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Samsung UE55C8000 55in 3D TV - Sky 3D and 3D Game Performance

John Archer

By John Archer
Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Samsung UE55C8000 front

Summary

Our Score

9/10

User Score

Review Price £1,999.95

Crosstalk interference is also there with Sky’s 3D footage. Though for some reason, it’s not quite as obvious or common as it is with the Blu-ray disc I had. In fact, during my testing period with the UE50C8000, Sky’s 3D show reel, plus a full 3D ‘replay’ of the recent Man U Vs. Chelsea football match, delivered the all-round most startling and impressive 3D experience.

This is for a number of reasons. Applying 3D to sports footage actually enhances your comprehension of the game. For instance, with football you can tell immediately if the ball is headed for the goal or going wide - something that’s not always obvious when watching in 2D. Or if someone crosses the ball, you can tell straight away where it’s going to end up, and which players are most likely to get on the end of it.

Samsung UE55C8000 promo shot

With tennis, you get a remarkably enhanced sense of both the pace and spin of the ball. With golf, you get a much better appreciation of the shots the golfers are facing, and the direction the ball is travelling in.

Furthermore, the 3D effect does a striking job of recreating a sense of the enormity of sports venues like Old Trafford.

So while there is some crosstalk interference to contend with when watching Sky’s 3D platform, it’s much easier to tolerate thanks to the trade-off you get in terms of increased appreciation and understanding of what you’re watching.

This is also true with 3D video gaming - albeit to a slightly lesser extent based on the experience of my Avatar Xbox 360 game. In other words, while there’s definitely crosstalk to contend with, 3D really does enhance your sense of participation in and connection with the game. It also seems to add an extra level of skill - or at least, comprehension - to your gaming experience, in that you have to accommodate depth when trying to line up your target on an enemy.

While Avatar is a third-person shooter, it’s easy to imagine the almost visceral impact that adding depth of field might have on first person shooters and driving games.

Avatar screengrab

The pity with all this is that Avatar isn’t a better game because of 3D. It’s pretty enough to look at, sure, and the depth of field of some of its environments is a great showcase for the difference 3D can make to a game’s presentation. But the basic play and camera mechanics are so frustrating and inept that they actually damage the 3D experience, leaving you feeling queasy and disorientated.

Avatar also delivers a poignant exercise in just how important source material might be in the quality of a 3D experience. For intriguingly it allows you to fine tune to quite an extensive degree the level of ‘3D effect’ the game delivers. This is set to a default 1 value, but even at this point, the amount of crosstalk witnessed on the UE55C8000 is headache-inducingly excessive. Pushing it any higher will have you booking an emergency appointment at your optician’s.

Nudging the 3D effect down to around 0.3-0.4, though, drastically reduces the crosstalk issues, while still leaving you with a game world that’s most definitely no longer flat.

Overall, while I was a little surprised to find Sky’s 3D experience sticking in my mind more than my gaming 3D experience, I still can’t wait to see what a more sophisticated game engine might be able to do with the technology.

Last and most certainly least on my list of 3D experiences with the UE55C8000 is its 2D to 3D conversion. While this doesn’t deliver as much crosstalk trouble or as many serious perspective errors as I would have expected, it also produces a very shallow sense of 3D - a sort of ‘3D Lite’. The relative flatness of the image increases, too, with poor quality sources of the sort all too common with standard definition channels on both the Freeview HD and Sky HD platforms.

Personally, I think 2D-3D conversion on the UE55C8000 rather dilutes the 3D message. 3D seems to me inherently an ‘event’ type experience you’d want to save for true 3D content. I can’t see you popping on your glasses just to watch converted episodes of Home and Away!

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hankb6d

April 26, 2010, 9:28 pm

For a pricey unit like this they still expect you to spare the change on HiFi extras to make up for the poor audio now that is a surprise. I await the PS3 740P'ish 3D games on this big TV should be fun to truly see what 3D has to offer.

GoldenGuy

April 26, 2010, 9:32 pm

So you actually played games? With all that extra processing then, has Samsung managed to improve upon last year's input lag reduction? Or are you still not testing that?

Gaurav Sharma

April 27, 2010, 1:39 am

I think the effects of Riyad leaving are already apparent, the most recent TV reviews have been shallow at best.





How does this compare to last year's B8000 model, which it replaces?


How does it compare to previous "10/10" LED sets such as the Sony X4500? If it's 9/10, I'm assuming it falls short, but where and how?


Where is this model placed in Samsung's line-up? Is this their cheapest or most expensive 3D LED TV or neither? (clue: there's a C7000 and C9000 series).


Is the Dynamic Edge lit LED technology worth recommending over standard Edge LED? How does it compare to real backlit LEDs?





etc etc. You can do better.

cliche

April 27, 2010, 4:47 am

yup - mentioned input lag to the new editor in my welcome to him. AM still on a 34 " CRT Trinitron here for gaming. Every milisecond counts (hugs my g9x mouse)

john mortimer

April 27, 2010, 5:13 am

samsung PS50C7000


please review asap as this is like only £1300


or samsung PS63C7000 is like only £2300

LetsGo

April 27, 2010, 1:12 pm

Yeah its not a full review if you do not Quote/Test input lag.

