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Samsung LED UA46C8000 review: Samsung LED UA46C8000

The Samsung UA46C8000 sets a new bar in black-level performance for LED-edge-lit TV and offers decent 3D picture quality but suffers from visible crosstalk problems.

Philip Wong Associate Editor
Philip Wong is an A/V, PC, photography and gaming enthusiast. Besides spending countless days and late nights fiddling with his home theater system and watercooled PC, he also hits the roads frequently on his iron horse to sweat it out. Now, who says geeks don't work out?
Philip Wong
6 min read

The C8000-series is unique among Samsung's current LED-edge-lit 2D and 3D TVs for being the only models with local dimming — highly sought-after for enhancing blacks. Despite the performance boost, these panels still retain their svelte styling through their ultra-thin bezels and continue to come with a wealth of features. These include 2D-to-3D conversion, a wide selection of web services with optional Wi-Fi connectivity, digital video recording and DTS surround sound compatibility.


Samsung LED UA46C8000

The Good

Overall deep blacks and good sharpness. Comprehensive 3D format support 2D-to-3D conversion Rich web content and services. On-board video recording. Quality metal finish. Backlit remote control.

The Bad

Moderate to heavy crosstalk in 3D mode. Mild black crush. Excessive cable adapters. Bass can distort at times.

The Bottom Line

The Samsung UA46C8000 sets a new bar in black-level performance for LED-edge-lit TV and offers decent 3D picture quality but suffers from visible crosstalk problems.


(Credit: CNET Asia)

The UA46C8000's attractive brushed-aluminium finish is a nice departure from the familiar piano black finish of most TVs. It further stands out with a new quad-legged stand in chrome plating, backlit Samsung logo and sleek 26.5mm-thin bezel. Another aesthetically-oriented touch is the TV's fancy "see-through" touch buttons on transparent acrylic, though they lack the illumination of the UA40C7000. The side A/V jacks are slightly recessed for adequate accessibility without exposing the cords and USB accessories, yet some users may encounter difficulties concealing the bulkier cables.

Our review unit came with a pair of adult-sized, non-adjustable 3D glasses. The black plastic goggles are compatible with bespectacled users and sport rubberised nose supports for added comfort. The foldable leg frames lock into place when fully extended. The forward left-side of the frame contains a replaceable coin battery while a button on the right — which lights up in solid and flashing red to indicate that the power is on and off, respectively — activates the glasses. Samsung also produces kid-oriented, collared and rechargeable models available separately.

Design and layout

Form factor All-in-one design; 26.5mm thin
Finishing Brushed aluminium
TV controls Front, touch-sensitive
Auxiliary A/V inputs Left side: quad-HDMI, dual USB and earphone
Mounting option Swivel table stand, manual wall bracket, slim wall bracket

(Credit: CNET Asia)

The Samsung's one-piece, metal-plated remote reminds us of the now-defunct Motorola Razr keypad, decked out with tactile and illuminated keys. The common functions, such as volume and power, are also embossed to enhance usability. These are complemented by various shortcuts, ranging from Tools to Internet@TV and 3D, covering major operations of the panel. We felt that its Source button was not adequate for toggling between A/V inputs despite automatic filtering of the panel's unused ports. Users will have to cycle through channels instead of selecting analog and digital stations directly.

Remote control
Besides animated icons, a self-diagnostic function and an HD connection guide, Samsung has added test patterns, colour filters and a 10-point white balance setting for advanced users to calibrate the panel. Non-savvy consumers, on the other hand, can turn to four picture modes equipped with independent memory for each input. Nested within these factory presets are basic and in-depth configurations such as separate judder/motion-blur reduction, as well as backlight adjustments. There are also two additional 3D tuning options compared with the UA40C7000.

Software menu

Text-based; coloured Text-based, coloured
Video modes Dynamic, Standard, Natural, Movie
Audio modes Standard, Music, Movie, Clear Voice, Amplify
Advanced settings Backlight, 10-point white balance, 3D depth


3D format selection menu. (Credit: CNET Asia)

This 46-incher's local dimming processing allows independent segments of the screen to dim to produce a deeper black and is a relatively new function for LED-edge-lit TVs. As for the panel's 3D mode, Samsung has all its bases covered from 2D-to-3D conversion for regular programming to comprehensive support for different 3D formats. The latter ensures playback compatibility with 3D Blu-ray discs, as well as broadcasts and PC content in side-by-side 3D format. In addition, there's a proprietary 200Hz Motion Plus engine designed to reduce film judder by displaying a fast 100Hz refresh rate for each eye in 3D.

Samsung Apps main user interface. (Credit: CNET Asia)

For this year's Internet@TV web content streaming and services, the company is dropping Yahoo widgets in favour of its own Samsung Apps. There are currently a slew of lifestyle, information and game applications at the time of writing, including YouTube videos, Twitter and Skype (requires an optional USB camera). More are in the pipeline, and these are downloadable from its online store within the TV. On the multimedia front, the UA46C8000 now supports new 1080p DivX HD and MKV files in DTS surround sound.

