on April 5, 2013
*Updated after 9 months*
Overall: I have had this TV series for about 9 months now. I am VERY pleased with the purchase. Glad I went to the 60". The previous ES8000 model was plagued with cloudiness, banding--both gone in F series(55/60" tested). Flashlighting is minimal on this set and improved over the ES series. I needed a LED TV upgrade and was on a budget ($2500 OTD/with tax) that didn't place me in the local array dimming technology zone(I believe to be the best type of TV right now). Plasma's are too reflective for my environment and the extra heat is unwanted (check out the Samsung PN51F8500 though, sounds like it is well liked).
Right away I noticed how solid the TV itself felt. IF I had to do it over again, I would definitely recommend the 55" OR 60" F8000 for others to buy over the ES8000. Just ensure you get the best deal for it as the MSRP is way overpriced. For ES8000 owners...I wouldn't upgrade. No way. This TV will hold me over until 4K's are on the market for awhile, helping companies perfect the tech and lower the price.
Be wary of some of these random 1 star reviews, as many users do not even own the F series TV! Or they had an issue because they didn't have the right settings configured. If you read the comments, under those reviews you will see they fixed their issue. I feel this TV rates 5 stars as I believe this tech is at it's "ceiling" and there is minimal room for improvement using edge lit tech.
For those who wish the short and simple, thats it! Keep reading for indepth review.
Current FIXABLE problems with firmware 11.16:
-3D setting "light control" settins on "high" resets to "low"
-Netflix, Vudu, Amazon Prime, DLNA video's all have cinema black disabled(supposedly this can be fixed in app updates but its remained off)
Picture Quality: The picture quality on this TV is fantastic especially after a few color tweaks (posted below). The blacks are so DEEP compared to my last tv(direct lit led). There is a SMALL amount of flash lighting in all four corners(more noticable on 60" when in PC mode); I believe this is a fault for ALL edge lit tv's as that is how the image functions. I can only notice flashlighting in all black lighting with something like movie title in middle of screen and black on rest of screen, or if in PC mode with a most black screen. Unless you are really looking for it in a black screen and concentrated on a corner you will not notice flashlighting. Also when testing it, please play a movie or something, as when the menu is up or the TV states "check source HDMI not connected" flashlighting is more evident and nobody uses their TV to watch a blank screen.
Viewing Angle: Fairly limited until it begins to wash out(ALL edge-lit tech will have this issue). You will notice the farther off center you will notice more of a degradation in picture quality. This doesn't bother me as my "seat" is always right in front. Most end users are not as particular or picky as me when it comes to picture quality, many will not even care or notice a difference until a more extreme angle(an angle you can't reach in the room my TV is in). I sit about 14 feet away and if I go 4 feet to either side, I cannot notice the picture washing out.
Price: MSRP is overpriced. Ensure you get a good deal and get a store to pricematch to best price you can find. The 55" should be around $1730 and 60" $1945. I attempted to get Amazon to price match a store that was not on their official authorized list and they refused (attempted multiple times, through different numbers and chat). It was a $500 difference. When I was looking I found the 60" as low as $2400 at the time. I ended up having the local Best Buy price match this tv for me. I bought my last flagship Samsung TV in 2008/9. The A850 model(now in bedroom, this TV still satisfies me and looks better than many lower model new Samsung TV's on market today).
Stand: I hated the TV stand. To feng shui for me. My wife loved it though. It actually fit our TV stand, be warned if you have a small TV stand it will not fit...this stand is very wide. This helps the tv to appear to "float". It even came with some sort of oversized plastic screws and rope that ensured a child couldn't pull the TV down (smart). I planned on mounting this TV though like my last TV, so the stand doesn't matter much to me.
Wall Mount: I opted for a low profile wall mount from Monoprice. The one I picked was $14 and the product ID number is 5918 from monoprice's website. I linked the same mount below through amazon but it is $8 more here. This places the TV pretty much ON the wall with this mount. It's about 19mm off of the actual wall. I was able to run the power cord and a Redmere technology HDMI thin cord(10ft for $17 over at Monoprice..same cord is cheaper on Amazon)Monoprice 10-Feet HDMI Cable with RedMere Technology. It came with all the necessary bolts and spacers for the F8000 (1 small/1 large on top bolts and 2 smalls on bottom bolts). Monoprice Ultra-Slim Low Profile Wall Mount Bracket
Heat: Had the TV on for 12 hours and couldn't find any hot spots or to much heat to make me worried with how close the TV was to the wall. Was an issue on certain ES8000 sets last year causing a V spot of cloudiness.
Remote: The remote is solid and touch part feels just like a laptop. It's not a gimmick at all and actually works great. I find it easy to type with there on screen keyboard. Came with crappy batteries so I opted for some standard spare ones I had in the house. It would have been nice to get a standard remote though for older generations that do not like touchpad technology. *update* The TV now comes with a 2nd standard remote. For those of you like me that did NOT receive a remote, apply for free standard remote here: (LINKS not allowed, look in comments for direct link) To manually do it, goto samsung's website and locate your TV i.e. UN60F8000 and click the "Support" tab. On that page at the top there is a blue box that states "click here to see if you qualify for a free IR remote". Click that link and fill the form out and it will inform you if you can recieve the free remote.
