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Samsung UE46D8000 - Set Up and 3D Performance

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

As with many Samsung TVs that have come our way this year, the UE46D8000’s out of the box picture settings are pretty ‘out there’; far too bright, contrast-rich and colour-heavy. This makes them eye-catching, certainly, but it also exaggerates source noise, makes colours look unbalanced, and worst of all causes some pretty obvious backlight consistency problems during dark scenes.

Thankfully, although it’s not endorsed by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), the UE46D8000 is packed with enough picture calibration tools to put things right. At the very least you should make sure you set the backlight down to its 12-13 (out of 20) setting, and get the contrast down to around its ’80’ (out of 100) setting. But we’d also recommend that you tinker with the set’s white balance and especially colour management tools if you really want to start to see the sort of subtlety the UE46D8000 is capable of as well as its more obvious dynamism.

Samsung UE46D8000

The UE46D8000’s high position in Samsung’s range means, of course, that it’s equipped with 3D. And this being Samsung rather than its Korean rival LG, this 3D is of the full HD active variety, with a single pair of active shutter glasses included in the box. You also get what is currently for our money the mainstream TV world’s best 2D to 3D conversion processing.

The UE46D8000’s 3D pictures additionally stand out from most other active 3D sets with their brightness and colour richness. Not because Samsung’s Bluetooth-fed 3D glasses knock less brightness out of the picture than most, but because the edge LED lighting system that drives the set is capable of pumping out pretty extraordinary levels of vibrancy considering how little physical bodywork there is to play with.

The catch with the UE46D8000’s 3D performance shows up during dark scenes. For it's here that crosstalk ghosting noise appears fairly routinely. And as ever, when it does appear it distracts you from what you’re watching and gives the impression that the picture is slightly out of focus.

Samsung UE46D8000

This is all the more unfortunate because actually, when crosstalk isn’t around (which is the case, thankfully, during almost all bright and colourful scenes, and even during dark scenes if they don't contain any small, bright elements) the UE46D8000’s HD 3D pictures look unusually crisp and detailed.

With 2D, provided you follow the simple setup advice mentioned earlier, there are really no major negatives to report. In fact, its 2D pictures are consistently brilliant.

gdawg304

November 4, 2011, 2:44 pm

@ John:

Out of interest, if you were having to pick between this Samsung and the Panasonic 46GT30 based on actual performance as an all-round 2D display (so ignoring 3D crosstalk issues as I wouldn't be using 3D), where would you put your cash and why? I believe you reviewed the 50 inch version of the Panasonic a few months ago.

The Samsung looks a lot cooler, but the Panny is a plasma which seems to be the weapon of choice for home cinema buffs (and who am I to argue with them?) and is about £300 - £400 cheaper....but sounds like the Samsung has fantastic picture quality too (and looks cooler? Did I say that already? lol ).

Doesn't hurt that the Panasonic is available with a free 5 year warranty, 2 pairs of 3D glasses (which I could sell on ebay), a Blu Ray player and some free movies.

gdawg304

November 4, 2011, 3:50 pm

Plus add the D7000 into the mix since it's cheaper than the D8000 whilst being the same tech...

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