AJ

April 27, 2010, 1:44 pm

Regarding HDMI v1.4





I see that you state this is required to utilise the 3d features of the TV correctly. However I have an AV (Sony ES range) amplifier that only has 1.2 / 1.3 (not quite sure) ports. Does that mean that if I put a "3D source" of any kind through my amplifier I am going to have issues ?





I'm not that keen on 3d in the first place, so if I'm caught having to replace a £700 amp too then it will be a long time before I upgrade.





Finally a small point. Many of us will be buying TV's more for 2d than 3d for a long time yet. Perhaps you could separate the "picture quality" score into 2d and 3d elements in future ?





Thanks.

montana2008

April 27, 2010, 2:02 pm

One of the main reasons a lot of people will jump onto the 3D wagon is due to gaming. Why is'nt there never any mention of input lag in these reviews?...I'm planning on buying PS3/xbox soon or link up my PC to one of these TV's - paying between 1 to 3k we need to know if games are playable surely?

Ed

April 27, 2010, 3:03 pm

Okay guys, we get the picture. We'll look into the issue and see what we can come up with.





@Gaurav Sharma: Not sure what you're on about, this is as in-depth as any other TV review we've done. Also, you're very much missing the point of, well, reviews if you think a 9/10 now makes this a worse TV than one that got 10/10 some time ago. Times change, products move on and so do our goalposts - a couple of years ago you'd be happy with at least one HDMI, now we expect at least three.





@AJ: I can't see us adding 2d and 3d image quality as we've got enough scores for TVs already. Scores are for quick reference and you should read the actual review to understand the subtleties.





@john mortimer: We'll be looking at the full range as soon as possible.

Metalex

April 27, 2010, 3:30 pm

Did I just read Ed making a promise to consider the introduction of input lag figures?!





Hell has frozen over!

Ripsnorter

April 27, 2010, 3:41 pm

This is a lovely set and I'm drooling, I have to admit. But it is not exactly cheap (even allowing for the street price being lower and, one day, falling lower than that). My question: as someone who has no interest in 3D whatsoever - I've tried it enough times, really - how much extra is my wallet being penalised for a capability that is completely unwanted? Or, to put it another way (and what I'd like TR reviews to factor in), how much would/should it cost if it were just a 2D TV? I mean, is this thing worth the price just as a 2D TV?

Ed

April 27, 2010, 3:55 pm

@Metalex: Apparently so. ;)





@Ripsnorter: The premium for 3D capability is actually quite small so far as I'm aware - in the region of a £200 - £300. This is because 3D in this form is essentially nothing more than a fast framerate and a pair of glasses. However, as is often the case, the latest technology is being introduced to the top end hardware first so it's still going to be expensive. I'm not sure about Samsung's products off the top of my head but I do know that Panasonic will be releasing TVs that are identical to the 3D sets just without 3D so we'll be able to see for certain when they arrive.

Charm El Snake

April 27, 2010, 8:42 pm

I am so annoyed that when they came up with the 3D standard, they didn't think to standardise the interface between the telly and the active glasses. You just know you're going to have to put up with extortionately priced glasses from the manufacturers, which will put off people from buying into the new technology. And to make them a separate purchase is simply taking the Mickey.

Hans Gruber

April 28, 2010, 1:16 am

I got to demo one of these 3D tellies in John Lewis today. They were playing Monsters vs Aliens 3D and well, there were some good moments for sure but much of the film (the vast majority) was very flat with little inkling of the extra depth 3D can bring to a film. That said the out of the screen moments were pretty cool.





The active shutter glasses were far more comfortable and much lighter than expected. It's hard to see where that £100+ goes build quality wise. They had rechargeable glasses that you tethered to a charging point (presumably on the telly somewhere) and non-rechargeable kinds. The glasses lowered the overall scene brightness considerably, as did they reduce sharpness to a not too insignificant degree. The TV really was very sharp though - lovely picture for standard 2D as well as a decent enough pic (with the glasses on) for 3D. The Samsung 3D Blu-ray drive was an extra £350. Anyone wanting to swap this TV for my -cough- Kuro, well, just leave your details here and I'll get back to you (pronto!).





AJ - unfortunately you will need a new amp with HDMI 1.4 to support the 3D side of pictures, as well as a new Blu ray player and a new TV of course. Definitely not a cheap upgrade. Onkyo have just released their latest refresh of their AV line that support HDMI 1.4.

AJ

April 28, 2010, 12:44 pm

Thanks @Red





I guess that's me out of the "new TV" race for a long time then. Although I take it I will still be able to update my TV sometime in the future with my present Amp if I'm not bothered about 3D.





HDMI being a moving standard is really one of the HiFi companies worst ideas ever. It's also hugely confusing and your average bloke on the street doesn't even know about it at all. Even looking at the Sony website today for their present top of the range amps it does not tell you what versions the HDMI ports support. The fact it isn't software upgradeable is just the icing on the cake.





