If we were in the business of dishing out awards purely for looks, Samsung’s D8000 range of LCD TVs would have a whole series of glittering trophies in its cabinet. Or sat next to its toilet, depending on the how important it might deem such awards to be.
The UE46D8000 sat on our test benches today is for our money the single most attractive 46in TV we’ve seen. There are more ‘out there’ designs from the likes of Loewe and Bang & Olufsen, but the way the UE46D8000 manages to deliver its considerable screen acreage from a bezel so narrow that it’s barely there is guaranteed to inspire telly envy in all who behold it.
After all, as well as allowing the UE46D8000 to fit in a smaller space and making it a less daunting a presence than your average 46in TV, the minuscule metallic bezel also practically screams ‘cutting edge tech’ at you. Which means that it achieves the extraordinary feat of being irresistible to tech haters and gadget lovers alike.
It’s not just its design that makes the UE46D8000 Samsung’s flagship 46in LCD TV, though. It’s also managed to squeeze more features into its impossibly tiny frame than you would have thought possible.
Its connections, for instance, include four 3D-friendly v1.4 HDMIs, a LAN port, built-in Wi-Fi, and no less than three USBs. What’s more, since wi-fi is built in, you don’t need to ‘waste’ one of the USB ports with an external USB wi-fi dongle.
What you probably will want to use the USB ports for is both playing back multimedia files - including a variety of video formats - from USB drives, and recording from the built-in Freeview HD and Freesat HD tuners to USB HDDs.
The LAN/Wi-Fi options open up a whole world of extra entertainment. For starters, you can use them to access files stored on a networked DLNA-ready PC. Or you can use them to go online in the company of Samsung’s superb Smart TV service.
We’ve covered this service extensively in other recent Samsung reviews, so there doesn’t seem much point doing it again here. All that’s worth reiterating is that the platform currently leads the way in terms of both its interface and the sheer wealth of content available. Video services include - among many other things - LoveFilm, the BBC iPlayer, and Samsung’s own ‘vault’ of downstream-able 3D sources, plus you get Skype, Facebook and Twitter for social networking.
Our only complaint would be that Samsung seems to be adopting a quantity over quality approach to its lower-level apps, presenting you with such a bewildering swathe of largely rubbish games and infotainment fluff that many people probably won’t have the time or inclination to sort the wheat from the chaff.