular Facebook site is missing), eBay, and Pandora free Internet radio service.
Worth noting that the Best Buy exclusive series - the C670 - replaces Samsung Apps with Best Buy Hot Apps; the latter is said to provide easier access to some of the newest and most used Samsung Apps available.
Other differences with respect to the rest of Series 6 LCDs are of less significant nature. We have already noted in our introduction that C650/C670 LCD TVs come with a shiny screen as contrary to the matt screen of the other series. Shiny screens have definitely got their advantageous when it comes to maintain consistent deeper black levels under different brightness levels - thus delivering richer colors, but they also have their disadvantages when viewing under bright room conditions due to possible reflections off the screen surface of bright objects in the room.
And to what it is worth, these Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs come with a marginally improved dynamic contrast ratio rating of 150,000:1 over the 120,000:1 of the C610 and C630 LCD TVs. We say marginally because while the increase is equivalent to an extra 25% in absolute terms, in real life performance it will be practically impossible to perceive any difference between these two ratings. More information on this issue appears in our contrast ratio article.
Screen sizes covered under the C650 include the 40-inch LN40C650, the 46-inch LN46C650 - which is among the bestselling and most popular HDTVs for 2010, and the largest in the series, the 55-inch LN55C650. Instead, C670 HDTVs cover the 40-inch and 46-inch screen sizes only.
Differences between Samsung C650 and Samsung Series 7 LCDs:
It is worth taking note of the differences between C650 and C750 LCD TVs to get a better understanding of where Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs fall within the full Samsung LCD lineup.
From a specifications' perspective, the 46-inch LN46C650 is the one that comes closest to Samsung Series 7 46-inch LN46C750 3D LCD TV; the latter is the only Series 7 Samsung LCD TV for 2010. Series 7 main upgrade is 3D; other feature differences are minimal.
These include more refined styling using Samsung latest four-leg support, Auto Motion Plus™ 240Hz refresh rate technology, a 2msec response time, and a 200,000:1 rated dynamic contrast ratio.
None of these represent any significant upgrade. According to Samsung, the new four-leg design should make these LED HDTVs look more like a piece of furniture than a TV. However, the new design is more of a love it or hate it affair. Samsung is reserving this new styling for its high-end models. And as expressed earlier on in this article, the higher contrast ratio rating does not impact picture quality as much as the difference in numbers seems to imply. Similarly, the 2msec response time is necessary to support 240Hz processing.
In other words, we expect very similar 2D picture performance between the 46-inch C650 and C750 Samsung LCD TVs.
Note: As indicated, all models share practically the same picture specifications apart from the shiny screen and higher contrast of C650/C670 LCDs.
Shiny screens have got reflection issues under bright room environments but also help render more consistent black levels under different brightness levels, thus delivering richer colors. This means C650/C670 LCD TVs should perform a bit better than the rest of the Series 6 lineup in this respect but the difference, while visible - is minimal especially once correctly calibrated.
And as to the higher rated dynamic contrast ratio for C650 and C670 HDTVs, rest assured that as indicated earlier on, the implication on picture performance is far less than what the difference in numbers seems to imply. This means we still expect very similar picture quality performance from the different Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs.
Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs Performance
This is not actually a hands-on review but we did spend some time playing around with the C650 and were very much impressed with the set overall picture quality - mainly as a result of the relatively deep blacks for an LCD and the accurate colors. Best out-of-the-box setting is as expected, the Movie picture mode, though further tweaking will help produce a more accurate picture.
It is true that LED TVs are capable of a deeper blacks but that in itself does not necessarily imply a better picture. More important is overall black level performance with different content rather than the black level depth taken in isolation. Edge-lit LED TVs in particular have got a number of important picture related issues due to problems with screen uniformity and restricted viewing angle for best performance. Unless you opt for the superior and more expensive local dimming LED technology, LED TVs do not really offer any significant picture advantage over CCFL LCD TVs. After all, an edge-lit LED TV is basically a CCFL LCD TV with the CCFL replaced by LED light. What an edge-lit LED TV offers is superior energy efficiency and an inch thin slim design that better blends with most room decors.
Talking of black levels, expert reviews for both the C630 and C650 Samsung LCD TVs agree that Series 6 LCDs are capable of very good picture quality with solid black level performance and deep blacks even with respect to the latest and more expensive LED TVs. A deep black level helps render better those difficult-to-define picture quality attributes like picture depth, color richness (perceived color saturation), and scene detail - especially in television and movie scenes where lots of dark and light content is shown simultaneously. Indirectly, a better black level also leads to better rendering of picture contrast. This explains why colors on Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs look rich and well saturated.
The main weakness with Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs is their inability to render sufficient shadow detail in the darker parts of the image with respect to some of the competition. But expert reviews agree that this does not tarnish an otherwise overall very good picture; proper gamma adjustment will help bring out shadow detail better.
