Moving on to the 55D8000’s 3D features, the most notable addition is auto-detection of incoming side-by-side 3D formats of the sort delivered by Sky’s 3D channel, saving you the bother of manually activating side-by-side mode in the TV’s menus. You can also adjust the image’s depth and focus via a 3D ‘optimisation’ slider.
What really matters about the 55D8000’s 3D capabilities, though, is that they deliver the 3D goods much more successfully than those of Samsung’s first-generation of 3D TVs.
First and most importantly, they suffer much less with crosstalk. Scenes like the ”Monsters Vs Aliens” Golden Gate bridge sequence and archived Sky footage from the ”Ryder Cup” is much less prone to the old double ghosting problem, especially if you don’t go too mad with the backlight setting (around 12 seemed to work best).
This has a massively positive impact on the 3D experience, allowing you to watch 3D for longer without feeling tired, and finally making it possible to see without distraction just how detailed and crisp Samsung’s 3D engine can make full HD 3D material (from Blu-ray) look. Furthermore, the huge reduction in crosstalk also makes the 55D8000’s images seem to have a greater depth, without your eyes having to work overtime to resolve everything.
The other two palpable hits about the 55D8000’s 3D performance are the richness of colours and the striking brightness level that remain even after you’ve donned Samsung’s active shutter glasses – glasses which, incidentally, have shifted to Bluetooth syncing with the TV rather than the old infra-red system.
It’s this brightness and colour potency that represented the most significant Samsung 3D advantage over the otherwise excellent 3D plasma TVs last year, so it must be a little scary for the plasma brands to find Samsung not only improving its 3D brightness and colour response, but also drastically reducing last year’s big LCD weakness, crosstalk.
That said, the 55D8000 hasn’t got rid of crosstalk completely. There are still minor traces of it to be seen here and there – more, still, than we saw on Panasonic’s 2010 plasmas, in fact. But let’s be quite clear, here: the 55D8000 is definitely a true advance for the 3D cause, and sets the bar high for the rest of 2011’s TVs.