The concern that many critics have with the impending 3D TV phenomenon is the initial lack of 3D content, Samsung’s range of 3D LED televisions bypasses this predicament almost entirely with its 2D-to-3D conversion technology; basically, anything that you see onscreen (yes, even games) can be converted into a fluid 3D picture. It’s not a perfect technology by any means and far more limited than actual 3D-encoded content, but I must admit I was very impressed with how well it worked. It’s a far more subtle form of 3D than the full-blown version that doesn’t require conversion, and in many ways this makes it less jarring. Occasionally there were depth-perception issues (for instance, an object such as a planet might concave when it should convex), but these instances were few and far between. Truthfully, though, I’m not sure how often I would continue to use this aspect for content that isn’t intended for 3D viewing; it doesn’t necessarily add a great deal to the viewing experience. However, this largely depends on the content, with sport and gaming being considerable exceptions. In any case, it’s really nice to have the option to watch whatever content you fancy in 3D. Then, of course, there are the true 3D capabilities of this television, which is limited to 3D Blu-ray at this stage. As you’d expect, the quality of 3D-encoded content is phenomenal in comparison to the 2D-converted content. The 3D Blu-ray version of Monsters vs. Aliens provided with the set is crystal clear with some striking made-for-3D moments. In particular, an early scene has you convinced that a pat-a-tennis ball stops mere centimetres from your eyes.
This is all on top of what is an impressive feature set for any TV without 3D capabilities. This LED television delivers a stunning high-definition image with real vibrancy. It all comes in an extremely slim profile, too, thanks to some proprietary inputs. Don’t worry – the package comes with adapters for your VGA and component connections.
PROS: The 2D-to-3D conversion aspect is a real coup for Samsung. Great internet@TV features. Incredibly clear picture. Intuitive menu-navigation interface.
CONS: While it’s probably worth every penny, the price point might cause some consumers to seek out cheaper, lesser-enabled televisions. Each pair of active 3D glasses (required for 3D viewing) will set you back $149 for battery powered or $199 for USB rechargeable. No integrated wi-fi.
VERDICT: At least until 3D-encoded content becomes more common, Samsung’s Series 7 is the definitive 3D TV line of the moment at a price that’s not too outlandish for the new tech. Even without the 3D aspect, there’s a lot on offer and an exceptional LED picture. Ideal for those who wish to futureproof their living rooms.