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Samsung Series 8 UE46B8000 - 46in LCD TV
Samsung isn't the UK's biggest selling TV brand for nothing, you know. For, in another display of the sort confidence - bordering on bravado - and vision that's left its rivals trailing, Samsung has this year launched not just a couple of TVs using LED backlighting, but a whole new category of LED TVs, comprising no less than three different ranges. And, rather excitingly, it's a model from the highest of these three ranges, the B8000 series, that I've got my hands on today.
At 46 inches, UE46B8000 certainly looks every inch a flagship TV. For a start it's astoundingly slim - less than 30mm deep off its stand, in fact. Samsung's addition of a clear, centimetre-wide prism beyond the edges of the screen's glossy black, ultra-minimalist frame also looks divine, as does the transparent ‘neck' that joins the TV to the included (though not pre-attached) metal desktop stand.
As if all this wasn't already opulent enough, Samsung has also conjured up a special wall mount bracket option for the B8000 series that reduces the gap between the TV and your wall to just 0.6in, while using just a single screw. Impressive.
Making the extreme slenderness of the set all the more remarkable is the fact that unlike most ultra-slim TVs, it has somehow managed to squeeze both analogue and digital (Freeview) tuners into its svelte form.
There's even a huge connections roster - removing the need for an external tuner/switching box - with highlights including four HDMIs, two USB ports (one impressively capable of working with USB HDD devices) and a DLNA-certified Ethernet port capable of bringing in multimedia files from your PC or other DLNA-certified storage devices. Chunky SCART connections are also supported, albeit only via a provided adaptor that takes the traditional SCART end and converts it into something a whole lot more slender.
However, Samsung's decision to include all the necessary connections and tuners within the B8000's main body rather than using an external multimedia box won't suit everybody. After all, it means that you'll have to either suffer or hide reams of cables spooling out of the TV's rear, rather than just having a single cable like you get with, say, the Philips Essence TV. This cable spaghetti could be especially troubling for people wanting to hang this set on the wall.
Given how few of us ever actually get round to wall-hanging our flat TVs, though, I have a sneaky suspicion that the B8000's ‘everything built in' approach will win it more friends than enemies.