Extended Warranty: I bought my warranty through Costco's squaretrade deal for $99. It will cover ME for 4 years. If I used my American Express card it would have been 5 years. Research your own warranties and determine if you are ok with how squaretrade handles their warranties, they will not put more money into it then what the TV is worth (pretty sure it is actually what YOU paid for it). You do not need to be a Costco member to purchase this warranty.
Smart Hub/"Smart TV" features: Easy, smooth. It would be nice if it was a bit more customizable. Its nice to have all apps in one system. I liked it better than my blurray player app system(panasonic). Browsing the internet is as smooth as Safari on my iPhone 5. EXCEPT when dealing with flash, then it slows way down...I'm not sure if flash is compatible. Netflix and Amazon Video stream fine, just wish they had the Smart LED feature. S-Recommended works for many different providers in my area to include my service which is newer(Century Link Prism TV..similiar to FIOS tv). Not a fan of motion control, not useful yet, to gimmicky. Voice seems fairly well if you practice at using it although I had a movie set it off twice in a matter of 3 weeks. I prefer to hit buttons myself, using your voice still isn't natural to me. I was able to stream DLNA sources easily(up to 1080P 3D) with no issues wireless on a 5ghz network. Only issue is DLNA servers on Samsung TV's don't let you fastfoward so you have to find a workaround for certain movie formats. My solution was using ZappoTV(free app on iphone) to inform my NAS DLNA to stream to TV...then I could FF/Rewind on tv with touchpad remote(flicking remote left or right) OR doing it form my phone. Samsung's media center is caveman like and basic. PLEX and other apps available on the TV look so much nicer. They really need to overhaul how it functions especially since this TV has such a fast processor.
Smart LED: This is certainly more of a "personal" setting depending on what you prefer to stare at. I believe if you are a videophile that is obcessed with "trueness" leave it on low or off. I went from 'low' to 'standard' and really enjoy it there.
Cinema Black: I love this feature it certinaly makes the bars more black on widescreen movies. Again you be the judge of this feature, let your eyes guide you.
Devices: Hooked up my 10-13 year old 1st gen microsoft bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Worked just fine, somewhat impressed how functional it seemed to be.
Banding: I did several different banding tests and had no banding. I found none on the 55"/60", I have yet to see a 65" without minimal banding.
Stuttering: I really had to work on finding something to get this tv to stutter. My bluray player on any movie? No. Streaming all different types of formats up to 1080P 3D quality on my laptop to TV via HDMI..no stutter. Streaming from my NAS(Synology DS213+) to TV with same formats/qualities listed above. No stuttering. Other users have noted stuttering on Verizon FIOS though and had to set their AMP to clear. Mine works great on custom(settings below).
Sound: No idea, disabled it to use my own external speakers(newegg runs crazy sales on polk audio speakers) and a Denon 2112CI..link to the current model Denon AVR-2113CI. A few years ago I spent $700 for Samsung's HTIB. HUGE mistake, multiple repairs in and out of warranty. Do yourself a favor and invest in a real audio company that has longer warranties and stand behind their product for longer for audio.
The firmware I'm currently running is 11.16. Right when I started the TV and setup network it notified me that I had an update available. I click do not update and selected to turn automatic updates off. Still, Samsung updated the firmware (they are known to sometimes do this) initially. This can be a bad thing as in the past on other sets they sometimes take away features or make the sets look worse--not better. Fortunately this has not happened again(6 updates and going strong). On my last TV it was easy to upgrade OR downgrade firmware...now it's a PITA to downgrade but still possible.
Evolution Kits: I think until these kits prove themselves they are a complete and utter joke. UNLESS these kits prove themselves somehow improving picture quality. It is possible though with a better PCU, better color accuracy could be obtained. If they don't at most I might update the last year its "compatible" with my set to upgrade the processor.
Game Mode: This setting helps reduce lag while playing through your gaming consoles(Xbox One/PS4). Its important to update to 11.16 if you want to try game mode as it functions well on more current firmware. I played BF4 on my Xbox One and did not notice any input lag. On earlier firmware's there was a noticable different between how great PC mode was and game mode. Although on firmware version 11.10 and later versions "Game Mode" seems to perform slightly better similiar to PC mode. This is great news as you have much more control over color settings in game mode(such as smart led). Game mode tests around 26ms and PC mode 28ms. This is great for gamers!
NOTE: PC mode can only be accessed on sources not assigned to a "Samsung" device(i.e. Samsung Bluray) or any input set up with their universal remote system...it renames source forcing a keyboard naming option that does not enable PC mode. Simply select HDMI 1/2/3/4, select tools(top right), a drop down list should appear, select PC and select it. This mode/dropdown list is ONLY accessible from HDMI's that weren't previously assigned to a Samsung Product or your universal remote. If you wish to assign PC mode to a port previously assigned to STB, just delete the universal remote settings.
The features currently disabled in 11.16 are:
Game mode settings not available:
Auto Motion Plus
10p White Balance (forced off)
PC Mode settings not available(MUCH is disabled):
Picture Mode: Entertain OR Standard only
Digital Clean View
MPEG Noise Filter
Auto Motion Plus
RGB Only Mode
Color Space (Forced Native)
10P White Balance
Summary: This TV is an excellent purchase for the right price. I believe it deserves 5 out of 5 stars as it has very MINOR flaws: somewhat pricy, stand wide, stutters nonexistent on my tv service(Century Link Prism TV), flashlighting (BARELY there, doesn't even bother me as I believe edge lit tech is as good as it will get and Samsung needs to hurry up and take over sharp's patents so they can get back to local dimming array models OR get more OLED's on the market).
