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Samsung UE55D8000 review

John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung UE55D8000


Our Score


User Score


  • Gorgeous near bezel-free design
  • Superb picture quality in 2D and 3D
  • We like the Smart TV engine


  • Apps quality is hit and miss
  • Minor crosstalk with 3D
  • Very slight backlight consistency flaw

Review Price £1,999.95

Key Features: Active 3D playback; New Smart Hub interface; Ultra-slim bezel; 'Apps'-style online functionality; AllShare/DLNA/USB multimedia support

Manufacturer: Samsung

Samsung kicked off the whole 3D 'ruck' last year in typically bold style with its C8000 TV series. This combined sensational design with cutting-edge 3D tech and a much-improved online service. Which is, um, exactly the deal on offer from this year's D8000 series, as it happens!

Don't take this to mean that Samsung has just been sitting on its hands since the C8000s were launched. On the contrary, in surprisingly many ways the D8000 series - as represented here by the huge 55in UE55D8000 - is a sizeable step forward from its predecessors.

This is particularly true where design is concerned. For Samsung has sensibly realised that forever focusing on trimming down its TVs' rear ends doesn't necessarily make much sense when you consider that most normal folk spend the vast majority of their time watching their TVs from the front. The result is a TV that's slightly deeper around the back than last year's models, but which has practically no bezel at all. Honestly.

The 'frame' around the 55in screen measures a mere 5mm across, making it easily the slimmest bezel we've seen. It's a marvel of engineering that becomes even harder to get your head round when you consider that the 55D8000 is driven - as with last year's Samsung C8000 series - by edge LED lighting. In other words, somewhere under that minuscule, metallic bezel Samsung has found the space to tuck all the lights it needs to drive a 55in screen. The mind truly boggles.

As well as making the 55D8000 stand out from crowded TV shelves, the nearly bezel-free design also, of course, enables the 55D8000 to occupy spaces that other 55in TVs might struggle to fit. Our experience with various 3D TVs to date, moreover, suggests that trimmer bezels can enhance 3D's potential to immerse you in the worlds on show. We're not entirely sure why this might be so, but suspect it has something to do with the way normal, chunky TV frames tend to create a false, two-dimensional border to the three-dimensional image shown inside.

The UE55D8000 is Samsung's flagship 2011 TV (last year's C9000 flagships are continuing rather than being replaced), so it's no surprise to find it brimming with features. The highlight of which - from this writer's point of view, at least! - is its new 'Smart TV' functionality.

We're only too aware that not everyone is exactly bubbling over with excitement at the arrival of Smart TVs, with their online, apps-based functionality, feeling that they're an unnecessary complication of a TV with something that can be done better on other types of device. But while it's not perfect, we honestly think that a few hours spent with the UE55D8000 could be enough to change many naysayers' minds.

For starters, there's the Smart Hub. This new onscreen menu, accessed via a dedicated button on the remote control, gives you access to the myriad sources the TV supports from a single, beautifully designed, graphics-heavy and 'hi-res' portal screen. You can get directly to video, photo or music files stored on any USB sticks you might have slotted into the TV's three USB ports; you can jump straight to the built-in HD tuners (both Freesat and Freeview are supported); you can explore the contents of a DLNA PC if you have one networked (either via Ethernet or the 55D8000's built-in Wi-Fi system); you can head off onto the Internet via a built-in browser; or you can delve into Samsung's new, improved, apps-driven online service.

There's also a new Video section that gets its own space on the Hub and allows you to access information on most of the films you can think of, recommend films to friends, and even track down streamed screenings of a film (though this side of the service wasn't fully supported on our pre-official launch sample).

There's even a Universal Search tool that can be set to trawl the Internet at large as well as just all of your local 'on TV' content.

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Michael G

March 10, 2011, 2:16 pm

£2500 TVs, £2000 projection screens...yeah I think I see the direction TR is heading in.


March 10, 2011, 2:44 pm

Yeah, god, that's all we ever review...



March 10, 2011, 8:53 pm

Stunningly elemental design spoilt somewhat by the sadly necessary lapel at the bottom. I would have preferred you to detail it's SD upscaling qualities too since that's what the majority of content that'll be viewed on this.


March 10, 2011, 10:53 pm

One the Swedish Samsung site (www.samsung.se) there's a TV called UE55D8005 and I guess it's the same thing as the one reviewed here. Anyway, according to the information on the site, UE55D8005 has a built-in web browser. Did you find a web browser on this one, with the option to browse the entire Internet? Did you test it? Was it good?


March 11, 2011, 2:54 pm

@OneMoreMartin - I'm afraid John Archer doesn't respond to questions or comments.


March 11, 2011, 8:04 pm

@Metalex - it's because he's developed square (or widescreen) eyes from all the up close and personal TV testing he's undertaken over the years!

His eyes fail to recognise the glyphs in our comments - his eyes are too busy checking out the shade and geometry of the individual pixels.

He's the stig of the visual entertainment world.




March 11, 2011, 10:42 pm

@Metalex - well, I guess I will find out sooner or later. Someone, somewhere, somewhen should have the answer. Maybe it's you, maybe it's me, John Archer it doesn't have to be.


March 11, 2011, 11:41 pm

Now that's what I call FREE MARKET COMPETITION. Top that Pani!!

Given the HIGH scores for picture quality, at first I thought it was a plasma tv and had to read the first few paragraphs a second time to make sure there wasn't some mistake.

Thus in fact I would expect a similar spec and quality plasma tv to be priced at £1999.99.

As for the web browsing with this tv, well it should not be beyond the bonds of current technology and the concept has at least been seen by me in American (non sci-fi) tv programmes. As I cannot see in the context of the stories that it was done specifically for the programmes I would say it was done with real technology.

So well done Sams.


March 22, 2011, 6:35 pm

Ok - I'm liking this TV a lot ! An awful lot in fact.

Love the very slim bezel design. Love the apps built in (is iPlayer coming?).

Not a fan of 3D but I guess it just can't be avoided on this size TV now.

Wish the stand was a little less lary, and protuded a little less at the front but I'll have to consider that if I go ahead and buy it. Guess I should let the price settle anyway / see how the other new sets for this year compare before leaping in.

Very very interesting though.


May 25, 2011, 8:25 pm

Design is good, but there are a lot of problems whis new D series models, like pixel burnout (like on plasma tv's), 3D is a little bit better then on C series, Motion in horizontal direction is much more worse than on C series and main problem what i hate is - No Digital programm sorting WTF?
Sony is much more better

Jan Andersen

June 8, 2011, 3:45 am

If Samsung made a 21:9 50" as above, I promise I will not request more from a TV.

Now that Philips somehow is on its way out - can we pray that Samsung will pickup the lead, and continue what Philips started.


February 27, 2012, 7:22 am

Samsung Electronics may have been good last year but I'm afraid Samsung won't be able to win this time with their new OLED TV technology since many fingers are pointing towards LG OLED TV and even Sony is going up very strongly as well. The truth is that Samsung has had a lot of complains and even lawsuit for their LCD/Plasma TVs power defects. Some here: http://www.engadget.com/2012/0...


December 4, 2012, 11:42 pm

I have this model from Samsung at home. The picture is great, but is lagging behind the audio. I tried connecting a Lip Sync Corrector to the TV, but it only goes up to 300 ms, which unfortunately is not enough. Is there a way to fix the problem? Paying appr. $3000 for a TV that cannot manage to hold sound and vision together, is unacceptable.

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