Photos: Samsung UE46B8000 1080p TV with Twitter, widgets and LED backlight
Not so very long ago we got our hands-on a Samsung series 7000 TV and very impressed we were too -- so much so, we gave it an Editor's Choice award. Now the UE46B8000 has landed in our office, and we're just as excited about this one. The 8000 series has the same stunning looks as the 7000, but with a few subtle modifications. It's still as thin as a supermodel before breakfast, but the rose-black touch of red has been replaced by a more transparent style, with hints of aluminium.
Crucially, this TV features Samsung's new 200Hz picture mode (or 240Hz in regions that use 60Hz mains supplies, including the US). The goal here is twofold. The first is to claim you're the first manufacturer to do 200Hz; the second is to provide smoother images. Of course we'll be checking whether it makes any difference, along with all the other features of this TV, in much more detail in our full review soon.
As with other Samsung TVs this year, the 46B8000 comes equipped with the company's widgets system, provided by Yahoo, but for the first time you get a funky little Twitter app included. This means that you can watch Jeremy Kyle and still keep up-to-date with your friends. We tried the text input from the remote control, and were disappointed by how sluggish the whole thing was. It took over 10 minutes to type in a single message, using some fairly basic punctuation and minor spelling errors.
The remote control reflects this change, offering a cool semi-transparent style too, alongside the same strange curved styling found on the 7000's controller. Interestingly, the remote uses RF rather than infrared. We like that you don't have to point the controller at the screen, but the downside is this system will thwart some universal remote controls.
We think you'll agree that this Samsung, like its younger sibling the UE407000, is a stunning looking TV jam-packed full of brilliant features. We're thoroughly looking forward to putting it through its paces. But until then, why not enjoy our photos and let us know what you think via the comments section below.
Unboxing a new TV is always a thrill, so you can imagine our jump for joy when this new Samsung arrived at the office.
Unlike the 7000 series, the 8000 has a silver finish to its stand, replacing the red-hinted glass on the 7000. This is likely to appeal to people who want something a little more conservative in their lounge.
Happily, the 8000 is still incredibly thin, thanks to its LED sidelight. This replaces the traditional cold cathode backlight on most LCD TVs.
The stand uses a transparent support, designed to give the impression the TV is floating.
The remote control features a centre dial, for navigating around menus. This can also be pressed in the usual four directions too, giving it extra flexibility as a control system.
The remote now features a transparent style, with more subtle styling than we saw on the 7000 series.
An optional Wi-Fi dongle will allow you to access Internet content without plugging the TV into your router with messy cables.
When you turn the TV on, it lets you know you've succeeded with a little blue light. We actually don't mind this, but you can turn it off in the menu if you so chose.
Included in the package is a roll of plastic. We have no idea why.
Plenty of HDMI sockets are included and a pair of USB sockets enable you to connect a Wi-Fi dongle and a USB hard drive or memory stick at the same time.
Because some connections are too bulky for a screen like this, Samsung uses some mini-sockets with breakout cables. Unfortunately, this means the quality is likely to suffer slightly.
The Wi-Fi dongle fits in quite neatly, and the setup is a piece of cake.
The menu system on the 8000 series is nothing short of stunning. We're always pleased to see a well-designed interface, and the Samsung doesn't disappoint.
Yahoo's weather app is always a winner for us -- especially when we're lucky enough to have the sun shining down on us.
Media on this screen is handled by a dedicated menu. You can pull video, photos and music from a USB drive and there are networking options for media streaming too.
The music interface isn't exactly stunning, but it's perfectly serviceable for occasional use.
When we entered the internet@tv menu the TV auto-updated, which we were happy to see. Updates like this allow new functionality to be added all the time.
In this case, the update allowed us to install the new Twitter app. Downloading it took just a few seconds, which we found impressive.
We're always impressed by the beauty of these widgets. Although we're not sure how much use people will get out of them, they certainly look the part.
Signing in is slightly irritating on a TV remote control, but we got there in the end.
Once signed in, we were able to access our account in full, including seeing direct messages and @replies.
When you're in the 'dock' mode, the most recent Twitter update shows in place of the Twitter logo.
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