on April 5, 2010
First off I want to be clear about the kind of review this is intended to be. I am not a profession TV rater. I am not a videophile. I am a regular Joe and I am reviewing this for the regular Joe who is thinking about spending more than usual on a good quality television. During the next few months, I'm sure you can find a more professional review from the usual places... But for now, this is my impressions.
CORNER LIGHT: After reading many reviews on last years B8000 and this year's C7000, I was worried about the light that emits from the corners. I've seen displays of last year's B8000 and this year's C7000 and have VERY easily seen what people are talking about. I took a big gamble in purchasing this TV before I read if people were having issues with this C8000. So let me say... After watching this TV for about 5 hours per day for 3 days... I have NOT seen the light coming from the edges as seen on other sets. And believe me I've been looking. I tried to find it watching the HD feed on Time Warner Cable, Blu-ray's from the PS3, Blu-Ray's from the Samsung 3D Blu-Ray player, watching at night, during the day... Nothing. I just do not see it!
LOOKS: This TV looks just amazing. It has a VERY dark black screen. It looks as beautiful turned off as it does on. I was nervous about the brush metal look, but it actually looks very nice and compliments the new chromed four-legged stand.
PICTURE: The picture clarity looks incredible. It's as if I'm discovering HD for the first time. This set replaces a Samsung DLP set, so of course this is a vast improvement. Having said that, I have a newer plasma in the bedroom and this set looks much better than that. As with all new LED sets with 240 Hz, there is a bit of the Spanish Soap Opera/Home Video look to it. Some people really like this, some people don't. I really like it. For those of you that don't, you can always turn this feature down or off. To me this makes the picture look very clear and it makes it stand out from the other sets.
3D: Along with this TV I purchased the Samsung 3D Bluray player so I can get the 3D startup kit for free. Turning the 3D feature on and connecting the glasses was easy. The intro to Monsters v. Aliens was very cool. The opening scene in outer space looked incredible. The ball tied to a paddle part was funny and kinda made me jump a little. I haven't spent too much time with 3D but I did notice that there were some scenes in the movie that had a double image while wearing the glasses. It doesn't happen a lot, but it is noticeable. You can see this right away during the church scene at the beginning of the movie. It was a little annoying. I'm hoping that this is the kind of stuff that gets ironed out with a firmwear update, or as more content is released, they learn to fix it.
OnlineTV: This is also a very new area for me. I never understood the need for me to want apps on my TV... But its actually kina cool. I've tried a few apps but my favorite by far is the Pandora app. I'm a big fan of Pandora and this app I actually like better on my TV than online or the iPhone. The only thing I hate is that Samsung did not have Wifi built in. I think pricing this set at the $3000+ mark should be enough to include it with the set and not require me to drop another $80 for the USB adapter. I just hardwired it, but that's another wire I don't like dealing with.
USB: I wanted to mention that this set allows you to connect a USB external hard drive and play music, photo's and movies directly from the HDD. I have a Western Digital 320GB Passport filled with movies and music, and I was able to navigate the files structure in the drive using the remote quite easily. And it played all the files formats I threw at it.
No corner light!!!
Very dark screen.
Very clear picture
Pandora Samsung App
3D was surprisingly fun
USB external HDD capable
and... NO CORNER LIGHT!
Slight double images on 3D.
Wifi requires an $80 USB adaptor.
Overall I am very satisfied with the UN55C8000. Even with the few CONS, this set to this average Joe is a definite 5 star! As I spend more time with the set, I'll be sure to update this review if I find something worth mentioning.
Please feel free to ask me questions and I'll try my best to answer them. I know how nerve wrecking buying a big ticket item such as this is... So I would be glad to help as much as I can.
Samsung's UN55C8000 LED TV (LED backlit LCD) represents a good first step in full HD 3D technology, but it's definitely not without its flaws.
* High price
* Problems handling 24 frame/second material (movies)
* Mixed results with upconversion of standard def material to HD
* Some crosstalk on native and upconverted 3D content
* Some lighting uniformity issues (compared to best plasma and local-dimming sets)
* Nice black levels and shadow detail for a super-thin (under 1-inch) edge-lit LED set
* Bright, accurate colors
* Energy efficient
* Excellent 3D effect with native 3D content
* Decent 3D upconversion of 2D content (varies based on content)
* Extremely robust selection of IPTV content (web-based widgets, audio and video streaming)
As for price, yes this is one of the first full HD 3D TVs on the market, so you can expect to pay a premium, but $3500 (list) is a lot to pay for a 55-inch TV. Panasonic's comparably sized and featured 54-inch 3D VT25 plasma lists for $500 less. Even Samsung's own 3D-capable 46-inch LCD set (standard CCFL backlighting), the LN46C750 sells for about half the price of this LED-lit model. At $1799 list, the 46-inch 3D LCD is only slightly more expensive than comparably sized, comparably featured 2D models.
