Samsung ue46c7000

Sound

Samsung has very obviously gone for a slim profile at the cost of palatable audio.

The UE46C7000 is fitted with down firing, 10W stereo speakers that muster just enough for normal digital TV, but get completely lost if you watch a movie. SRS TheaterSound has several effects: Music (more bass), Movie (a more even mix), Clear Voice (treble-heavy) and Amplify (increases background audio volume).

Activate SRS TruSurround HD and dialogue seems to sink amid no real sense of rear effects, while SRS TruDialog simply pushes the treble and flattens background effects.

Value

Having lost a third of its value since its 2010 launch, there's a suggestion that this 46-inch edge LED-backlit LCD (or just 'LED', as Samsung prefers to market this tweak of old-fashioned LCD technology) is more delectable wallflower than 3D powerhouse.

It's a mixed bag, but this is the smallest size you should plump for if you want your 3D to be at all immersive. If you can go higher still, do so – and ironically, the perfect candidate exists elsewhere in Samsung's range. That Samsung's 6 Series full HD 3D plasma is bigger and cheaper virtually renders the UE46C7000 pointless, though not quite; that plasma is a 'whopping' 71mm in depth, which may be too much for some to stomach.

Ease of use

As well as LED slimness, the UE46C7000 is extremely touchy-feely. Along the bottom right-hand side of the TV's frame are a few buttons that light up when touched, though they're needlessly labelled.

The remote control is similarly high-end in look, with a brushed metallic appearance and soft rubber dividers between rows of buttons. The size of the keys, their responsiveness and even the large fonts used are excellent, though we're not sure how rugged or long lasting the plastic remote will prove to be; it's brushed metallic in look only.

The UE46C7000's onscreen menus are typical Samsung fare in that they're simple and comprehensive. The way they're laid out is rather linear and nowhere near as modern as, say, Sony's Xross Media Bar or LG's grid-style approach, but it all ties together well.

The central menu's picture settings include the usual Movie/Natural/Standard/Dynamic settings, though there are some high-end options hidden away in the Advanced Settings section. In there you'll find adjustments for gamma, white balance and colour space, though the main feature to pay attention to is LED Motion Plus, Samsung's effort at frame interpolation technology to reduce motion blur.

Dedicated 3D picture settings include a depth scale (one to 10) and a picture correction mode, but the most unusual is 2D-3D conversion. Flick that on and the channel you're watching suddenly converts to 3D – with mixed, though generally impressive, results.

The eight-day electronic programme guide for Freeview HD is superb. It contains information across two hours for six channels at once, with a brief description of each programme above alongside a small screen showing the channel you're currently watching.

You can use a USB stick to make recordings, but the TV attempts to persuade you to use a proper external HDD. We formatted an 8GB stick then managed to record A Question of Sport simply by pressing the remote's record button, with an option appearing to either record the entire programme, or in 10-minute increments up to 360 minutes. Recordings can only be played back on this TV, while an arguably more useful pause/rewind live TV function is also available.

Using a wholly different menu system is Internet@TV, which is reached via a dedicated button on the TV's remote. More details are here, but know that this hub is richer in content than most and as easy to use as any. Its dated look is immaterial, and that should change with the introduction of Samsung's new Smart Hub, due in March.

The UE46C7000's treatment of multimedia files via USB is similarly comprehensive without being particularly attractive. Insert a USB stick and you're presented with the option of playing back music, video, photos or recorded TV programmes. Virtually all video formats are supported, including DivX and DivX HD files, though music is limited to the MP3 format.