Other key features of the UE65C8000 include a degree of (optional) local dimming, where sections of the lights around the screen’s edges can be controlled individually, and a 2D to 3D conversion system that continues to look like one of the best around.
Personally, we still have a major philosophical problem with the whole idea of 2D to 3D conversion, as even a system as clever as that of the UE65C8000 can’t deliver anything like the same quality as a 3D programme that was made that way at source. This means to us that converted 2D images could really undermine 3D’s chances of success. But pretty much all the 3D-making brands now believe 2D to 3D conversion is necessary, so we guess we’ll have to shut up and let them get on with making a mess of things by themselves.
With so many more 3D TVs under our belts since our April date with the 55C8000, we headed straight for the 65C8000’s 3D images to see how they hold up against the increased competition. And to see if the screen’s extra inches either enhance or highlight weaknesses in Samsung’s 3D experience.
The first thing we have to say isn’t good news. For having experienced Panasonic’s plasma 3D TVs since we saw the 55C8000, the crosstalk noise evident on the 65C8000 feels harder to live with than it was before.
Crosstalk noise, if you don’t know, is a phenomenon where you can see double ghosting around certain objects – usually those in the mid to far distance – when watching 3D sources. And it’s apparent to some degree on the majority of 3D images the UE65C8000 presents – especially in the first hour after the TV has been switched on from cold.
Every time we see crosstalk – which is very regularly on the UE65C8000 – we are distracted by it. And the more we’re distracted by it, the less we can stop ourselves looking for it in subsequent images.
Worse, after watching 3D on the UE65C8000 for as little as half an hour we felt rather tired and eye-strained. Much more so than after the same time watching a Panasonic 3D TV (notwithstanding the rubbish quality of Panasonic’s first generation of 3D glasses). This extra fatigue with the UE65C8000, we’re convinced, is caused by our eyes trying to compensate for crosstalk.
Crosstalk also makes 3D pictures generally look rather soft and out of focus at times, and can draw your attention to background parts of the picture rather than the main content you’re usually supposed to be focussing on. In this respect it even undermines the ways depth can be used to direct your viewing experience with the best 3D sources.
Sorry if we seem to be banging on about crosstalk here, but for us it’s become the single biggest obstacle – aside, perhaps, from public apathy! – to 3D’s potential success. What’s more, it’s also become a defining issue in the battle between plasma and LCD technology, for on the evidence seen so far, it’s a simple fact that Panasonic’s plasma TVs suffer less with it than all alternate-frame 3D LCD models.
The LCD camp, of course, point to other things they do well with 3D that plasma struggles with. For instance, the UE65C8000’s 3D images are much brighter and more vibrantly colourful than those of Panasonic’s plasmas. There’s more shadow detail during dark scenes too.