The only bright side to this is that 3D in the home is pointless and I don't for 1 second feel the need to buy a TV with it. Sitting around in a darkened room, 5ft from a 55" screen with sunglasses on is a good idea ? I think not.

jopey

April 28, 2010, 3:25 pm

@AJ The amp might work with 3D. HDMI1.4 has the same bandwidth and data transfer speeds as 1.3. The only thing the amp would not be able to pass-through are the new flags which tell the TV when a 3D mode is being transmitted. It just might be a case of you needing to select (on the TV) which 3D mode the blu-ray player is putting out. Much like manually adjusting aspect ratio.

Metalex

April 28, 2010, 5:44 pm

Jopey has a point I think - there is some debate as to whether current HDMI 1.3 amps will be able to passthrough an HDMI 1.4 signal, maybe by bypassing any amp video processing etc. For example, on my Denon AVR-2310 it's possible to switch off video conversion, which means that the HDMI signal is basically untouched from source to TV.





Red, don't forget that a firmware update is coming for the PS3 which will enable it to play 3D Blu-Ray. The PS3 isn't HDMI 1.4, so obviously some form of 3D is possible with earlier versions of HDMI. Moreover, current Sky HD boxes, which also do not have HDMI 1.4, will support Sky 3D broadcasts. However, I have no idea whether there will be a noticeable decrease in picture quality when using equipment with older HDMI ports. Maybe someone from TR with first-hand experience can answer this question.

Hans Gruber

April 28, 2010, 6:10 pm

AJ, jopey & Metalex - sorry should say I gave an unqualified & over-simplified answer since I was thinking of in-receiver processing and not simple passthrough. It gets complicated where AV receivers are concerned so please forgive the perhaps less than helpful response AJ, I was going by bare specs rather than any experience or thought for how you could find a workaround. Just assumed it would double up bandwidth requirements, more like 4K would than simple 2K extended (as with revisions of 1.3xx)? Should say I don't know about the tech side really. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H...

AJ

April 28, 2010, 8:15 pm

Thanks everyone. I actually suspected this may be the case.





Interesting to hear that the PS3 has an update coming out (from a curiosity point of view). As stated above I'm really not interested in the 3D, but just peeved off that at some point in the future I can see myself having to buy a new amp just to upgrade the ports. Still that's a long way off yet.





And to begin with HDMI seemed such a good idea too :-(

Hans Gruber

April 28, 2010, 11:41 pm

HDMI simplifying things? Yeah, didn't it just? ;) Now some are saying DisplayPort offers a better deal since (unlike HDMI) it's royalty free.

RobertFord

May 4, 2010, 12:15 pm

Hi guys,


I’m new to your community and because I did my homework before purchasing a 55” C8000 I am now, after 3 weeks of ownership and day and night (how much of night only my wife knows ) testing and ENJOYING in the position to express myself to the public.


First of all my location is Bellevue WA, USA (this is near Seattle); second, I must tell you that I was in the market for a 55” 240 Hz LED to replace my 42” Plasma screen.


Because I’m a Samsung fan I first looked for a Samsung, but… Surprise, the only 2010 set to fit my needs is a 3D. It has never crossed my mind to go for a 3D before that. So… Go back home and do your homework for 3D. I found out that there is a Samsung (the only 3D on the market) named C7000, but if I’ll wait for seven more days I could get the C8000, much nicer better features, bla, bla, bla…


I started to look up the differences and realized it makes a whole lot of sense to wait.


The deal was a price match at the most up scaled specialty store and I got it for 2799 + the 3D Blue Ray player for 399 and the “starter kit” consisting of two pairs of active glasses and the only 3D available movie for free. You will have to add the tax of 9,5% to the package.


Because I have a high tech wiring inside the wall consisting of all you might want to hook up to your screen but two years ago’s technology I thought that my HDMI (1.3) will do. WRONG!!! I didn’t! And the reason why that happened is that 1.3 has no wire on pin 19.


1.4 has!!! This explains also why all devices able to get an update for 3D are able to do so. The hard upgrade is in the cable and not the device itself.


All these devices have pin 19 hooked up “for future use”. I hope it does make sense. Don’t get me wrong, everything works fine, but the 3D coming from the Player.


Back to the TV! It’s a great piece of technology to own. And the reason for me not waiting for the competition to come up with their stuff was simple the fact that Samsung is the only company to do 2d to 3D conversion.


The 3D from the Player and the 3D disk is fabulous. The rest of HD content, no matter where it comes from (we have over 200 channels in HD), satellite or Blue Ray will show deepness depending of the type of content. Wearing glasses is no issue due to the fact that they are extremely light.


Watching in 3D is an event and not the common way to watch TV. One thing I noticed after testing a lot: You will have to change settings for 3D out of 2D comparing to watching in 2D. It was a little bit annoying before finding the best settings ever for the best results ever, but now it’s only fun.


I would say go with Samsung for this conversion feature or you will spend too much for the limited content available to watch in 3D with a different brand. BTW, 46” is nothing compared to 55”.


Have fun!

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