CNET First Look
Futuristic Samsung F8000 LED TV gives great picture tooSamsung's best LED TV in recent memory, the high-end UNF8000 not only blends stunning design with best-in-class features, it also manages to deliver excellent picture quality.
Hi. I'm David Katzmaier from CNET and this is the UNF8000 from Samsung. It's a 55-inch LED-based LCD. This video review will apply from 46 all the way up to 75 inches in the series. This is Samsung's best LED-based LCD for 2013, and basically, the best I've ever tested from the company. It's superb in a bunch of different ways including significant feature improvements as well as really sleek design and the [unk] excellent picture quality, again the best I've seen from Samsung in a number of years. We'll start up with the design, though. This TV is beautiful. On the exterior, it's got a really, really thin bezel. You can barely notice anything around the edge and what makes it looked even thinner is that it's black right adjacent to the screen. There's a little bit of silver underneath and the stand virtually disappears behind it. It's kind of an arc shaped. One of the downsides, however, is that the stand is wide enough that you really need to encompass the entire width of the TV with your tabletop. So, if you have a slightly narrower tabletop, it will tip over. It actually happened to me. So, trust me, you really want a nice wide, at least the width of the television tabletop with this TV. Of course, you can always wall mount it and get that super-minimalist look. From the side, the TV is as thin as anybody will expect from an LED TV. It's got this little bulge on the bottom here, but really, all told, it's, again, extremely thin and light. Another nice facet of the TV's design is the Samsung logo is incredibly small. You can even turn off the illumination. So, again, one of the nicest looking TVs I've ever reviewed. Samsung's 2013 Smart TV Suite is among the best in the business. It does have the ability to control your cable box by this On TV selection. There is also Recommendations that the system will use to recognize and recommend shows that it thinks you like. Really, I'm not a big fan of that, but I do like the fact that the TV can control your remote. So, potentially, it can replace your cable box's interface. In practice, however, if you use a lot of DVR commands like play, fast forward, you'll find that your DVR remote is a lot more convenient. That's because Samsung's remote really doesn't have that many buttons. A lot of the stuff is stashed on a virtual remote here. So, you actually have to summon the virtual remote drive to the command you want, for example, play or pause, and that's the only way to control the DVR. So, for heavy DVR person, it's really not the best system, but if you really like to watch TV live, it really might be a nice thing to have those Recommendations going. The rest of the Smart TV Suite is a little more standard. It includes a social aspect. There's also a whole bunch of different apps. Samsung has more apps than anybody. I really like the new design. It's very clean and you can navigate very quickly. A lot of that is thanks to the quad-core processor on this TV. There is also the ability, of course, to access video-on-demand and you have search. Samsung includes its voice search as well as gesture command, so you can press a little button on the remote and summon up the voice search that worked relatively well with limited testing. I also appreciate it again that you can make limited gestures, but again, with this TV, it's not nearly as good as having that remote control, but of course, if you do misplace the remote, you can always control your TV by waving at it. New for this year is Samsung has a little pop-up camera, so it's not always staring at you, so you can hide it if you're not a big fan of that camera or if you just wanna maintain as much privacy as possible. Other notable features on the F8000 include four pairs of included active 3D glasses. They're about 20 bucks a piece, so that's a pretty good deal. There's also plenty of inputs on the back of this TV including four HDMI. There's three USB and a couple of analog ports. So, really, nothing goes missing in the connectivity department. As I mentioned at the top, what really sets this TV apart from other LED TVs we tested is the picture quality. Samsung includes a Micro Dimming skim on this television that's different from its less expensive model. That allows the TV to control different aspects of the screen and increase or decrease the brightness. It's known as local dimming on some other televisions and it works very well. In this case, it produces really nice deep black levels, plenty of contrasts, and it's very little blooming or loss of shadow detail compared to some of the other local dimming TVs we've tested. Color accuracy is also excellent as is the video processing. Picture uniformity, which on previous Samsungs was an issue, is excellent on this TV. As long as you maintain the correct local dimming settings and you can't see any of those blotches that the dimming is working properly. So, all told, the UNF8000 is pretty expensive, but if you're in the high-end of the TV market and you're allergic to plasma which offers even better picture quality, it's an excellent alternative. That's a quick look at Samsung's best LED TV of the year, the UNF8000 series. I'm David Katzmaier from CNET.