Current Color Setting's I'm using from an online forum member's home calibrator's settings and slight tinkering of my own(remember, all sets are different and you should use this only as an end user as a good "base" too start with and tweak to your liking's..thats why mine do not match his, also I added turned on cineblack/smartled):
Backlight=6(night)-16(day) with best backlight to use being 10-12
Cont 90 (try 95, user preference)
Pic Size - screen fit
Dynamic Contrast - Off (using it can crush blacks too if not careful)
Black Tone - Off
Flesh Tone: 0
RGB Only Mode- Off
Color Space - Auto works well but if unhappy these:
Color Space Auto (some might prefer native)
10p White Balance Off
Expert Pattern- Off
Motion Lighting- Off
Color temp - Warm 2
Digital Clean View - Off
Mpeg Noise Filter - Off
HDMI Black Level - Low
Film Mode Auto 2 (if available, otherwise off)
Auto Motion Plus > Custon > Blur = 10, Judder = 0, Clear = off (NOTE: if you get stuttering, try turning it from custom onto Clear, the clear option in custom can be "on", user preference)
Smart LED - Standard
Cinema Black - On
System, Eco Solution, Eco Sensor: OFF
Note: Press the 3D button on the remote and select 2D>3D to put the F8000 into the 3D mode
Turn off everything that says Auto to Off Except Film Auto2 in Picture Options
Movie Mode - Note 2D and 3D on the same HDMI Input have separate memories
Picture Size - Screen Fit
Frame Depth 5
Light Control > High
Advanced Mode -
Dynamic Contrast - Off
Black Tone - Off
Flesh Tone: 0
RGB Only Mode- Off
Color Space - Custom
Red R-38, G-0, B-6
Green R-15, G-23, B-9
Blue R-9, G-0, B-51
Yellow R-47, G-52, B-9
Cyan R-14, G-51, B-53
Magenta R-41, G-0, B-48
White Balance 27 29 28 0 8 50
10p White Balance - not accessible in 3D mode
Color Temp Warm2
Dig Clean View - off
Mpeg - off
Film - Auto 2
Auto Motion Plus - Custom - Blur 10 - Judder 0 - LED Clear Motion Off(if having motion problems, try turning custom off and onto "clear")
Smart LED Off
Cinema Black Off
Xbox One Calibrated: Game Mode On
Pic Size - screen fit
HDMI Black Level: Low
Dynamic Contrast - Off (using it can crush blacks too if not careful)
Black Tone - Off
Flesh Tone: 0
RGB Only Mode- Off
Color Space - Auto
10p White Balance Off
Expert Pattern- Off
Motion Lighting- Off
Color temp - Warm 2
Digital Clean View - Off
Mpeg Noise Filter - Off
HDMI Black Level - Low
Film Mode Auto 2 (if available, otherwise off)
Auto Motion Plus Off
Smart LED - Standard
Cinema Black - On
on November 7, 2013
This panel is so damn good, that I now own 3 of them; 2 46' panels and one 60" panel. I've been playing this game for some time, owning the first Panasonic Plasma that hit the market at over $4k and various plasmas from Pioneer (Kuros) to LCD's and LED's from Sony and Samsung. The fact is that this is LED TV as close to perfect as can be expected. First, I recommend that if you buy this panel, have it professionally calibrated. Second, if you don't want to spend the money to have it calibrated, start here with settings: [...] Realistically, you will not get a more accurate or better picture from an LED unless you step up to the 4K offerings from Sony and Samsung, and that's at a price point more than double where this panel is. Fact is that no matter where you go today, you will have some flashlighting due to the fact that no manufacturer makes a full array LED backlight display. That being said, properly calibrated, it won't matter. Finally, I have found that setting the motion setting to clear gets rid of the soap opera effect, while still providing a great picture without any judder or picture studdering. Flat out, this is the best panel on the market in 2013.......
I've had many requests for settings, so here they are:
Backlight - 14
Contrast - 87
Brightness - 45
Sharpness - 20
Color - 49
Tint - G51/R49
Dynamic contrast - off
Black tone - Dark
Flesh tone - 0
RGB - off
Color space - auto
White balance: (top to bottom: 24, 25, 25, 23, 26, 25)
10P white balance - on
Color tone - Warm 1 (sometimes Warm 2 depending on viewing material)
Digital clean view - auto
Mpeg noise filter - off
HDMI black level - normal
Film mode - off
Auto motion plus - clear
Smart LED - standard
Cinema Black - off
on April 1, 2013
We researched extensively before replacing our 10 year old set. We knew we wanted backlit LCD rather than Plasma and we wanted to go bigger. We looked at many sets but settled on the Samsung UN55ES7200 and UN55F8000. Based upon the reviews there were some issues with the ES8000, which was an early generation of Samsung smart tvs. While that set is meaningfully less expensive we are glad we went with the F8000 released in 2013. The picture is incredibly crisp and, despite its size the set is slim and light weight. The clicker has a touch pad feature and the connections with the internet, HBO, Amazon, Netflix are very easy (even for a non-technically savvy person like me). It connected easily (although it was missing 2 screws which Samsung sent out very quickly) so set up time was nominal. There have been no resolution or lighting issues (as have been described in the ES8000). I have only one constructive comment, the resolution is so very good that you can sometimes see the artificial nature of the movie sets in older movies. If that is the only problem we encounter I believe that is something that can be overlooked. We are really pleased with the purchase and, as always, Amazon delivery was fast and convenient.
on March 3, 2013
I am currently reviewing one of these units and will post a more in depth review soon. However, I needed to post this right away for those considering purchasing this tv..
