Review: Samsung 46-inch 3D Smart LED TV Full HD 1080p Dual Core Processor

Having moved house recently I decided I’d take the opportunity to upgrade my main TV. It’s probably the single most important tech decision I make for my home as inevitably it becomes somewhat of a focal point for the family and also because it’s usually the most significant investment.

I’ve long been a fan of the design of Samsung TVs and I must admit, despite friends in the know recommending other brands, I opted for a Samsung with the P1010349_zpsf130b0fbfeatures that interested me. Namely a Smart TV with 3D capability: Samsung Smart 3D 46″ television

Out of the box, it was everything I had come to expect from Samsung design: sleek and clean. It was also very very thin. So much so it almost felt flimsy! I’ve tried to show in this picture which is from a top down angle.

Setup of this TV was simplicity itself, despite the amount of options there are to explore and tweak. I run this with SKY HD and an LG 3D Surround system and they all installed and integrated seamlessly.

I have cat5 network cabling in my house and connected the TV to that. Straight away, it detected software updates and sorted all that out for me with minimal effort required. Similarly, it recognised everything I connected to it via HDMI.

The ports on the back of the TV were all brilliantly laid out and labeled. I was really impressed with how they had done that because it made everything so simple and straight forward, especially when I forgot to plug the network cable in and had to squeeze behind the TV to find the port. Brilliant design.P1010352_zps116ebd72 P1010351_zps68c5f278

It had no problem with my portable USB drive, which contains a number of films in a variety of formats, all of which it played seamlessly. I particularly liked the fact that the pause and fast forward buttons on the remote can control the USB movie playback. It’s a nice touch!

Next: browsing the net. I’d always said I wouldn’t get a Smart TV or at least I didn’t see the point because you’d need a keyboard for proper use. I tried out YouTube and tested the iPlayer app to check out a few BBC on-line shows and found it’s quite usable depending on what you want to do. YouTube in particular was brilliant. Even videos that were fairly average quality on my PC came alive on the crisp LED display. Anything more complex than simply selecting an option was clunky in the extreme and my theory about Smart TVs was pretty much confirmed: no keyboard, no fun!P1010347_zps0439d012

So then, what about that picture because after all it is primarily a TV and the image is all-important. All I can say is that it’s unbelievably clear. Technology is forever improving and in my house we have lots of TVs. Very often I can buy a new TV and the picture is only as good as the 3 year old one in the kitchen. This however is a stellar leap forward. People will often use the phrase ‘it feels like you’re looking out of a window’ – this TV is a bit like that. In fact it’s like your window has been scrubbed spotless by a team of window cleaners and there is crystal clear sunlight bathing your garden – honestly it’s that good.

Now let’s have a little chat about the 3D. I can honestly say, much like the “Smart” aspect, I’ve always seen 3D in a TV as a massive gimmick and something that wouldn’t work or catch on. So much so that it was a good month before I even tried it on this TV. My kids were given a 3D film for a birthday present and I decided to do a ‘cinema’ hour for them complete with popcorn. The kids’ film: Despicable Me.

Oh my! Have I been missing out! I’ve watched 3D films in the cinema and they have been just ‘okay’. Perhaps that’s why I was a bit disinterested in that tech in a TV. Here though, I was truly amazed by the quality and depth. The glasses are the active type that require a battery. If you look away into daylight you can detect a faint flash, but focus on the TV and the experience is awesome. Anyway, don’t take my word for it, see how my kids reacted to the 3D experience:

Following this success I’ve moved on to David Attenborough’s Micro Monsters and the odd football match and whilst not something I want to do all the time, it does lift and enhance any viewing experience.

So what’s left to cover? Oh yes, the sound. I’ve neglected this somewhat because as I said at the start, I’ve hooked it up to a decent surround sound system and for the main part it plays through that. My wife however isn’t a fan of surround sound so this TV has had the thorough ‘Coronation Street & EastEnders‘ test. When I’ve been the next viewer I’ve often not immediately realised the surround sound is off. In my experience thin LED TVs don’t have great sound but this is surprisingly good. Far more than adequate if not quite up to cinematic effects.

So a simple summary for this TV. It’s brilliant. The best bit of tech I’ve bought this year so far and at a bargain price. If your existing TV is 2 or 3 years old and you’re looking for an upgrade this will be like going from black and white to colour. Yes I really think it’s that good!

At the time of writing this I have reviewed model UE46ES6800. There is a model ‘F‘ out on the market which seems to be the same TV but £100 more expensive.

[easyreview title=”Dummy rating” icon=”dummy” cat1title=”Ease of use” cat1detail=”Very simple indeed” cat1rating=”5″ cat2title=”Features” cat2detail=”Honestly packed full of useful features. Smart is better than I thought” cat2rating=”4.5″ cat3title=”Value for money” cat3detail=”You need to shop around. If you get it at the price I did (sub £700) it is the bargain of the century” cat3rating=”5″ cat4title=”Build quality” cat4detail=”It looks great. It is so thin though it feels a bit flimsy” cat4rating=”4.0″ summary=”A tad disappointed at it not powering my USB drives but even so, I liked it enough to buy another for home.”]

