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Samsung UE40B8000 Review

Even though this isn’t the first time we’ve laid eyes on a wafer-thin Samsung edge-lit LED solar panel, the size-zero slenderness from the UE40B8000 nevertheless requires our breath apart. Its polishe...

Even though this isn’t the first time we’ve laid eyes on a wafer-thin Samsung edge-lit LED solar panel, the size-zero slenderness from the UE40B8000 nevertheless requires our breath apart. Its polished black bezel is encased by a thin strip of translucent plastic extending beyond the borders. And whenever you take into account the sturdy table-top stand sporting a brushed metallic surface, the see-through pedestal stem, and also the “deactivatable” (it would still blink in response to any remote keypress even should you elected to switch it away in the user menu) blue LED indicator light peeking from the bottom of the solar panel, it’s difficult not to fall in love using the Samsung UE40B8000’s exquisite design which befits a flagship Tv.

Firstly, the main remote for Samsung UE40B8000 sends RF signals rather than the usual infrared. When “paired” with the UE40B8000, the RF remote manage allows you to operate the Television with out you having to aim the clicker at the tv, or even be in the same room. Neat!

Samsung has also put a clickable scroll wheel that can be physically rotated (like those found on the very first generation of Apple Ipods) within the main remote. Regrettably this turned out to become more hindrance than assist: the slight on-screen navigational delay made it difficult for us to judge how far we’ve scrolled along the menu options; yet when we reverted to clicking for manoeuvring the menu, the scroll wheel was still sensitive enough to draw us into generating the occasional mistake (e.g. accidentally scrolling 1 step extra).

Possibly an unavoidable side effect of its super-slim construct and edge-mounted LED backlighting, the Samsung UE40B8000 flat-panel tv evinced slightly worse screen/ backlight uniformity than the latest traditional CCFL-backlit LCD TVs. Even after calibration – and using the aid of auto-dimming – we observed some backlight bleed and clouding especially on the darker (below 20% stimulus) full-field grey check patterns.

In real-life viewing, these display uniformity problems were not truly that noticeable (especially in brighter ambient lighting conditions), but if you are looking for a large-sized flat solar panel display with near-perfect display uniformity (and wide viewing angles), plasma television remains the only viable choice to date.

When each aspect of standard-def video processing is taken into account, the Samsungs have outperformed every other brand of HDTVs we’ve tested this year, and this holds true for that UE40B8000 as nicely. The high quality of upconversion/scaling was good, capturing sufficiently sharp detail either off-air or from DVDs without any sign of excessive ringing.

Jaggies in video-based material were smoothened so successfully that we practically saw no jagged edges either in test patterns or real-world content. And with [Film Mode] engaged, the Samsung UE40B8000 LED-based LCD television effectively detected and processed the 3:Two cadence assessments in 480i and 1080i, and also the 2:2 cadence assessments in 576i (though some moiré was nevertheless visible about the red Coca Cola sign saying “Go Bridget Go” in the notorious test scene from your PAL DVD of Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason).

Coupled with wonderfully rich blacks and precise colours (the green of the snooker table cloth just looked so right), SD seeing was a treat about the Samsung UE40B8000. Auto-dimming did rear its ugly head while switching channels, but otherwise the majority of Television programmes ought to deliver sufficiently higher APL (Average Picture Level) to maintain the light output fluctuations at bay.

Possible owners of the Samsung UE40B8000 shouldn’t expect significantly from your Tv in the sound department: the physical limitations imposed by the sheer slenderness from the chassis meant that the internal speakers couldn’t muster sufficient bass nor audio resolution for critical viewing. It does pass (just barely) for day-to-day Tv seeing though, as it can go pretty loud with reasonably clear dialogue.

The Samsung UE40B8000 LED-edgelit LCD television shares the same pros (superb blacks, precise colours, impressive standard-def processing, stunning design) and cons (low-APL auto-dimming, screen uniformity problems, high-ish input lagBusiness Management Articles, lacklustre sound) as the B7000 series.

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Asli Mana writes articles about different subjects, including LCD TV. To read her articles see her LG LCD TV page.

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