For SD upconversion, the C8000 does well with the standard "jaggies" tests and 2:3 cadence detection in its "Auto 1" mode, but it falls apart with mixed content (video titles on a film background), creating combing/tearing artifacts on the screen unless you go out of your way to change the mode setting to "Auto 2" mode. A good video processor should be able to accomodate both types of content without the user having to go deep into the set-up menus.
The C8000's 3D feature is both a pro and a con. On native 3D content, such as the "Monster Vs. Aliens" on Blu-ray 3D as well as some test patterns we had on a USB stick, the set's illusion of depth and dimensionality is impressive -- as good if not better than the 3D effect seen in most theaters. And we found that it maintained the 3D effect even from 25 feet away and from well off-axis (watching TV from the side of the room, instead of directly in front of it). Yes, there are times when you can get some crosstalk (left eye image visible by the right eye, which leads to ghosting), but this is fairly sporadic and generally isn't so obtrusive as to minimize one's enjoyment of the movie. Samsung added a setting in the 1016.0 firmware that allows you to adjust the 3D mode to minimize crosstalk and this does help, though even with the feature enabled, there can still be some crosstalk at times. Also, Samsung offers a real-time 2D to 3D conversion feature which is more effective than we expected and can give you some additional depth and 3D qualities on existing content. It's particularly effective on vector-based animation and games, but even on theatrical titles such as "Star Trek" and "Avatar" on 2D Blu-ray Disc, certain scenes do take on a pleasant (though mild) sense of depth.
Back in 2D mode, we did notice one unexpected issue with the C8000's handling of 24p content (24 frames/second) from standard Blu-ray Discs. Previous Samsung models had the ability to apply motion interpolation (Samsung's "Auto Motion Plus" feature) for video-based content independently from film content. The separate settings for "Judder Reduction" (film) and "Blur Reduction" (video) worked independently. This allows the user to apply motion interpolation to video sources, like live sports and concert videos, minimizing screen blur and smooting out the motion, while still presenting movies in a native 24p mode that preserves that "filmic feel" that many movie-lovers prefer. In the C8000 model, even with Judder Reduction OFF (set to 0) in "Custom" mode, there is still some motion interpolation going on, which causes movies to look a little more like video (called by some the "soap opera effect"). Hopefully this is a problem that can be fixed via firmware but as of the time of this review, that is not yet available. [update: this issue has been confirmed by Samsung QA and engineering]
As an edge-lit set, there are also some issues with picture uniformity. When you're lighting up an entire set with just a string of LED lights along the edges, there's only so far that a diffusor panel can go to get a nice uniform backlight. Samsung has improved this over last year's edge-lit models, through the use of a technique called "Precision Dimming." With Precision Dimming, areas of the lighting assembly can be turned off or dimmed independently of other areas. So instead of having one big bright backlight, with only the LCD shutters to provide darkness, the TV can selectively dim parts of the screen (like the top and bottom letterbox areas of 2.35:1 and 2.4:1 movies). This leads to less hot-spotting around the edges, and better overall black levels. It's not quite as effective as full local dimming with a "full array" LED backlight, but it's better than having no local dimming technology. Combined with the 2010 improvements in the LCD panel itself, the uniformity and black level performance of the new sets is getting closer to a plasma or full array LED/LCD set with local dimming. Next year, they'll probably get even better.
Color reproduction of the C8000 is excellent, with saturation near the performance of the best plasmas (and this color and grey scale accuracy holds up even in the dimmer 3D mode), so no real complaints there, but the colors don't quite "pop" as much as they do on local dimming LED and plasma sets as the level of the blacks is not quite as deep as those other technologies.
In terms of the internet streaming and IPTV content, again, no complaints here: with VUDU, Blockbuster VOD, Netflix streaming, Pandora internet radio, and Yahoo widgets, etc., as well as DLNA compatibility, the C8000 TV brings a wealth of content to your TV from your home network and from the internet at large. One might imagine that over time these services will also be helpful in providing native 3D content which for now is extremely hard to come by.
