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Samsung UE65C8000 - Picture Strengths and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

The extra brightness and detail in dark scenes also helps the UE65C8000’s 3D Blu-ray pictures look slightly more detailed and crisp than Panasonic’s. Until crosstalk steps in and makes a mess of things again, of course.

But here’s the thing. While the UE65C8000 gets some things clearly better with 3D than Panasonic’s 3D plasmas, crosstalk is to us far more likely to a) distract us from what we’re watching and b) cause fatigue than any of the current plasma weaknesses.

Time spent with the expansive range of edge LED TVs that have appeared since the April 55C8000 review have also made us rather less tolerant of another sporadically distracting flaw: an inconsistent backlight. With the UE65C8000 there are some really quite striking areas around the edges of the image that look brighter during dark scenes than the screen as a whole. The problem is exacerbated, moreover, if you use the ‘local dimming’ option, since you can sometimes seen rigid ‘blocks’ of light inconsistency when a predominantly dark picture has a bright element within it.

As with the crosstalk noise, once you’ve spotted the backlight inconsistencies you start to look for them, underlining their potential to distract. The inconsistencies become much more pronounced, too, the wider your viewing angle is to the screen.

At this point its high time we reminded ourselves and you about what ultimately made us feel so positively towards the UE55C8000. So, for instance, we find the UE65C8000 delivering pictures in 2D as well as 3D of blistering intensity, dripping with colour and driven out emphatically by an intense brightness output.

HD images also look fantastically sharp, detailed and textured, and happily this sharpness hardly reduces at all when the TV is asked to cope with lots of motion - especially once you’ve spent quality time with the TV’s Motion Plus controls.

Colours look mostly believable in tone and subtly delineated for the most part, and the set’s rescaling of standard definition is a triumph for a TV of this size, doing a terrific job of suppressing source noise while adding in extra detail to avoid softness.

Make no mistake about it: with bright, 2D, HD material, the UE65C8000 really is a quite beautiful TV to watch. The pity is that it can’t bring the top of its game to all the images it shows.

Sonically the UE65C8000 is pretty much the same as the UE55C8000. Which means it’s a good notch or two better than 2009’s rather disappointing Samsung audio efforts, but still too short of bass to really set the world - or action movies at least - alight.

Verdict

The UE65C8000 effortlessly reaffirms just what works of art Samsung’s latest edge LED 3D TVs are, defying the laws of physics with its absurd screen-to-rear-end size ratio. It also frequently delivers pictures to die for with HD material, and even produces startlingly engaging standard def images for such a mammoth screen. But there’s no doubt that crosstalk noise with 3D and backlight inconsistencies during dark scenes both take their toll on the UE65C8000’s appeal now the 3D and edge LED world has got so much more competitive.

Jones

October 7, 2010, 12:42 pm

It's not this TV but I spotted that Curry's and sister companies are selling a 50 inch Samsung (same design/stand as this one but obviously way down the specs list) with 3 3D specs and a 3D capable Bluray player for a grand. A great price if looking for an introductory route into 3D TV.





Looks like this 3D lark might just manage to hang about for the long haul.

Brian Carter

October 7, 2010, 1:25 pm

What's petty about this TV? The headline on the front page says nothing comes "pettier than this 65in LED-backlit beast".





NB: Feel free to discard the comment once the typos been fixed :)

PS3½

October 7, 2010, 7:02 pm

Thanks for the review John. I have to say that I totally agree with the comments on crosstalk, it's very distracting. Having spent time watching a number of different brands of 3D LCDs I'm of the opinion that it's not worth paying the money for any 3D LCD at present if you're buying it primarily for this feature. The plasmas I've seen do seem to be more adept with 3D, but even the best of these (ie the Panasonics), haven't totally eliminated crosstalk either. In its current guise 3D isn't living up to its billing.

bwaadass

October 7, 2010, 10:00 pm

Just out of interest, does the iPlayer volume work correctly on your TV? On my UE40C8000 it's broken because; Volume Setting 0 = Mute, 1 = Very Quiet, 2 = Very Loud, and 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 are all 100% Volume!!





A good tv though, and if a super thin tv to wall mount is your primary concern (as it was for me) you cannot do better at the moment. People go on and on about the backlight inconsistency and it is evident, but only actually distracting when you have a white on black contrast and therefore for me I only notice it during credits (which I can live with).

Jmac

October 7, 2010, 10:18 pm

@PS3.5 - agreed. I won't be buying into 3D until a couple of generations down the line when the crosstalk issue is resolved. I'm sure the boffins will nail it within a couple of years, and - as with early adoption of any technology - the price to be paid, be it economic or in substandard "first-gen" quirks, is high.

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