Right now, the tv (55-inch) is currently 48 inches wide. The problem I am having with this TV is that the stand is also 48 inches wide, which will be a huge inconvenience to most people. It's too wide for 90% of TV stands out there so be warned before purchasing this tv. It currently is also measured 12 inches depth too. I have yet to find a tv stand other then an ultra wide or expensive shelf to sit it on. This is another poor example of form over function. I have a feeling Samsung will bite the bullet on this one because of this mistake as most will have a difficult time find a stand to put this on or it will be un-achievable on their current existing stands. This won't be an issue for those wall mounting, but before you buy this TV, you better measure where you'll put it first.
**UPDATE - 03/06/2013
I have been testing the unit for a few days now and we found a TV stand that can hold the thing. I've raised the review 1-star due to the picture quality being extroardinary, however, I strongly believe the stand is very impractical, hence, the deduction of 1-star. I've actually reached out to Samsung to see if they can design a new retrofitted stand that hold the set and be a bit more practical and release as an accessory, because this thing is ridiculously wide. Alright, enough with the stand now.
As for the initial picture quality results. They are outstanding. The back panel is comprised of literally thousands of miniature LED lights that produce very strong light and can dim all the way down to be completely turned off. So far, the factory calibration is much improved over last year's, I doubt we will have to modify it much. The image quality is much better as well, there is currently no observable light bleed or halo'ing around images. Darks are much much darker then the ES series, but the ES series were edge-lit, these new panels are not as they are full back-lit set's. The new sets do eliminate most of the image blur found common on LCD sets and it appears, at least initially, that the image is much faster and responsive. However, fast paced scenes like those in Transformers and etc are still not as clear the Plasma panels, but either way are improved still. Black levels are insane for a LED set and depending on when we measure against the best from LG and Sony, might be some of darkest blacks on a LED set yet. I should note that we havent measured it yet. However, we have put the set in complete darkness and tested it and all we could see were images and no halo, which is huge.
3D performance is in fact definitely brighter and smoother and I am unable to identify artifacting or crosstalk whatsoever, however I should note that last year's ES series did a pretty good job at crosstalk reduction, but the new sets are in fact much brighter.
Smart Hub - more on this later, but a MASSIVE improvement over anything we've seen yet. The interface is ingenius and amazing at the same time, just make sure to youtube this as the picture will not do it justice. Not only is this software elegant looking, the TV defaults to it when it's turned on as it is essentially the control hub for the set. The quad core in this set makes this dashboard wicked fast and apps pop up in mere seconds. In comparison to last years sets, its seams about 5 times as fast. The last year models will get this functionality via a "evolution kit" when Samsung releases those next month.
Other misc features - The camera is much improved, more accurately coordinating your movements. Last year models weren't that great until they released several firmware updates to make it usable and practical, but still wasn't that great. These new models are better at tracking movement and resemble the smoothness of the Microsoft Kinect, which is great news for those waving a burrito at the set and dont want to grease up the remote. The voice activation is WAY better, coming close to the ease of use of Siri and maybe, just maybe even surpassing it. So far, I would say the voice recognition is about 90% accurate, compared to last years sets, which I would probably peg at about 75% after the firmware updates. This is likely due to the new software and quad core A15 chipset this new set has. I would assume the new sets will be just as good when they get the evolution kit.
If your thinking of this TV or The Samsung F8500 Plama's, I can tell you right now without a shadow of doubt, the F8500 Plasma panels are KING and are much better in image quality and they seams to even be closing in to the quality of an OLED set, which are currently priced at $10,000. The F8000 LED sets are nice, but not F8500 Plasma nice. You'll need to observe both to understand what I mean. More on this later.
More to come...
To clarify, this TV does not appear to be a full array back-lit set, but it uses new technology called Precision Black, which appears to be some kind of hardware filter on the TV set. See below for Samsung's description taken from the manual spec sheet.
Micro Dimming Ultimate:
Displays a picture that is as true-to-life as possible by maximizing
the contrast between light and dark. Our innovative technology
scans zones across the image and adjusts brightness to deliver
deeper dark tones and brighter whites. It also eliminates the
"halo" effect and image distortion that can happen with diffused
lights. The Ultimate version of this technology optimizes the
quality to new heights by scanning 2 times the number of zones
in the image.
Precision Black (Local Dimming):
Produces a much greater increase in contrast and black levels
by dimming LEDs behind dark areas of the picture, thus making
blacks darker without affecting brighter elements of the picture.
One thing I've noticed that might be an issue for a lot people is the smart hub and its multi tasking capabilities. The new Smart Hub is essentially a full blown operating system and can open multiple applications. However, I recommend not opening more then one app at a time. I've noticed the more apps that are open will significantly slow the TV down to the point of almost freezing. So be careful using the multi tasking capabilities.