Overall, there is a lot to like about the C8000, but it does suffer from a few first generation issues. If the high price and relatively minor issues with 2D upconversion and occasional 3D crosstalk don't worry you too much, then it's definitely worth a look. But there's also something to be said for waiting to see what they come up with next year when more content is available and some of these early issues have been worked out. It's also possible that some of these issues may be improved with firmware updates, so early adopters may still benefit from enhancements as time goes on.
Our complete review of the UN55C8000 is available on Big Picture big Sound (dot com).
on April 12, 2010
Let me start by saying that I do own this TV, and it is replacing the c7000 model. About a month ago I walked into a local retailer and asked when the 3D sets were coming out, to my surprise they had just received the first shipment of C7000 3D ready sets from Samsung. After spending about a half an hour checking out the TV, and asking a lot of questions I decided to take the plunge and purchase the TV, 3D Blu-Ray player, and starter kit. My intentions were not to buy a new set that day, but it was getting to be time to upgrade anyway so I wanted to have something with some "wow factor" for a while. A friend and I loaded up the set and got the connections made, cracked a couple of beers and checked out my new investment. There were mixed reactions to say the least. Once the novelty of the 3D wears off you can be really critical of that model. Huge amount of "crosstalk" on the picture, and cloudy bright spots with "flashlighting" in the bottom two corners. Very disappointing. I went back to the store to look at the display model again and did not see a fraction of the issues that my set was showing. The salesperson said that the Panasonic Plasma should be coming in any day and they expected it to be light years ahead of the Samsung in picture quality, black level, no crosstalk, etc.
After a week or so I went in to see the Panasonic that was now also on display only to see the same issues with crosstalk in 3D. The 2D experience on the Panasonic was quite good but at the time the only size available was 50", and I was replacing a 62" set and really didn't want to make that drastic of a change. So on bright pictures the Samsung was absolutely stunning! In a dark room while watching a dark movie the picture was just unacceptable for a TV in this price range. At this point I figured that I would return the TV, and wait for one of the larger Panasonic's to hit the stores.
Then I saw that the C8000 was being released earlier than expected, and had new technology called Pinpoint Dimming. After doing quite a bit of reading reviews, and others' experience with the Samsung locally dimmed set's I decided to give Samsung another chance before going to Plasma. Amazon had the TV for sale before my local retailer so I placed the order and crossed my fingers that I would not be returning two new TV's instead of one. Well let me wrap this up by saying that I am sooooo glad that I made this choice! The C8000 is absolutely stunning in aesthetic quality, and is the best picture quality I have probably ever seen! Dare I say it is even better than the 8500 from last year that gets such great reviews. There is no flashlighting, the black levels are completely pitch black, and as another reviewer already stated, once you get the picture dialed in the way you like it there really is no comparison. Everyone that sees the TV in my house has to stop and watch for a while, in fact, the downside to owning it is that I can't get people to go home!
Now with that being said, there are some minor observations that would be different in a perfect world. If you put this set in a large room and watch it from a large angle you will lose some of the black levels, and for the price it really should have wifi built in. Also, in the menu's it seems that some settings should be grouped together under the headings, so you have to jump around in the menu's a bit to get your set dialed in, but this is typically not something you will be doing all the time. Other than that I really can't see a problem with it. When considering the C7000 or C8000 do yourself a favor and choose the latter. Even if this set was hundreds of dollars more it would be worth it. This one will be hard to beat.
UPDATE: After having the TV for about a week it started having some technical issues like switching sources randomly, and changing the picture settings for no reason. Samsung tech support was very good and we thought initially the problems were being caused by the Logitech remote I use, however after increased tech issues the TV had to be returned. Being that the picture quality is so exceptional on this set I have already replaced it with another one of the same model purchased at retail (for much less money actually) and am keeping my fingers crossed that this one does not have any technical issues. I am leaving my review at five stars simply because every so often you can get a bum product, or something could have happened during shipping, but have to say that Samsung, and Amazon have been really great about taking care of me on this, and the picture quality really is very good. Reading the other reviews I am surprised that anyone would not give this a five star rating. When replacing my C8000 I checked out one of the last B8500's still available, and side by side I have to say that not only me, but most people in the store were more impressed with the C8000. By the way, I have owned several products that C-net gave very high ratings that I had no success with, and vice versa, so I really think it comes down to your own expectations on a purchase like this.
