Samsung D8000 's 3D Material Test | Full HD 3D TV Reviews Blog

Samsung D8000 's 3D Material Test

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last year, it’s fair to say that out of all the major manufacturers’ 3DTV efforts, we were most critical of Samsung’s. While none of the LCD-based 3D TVs really enthused us when it came to 3D (due to annoying crosstalk artefacts).

Samsung’s offerings had two other issues that rival LCD TV makers managed to avoid. First, the tri-dimensional modes of the company’s 2010 3D-capable displays were obviously 60hz-centric, because any European-style 50hz video input to the TV showed obvious judder in its 3D display mode. Secondly, Samsung’s 2010 3D LCDs and Plasmas featured poor quality scaling with 3D signals. Scaling in 3D is required for any content that doesn’t deliver Full HD 1080p to each eye, meaning that 720p 3D and Side-by-Side 3D sources were affected. These two issues meant that it was difficult to recommend last year’s Samsung 3DTV models for use with the Sky 3D channel in the UK, since the video signal is both 50hz and side-by-side encoded!

This year, Samsung has thankfully fixed the scaling issue, meaning that side-by-side encoded 3D material reaches the screen looking as detailed as it possibly could, without any “eroded” details. We ran our own Side-by-Side 3D resolution test chart into the UE55D8000, and were glad to see that all of the fine details were reaching the screen. As for the quality of the motion in 3D, we came across some interesting behaviour.

First, we tested a 3D Blu-ray Disc film (at the 24fps frame rate) on the Samsung UE55D8000, and noticed that the [Motion Plus] system doesn’t behave the same way in 3D as it does in 2D. In 2D, if we selected the “Clear” [Motion Plus] mode, films would be reproduced without any motion interpolation, that is, without any “soap opera effect”. In 3D, all of the [Motion Plus] modes cause interpolation to take place, which isn’t ideal for films, which begin to appear video-like.

The only way to see the picture without any “false motion” being added by the TV was to turn the [Motion Plus] system off entirely, which meant that the only motion we saw was that which existed on the disc in the first place. Unfortunately, this meant that 3D movies played back with some 60hz “telecine judder”. It’s not too huge an issue, but it does mean that there is no way to see 3D Blu-ray Disc films with perfect, cinema-quality motion on the D8000 LED LCD TV.

When we tested for motion issues with 50hz (European standard) 3D material – such as that broadcast by Sky in the United Kingdom – we found ourselves surprised by the results. During our first tests, we noticed that sure enough, some judder was present. The most obvious way of seeing this is to engage the 2D-to-3D conversion mode on a 50hz TV channel featuring high-motion text scrolling, such as the BBC News channel’s headline ticker. By default, the UN55D8000 has its [Motion Plus] mode turned on, so judder will be effectively concealed thanks to the interpolation that is going on.

This is a good workaround for high-motion video material such as sporting events, but not so much for films, since it will cause the “soap opera effect”. We then discovered that, if we entered the “General” menu and enabled “Game Mode” with a 50hz 3D source playing, any judder disappeared and was replaced by brilliant, smooth, natural, uninterpolated cinema-quality motion! This is good news for viewers who want to watch movies from the Sky 3D service without unwanted judder, but again, we’re baffled as to why the best level of performance is hidden away in “Game Mode”.

With mixed results in terms of motion judder, what about the biggest 3D problem of all, crosstalk? There’s a small amount still present, but we don’t feel that it’s a deal-breaker anymore: compared to the C8000 3D LED TV we reviewed last summer, crosstalk is greatly reduced. It can still crop up occasionally, for example around the edges of the Golden Gate bridge during Monsters Versus Aliens‘ San Francisco scene, but it was so mild and so rare that we really didn’t find it intolerable. We’re surprised (and relieved) at just how quickly 3D televisions have been improving compared to last year’s models. Couple the greatly reduced crosstalk with the UN55D8000′s ability to produce a bright, and consistently coloured 3D image (its Greyscale tracking is the best we’ve seen yet from a 3D TV), and you can get a sense of how good 3D can look on this display. It’s a shame there’s no satisfactory way to fully avoid judder with film material, though.

Needless to say, understanding how the Samsung UE55D8000 behaves with different types of content is not for the faint of heart. For users who want to see the most accurate, untouched motion, we will soon be publishing picture settings, as well as information on when to use what mode.



Damon said...

I bought the 55” version of Samsung’s D8000 series and it is such a sleek TV! Though it was expensive, I think it has more than enough features to make up for eating my wallet. A few I like most are the Internet connectivity, the slim bezel, and 3D capabilities. Movies are a big thing for me, and Blu-Rays look so realistic on this TV. When I want to watch my shows, I just switch to my DISH Network HD receiver and start watching sharp looking shows! I’ve had many providers in the past, but none give me more HD channels or better quality than DISH Network. Even if I wasn’t working for them, I would have my subscription to DISH because its just that good. It just make sense to have it on my TV!