Samsung UN55D8000 Every bit as good as I expected | Full HD 3D TV Reviews Blog

Samsung UN55D8000 Every bit as good as I expected

Saturday, December 24, 2011

This review is a little long winded. Skip to the bottom for just the pros and cons. Or, keep reading to waste 10 minutes of your life. Over the last 5 years, I have been using a 58" Panasonic Plasma TV. Not a bad TV, but not the greatest either. It was only 1080i, it got hot pretty fast (which made the room hot and the air condition kick on too often), and the dimensions were weird (I looked at entertainment centers that should fit a 60" TV, but the TV still wouldn't fit.). I felt an upgrade was in order.

I'll have to admit, shopping for a TV was pretty fun. A lot of work though. The research was overwhelming at times. Websites upon websites, magazines, books, different people's inputs, salesmen trying to sell you different things depending on which store you went to, etc. I narrowed it down to one of many Sony HDTVs or a Samsung C or D series. After narrowing it down to those 2 brands, it was a little easier. I went to about 4 different Fry's Electronics and 7 different Best Buys to check it out in different situations. After that, it came down to the UN55D8000 (boy, did I memorize those numbers). To make the decision easier, I was looking on Amazon, and to my amazement, they had it for $500 less that everyone else, plus free shipping. Score!

With the free shipping, it usually takes a little longer. I would say, from the time the order was placed, until it got to my front door, it took about 1.5 weeks. It came delivered from Home Direct, USA and had no issues with delivery. They were going to set up the TV, but I told them not to, since my entertainment center hadn't come in yet. I opened up the box, put the TV on a soft cloth (our bed's comforter) and installed the stand. Eight screws, piece of cake. I connected the Directv receiver and a PS3. There are a few settings you will set in the beginning when the TV turns on. Takes about 2 minutes, literally. After that, the fun begins! Going from 1080i to 1080p is a huge difference! I had a recording of Chuck on the DVR and it almost looked live. I also watched some regular satellite programming and even the non-HD channels looked amazing.

After wiping the drool off the floor, I wanted to check out the 3D part of the TV. I popped in the free copy of Shrek the 3rd in the PS3, put on the glasses and waited to be amazed. Aside from the amazing colors, it looked exactly like 2D! WTH?! Then, I remember reading somewhere that the PS3 does indeed play 3D movies, BUT with an upgrade. I waited about 30 minutes for the upgrade to finish. After that, loaded up the dvd again, and there was the movie with that funky 3D image. Hey wait, I have 3D glasses on, how come I see that. Oh, oops. Batteries need to be installed in the glasses. Finally! The 3D image was awesome! Seriously, watching TV in 3D is amazing. I can't wait `til there's more media in 3D. As it stands right now, the only real movies in 3D are either documentaries or cartoons, with the exception of a few regular movies (i.e. Resident Evil, Step Up 3, etc.)

I just set it up last night, so I can't give you a whole lot more information. But, even if I did have more time, I don't think I can give you the detailed specs that you might be looking for. I'm not an expert on home theater. Here's an overview of pros and cons:

* The lack of a bigger bezel really does make a difference. Not only aesthetically, but in terms of functionality, too (better 3D viewing. It looks like you're looking thru a window.).
* Images are spectacular. Whether it be regular programming, HDTV programming, or Blu-Ray.
* Price on Amazon was very good!
* Delivery was pain-free.
* A lot of settings options, so you can set up the TV to your preference and the viewing scenario (i.e. movie, standard, etc.)
* 3D movie watching is stunning! I just wish Panasonic didn't have exclusive rights on Avatar.

* SmartTV is a cool feature. But, not a necessity. I really doubt that I'll Facebook or Tweet from the TV.
* Audio isn't great, but it's adequate. I wasn't really expecting much from a flat screen TV.
* Did not come with the touch-screen remote as was supposed to be the case in the beginning of the year.
* Have to mail in the vouchers (or register online) in order to get the 3D glasses. True, you do get a 3D starter kit with this TV, which has the glasses, but those glasses are a little different and use batteries. Also, you have to send out to get the free copy of Shrek Forever and Megamind. I really shouldn't complain, though, since these are free.
* Needs a more detailed manual on how to use most of the features. The manual it comes with is thick, but it's just because it's the same thing in different languages.

After playing around with the TV a little more this weekend, I noticed that the top of the screen had some light flickering (around where the bezel meets the screen and it was about 1/16" tall and went almost across the whole TV. I'm hoping it's not the "edge lighting.") It only did this on some channels on Directv. Most channels were fine and Blu-Ray was fine. I'm thinking it's either the receiver or possibly the cheap HDMI cable. I have a Monster M1000 series cable coming in later this week, so I'll switch it out and update.

Also, there has been talk all over online about people having problems pairing the remote. I had zero problem and did it about 5 feet away from the TV. One last thing, one of the glasses in the free 3D kit didn't seem to work. I changed out batteries and nothing. Then, the next morning, I tried it again, but this time turning off the bluetooth in my phone, and it worked. Whether this had an effect on it, I don't know. But, just thought I'd throw that out there.

BTW, this weekend, I watched Tangled in 3D and played MLB2K11 on the PS3...... WOW! I'll have to admit, I liked 3D, but I thought it was just a novelty. No way. 3D is much different now than when we had those blue and red glasses. It changes the whole experience.

Didn't have to do anything to get the line gone. It just went away one day. Also, I finally got the 3D glasses from the voucher that's in the TV. Unfortunately, they are the 3300s and not the 3700s that I kept seeing from people at CES. I won't knock the rating down, but I am a little disappointed that the glasses and the remote that were advertised earlier in the year didn't come with the unit, nor even thru mail. Also, the charger for the glasses is $199! No, thanks. I'll just charge it using the USB cable.