Hands On: Samsung 8000 LED 3D TV

Samsung's 8000 Series LED 3D TV meets all the requirements of a consumer who wants a top-of-the-line TV.

Hands On: Samsung 8000 LED 3D TV
After calibration, Samsung's 8000 Series LED 3D TV looked stunning. Colors were deep, image noise was less apparent and image depth was as good as any TV.
Robert Archer · February 17, 2011

Why are CE manufacturers relying on mass-market stores to sell high-performance A/V? Hasn’t the CE community learned its lesson from Pioneer’s Kuro plasma line?

A recent report indicates consumers aren’t buying 3D TVs. The conclusion of some experts, which I believe to be correct, is that big-box stores don’t know how to sell high-performance A/V gear.

This brings me to Samsung’s 8000 Series of LED TVs. Samsung positions this fantastic product line as the second from the top offering, and my fear is that these TVs may languish on store shelves unless they’re put in the hands of CE pros to showcase.

The 0.9-inch thin 8000 Series is available in three screen sizes: 46-, 55- and 65-inch, and features a brushed titanium Touch of Color industrial design. The fully backlit, Energy Star-certified LED display is said to produce an 8,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and it offers performance features such as 240Hz motion processing.

On the entertainment side, the 8000 Series incorporates wireless (with an adapter), DLNA connectivity, Skype, web apps such as Netflix, Pandora, Blockbuster and Twitter, and active-shutter 3D video support.

Installation, Calibration
Samsung shipped me three boxes: the TV (a 46-inch model), a BD-C6800 3D Blu-ray disc player, and its 3D starter kit, which included active-shutter 3D glasses and a Blu-ray 3D of Monsters vs. Aliens.

I fastened the TV’s feet to the TV adapter plate using four Philips screws and secured the assembled stand to the back of the TV with four more Philips screws. I connected a NextGen HDMI 1.4 cable to the BD player and the TV, and then hooked the TV to an Ethernet cable via the supplied dongle. I ran three sets of RCA cables from the BD player to the multichannel inputs of a Rotel RSX-1560 receiver.

The rest of the setup was done in the BD player’s and TV’s menus. Once I saw how aggressive the images looked, I started by setting the color temp to normal, the MPEG and noise filters to auto and the smart LED function to normal. I also turned off black tones, edge enhancement and dynamic contrast controls, before finishing up by resetting the gamma and adjusting color, contrast, black, hue and sharpness controls.

Stunning Image Quality
I have one word for the image quality: stunning. There is a caveat though … it really needs to be calibrated. Out of the box the images are vivid and colorful, with deep blacks and bright whites that border on over-driven. The reds were also borderline clipping, and the image did display some over-sharp, edge enhancement video noise.

After dialing in the TV, the 46-inch model rocked. Colors were deep, image noise was less apparent and image depth was as good as I’ve seen from a TV.

Grayscale detail like the scalar pattern on the black dragon in How to Train Your Dragon was very noticeable, and the contrast of bright dragon flames in the night sky in the movie’s opening scenes lit up the room. 3D content like Monsters vs. Aliens didn’t seem to lose any brightness and contrast, either, which can be problematic when switching from 2D.

Also, using the apps added a level of interest to my standard viewing habits that I hadn’t experienced before.

Combine the value (especially compared with the pricier 9000 Series), light weight, slim dimensions, industrial design and performance, and the 8000 Series should meet all of the requirements of a consumer that seeks a top-of-the-line TV.

  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

News · 3D · Hands On · Samsung · All Topics
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