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Samsung PS51D8000 - 3D Picture Quality

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung PS51D8000


Our Score:


Yet more good news finds the PS51D8000’s HD images looking extremely crisp and detailed, and in a real advance over previous Samsung plasma generations, this sharpness is achieved without the picture looking ‘fizzy’ or grainy. Sharpness remains intact when there’s lots of motion going on too, in typical plasma style. And Samsung has managed to keep plasma’s common dithering noise over moving objects almost completely out of the picture. There are no serious problems with judder either.

Other strengths comprise fairly satisfying upscaling circuitry for standard definition viewing, the fact that you can watch the screen from pretty extreme angles without its pictures losing any contrast or colour, a gaming-friendly input lag of just 32ms, and finally the extent to which the screen soaks up ambient light compared with some other rather reflective big-screen TVs we’ve seen recently.

Samsung PS51D8000

Donning the single pair of 3D glasses you get free with the TV, the good news mainly continues.

Full HD 3D Blu-rays, for instance, look exceptionally sharp and detailed - more so, in fact, than they do on Panasonic’s 3D plasmas.

The sense of depth the screen creates is reasonably deep but always natural and never fatiguing, and pictures are a bit brighter than those of a well-calibrated Panasonic 3D model - a fact which also means you can see a little more detail in dark picture areas.

There’s also less of the hated crosstalk double ghosting noise than you get with most rival 3D TVs too - including Samsung’s own LCD models. However, the PS51D8000 does clearly suffer more with crosstalk than the Panasonic 3D plasmas with which it inevitably draws comparison, especially - though not exclusively - during dark scenes.

Samsung PS51D8000

One other area for Samsung to work on is its 3D colours. For it seemed to us that the set doesn’t adjust its colour tones enough automatically when a 3D input is detected to compensate for the colour-changing impact of the 3D glasses. We ended up calibrating things to look better ourselves, and leaving our settings permanently stored under the Dynamic picture preset, using adjusted versions of the Standard or Movie presets for normal 2D viewing.

With excellent black levels and light uniformity to join the other 3D strengths described earlier, though, the PS51D8000 remains one of the better 3D screens we’ve seen to date. Wrapping up with the PS51D8000’s audio, it’s another success story for the most part. Very decent levels of volume can be achieved without the speakers sounding compressed or distorted, and the mid-range is open and bright without trebles descending into harshness. There’s even a reasonable amount of bass to be heard - something that’s very rare in the flat TV world.


While the PS51D8000’s 3D pictures aren’t perfect, they’re still well above average by the standards of the 3D world at large. As such, they join with its terrific 2D picture quality and some well rounded, potent audio in making the PS51D8000 an almost ridiculously good value proposition for the discerning buyer.

Overall Score


Scores In Detail

  • 2D Quality 9
  • 3D Quality 8
  • Design 10
  • Features 9
  • Sound Quality 8
  • Value 10

A Scotland

October 28, 2011, 6:56 pm

A couple of questions if you get a moment:-

1. Does this suffer from the indefeatable noise reduction "feature" of the Samsung LCD tvs?

2. Which would you choose out of the Panasonic GT30 or this?

A Scotland

October 28, 2011, 7:06 pm

One more question. Where have you seen it available for £1099 (as per the "price as reviewed")? Everywhere I look seems to be about £200 more than this making it significantly more expensive than the GT30.


John Archer

October 31, 2011, 8:57 pm

Hello A Scotland!

Regarding your first question, it does suffer undefeatable noise reduction unless you use the set's Game mode. This isn't actually too bad a situation, though, as you still get a good if not full set of picture adjustments available to you within the Game mode setup.

Also, I would argue that the undefeatable noise reduction isn't a really severe issue with HD sources, as there's usually so little noise in such sources anyway. But this is just my personal view and I know it won't tally with everyone's way of thinking!
As for whether I'd choose the Samsung over the GT30, that's a really good question as each screen has its distinct advantages. The GT30 is undoubtedly the best for 3D, simply because it has practically no crosstalk. The Samsung's 3D pictures are brighter and more colourful, but for me crosstalk is always the thing I struggle with most when watching 3D.
The GT30 also delivers a richer black level response in 2D mode, which can pay handsome dividends when watching films. However, the Samsung model has a more stable brightness level and much better motion handling with normal TV viewing. And its 2D pictures are brighter and more colourful for the most part. And the Samsung is a much prettier set aesthetically, AND it's got a (currently) superior Smart TV online service.
So the Panasonic model is probably the best option for serious HD movie fans, while the Samsung is a better 'all-rounder' when it comes to coping with - and providing - lots of different sources.
As for the £1099.99 price, it's available for that at www.electrical-shopping.com - though I note that the standard delivery charge is a pretty exorbitant £70...
Hope this is all helpful to you.



November 2, 2011, 5:56 pm

Another question, whats the best tv for 3d and 2d right now that I could buy?
so far theres no definitive answer i can find.......


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