on May 17, 2010
Picture quality is excellent. Black isn't perfect but better than any LCD I've seen. Clouding is not an issue, and I don't have a "flashlighting" problem. I compared last years 8500 and this years C8000 in store before purchasing; C8000 had better PQ IMHO in store, and I'd take the lack of blooming on the C8000 over the potentially better blacks on the 8500. I gave up on Anynet and purchased a Harmony remote. Too bad Samsung firmware doesn't let you set the "default" input to be HDMI (Another device turning off changes TV input to Coax using HDMI-CEC). A little customization would go a long way in making Anynet usable. I really wish the Game Mode setting had a discrete remote code, or at least wasn't buried 10+ steps into the menu. I am not crazy about the silver bezel; wish it was dark grey or black, but it is a step up for Piano Gloss Black for me which really shows prints and looks tacky to me even without prints.
My TV is in a pretty bright room. Looks almost perfect for how I watch it, night or day, though admittedly at night I can detect a tiny amount of non-uniformity in very isolated dark scenes and a small amount of flashlighting with letterbox scenes. At the end of the day, this is the best TV picture quality I have personally seen to date, regardless of technology or price.
The settings I changed from the default:
Eco Mode: On (Great feature, otherwise TV is too bright at night)
-Lowest Backlight: 7
My Personal Ratings:
Picture Quality during day: 9/10 - glossy screen, perfect otherwise
Picture Quality at night: 9/10 - minor lighting uniformity issues or 'clouding'
Picture Quality compared to Plasma - Sharper, Brighter (way more awesome) in direct view, but move more than 20 degrees off center and Plasma wins, except in a bright room
Remote control: 3/10 - Its back-lit and looks cool, but usability is horrible. Get a Harmony.
Bezel/Stand/Form: 5/10 - Don't like plastic trim and silver bezel, but still looks better than most of the competition. Don't like the panel buttons. Stand is ugly. Hate proprietary dongles (for network, cable connections, etc) would prefer .2" thicker to get real connectors on the back (Doesn't the C6500 have real connectors?). Do appreciate the fact that the connectors run along the TV instead of straight out the back (very nice!). Do not like the permanently affixed power cord. TV should have a physical power button accessible on the back.
Quality Control: 5/10 - I'm just waiting for the capacitors to fail now. I'm not feeling good about the amount of people receiving possessed TVs. See below.
Average my ratings except quality control (and the easily replaced remote) and I would give this set 4 out of 5 stars. It's good, but significant room for improvement on a high end consumer TV.
Unfortunately, the Samsung UN55C8000 looses another precious star since the original TV Amazon replaced for me had a serious problem:
Each morning watching satellite, within about 15 minutes of powering on (and remotes hidden away), TV changes input to PC/Cable, static appears in the back, lower right red indicator is flashing quickly (as if remote is sending commands) and TV is unresponsive to front panel buttons and most remote buttons. I was able to get the input back to HDMI by pressing Menu on the remote, but took repeated tries. To bring the TV back to normal, I had to physically disconnect power cable from the wall (very annoying) as the regular power button doesn't work.
Mine became possessed with CEC (Anynet) turned on or off. With Anynet control connection enabled on the receiver, it switched my receiver to another input and turned it off. As a test when TV was possessed I disconnected the only cable (HDMI) connected to the TV to see if that helped it recover. The TV remained unresponsive to the remote/front panel and continued to flash the red indicator as if it was receiving commands. Based on this and that the replacement under the same setup does not go crazy, the errant commands were not coming off of HDMI-CEC.
Once I was able to get the TV out of the unresponsive flashy mode by pressing buttons on the front panel. Another time, the TV rebooted on its own, but cleared ALL of my settings and came up in demo mode (which I exited through the normal plug and play menu setting). Having seen demo mode, I can determine that what the TV was doing before the reboot was certainly not demo mode.
I believe the control board in the Samsung is likely faulty, and since only a few others see this maybe be a yield issue in the Tijuana factory. Maybe it is temperature related, my house is a few degrees cooler in the morning. As the TV warms up an improperly soldered chip makes complete contact and confuses the remote sensor. Maybe its a grounding issue (loose connection).
Tested with firmware 1006, 1016, 1017.
Yamaha RX-V765 AVR connected by HDMI to TV. Tried with HDMI control on and off, no difference.
PS3 (HDMI), Dish Network PIV 722 (HDMI), and PS2 (component) connected to AVR
Other than the single HDMI connection from AVR and power cable through basic surge protector, no other connections to TV.
