Thursday, October 6, 2011

New Model Samsung LED TV - UN65D8000 Reviews For Black Friday

The good: The Samsung UND8000 series has a unique, visually stunning design that minimizes the frame around the screen for a nearly all-picture look. It produces deep black levels with accurate color, along with excellent video processing and improved 3D picture quality. The Smart Hub Internet portal boasts more apps and streaming services than the competition, along with a functional Web browser, and is easier to use thanks to the included dual-sided Bluetooth keyboard with a screen and QWERTY keyboard.

The bad: The UND8000 series is extremely expensive and exhibits poor screen uniformity with excessive brightness variation and banding. Details in shadows were obscured somewhat, and the glossy screen reflects a lot of ambient light. Smart Hub lacks Amazon Instant, its search is next to useless, and its interface can be cluttered and confusing.

The bottom line: The Samsung UND8000 TV delivers best-in-class looks and features, but its picture quality--thanks to uneven screen uniformity--is ultimately not as good as that of many less expensive models.

The Samsung UND8000 LED-based LCD TV shows the company's considerable technological know-how being brought to bear on a simple design goal: to make the "TV" itself disappear as much as possible when turned on, leaving nothing but the picture. The design is a spectacular success, conveying a look in person that will command attention and be worth the exceedingly high price to a certain subset of buyers with cash to burn. And despite its compact dimensions the UND8000 also manages to squeeze in more features than just about any TV we've ever reviewed.

Another subset of buyers, however, will have a hard time overlooking its principal picture-quality flaw. Its screen lacks the brightness and color uniformity required for peak performance, apparently a casualty of that awesome design. At base, the UND8000 represents a simple choice between a quality picture and the best design and features. We think that the entire set of people who can afford this TV shouldn't have to make that choice, but for now they do.

Editors' note, July 27, 2011: Samsung ran a promotion earlier this year that guaranteed a free pair of 3D glasses with this TV. In July the company canceled that promotion, so we have modified this review to remove references to the free glasses. Individual retailers may offer similar promotions, however. Click here for more details.

Series information: We performed a hands-on evaluation of the 55-inch Samsung UN55D8000, but this review also applies to the other screen sizes in the series. All sizes have identical specs and according to the manufacturer should provide very similar picture quality.

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