It’s also striking how bright and colourful the UE46C8000’s 3D pictures look, with markedly less brightness being lost when you’re wearing the glasses than is the case with Panasonic’s 3D pictures.
There’s a great sense of depth and vibrancy to the UE46C8000’s HD 3D efforts too, and we should further add that a built-in 2D-3D processor does a better job of converting ordinary 2D sources into 3D than we would have imagined possible. We can’t imagine many people using this feature all that often - especially as the converted 3D pictures are no match for the real HD 3D deal. But we guess it might just tide a few folk over until more 3D sources arrive, if they’re looking for an instant return on their hefty investment.
During our review of the UE55C8000, though, we noted significant problems with something called crosstalk noise when watching 3D - and this is sadly true of the UE46C8000 too.
Crosstalk appears as ghosting around objects, with the depth in the field of the object affecting how apparent the crosstalk noise is. For instance, in the Monsters Vs Aliens 3D Blu-ray, the struts of the Golden Gate bridge during the fight scene there almost all suffer quite noticeably with crosstalk, especially those in the distance. Similar if less extreme signs of ghosting are common elsewhere too, including on Sky’s 3D channel and when playing the Avatar 3D console game on our Xbox 360.
In fact, with the Avatar game, the crosstalk noise makes your eyes feel tired after just half an hour or so of play. And finally in the 3D negative column, the picture’s clarity only reaches its best after the TV has warmed up for an hour or so after switching the TV on.
When we reviewed the UE55C8000, it was the first 3D TV we’d been able to spend quality time with, so we weren’t sure how much the crosstalk would be inherent to all 3D TVs. But now that we’ve tested Panasonic’s P50VT20 3D TV, we can say definitively that while the P50VT20 doesn’t completely eradicate crosstalk, it certainly suffers far, far less with it than either of the Samsung models we’ve now seen.
Two more general (not just 3D) concerns find the UE46C8000’s viewing angle rather limited, and its black level response less convincing than it was on Samsung’s previous edge LED generation - a result, we suspect, of Samsung emphasising brightness more to compensate for the brightness lost during 3D viewing.
The UE46C8000 manages to sound slightly better than Samsung’s previous edge LED models, with slightly more volume and ‘punch’ to the sound. But perhaps inevitably for such a slim TV, it still doesn’t sound anything special, thanks to a lack of bass and rather under-powered mid-range. In fact, it sounds slightly less impressive than the UE55C8000 - a result, no doubt, of it having 5W less power per channel than its bigger sibling.
As a piece of technological design, the UE46C8000 can’t be beat. And it’s a stellar 2D picture performer too. These two factors alone could be enough to make the UE46C8000 an essential purchase for some.
However, while we admire the brightness and colour vibrancy of the UE46C8000’s 3D pictures, now we’ve seen what Panasonic’s P50VT20 can do with 3D, we know that the amount of crosstalk noise the Samsung sets suffer with when showing 3D is actually unnecessary. This for us means the UE46C8000 merely confirms that the Panasonic is the model of choice for anyone serious about 3D.