I called Samsung and they say something is definitely wrong with my TV, that its not something previously reported to them, even though you can search the forums online and you will find others with the same issue. They offered to schedule service but I decided to just exchange with Amazon. Frustrating because its not easily reproducible. The rep said if possible a video of the TV "doing its thing" might be useful for a service tech. I have caught it going crazy on video several times.
Since I worry some other defect like this might be exposed down the road, I purchased the 4 year warranty. I haven't purchased one before, but this issue is not a good indication of the acceptable failure rates from Samsung (or possibly any consumer goods, expensive or not). It is ironic because LED technology is more reliable/robust than CCFL, but I suppose a product is only as reliable as your weakest link, in this case, Samsung manufacturing quality.
I have had my replacement C8000 for a month now, and it hasn't become possessed once. Since I was seeing the issue on my old one almost every day, I am pretty sure there is some issue these TVs are prone to right out of the factory. So for the few of you having this issue (maybe less than 0.1% of all C8000/C7000 owners?), I suggest you get your TV replaced. I suppose if you have an absolutely perfect panel (no dead red subpixels or massive clouding), you might opt for the motherboard swap.
Both sets I received have a red subpixel stuck black, in different locations. Since its hard to find without a solid red screen, I'm guessing its pretty normal to have this on these displays (though never had one in all the other LCD computer displays I have personally owned). I am curious how many have tried with the solid red image, and not found a dead subpixel. Disappointing, but not a deal breaker.
Yes, Samsung and Amazon ensured I would get a working TV, but overall this 5 star TV loses a star for typical design/value issues and another star for being defective - 3 stars! Picture quality really is so fantastic it is a shame to give it 3 stars, but I'd be lying to myself if I didn't say my overall experience wasn't disappointing.
on April 12, 2010
I am revising a review I submitted the first week I had this HDTV. I definitely have mixed feelings after having the un55c8000 for almost a month. There is alot to like, and several things that are very frustrating about this HDTV. At the end of the day, I returned it to Amazon and purchased the Samsung plasma 58c8000. In any event, I got this set, the c6900 Sammy bluray and 3d starter kit for a phenomenal price in late March from Amazon (much lower than it is going for in late April 2010 now).
Great picture on the right settings - I fooled around with the settings for 3 weeks before finding the right mix. This set has a lot of options on settings and you can end up with a totally different looking TV if the settings are poor. The best I could come up with was to switch to Standard, Color 45-50, Tint 45/55, Backlight 12-14, Brightness 45, Sharpness 0 (this is important) and switch almost all the other settings off except for Smart LED to med/high, Motion Plus to Custom with 10 blur/2 judder, Mode Auto2, and Natural.
Nice stand and titanium bezel. Good look.
Remote is very nice compared to the bluray remote, but I'm using a Harmony 900 for all my components so it isn't used.
Bright screen compared to plasmas I've had. Blur settings above enable you to enjoy sports without the "soap opera" effect but there are some issues watching movies (see below).
Pinpoint dimming works. No flashlighting like the c7000 series I've witnessed.
Real 3D content (Monsters v. Aliens) looks great (even with a 1.3 highspeed HDMI cable -- however, 2D to 3D conversion of regular programs gives only nice depth - not pop out 3d.
Super thin TV - fairly lightweight.
Netflix app works through both through the TV and the bluray and surprisingly has good pic quality - not bluray like, but close to DVD quality with no glitches (assuming you have a fast internet connection). Software upgrade worked well for bluray and TV to update netflix and the other internet apps (just not the firmware update to the TV itself) through wifi.
Lots of screen glare in a bright room (although offset by bright picture). This TV does not have a traditional matte screen like many LCD HDTVs. It is a VERY shiny screen, and the reflections look somewhat warped - like the screen is not uniform. It is not noticeable during normal watching, but with the TV off or in very dark scenes, the reflections are bowed.
Narrow viewing angle - if you're off center by more than 5 feet you lose blacks. This is a major problem unless all of your seating is directly in front of the TV.
TV isn't wifi - need a $80 adapter or have to hardwire it - TV firmware didn't update through the adapter - had to update on Samsung site with USB.
The pinpoint dimming works - to a point. This TV does not have the flashlights in the corners of the screen like its sister TV, the c7000. However, it does have "clouding" in dark scenes where you see a glow of of light around bright words/objects where the rest of the screen is dark. This is very noticeable in credits in movies but not discernable in everyday watching of normal TV shows.