Easily host your own web sites | part 3: networking


network cablesSo far in this series, we’ve set up our server hardware and installed and configured the operating system and web hosting application. In today’s article, we’ll look at how you enable people to browse content on your server (wherever they and it may be).

Port forwarding

Most SOHO routers are configured to prevent unsolicited inbound traffic. If you want people to be able to view web sites on your server therefore, you need to create a conduit through which web traffic can pass. This is usually called “port forwarding”. Broadly speaking, ports segregate different types of network traffic. Web traffic comes in on port 80 (TCP), SSH traffic on port 22 (TCP), encrypted web traffic (HTTPS) on port 443 (TCP) and so on. So you need to configure your router to forward port 80 traffic to the static IP address you configured for your server (see part 2). You may also wish to forward port 10000 (Webmin) and port 22 (SSH) so you can administer your server remotely, but be warned that as soon as you do, so-called “script kiddies” will start trying to break into your server. So proceed with caution, and read up on the risks. You’re pretty safe forwarding port 80, provided your web sites are well designed.

To find out how to set up port forwarding on your router, read the manual, or check out the references at Once you’ve done that, check that the port is forwarded by browsing to your network’s external IP address. How do you find that out? From within the network, browse to

If you’ve forwarded the port correctly, and if you’re not caught by the hairpin NAT gotcha (see below), you should see the default web page from your new web server. On my new server, the page looks like this:

It works!

This is the default web page for this server.

The web server software is running but no content has been added, yet.

Dynamic vs. Static IP addresses

If you are going to be hosting any kind of internet service (like a web server), it is easiest to have a static IP address. DNS (the Domain Name System) converts “human-friendly” web addresses such as “” into “computer-friendly” IP addresses such as “”. This is great if your network’s external IP address never changes, but for many customers on cable, broadband or dial-up connections, their IP address is “dynamic”, meaning that it might be different each time the modem or router reboots. There is a workaround for dynamic IP addresses (see the section on Dynamic DNS, below), but in the long run, it might be easiest simply to ask your ISP for a static IP address. In many cases that costs little or no more than a dynamic address.

Dynamic DNS

With Dynamic DNS (DDNS), your router or server contacts a DDNS service provider on the internet and reports its current external IP address. The DDNS server then transmits this information through the internet via the DNS system. Changes can take a while to take effect, but it’s better than nothing. My current DDNS provider of choice is has a free service, where you use a sub-domain from one of several domains they have available (e.g.

Many routers can speak DDNS, meaning that as soon as the router reboots, it can check in with the DDNS provider and let it know if the IP address has changed. See your router’s manual for more information. If your router doesn’t directly support this, you can install software on your server that will periodically update the DDNS service. Read’s page on DDNS clients. You’ll need to install one of the scripts on your server, and set up a cron job to run the script as often as you like (providing you don’t breach the DDNS provider’s terms of service). You can of course use Webmin to set up your cron job.

Regular DNS

If you have your own domain registered, like me, and you’re using a static IP address, all you need to do is point your domain to your external IP address. Log into your domain host and add “A records” as needed.

Note: Did you know that the customary “www.” prefix on many websites is an unnecessary hangover from earlier in the internet’s history? You can use if you like, or simply Note however that when you set up a “” web site using Virtualmin, Virtualmin automatically makes a “” alias, so that either will resolve to the same web site code. If you want DNS to work with both, you’ll need to add two A records: one for “@” and one for “www”.

Hairpin NAT

For most people, that’s it. You should now be able to create web sites on your server, use DNS or DDNS to broadcast those web sites to the outside world, and receive visitors from all around the world. But there’s a very significant “gotcha” with some routers, when you’re attempting to browse your web site from your LAN. If you’re on the same physical network as your web server, when you enter the web address in your browser, it should attempt to browse to your network’s external IP address. In other words, your web query goes out and attempts to come back in again. This out-and-back-again behaviour is known as “hairpin NAT” and not all routers can handle it.

If you’re one of the unlucky ones and you don’t want to swap your router for a better one, you have two main options. Technically, the best option is to run your own private DNS server (which you can do on the same server), but that is complicated and a bit of a hassle. If you’re only browsing from a single PC, the quick-and-dirty solution is to edit your hosts file. This file is located somewhere like “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts”. There are a lot of resources on the internet that will explain to you more about this file, but let me help you over one little hurdle: if you’re using Windows Vista or later, you need to edit this file as an Administrator. To do that, right-click Notepad and choose “Run as Administrator”. Then open the hosts file from within Notepad. You’ll need to change the files filter to “*.* (All files)”.

The default hosts file contains details about the format of entries. Suffice it to say that you’ll put here the DNS name of your web site and the internal LAN IP address of your web server. Your web browser, when looking up an IP address, should check the hosts file first, so in this scenario, you won’t be going out and back again. If you then take that computer somewhere else (e.g. it’s a laptop and you’ve taken it to work), you’ll need to remove the relevant hosts file entries, in order to browse to the external IP address of your network.

Networking is a complicated area and I have only scratched the surface here, in an effort to get most people up and running quickly. By all means if you’re stuck at a particular point, post a comment and, time permitting, I’ll try to point you in the right direction. In the meantime, stay tuned for part 4 of this series in which I will provide some initial pointers on building your own web site.

Cables image copyright © Pascal Charest, licensed under Creative Commons. Used with permission.