Samsung UN55D8000YF 3D LED LCD HDTV Page 2

Unlike many motion interpolation features, Samsung offers a User setting in Auto Motion Plus with separate controls for Blur and Judder. Correcting for Judder is what usually gives movies that video look that many (including yours truly) hate. However, when used alone, Blur does not destroy the film-like look. While the Blur control can increase the set’s subjective resolution with fast motion, I rarely felt any urge to use it, and I left this feature off for most of my viewing. When set to Clear, Auto Motion Plus disables 24fps processing and sets Blur to maximum and Judder to zero.

The Color Space feature can alter the saturation, hue, and brightness of each primary and secondary color in its Custom position, where it functions as a color management system (CMS). But this control’s Auto setting produced an accurate color gamut on our sample, with no help needed from the Custom option.

A 3D mode has a number of settings to optimize the 3D effect, although I was perfectly happy leaving them in their factory default positions. The Samsung also offers a 2D-to-3D conversion mode.

Samsung’s new menu layout is a big improvement over most of the sets we’ve seen from this company in recent years. Its drop-down menus now stay put long enough for you to see what you’re adjusting (or measuring) before they revert to a full-screen selection menu that covers up the image and interrupts your work.

Samsung’s new multitasking remote offers all of the needed controls on one side (illuminated), plus a keyboard on the back (not illuminated) for use with the set’s extensive Internet features. The control side operated in IR, the keyboard side in Bluetooth. I found this remote much too compact and cramped for my adult fingers. Fortunately, there are Samsung remote control apps for Apple and Android devices (not tested) that offer a route around this problem—at least for users who have a smart phone or tablet.

All of Samsung’s 3D glasses this year are Bluetooth only, which means that they won’t break lock if you look away or if someone walks between you and the screen. Two pair come standard with the set, Samsung’s new, lower-priced SSG-3100GB ($50 per pair for extras). They are powered by non-rechargeable batteries and are as clunky as most active glasses. Samsung also offers two new styles of full-priced, rechargeable 3D glasses. Both of them are more comfortable than the cheaper model since the electronics and rechargeable batteries have been moved to the back of the ear supports. The slightly chunkier SSG-3300CR (white) and SSG-3300GR (black) will run you $130 per pair, and the lighter SSG-3700CR model (black only) is $150 per pair. Oddly, I found that both of the SSG-3300s fit better over my regular glasses than the more expensive model.

For the present, buyers not only get 3D glasses with the Samsung but also receive a complimentary 3D goody bag of all four Shrek films plus Megamind—3D titles that are currently exclusive to Samsung.

Internet junkies can get their fix from the HDTV’s Web platform—which Samsung calls its Smart Hub. Many of the usual suspects are here, including Hulu Plus, Netflix, Pandora, Picasa, Yahoo widgets, and YouTube. The latter is not initially located in an obvious place—it’s in a Samsung Apps submenu. But when you open it up (or open any other Samsung app), it then shows up as a selection on the home page—although you may have to scroll around to find it. There are also several (registration required) social sites, including Facebook and Google Talk. Some Samsung apps are free, like YouTube, while others are not.

The keyboard on the remote was better than nothing for such keyboard-centric navigating, and it does have a small window to view your inputs. But the small buttons were tedious to use. A wireless, full-sized keyboard would be far better.

The set’s Smart Hub features, plus a discussion of watching and listening to source material stored on an outboard USB device, take up nearly one-third of the e-Manual’s 325 pages. While the learning curve for the Smart Hub is a little steep for some, others will find becoming familiar with Samsung’s Internet capabilities to be more fun than work.

Almost Priceless
The UN55D8000YF sailed through all of our standard high-definition tests (see the Video Test Bench). It failed our standard-definition 3:2 pulldown test (not shown in the chart) but passed supplementary SD 3:2 tests. This indicates that this is unlikely to be an issue with most program material.