My biggest beef with this TV is that you pay for the 240hz auto motion plus to make this TV more "plasma-like" for purposes of motion blur. However, the auto motion plus makes most movies look too "soap opera-ee" while making live sports look incredible. So, you are constantly fooling around with the settings every time you change the channel.
Another issue with the TV is something that another reviewer spent a great deal of time on, and that is the jerkiness/judder of movies. While most movies on bluray, directv and dvd look phenomenal most of the time, about every 10 min or so, you will see a jerky scene - lasts about 2-3 seconds, that appears unnatural. Then the movie just continues looking great. 10 minutes later you see it again. I've read that if you turn off the judder and auto motion plus, this may fix the problem, but again, then you have to switch all your settings every time you switch between sports and movies. A bit high maintenance . . .
In all, the picture quality with the right settings on this TV is great. The problem is that it is too much work to constantly change your settings depending on what you're watching. Also, the off angle viewing issue, clouding and bowed screen are a turnoff. If these issues were fixed, this TV would be unbeatable. Unfortunately, I ended up frustrated by the potential of the TV that isn't quite there yet.
on July 16, 2010
This television probably rocks, during the short 5 hours it worked it was superb. And then it just quit. So I contacted Samsung 'customer service', and the games began. Caveat Emptor, Samsung CS is not your friend. The set was installed on 6/28, and died on the morning of 6/29. Notified Samsung the same day, they called a week later (7/6/2010) to graciously inform me that they had accepted my referral and would replace the set in 7-10 days. Ok, I won't have to bother Amazon, who have already indicated they would replace it. 7/14 I call Samsung to inquire about status, I'm imformed that replacement will be completed by 7/21/2010. This morning (7/16) I receive a call from Samsung that it will be another 10-14 days until they can replace the set. I wasn't particularly pleasant and called an end to the games.
I reinitiated contact with Amazon, and within minutes had a committment to replace the set.
Consider these factors if you're thinking of purchasing this set, Samsung has no repair services in my area (at least for this product) of SE Wyoming.
Definitely buy an extended warranty. This is new technology.
If you have problems within Amazons return period take advantage of it, don't waste your time with Samsung. Samsung is deliberately trying to take you beyond the 30 day window, and just leave you hanging.
Amazon's CS is superb, it's rare to find such responsive customer service in this day and age.
UPDATE: Amazon delivered a replacement unit on July 27, and picked up the defective unit. The replacement is working perfectly, overall I'd give it 4.5 stars. I'm still keeping the box and packing materials, just in case. I would have posted a full scale review but Amazon limits you to one per product. My initial review of Samsung's customer service remains as stated.
on April 11, 2010
Simply Breathtaking! So much new stuff here that its hard to figure out where to start. The picture quality is first rate, but I don't think anyone would expect anything less from a TV of this stature, so I'm not going to speak anything more about that - 8 million:1 contrast ratio!!. Make sure you upgrade your HDMI cables to v1.4 to get the 3D to work best, although I've heard that it works just fine with other HDMI versions.
I had originally thought the 2D movie to 3D feature was a bit over-rated by some other reviews that I have read, however after playing with it for a while, I have developed a new appreciation for it. I recommend watching the Blu-Ray - Planet Earth, the chapter on Mountains. The 3D was simply ashtonishing. I can't seem to wrap my head around how the TV can do this 3D conversion on the fly, but I'm definately excited about this technology. Earlier I had watched "300" with the 3D turned on and it was pretty trippy until I got sick to my head. It also works with video games like PS3 and Xbox360 (keep in mind its fake 3D and not as good as real 3D, but some will enjoy the new way of playing and watching TV). I thought Halo looked pretty impressive on the Xbox360, until I saw how good Gears of War 2 looked in 3D. It was hard to believe the 3D was fake, and I don't think I will ever play Gears of War without the 3D from now on. Make sure you turn up the 3D settings to "10" for maximum 3D effects. The amount of 3D pop up can be adjusted on a sliding scale of 1 to 10. Just about every video game looked great in 3D.
I am not sure if TV this compatible with NVIDIA's 3D technolgy, but if it is, you may be able to play your PC games in REAL 3D by connecting your computer! I'll update this when I find out more.
I have not tested the real 3D yet because I have not received the 3D player yet and PS3 has still not updated its firmware to play real 3D. But I will update this after testing it.