**FINAL UPDATE 03/28/2013**
The TV has now had well over 100 hours of burn-in time and we have calibrated the TV. The image quality after calibration is pretty much near perfect color accuracy, which we've never seen before in an LED set. After calibration, the results are amazing and the black levels are the deepest we've measured on an LED set, even more so then the localized dimming sets from Sony and LG last year.
Our final calibrated settings are as follows. (Note, this is what worked on our set and shouldn't be duplicated unless by a certified professional or by using your own eye with blu-ray calibration software).
We started out with the movie mode, decreased back-light to 8, set gamma to -1, scaled contrast back to 75, left sharpness at 20 (some pros will tell you to eliminate sharpness, however, I find that a little bit actually helps with clarity, just not too much). We only changed one color and that was blue (this has to be done with almost all led sets since predominantly blue). We set black levels to "darkest", dynamic contrast to "low". We left cinema black alone, since we were unable to identify any differences with it on or off. We also set dynamic backlighting to "high" since this also improved contrast and black levels during dark scenes, but standard also does just fine. The black checker-board was almost 100% reproduced with dark blacks and whitest whites and no uneven light. The end result is basically a perfectly calibrated set, almost 100% color accuracy. Can't ask much more then that if you ask me.
All in all, the best LED TV set I've reviewed. We've been messing with the F8500 Plasma, which I believe, along with the Panasonic VT60 to be among the best/ most accurate picture available until 4K and OLED become mainstream. However, this LED set still comes pretty close to the image quality of the top plasma's today. I still recommend the Plasma's over the LED's hoever because they have much faster refresh rates and smoother motion, especially in movie scenes and video games.
on June 28, 2013
I am a professional video producer who is seldom truly impressed. My previous TV was a Panasonic 50 inch plasma, which was working perfectly, and I had been waiting and watching the industry for when I should jump to the next level. This, among other choices, including new plasmas, was it. Pricey, but some things in life are worth it.
Out of the box, I was not happy at all, and it turns out there are a multitude of factory settings that need adjustment. The biggest culprit was something called Auto Motion Plus, which Samsung should never have made the factory default, and should be turned off forever. It was designed as an aid to fast moving action scenes utilizing the high refresh rate, but it turns a stunningly beautiful movie into a soap opera video. The rest are a matter of personal taste, as in color balances, contrast, saturation, black levels, etc. I keep the Cinema Black off, as this unit does a great job with the blacks in other areas of the menu. Skin tones are the true test.
Off axis viewing is less than ideal, and there is some edge light visible at times on dark scenes, but I continue to be stunned by the image, especially the 3D, which is mesmerizing, super-vivid and hyper-real.
There are those who are saying 3D is a fad that will pass, but they are dead wrong, and obviously have NOT seen the likes of this TV in a dark space. 3D is no more a fad than experiencing life with two eyes rather than one. I would add though, that for 3D to be effective, the screen must be large, as it can be a little like looking through a window if too small.
on November 12, 2013
Love the TV and all the positive comments by others are accurate. I wanted to share some vital information that is absent from all known/available sources.
The position of the bottom-most mounting holes on the back panel of the 60" model are 4 1/4" up from the bottom edge of the TV bezel. I needed this info to accurately position a Peerless SUA765PU TV mount while waiting for the TV to arrive, so I went to a Brick and Mortar store to measure them for myself.
Also, be aware that the AC power cord that ships with the TV may be too short for your application. Unless your power outlet is directly behind the TV, you will want to buy something longer to avoid using an extension cord. I bought a 10' cord to replace the one that shipped with mine. Search for a non-polarized, "C7 to NEMA 1-15" ("Figure-8", 2-prong, 2-pin, or similar description) AC power cord.
Hope this helps!!
on October 11, 2013
The television arrived by one of Amazon's partner delivery services on time and professionally. After viewing (and enjoying the television) for approximately one week I noticed what could be best described as a "dead" pixel during a screen with a very uniform dark background. It was a pixel that would not change color regardless of input. I sent an online message to Amazon regarding the issue and could not have been more impressed regarding the customer service.
I was contacted immediately and a replacement television was scheduled for delivery in approximately one week's time. The new TV arrived without incident or any similar malfunctions. No questions were asked and the process could not have been less painful. I will continue to patronize Amazon and could not recommend their customer service any more highly.
As for the television itself, the picture is beautiful and the SmartTV features work excellently (no lags/delays/or malfunctions). The voice command and gesture command is more flash than substance. It is much easier to command utilizing the remote. But with a great picture, excellent smart features/connectivity and the typical great Samsung aesthetics, I would definitely recommend this television for anyone looking for a high end large television.
on October 13, 2013
Before buying this TV, I read all the reviews on Amazon. I also conducted my own research online, comparing a number of Smart TVs on the market. While I'm happy with the basic functionality of the television, I'm quite disappointed with "smart" part of the TV. What the reviews and research didn't tell me was the following:
1. SMARTHUB DROPS WIFI SIGNAL EVERY 5-15 MINUTES, so if you're trying to use the SmartHub to watch Amazon Instant Videos, for instance, your frustration level will likely build to a point that you'll want to take a sledgehammer to the television (no joke!). Every time the signal drops, which can be every 5 minutes or every 15 minutes, you have to reset the network on the television, including waiting for the television to recognize your WiFi and then reentering your password. There are numerous Internet forums, articles, and discussions on this issues. Simply type in "Samsung television drops internet connection" to find/read them. As these articles, etc., explain (and I can attest), it is not a signal strength problem; therefore, moving your router closer to the tv and/or adding a signal booster is useless. You will continue to experience this problem. In fact, Samsung is aware of the issue and recently released a software update to address it ... but the update doesn't work! The problem persists. And that brings me to my second issue ...
