This hdtv is awosome, for the money i believe its the best. some of the tv’s coming out later this year are sure to beat it but thier also going to cost a couple grand more. 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.
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.
et 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.
If you’re like me, you read several reviews to get a feel for the product. My two cents are to help those like me that were on the fence for about two months and then finally decided to pull the trigger. My first thing to do is to tell you what I upgraded from- a Panasonic 55″ HDTV rear projection (no hdmi ports) with a Panasonic progressive scan dvd player. My first impressions after a week of watching satellite tv, blue-ray dvd, and 3D is–WOW! I bought this tv, the 3D blu ray player, the starter kit (included in my purchase at no charge), a wireless adapter for the tv, and two hdmi cables. Purchased everything through Amazon rather than a retail store for (a) a better price by $350 over BB, and (b) to save the sales tax of over $200 to get a new entertainment shelf/bracket unit. First thing on my mind is if you get this setup get the hdmi cables because none are included with the tv or the blu ray player. I’m also glad I got the wireless adapter because it’s much cleaner and easier to access the internet content. The 3D content is what we’re all paying for so I’ll start with that. First, I’m glad that DirecTV includes four 3D channels at no charge, and the system recognizes the tv is able to run 3D so it adds the channels when you add them to your guide. Second, I find myself using the 3D effect for regular programming to give HD shows added depth and dimension. True 3D content is thin right now, but I’m getting great enjoyment watching Lord Of The Rings (my standard dvd extended versions)in 3D with the upconverter on the tv. True 3D content pops off the screen, and upconverted television programs and non-blu ray movies get a feeling of depth and background dimension. Regular HD picture is beautiful. The blu ray picture is incredible. As far as the internet apps, I use Netflix to stream movies and Pandora for music. The Netflix picture was not impressive but I had to upgrade my internet speed to get a better quality picture (not the TV’s fault). I was worried about having these items shipped but had no problems. The tv was delivered by a local shipper and was checked for damage and was powered up before they left. Everything programmed easily (no geek squad necessary), and tweaked settings to my personal preferences over the next few days. Everything is working flawlessly thusfar. Bottom line for me is if 3D becomes the next frontier of in-home entertainment, I am ready, and if 3D doesn’t pan out, I still have an HD tv with internet apps, beautiful picture and sound, and awesome blu ray viewing, with the added benefit of giving a 3D-like look to any movie or program. My suggestion is to read up on proper setup and optimal viewing distance, it will help you have a better experience Best Price 55 3D TV Samsung UN55C8000 and it’s a great value..