The downsides to this TV are as follows (I admit these are nitpicky complaints):
- Several people have complained that this set does not display 24p properly. I have tried to the best of my ability to verify this, however, with the effects turned off (or set on "clear"), the TV looks to me that it is displaying 24p just fine. Since I cannot find fault, I'm assuming most viewers are not going to notice anything so I cannot dock any stars in rating.
- the special features are hard to locate - good luck finding how to adjust settings on the 3D pop up level!
- the 240hz smoothing feature, when active, ends up making the picture look so smooth that action movies resemble home video movies (also described as Spanish Soap Opra effect). On the one hand it's great to have no flicker or choppiness, but it makes Hollywood movies look very low budget for some reason, despite all the new details that can be seen. The only kind of movies that look good with the full 240fps smoothing are computer animated movies like "UP", and documentaries like "Planet Earth". The smoothness really works well for movies like this, the mountain scenes felt like actually being there, and made me dizzy! I didn't have that effect when I had originally watched it in 24p a couple years back. In fact I remember thinking back then how nice the mountain scenes would have looked if not for all the "judder/choppiness" of 24p. For all other movies I keep the setting on "Clear" which brings back the cinematic 24p picture judder. As annoying as the choppiness is, it sure brings back the Hollywood Magic.
- The illuminated "SAMSUNG" logo that is directly under the TV picture is annoying since I like to watch movies at night, however, I later found out this can be turned off in the settings.
- The TV isn't as sturdy feeling as my previous flat screen. Because its so thin, it tends to wobble in its base if tapped, and it just gives me that uncomfortable "unsturdy" feeling. This is not a big deal though, I don't think it will fall and you can always choose to mount it to the wall.
- The flat remote control is cool to look at, but difficult to operate since you can't "feel" your way around the keys. However, you shouldn't have to use the remote much since most of us use the cable box remote anyways.
My final verdict: Buy this TV if you are REALLY excited about 3D as I am, I don't think you will be disappointed. Don't upgrade just for picture quality. last years 240hz models look just as good, and some reviews say last years look even better.
20April UPDATE: I have finally tested the Monsters VS Aliens 3D movie. The 3D was in fact first rate in most scenes of the movie (even better than theater 3D, but NOT better than IMAX 3D). The fact that this was the very first 3D blu-ray movie is obvious because there is occational ghosting present in some scenes (double images). While many critics have quickly chosen to complain about this, I see another point of view. There were just too many perfect 3D effect scenes in all types of enviornments for me to believe that the ghosting is inevitable. I think the occasional Ghosting effects were due to this title being rushed out the door with the release of Sumsungs new 3D TV lines. I don't think there will be any issues with removing the ghosting from future titles when more time is given to master the 3D content. Color me impressed and glad I made this purchase!
on May 9, 2010
I bought this TV after much agonizing over whether to just buy a new LCD tv or the latest generation 3D LEDs, and can say after 2 weeks of ownership that I definitely made the correct choice. This TV is awesome, whether you are buying it for the 3D or just for a great TV.
A quick run down of the TVs main features:
Design - This TV is super thin at 0.9 inches. OK, so not insanely thin as the 2010 flagship 9000 model at 0.3 inches, but then its less than half the price and design wise looks exactly the same. I have it hung on a wall using the Samsung low profile mount, and it really does look like a picture hanging from the wall. The silver framing is sleek, and if you use one of the internet apps like Picasso you can have photos play on a slideshow to really make it look like a painting. With the wall mount, it protrudes only 1.5 inches - quite stunning. If you don't mount, the supplied stand is very sophisticated too.
Picture - This set is replacing a 4 yr old Sony LCD HDTV, so for me, the difference is amazing. Superb sharpness, contract and colors. The 240Hz creates an amazing picture, too good almost for some types of show creating what some call an artificial feel to what you are watching, but its all down to personal preference, and settings can be altered when needed. For me, it's like watching through a window and I love it. Black levels and edge lighting are perfectly good for me - I have it in a well lit room and elevated above a fireplace and picture remains excellent throughout.
Internet apps - I was not expecting to use these much, but they actually work really well. I love the AP ticker, and AccuWeather, Yahoo and YouTube are also frequently used. Best of all is that this TV has introduced me to Netflix, where the convenience of just clicking a button on my TV remote makes watching streaming movies and TV shows even easier than watching my DVR.
3D - Amazing that this technology can be brought into the home. Not much in the way of native 3D content yet (but what these is is amazing), but the TV will convert 2D to 3D and does this pretty well, especially if you up the 3D depth levels. As you might expect, this works best in a darkened room, with HD signal and action packed scenes. I watched The Dark Knight on the conversion process and was thoroughly impressed.