Color accuracy is good - with natural looking colors. Cnet adds that color decoding is spot-on, but then complains of a rather bluish cast in dark areas; this is similar to what we see on most LCD TV. However, Cnet states that the bluish cast is less pronounced than that present on corresponding Vizio LCDs and more tolerable than the greenish cast present on S2 Panasonic plasma TVs.
Video processing is clean and free from artifacts. Samsung's main feature with its video processing is its adjustable dejudder processing with separate blur reduction and judder controls. Samsung's Auto Motion Plus on Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs is one of the best dejudder implementations. It performs much better than LG's implementation; and unlike the Auto Motion Plus performance on Samsung LED TVs, there is no hint of smoothness when setting the judder slider to zero and blur reduction to maximum.
Increasing the blur reduction slider towards the maximum increases the number of lines of motion resolution - leading to sharper movement, while increasing the judder reduction leads to more action smoothness - making 24Hz content more video like. However reviews agree that too much judder reduction introduces artifacts. The recommended setting is to set blur reduction towards maximum and reduce judder control towards the minimum, or to zero if this extra smoothness is not for you.
With blur reduction to set to maximum, Cnet reports a maximum vertical resolution of 700 lines - which is what one expects from 120Hz HDTVs. 240Hz HDTVs support around 1000 lines of vertical resolution but as already expressed, you would not be able to discern any difference between the two with normal broadcast content. As stated in our guide to HDTV Formats, 1080i broadcast programming do not deliver the full resolution supported by the 1080i/p HDTV standard. These differences in vertical resolution performance become visible only with the use of the appropriate test patterns.
Reviews agree that these Samsung LCD TVs are capable of resolving every single detail of 1080i and 1080p sources while properly de-interlacing both video and film based content. Correct de-interlacing of 1080i video sources requires engaging the Film Mode to Auto 1. Standard definition material looks good on these Samsung LCD HDTVs - something in which most HDTVs fail, with hardly any jaggies along diagonals. PC content via both HDMI and VGA looks crisp and clear, delivering the full 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution.
Screen Uniformity and Viewing Angle:e: Reviews report even screen uniformity, one that is better than that of corresponding LED TVs, and good off-axis performance - with blacks and colors that remain true even at extreme viewing angles.
TelevisionInfo.com states that contrast and blacks with off-axis viewing remain correct at up to 33 degrees for the C630 and somewhat less for the C650 (26 degrees) before contrast falls to 50%. The former is within average for LCDs while the latter represents a rather sub-average off-axis performance. It is still better than most LED TVs but significantly worse than plasma TVs. However, TelevisionInfo.com adds that despite the rapid fall in contrast with off-axis viewing for C650 HDTVs, colors do not deteriorate or fade.
And what customers say?
Consumer reviews posted online show that customers in general are extremely satisfied with their purchase - assigning an average 4.5 stars out of 5 in more than 300 reviews posted on the amazon site for the different Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs! Similar ratings were also assigned by Best Buy customers. These are definitely the HDTVs that are among the top sellers at major stores irrespective of brand.
On analyzing customer reviews, it is clear that very few had technical issues with Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs. Often the problem is either due to a lack of understanding of the various user picture controls - which on Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs abound, or due to delivery issues.
We consider customer feedback extremely important when planning an HDTV purchase. There is no better way to test a product than in everyday use. Lab testing is important to help assess product performance, but no matter how stringent it is, it may still fail to capture important functional issues.
If you do not care about 3D and want to make the most of your purchase, Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs represent a most compelling 120Hz LCD TV option, capable of solid picture performance characterized by deep blacks, accurate colors, numerous picture adjustments, and an aesthetically pleasing design for approximately $250 less than corresponding Samsung LED TVs.
Shadow detail in the darker parts of the image is not exactly on par with the competition, but nothing that would tarnish an otherwise solid picture performance. And the glossy screen on C650/C670 HDTVs may prove a bit problematic under bright room conditions, necessitating controlled lighting for the best picture; but this is basically the same as with other shiny screen HDTVs.
The bottom line: At the present reduced online prices, Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs represent a most interesting HDTV option from a top brand - offering one of the best value packs to price deals. Bestselling Series 6 Samsung LCD TVs include the 40-inch LN40C630, the 46-inch LN46C650 and LN46C630, and the somewhat larger 55-inch LN55C650.
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What do you think about Samsung Series 6 LCD TVs for 2010? Would you buy a CCFL-based LCD TV, or you will just opt for one of the latest LED TVs irrespective of what traditional LCD TVs have to offer?
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What Others Have Said
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Flickering Picture after Warm-up Not rated yet
I purchased my Samsung C610 46" LCD in December 2010 from Sears in Smiths Falls ON. Over the past month I have been experiencing a flickering …