2. SOFTWARE/FIRMWARE UPDATES ARE MANUAL. I didn't even know there software/firmware updates until I was trying to fix the above-referenced issue! Now that I know they exist (and are a pain to deal with!), I have to remind myself to check for the updates, since Samsung doesn't notify me that they've been issued. In addition, the website has some errors, so if you look for the update on one screen it doesn't exist, but if you manually search for your television model, the update shows up.
3. ALLSHARE IS LIMITED. My example is related to viewing photos. I assumed I would be able to view all the photos from my computer, but that is not the case. AllShare only allows you to view a limited number of folders (I believe it's 9, but I can't remember). And then, each folder can only have a limited number of files. And on top of these issues, it often takes a while for the photos to load ... and to get from one photo to the next. These limitations, and other similar limitations, render the AllShare "feature" virtually useless for me.
1. CAMERA IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO USE B/C OF ITS LOCATION. We have a 60" television and a relatively small living room. Because the camera is located on top of the television, we have to back up into the kitchen in order to even try to use the camera.
2. VOICE RECOGNITION LAUNCHES RANDOMLY. This is a minor frustration, but a design flaw nonetheless.
At the end of the day, I wonder how smart I was to buy such a "smart" television at such a hefty price tag, when a regular television and an Apple TV (or similar) offer many of the same results at a substantially lower cost.
on September 13, 2013
I've been using this television for several weeks now and first and foremost I'll say that the picture quality is outstanding. It's pretty much the best LCD television you can buy this year. For those deciding between this or the 8500 Plasma, the LCD is better in a wider range of viewing situations (such as lots of ambient light, many windows, rooms that are sunny) due to the brighter image but if you're purchasing for a basement or dark media room then the 8500 will easily win over this unit.
As so many people have already mentioned the picture quality I won't say much. I'd recommend enabling CAL Day/Night modes and calibrate based on those rather than just using standard or dynamic. You can find some excellent calibration settings online if you don't want to pay to have your unit custom calibrated. Content looks fantastic, colors are very accurate and black levels are great. You may notice some odd dimming of the screen on dark scenes such as a dark scene on a black road with just a car's tail lamps trailing away. The television senses that the scene is mostly black and dims the backlight down to make the picture look as black as possible. It also means that the one area of the image that is supposed to be bright gets dimmed as well. This is pretty much a trade-off because the alternative would likely be flashlighting/halos around the bright part of the image or significantly less deep blacks. You can adjust the intensity of this with the Smart LED controls but at the very least you should probably leave it on low so you get the picture quality improvements.
I've tried a few 3D movies and games and have enjoyed them very much though I don't find the glasses that comfortable. They aren't incredibly heavy but I was certainly ready to take them off after a two hour movie. Brightness in 3D mode is very good and I experienced very few issues with ghosting.
The one real downside to the picture quality is viewing angles and this may be very important depending on where you place your television. Picture quality is awesome when you're sitting in front of the screen but if you're off center, in any direction, the picture quality drops from fantastic to just good. I have mine sitting on a television stand and there's a noticeable drop in quality between viewing the screen while sitting on my couch (eye level) and viewing the screen while standing (below eye level). The black levels aren't as great and the image looks a little more washed out. I mention this because it seems fairly common for people to place their televisions above fireplaces as many rooms are designed with the fireplace in the center of a wall rather than off into a corner. If you are placing this television above a fireplace and will sit below it you absolutely must get a mount that allows you to tilt the screen down toward the viewing area or else you'll miss out on the fantastic picture quality.
The overall objective design of the television is fantastic. The stand, subjectively, is also fantastic but some may not like it as it's more a matter of personal preference. The bezel is incredibly small making the front of the screen look nearly edge to edge. It also means the television is physically smaller. It's actually smaller than the 50" plasma it replaces because the bulk of the bezel has been removed. The entire unit is incredibly thin and only has a marginally larger part near the bottom where most of the internals are housed. This also means that things like A/V and component cables require adapters as they've tried to minimize wasted space. The adapters essentially look like an aux/headphone jack on one end and the a/v or composite connections on the other and are included with the set. I've had no problems using them and quality does not appear to suffer as a result of their use.
Back to the stand, it is true that the stand is large. Many people claim that the stand is the same width of the television but it is in fact slightly smaller than the screen (at least for the 55") model. I was under the impression that I'd have to replace my television stand as it would have been about a half inch over each side (I was worried about the screen tipping forward) but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the stand actually fits. Amazon quotes the width as 48.2" with the stand but the stand itself is just shy of 47" at its widest point (on the 55" model). It may not seem like a huge difference but it was very important in my case. Additionally, the stand keeps the television tilted slightly rearward. You can't notice the tilt while watching but if you stare at the screen from the side you may notice. My guess is that this is done to help lower the tipping risk since most people won't anchor it.
It's a beautiful television and I've found myself looking at it when a walk into my living room, even when it isn't on, just to admire it.