Overall, I am truly impressed with the TV which packs in stunning picture and technology along with the best design aesthetics. Also, you can't go wrong buying through Amazon, I got for 20% off list, free shipping and no tax, and delivery service is superb.
on August 9, 2010
I am a very regular puchaser from Amazon.com, I recently purchased this Samsung TV a couple of weeks ago from a local dealer here only because I got a longer warranty. Otherwise, I would have purchased from Amazon.com. I am writing this review, to hopefully help those others looking for a TV in this price range.
I was skeptical at first purchasing a Samsung TV, having owned only Sony and Hitachi TV's, which have been pretty good. I did alot of research before puchasing this unit, talked to friends who had Samsung TV's themselves, looked at all the ratings and reviews on the Net, went to the store and looked at the 7000 series (because they didn't have a 8000 in stock) - and was Blown Away! WOW! the 7000 had the best picture that I had ever seen in a Television Set Period, and I am a very picky person - all reviews said that the 8000 should be even better. I went ahead and purchased it. I am very glad that I did!
After setting everything up and calibrating the settings - very important - (went close to the Calibration settings that [...] has). I loaded Avatar into the Blu-Ray Player @ 1080p/24 and it was Amazing to say the Least. I don't believe there can be a better picture. Everything was crisp, clear, and life-like! Like a window to another world. I did notice with the Auto-Motion set to the default that things were a bit TOO crisp and life-like, almost like someone filmed it with a HD Camera, and you were actually watching Raw footage. I describe it like a "soap-opera" effect. After turning the Judder to 0, and the Blur to 10, in Auto-Motion, there was a very happy medium - Perfect Movie Watching Bliss!
I find myself wanting to replay every Blu-Ray Movie I own, just to see it on this TV.
The viewing angle of this TV is like all other LED, LCD, or Projection TV's, Not optimal - the picture does get a bit lighter from an extreme angle and that's it - still very very watchable, it is much better than the at-an-angle picture of my Hitachi Projection TV. It is not a reason to bash this Product. The black levels are amazing, the Uniformity could be a bit better in All white backgrounds, but that is extremely rare and hardly noticeably. Like most people I do the abundance of my serious Movie watching sitting in line with the Center of the Screen anyway!
The sound from the speakers is great, once you tune it, by default the speakers put out a bit more bass than the enclosures can handle, so a bit of vibration is produced, but after tuning, it was pefect!
You really need a HD picture to see the glory of this television, a regular cable signal will not do the job, it will highlight every flaw in the picture.
The Widgets and the Internet worked great with the Wi-Fi Adapter, Facebook worked fine, and the Utube loading speed of videos where good. I love checking my stock figures, while not having to break away from the show that I'm watching.
The remote control could be a bit more tactile, I find myself having to look at the keys before pressing, and sometimes pressing the wrong key when playing games, because of the flat keys.
I have yet to view anything in 3D, I am waiting for the prices of the equipement to drop before I do. I didn't buy this TV really for the 3D feature it was just an nice bonus to have for the future.
Now I can not speak on the Longevity of this product as yet, because I have only had it a few weeks, but I will definitely add to this review as the months go by. Also, I will try to post a picture of my setup tonight for all those interested.
So to summarize, if you are looking for the crispest life-like picture that you can imagine, look no further you have found it in the Samsung UN55C8000.
on June 11, 2010
I bought this to replace my 60" Sony A2000, which had suffered an optical block failure. Although I thought the A2000 was great (before it died), the Samsung C8000 beats it in every way imaginable. Most impressive is the black level--once you dial in good settings, blacks are *black*, while contrast and picture detail are retained. (Even out of the box, the picture quality is great, but once a few key adjustments are made, it's simply stunning.)
Another nice touch is the 240Hz "custom" option, which allows you to separate motion blur reduction from dejudder. By cranking up motion blur reduction to 9 or 10, and by leaving dejudder at 0 or 1, the C8000 will produce very smooth, plasma-like motion, while avoiding the "soap-opera" effect that many LCD TVs' 120Hz/240Hz solutions produce.
Finally, a word about Amazon customer service. As much as I loved my TV, when I removed the protective film, I found an unsightly dent in the bezel. I contacted Amazon, and they immediately offered to send a new one and pickup the old one, with no return shipping charge to me. It's great to see when a retailer matches a high-quality product with high-quality customer service.