The system also removes the stress of sound setup with the Musical Auto Calibration (MAC). Using the supplied microphone, it measures speaker distances, levels and frequencies and sets the parameters for you. A word of warning though – the test tone is a blast of orchestral music that will drive you insane if you stay in the room.
Onto 3D, and there’s very little to set up – the Auto mode detects whether a disc is 3D or 2D, or you can choose to output a disc in 3D or 2D at all times. You can also input the size of your TV screen to optimise the appearance of menus and subtitles.
Given the amount of other accessories bundled in the box, it’s surprising that Samsung doesn’t supply the most important one of all – Active 3D glasses. These are available separately for around £60, but for a limited time Samsung is currently offering a voucher with all of its 3D TVs that allows you to claim a free pair.
Thankfully Samsung sent us a pair, as well as a copy of Monsters Vs Aliens (currently the only Full HD 3D disc doing the rounds) and a UE46C8000 3D-ready LED TV. Settling down to watch the movie, there’s no denying that the 3D effect is initially captivating, drawing you into the picture with its increased depth and impressive layering, the key elements that set it apart from 2D.
Testament to this is the response of my five-year-old son, who after donning the glasses kept instinctively reaching his hand out to grab the objects and sat glued to the screen for the rest of the movie, transfixed.
The beauty is that the images are delivered in gorgeous, pristine Full HD, which allows the movie’s beautifully rendered CG detail to be revealed in all its glory, in turn heightening the impact of the 3D picture.
It does, however take a while for your eyes to grow accustomed to the picture. At first we weren’t sure which part of the picture to look at – certain moving objects drift in and out of focus, while camera moves can be disorientating. It took a while for our eyes to settle into the ‘rhythm’ of a 3D picture, and the constant adjustment made them feel tired fairly quickly.
And as John first pointed out in his review of the UE55C8000, there’s some significant ghosting along edges, particularly noticeable where dark objects are set against bright backgrounds. It also occurs with thin lines, such as the supports and cables on the Golden Gate Bridge in chapter 12 – a faint ghostly image can be seen alongside each one, clouding the clarity of the image.
And some 3D tricks simply don’t work at all, like the guy in the observation outpost at the start of the movie batting a ball towards the camera. As it juts forward, the ball gets so blurry that it never really feels as though it’s coming out of the screen. In fact, scenes with prominent foreground activity like this are the hardest for the brain to process, and the best 3D content keeps it to a minimum.