Samsung UN55D8000 55″ LED 3D HDTV Review
About four weeks ago we looked at Samsung’s UN55D7000 and while it hit quite a few high points there were some glaring problems that made us shy away from recommending it. On paper at least the D8000 is supposed to succeed where its sibling failed but the question on everyone’s mind remains very simple: is this flagship HDTV worth almost a grand more? The answer to that isn’t as straightforward as some may have hoped.
In many ways Samsung has produced one hell of an HDTV. Its industrial design sets new standards for what’s possible with today’s materials by giving a massive 55” panel the look of floating in midair and the effect truly is a conversation starter. The colours the D8000 produced were simply amazing, blacks were deep and rich and scenes were remarkably free of ghosting. In addition, Game Mode continues to be one of the best possible technologies to have if there are any gamers in your household since it can mean the difference between multiplayer life and death.
While the UN55D8000 does set new standards in terms of colour reproduction and video processing, it also tends to fall flat in several key areas. While older LCD technology may not be the “in” thing anymore, we have been constantly wishing for the good old days of the B750 and A850 series we reviewed years ago. Edge lit LED panels have brought nothing but uneven uniformity and lackluster contrast to the table and the D8000 doesn’t differ all that much in either of these respects. Once again Samsung has sacrificed uniformity for an almost razor thin frame and on an HDTV that costs three grand, that just isn’t acceptable in our books.
Samsung hit the nail on the head when it came to designing the UN55D8000. This is one of the best all-round sets we’ve come across in some time since it performs well in a wide variety of circumstances, be it gaming or Blu Ray movie viewing. Unfortunately like its 55” D7000 sibling, our opinion of the D8000 is diminished due to our sample’s piss poor screen uniformity. Now to Samsung’s credit some anecdotal evidence does point towards several of these mistakes being corrected with new panel revisions. But whether or not you get one of the newer sets really comes down to a game of Russian roulette.
This review will end with the answer to a question we asked a few paragraphs ago: is the UN55D8000 worth almost $1000 more than the D7000? In our opinion, no. Yet it does have the potential to be an absolutely top notch set once Samsung finishes ironing out the kinks.