Follow the setup advice mentioned previously and the Samsung UE65F8000 rewards you with pictures that are mostly nothing short of spectacular.
Black levels are excellent with the backlight reduced, for starters, but Samsung’s Macro Dimming is clever enough to ensure that the good black levels are joined by impressive amounts of the shadow detail that keeps dark scenes looking involving and natural.
It’s also impressive how dynamic pictures look even when they’re predominantly dark – though obviously good local dimming sets like the Sony 55W905A can score slightly better in this respect.
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The Samsung UE65F8000 displays on a grand scale Samsung’s deft touch with colour. The usual trademark Samsung combination of extremely rich saturations and exceptional levels of tonal shift/blend subtlety are present and correct, and dazzle your eye even more than usual because of the screen’s prodigious dimensions. The way skin tones appear without a trace of blotching or ‘smoothing’ is particularly striking.
As well as making pictures instantly look more natural, the subtlety and range of the UE65F80000’s colours also means pictures look more detailed and high resolution, joining with the excellent shadow detailing in reminding us that it’s not just sharpness alone that defines how textured and ‘HD’ pictures look on a TV.
When you’re testing LCD TVs you also have to be on the look out for image sharpness being reduced by motion blur, caused by LCD panels’ relatively slow response times. But here again the Samsung UE65F8000 does well, even without its Motion Plus motion compensation processing engaged.
Activating Motion Plus on its Clear level can improve clarity further, though, without causing too much in the way of unwanted processing side effects, so you might want to at least experiment with it.
For the most part, then, the prodigious size of the Samsung UE65F8000 simply provides a bigger forum in which to marvel at the stunning picture quality already experienced on smaller F8000 models. There are a trio of areas where the extra screen inches do cause Samsung a little trouble, though.
First, unless you’re sat quite some distance from the TV, its screen’s limited viewing angle can mean that you see slight local differences in the image’s underlying brightness tone even if you’re only watching from quite a gentle off-axis angle.
Next, even when using the backlight setting at the low 6-7 level we very occasionally spotted slightly more evidence of backlight inconsistency and clouding at the image’s extremities than we saw on the 55-inch F8000 model.
The only other issue is that you’re more likely to notice both excessive dot crawl and a little shimmering noise over HD fine details unless you reduce the image’s sharpness level to as low as 30.