This television is packed with extra features beyond just the quality of the screen and this is where it becomes sort of a mixed-bag. It's absolutely great that they include them but some don't work as well as one would hope and are obviously first attempts at what may become awesome later on. I've run into zero problems with the apps thus far (such as Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Camera and the browser). They all work well and using them is fairly straight forward. I've also had no problem playing mp4 files from usb drives plugged into the back of the screen. I've yet to try out things like Twitter or Facebook because I don't really see the point of including them on a television. It's far easier to just reach into your pocket for a phone or grab a computer than to deal with such features on your television. However as a tivo user I greatly appreciate the TWC TV app that allows me to access on demand content straight from the TV since I don't have a Time Warner box.
There are several ways to control the television and this is where the television really feels like a first generation product. Firstly there is the remote which I will discuss below but there is also the ability to control the television with gestures and with your voice. The gestures are interesting in the sense that basic tasks can be completed simply by raising your hand. In order for them to work however you need to be in a well lit room and take care to pay close attention to what you are doing. I've had several times where the television would select and item (normally by closing your hand) instead of swiping a screen (normally a sort of wave like motion) because I moved too quickly. It can also be a little frustrating to hone in on certain smaller items because as you hover over them the television will initially track your closing hand as movement and thus move the cursor before you're able to select. Additionally they don't work universally across the television. You can use hand gestures to launch the Netflix app but you'll have to pick up a remote to actually navigate inside the app. It's a neat concept but in the end it's probably easier to grab a remote for most tasks.
Then there are voice commands, the one I have the largest problem with. Primarily it's clunky, awkward and slow. It's never going to feel natural saying "Hi TV" and waiting for it to pick up your voice to activate voice control. There is a processing delay so you have to say it and wait for the on screen prompt to tell you that you can proceed. While it seems to do a great job of understanding me, you are required to use very specific wording. For example, if I want to turn my television off I must first say "Hi TV", wait a couple of seconds, say "TV power off", wait for it to recognize the speech and then ask me "Would you like to turn the TV off?". Then you must confirm with either "OK" or "Cancel". At which point it then takes several seconds to actually complete the command. You have to say "OK". Saying "Yes" yields no results or makes it think I've said cancel. If you use the microphone on the remote it seems to respond a bit faster but the vocabulary is still limited.
I've also run into a problem where the voice command is activated at random times. It's only happened when using Netflix but if I rewind it happens at the same spot. Essentially you'll be watching something and then it will suddenly mute the audio and bring up the voice command overlay. It doesn't seem to activate the ambient microphone so I need to press voice on the remote and say "cancel" to make it go away. It's happened enough where I've had to turn off voice commands completely though I don't feel like I'm missing out on much as I would not have used them otherwise.
The remote is equal parts awesome and terrible. It's small, very high quality and the touchpad feature is essential to navigating the Smart Hub and using the browser. However, it's also very limited in its buttons/functions. Many common tasks are hidden in an on screen remote since there are so few buttons on the actual remote. To do things like enter numbers, jump to Netflix, activate game mode, turn on the external speakers, play/pause/FF/RWD, etc. you have to press "More" on the remote and then scroll between one of three on screen remotes to find the command you want. It gets old pretty quickly. I ended up ordering a second, full size remote because I just use the missing buttons far too often.
Additionally there are some design issues with the remote. While the touchpad is great, it often feels jumpy when using and you can't really tell if swiping your finger left/right or up/down will move the cursor to the next item or skip down two or three. They've also placed the "Recommended" and "Search" buttons ON the touchpad at the bottom. The touchpad really isn't large enough to have this button and on several occasions while scrolling around the on screen keyboard or using the browser I've pressed recommended search by accident. This clears out the keyboard and all of the inputs you've added thus far and brings up another menu.
Finally, the backlight on the remote is useless as it only illuminates the buttons and not the labels. You'll need to study the remote to memorize what you're looking at in darkness with the backlight.
In the end the remote is cool but was frustrating enough to require a second remote for normal use.
The built in speakers are acceptable, especially considering how thin the television is, but they aren't awesome. They're perfectly find for normal television watching but I also use a home theater system with it for movies or just when I want higher quality sound.
It's nice that you can play videos, music and images from directly attached hard drives and usb drives as well as networked computers but I was a little disappointed to discover that the TV can't see the hard drive connected to my router. I have a lot of stuff stored there so it can be access by multiple devices without having to turn my desktop on but from what I can tell thus far I can only access content stored on my computer, not the networked drive. I'll have to keep playing around with it to see if I can get that to change. Additionally, it requires you register with Samsung and download software in order to work which is a bit annoying. I'd rather the television just detect what's being shared on the network automatically without the need of additional software on my computers.
It may seem like I have a lot of small complaints and thus does not make sense I rated it 5 stars but it keeps its five star rating because as a television it's brilliant. The smart features are secondary, in my opinion, and having to get another remote wasn't enough to knock it down a full star. It truly is an excellent television. You'll just simply have to learn how to get around or deal with some of the minor annoyances that pop up with the extra features that are built in. If you aren't likely to use such things then all of those annoyances are irrelevant. For overall satisfaction and quality, this television is definitely a winner.
on September 10, 2013
I am a very happy Lady! I just had to write this review, hoping it helps someone else make a decision that might be struggling like I was with picking a TV. I'm a bit picky. I mean, I figure if I'm going to spend $$$$ for a TV, I had better be picky. Right? I'm also a tech geek and I know what to look for in TV. I had went through several TV's before buying this Gorgeous Samsung UN60F8000. I'll start with the comparisons before ending with my review of the Samsung.
