High Definition at 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Written by JC Pulido III. Posted in News, Reviews

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Published on December 14, 2011 with No Comments

Within the past decade, the Samsung brand has become one of the preeminent brands when it comes to TVs. They have delivered the best quality both in build and in video especially in their top end models while still providing excellent value. Samsung invited us to an overnight stay at the H2O Hotel right at the Manila Ocean Park. And if you think this invite is all play, they invited us there to check out their latest 8000 Series LED TV. Ok, ok, so it might be more play than work but there is still work to be had.

With the new 8000 series LED 3D TV (UA60D8000), the silver bezel is unbelievably thin. At less than an inch thick surrounding the display, you get as much of that 60-inch display as you can get. And sticking with thin, the TV itself is thin as well being less than an inch thick as well. I actually saw this form factor with the thin bezel earlier this year during one of their press launches. To see the TV in a bedroom setting, it really emphasizes the screen size and helps in making you concentrate on the screen.

On hand were a number of 3D Blu-ray disks and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls. Now, at the risk of losing my geek license but I’m going to say it, I kind of enjoyed that movie. I could do without Mutt though but I digress.

While the disks that Samsung provided were fine (Thor, Green Hornet, Resident Evil: After Life, Shrek 3D, and How to Train Your Dragon) I had brought along a few of my own in HD as well. As I have watched and re-watched these videos, I will be able to spot discrepancies in my collection better than the ones provided. (Although another viewing of Thor, RE, and yes, Indy will make this stay worthwhile.)

 

In 2D HD, the video quality is one of the best around providing excellent clarity and good color contrast.

Two HD videos in my collection are a video of the Monster Tajima’s record breaking run of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Rally this year and Ken Block’s run on the movie lots in Universal Studios. These videos are not supposed to check the clarity and details of the videos but to see if there are any visible ghostings due to fast actions such as fast moving cars and scenery. With the new 8000 Series, I was hard pressed to find any noticeable ghosting which is a good thing.

Now we talk about 3D. In TVs, the topic of 3D is hotly debated. Some rather like 3D content while others vehemently protest against it stating that they would rather have a higher resolution than HD content rather than 3D. While I wouldn’t refuse higher than HD content, I for one, am for 3D as long it is done well and done if necessarily. With the Samsung (BDD5000) Blue-ray player along with the Samsung LED TV, all we needed now was the content to test the TV.

With a number of 3D discs to choose from, I chose two, Thor and How to Train Your Dragon. To be honest, I don’t know what happened. It could be that the TV wasn’t calibrated just right or that my eyes were just too tired, but I had a hard time seeing 3D. I’ve played with this TV’s Plasma counterpart before and was impressed watching 3D on it but with this LED TV, I just couldn’t see it. I only saw glimpses of 3D in both movies.

Other features of the Samsung 8000 series LED TV is the Smart Hub which, with a good internet connection, will allow you to stream Internet content straight to the TV. It does work as advertised with a number of apps available for download for use such as the ability to watch Youtube videos or tweet straight from the TV. It even has a built in web browser if the need arises.

Along with the various connections such as HDMI and component jacks that come with the TV, the Samsung 8000 series comes with three USB ports that will accept any USB storage device. This allows the TV to read media files which includes MP4s, AVI, and even the lesser known MKV files for HD content.

Samsung has made great LCD TVs and with the LED D8000 Smart TV, they have made another winner. Excellent in both quality and aesthetics. When I had the chance to look at the Plasma model of the same D8000 series, I was actually blown away with the 3D capability. Even the 2D to 3D conversion was decent. I didn’t see this on this LED model. I really couldn’t pinpoint why this was the case especially with only one day to with it. However, the LED D8000 Smart TV is certainly a buy for those that don’t particularly need 3D. It’s got arguably the thinnest bezel in the market today and excellent video quality, not to mention the plethora of features such as Internet connection and social and apps integration.

The unit that we got to play with at H2O was the 60″ model which costs PhP319,900. If that’s just a tad too steep, there is a smaller 55″ model for PhP239,900.

Plus: Excellent video quality; Less than an inch thick bezel; Thin display

Minus: Lackluster 3D capability

Bottomline: We would have given it a higher rating if not for the lackluster 3D but overall it is still one of the best LCD LED TVs you can buy.

Rating: 8/10