By connecting a USB storage device that's at least 4GB in capacity, users can enjoy video recording and time shift for digital channels via its HD tuner. Note that recorded clips cannot be used on a PC due to copy protection and have to be viewed from the Samsung TV. Time shift enables rewinding, pause and fast forward of live telecasts with a maximum 90-minute buffer of footage.

A/V and multimedia

Video Full-HD resolution, 200Hz frame interpolation
Audio 10W x2, SRS TheatreSound, DTS, subwoofer
Multimedia MP3, JPEG, MPEG-1/2/4, DivX HD, H.264, VC1, WMV HD, MKV via dual-USB, Ethernet and optional Wi-Fi
TV tuner Analog, digital (DVB-T)

A whole bundle of adapters and breakout cables. (Credit: CNET Asia)

The UA46C8000 features the latest HDMI 1.4 inputs, with one terminal offering additional audio return channel function to route TV sound to a compatible home theatre kit for minimising cable clutter. Users can also tap its digital optical audio output, which has been upgraded to support Dolby Digital and DTS bitstream signals for 5.1-channel surround sound. Though the TV comes with 1080p-ready component-video and analog PC inputs optimised for its full-HD resolution, there's only one of each type available. Most TVs nowadays have two sets of component-videos.


HDMI input(s) Four sockets, version 1.4, 24p-ready; AnyNet+ (HDMI-CEC), audio return channel
Component-video input(s) One socket, 1080p-ready
PC input Analog, 1080p-ready
Audio output(s) Analog, digital optical


Standard-definition (SD) content
Overall, analog free-to-air programs on this Samsung were sharp, grain-free and smooth, except for mild ghosting in some weaker channels. Stepping up to digital broadcasts resolved the issue, yielding clearer and stable pictures with minimal reception break up. We were also impressed by the panel's DVD upscaling capability. This resulted in strong details and sharpness without obvious jaggies and artefacts. That said, the deepest shade of black was not very discernible in our Avia's greyscale tracking test pattern, though colour decoding was expertly handled by the TV.

SD performance

Analog TV Digital TV DVD
Details Average Average Good
Sharpness Good Good Good
Noise suppression Good Good Good
Motion Good Good Excellent

High-definition (HD) content
The UA46C8000 shone in this department rendering crisp and judder-free visuals combined with saturated and warm colours, which helped maintain realistic skin tones. More importantly, blacks on this model were noticeably deeper than a regular edge-lit Philips 40PFL8605H, losing out only to a backlit LG 55LX9500 in our side-by-side comparison. A trade-off, however, was mild black crush which compromised shadow detail. It was smooth sailing in HD-HQV with a well-executed Video Resolution Loss Test and a near-perfect Film Resolution Loss Test save for some flickering.

Unlike the LG TV, which automatically increased brightness in 3D mode, this Samsung was able to deliver identical inky blacks to complement its distinctively layered depth and superb sharpness. The same applied to lower-resolution side-by-side 3D format with a slight loss in fidelity. Its 2D-to-3D conversion was fairly effective, adding 3D effects ranging from subtle to somewhat convincing, and was viewable from wide viewing angles at distances up to 8 metres. Our only gripes were moderate to heavy crosstalk (double image) and some off-screen flickering in a well-lit room.

HD performance

HD broadcast Blu-ray Game
Details Good Excellent Excellent
Sharpness Excellent Excellent Excellent
Noise suppression Good Good N/A
Motion Good Excellent Excellent

Games, PC and multimedia
The UA46C8000 came across as a superb gaming display, courtesy of its razor-sharp and fluid motion. We also had no concern with the display's banding-free colour gradation and legible PC text when we connected our test laptop at its native 1080p resolution. Multimedia-wise, all the media formats we tested played back successfully and this included MKV files in full-HD quality and 5.1-channel DTS soundtrack via its optical output. The recorded TV shows and time shift function were equally brilliant and straightforward, on par with just about any stand-alone DVD recorder.

Multimedia performance

USB Ethernet
8-megapixel JPEG 2 sec, print quality and original aspect ratio 2 sec, print quality and original aspect ratio
MP3 Plays jazz, pop and instrumental music well and loud, but lacks rhythm for rock and fast-paced music Instant playback and same characteristics as USB
Video Relatively sharp SD and stunning HD picture quality in DTS and Dolby Digital sound Clear and stutter-free videos up to 1080p resolution

It was a mixed bag with the audio subsystem, which delivered a healthy bass, soothing vocal and extended treble. The bottleneck was its subwoofer, which can distort during explosive movie scenes when we tuned the software equaliser in the menu. Still, there's plenty of reserve power enabling it to go loud, while TruSurround HD processing delivered livelier sound.


If you're looking to invest in a 3D TV, you'll not be disappointed with the design and features offered by the Samsung UA46C8000. However, despite the TV's layered depth and luscious blacks, for AU$4299 we expect far less crosstalk during 3D playback .