First, I had purchased the Vizio 60" MD10d this years current model. I was hoping to save money and still get a good TV. The TV was nice, a little thicker than most of the new ones for this year. 3D was great but that is where it ends. Bad Flash-lighting, and a few light bleed issues, software glitches and the TV freezing up due to the Yahoo and YouTube apps, no power buttons on the Vizio at all, and the only way to fix the problem is unplug it from the wall and restart. Vizio had no real solution. The Apps are there, but they are small widget windows on the left side of the screen and with the Amazon app, search is awful and you can't access your watch list. Needless to say, the Vizio was returned back to Amazon.
Next, I purchased an LG 55LA7400, this years current model. Beautiful TV, Slim, Stylish. Great interface, but several Flaws. I immediately got the impression that LG had downgraded their quality control department. I had 2 red stuck pixels, severe clouding on the screen in right and bottom left areas of screen. Banding that was really distracting the picture itself. Again, I was disappointed. Especially, since I have had LG TV's and loved them in the past. My Mother had purchased last years model, and was very happy with it. Great TV, made in Canada. This year, they are made in Mexico. At least the two LG's I received were. I also got a 47 LA7400 for the bedroom at the same time I bought the 55'. Opened it up got it set up, and immediately at the bottom left of the screen a big jagged line of black and white pixels. I would estimate 100+ of them. This is unacceptable! I had to call Amazon again. Two LG's returned in one day! It's not Amazon's fault. It's the quality control of LG. I read several forums and as it turns out many have had this issue with LG this year. It's a hit or miss if you get lucky enough to get a good one. I went to Best Buy, determined to get an LG since I wanted to save money but still have a good TV with 3D. Got another 55". Again, same issues. Stuck pixels and clouding. Went back for an exchange. This time, only one stuck red pixel and minimal clouding.
I had hit rock bottom. After taking a couple of days to think it over and getting my husband to agree, I decided to go ahead and spend more money to get that "perfect" TV. I bought the Samsung 60" UN60F8000 from Amazon. All I can say is, "OMG". I honestly was so thrilled with my purchase I was nearly speechless with awe. The packaging was great. It felt like Christmas. You can tell the quality control was there. Even the QC's name was on some of the packaging, assuring you it was inspected for quality and passed. The setup even better. The stand, solid metal. Sturdy and gorgeous. It's designed to make the TV look as if it's just floating in mid air. The TV, the thinnest I have seen. The bezel even thinner! I plugged it in and crossed my fingers, praying. Power On. WOW! Perfect screen...flawless! No clouding, no flash-lighting, no dead or stuck pixels, no banding. Just PERFECT. The way a TV should be. I immediately tried the 3D. Again, perfect! I tried the Apps, Amazon Instant, HBOGO, SHO, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, Crackle just to name a few. It does have Hulu and Netflix. Interestingly, there are also Fitness/Workout and Yoga Apps and plenty of free educational apps and 3D documentaries for kids. All work excellent and the interfaces for those Apps are nice and simple.
The Samsung app store offers tons of free Apps unlike LG which costs $. There is a lot of 3D content (way more than LG or Vizio) that will keep you entertained for hours. Great for kids! You will never get bored with this TV. Voice Control works great. The Web browser is snappy with a very well thought out in design. Motion control is good, will take a little learning though. Think of Xbox motion control and you will get the idea. The built in camera is sharp and clear. Excellent Skype app! I LOVE the remote. Those of you that have an iPad, or use any device with a trackpad, will immediately feel comfortable with the remote. I actually prefer it over the LG Magic remote. The Samsung is also fast with a snappy response. Apps are almost instant, Boot up of TV is extremely fast. Ease of use is a huge plus. Set up was the easiest of the TV's I had tried. Interface is clean and simple, but gorgeous in soothing colors of blue. The TV came calibrated right out of the box and I've had to make minimal adjustments. Unlike the Vizio and LG, which took a while to get the colors and picture right and not as "pixelated".
The Samsung has the best picture of them all. Incredibly life like, it will leave you breathless. The quality difference to me was night and day. You certainly get your money's worth. I had read reviews at CNET and LDCTvBuyingGuide dot com. One had stated they felt Samsung was practically giving away a 4K Ultra TV in this model. The picture is that good! I have to agree. I have found no motion issues or glitches with mine. For any one that does, simply turn off the Auto Motion Plus feature. You only should have it on if you are watching sports or really fast action scenes. I have watched a few movies with fast action and have noticed absolutely zero judder or blur. The LG and Vizio simply couldn't match up in this department. For gaming, I have noticed minimal lag if any at all which is far better than the LG which lags horribly. The 3D glasses each come in a protective sleeve. They are very lightweight and comfortable. I really like them. In the end, if you are willing to spend the extra $, you can't go wrong with Samsung. This is my first Samsung TV and I found a winner and they've earned a loyal customer provided they keep up the quality in the future models. I was so happy, I went and purchased the Samsung 46" UN46F7100 for the bedroom. Again, a perfect TV! It had a little flash-lighting in a corner. All I did was loosen a screw on the back of the TV in that corner and problem solved. Couldn't be happier! I could go on and on about this TV, but I won't or I will be here all day. Just do your home work before buying a TV. On a side note, Amazon was awesome with the return process on the other TV's. Refunds were instant. Overall, I'm super happy!