Samsung PS51D8000 review

Clean, comfortable 3D and smart TV on a plasma screen

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Samsung ps51d8000 review

Smart Hub, Samsung's offering to the online TV era, is fast becoming one of our favourite such platforms, although it still can't compete with Sony's Bravia Internet Video for must-have content. It's a close contest though, with LOVEFiLM, BBC iPlayer, Acetrax movies and Samsung's own Explore 3D app the headline acts on Smart Hub.

What we like most about Smart Hub is that all of its apps and services are visible from the Samsung PS51D8000's homepage; its iPhone-esque app icons are nicely grouped and separated from each other.

There is, however, a small snag that tests our patience with Smart Hub. When initiated from the remote's dedicated button, it can take a while (around 20 seconds) to load. Scrolling and general navigation of the home screen is quick but, when selected, apps often hang or suffer from unexplained connection issues that render them useless.

Samsung ps51d8000 review

A similar problem plagued the AllShare DLNA streaming feature, which is irritating since when it's in a good mood, Smart Hub is peerless.

Web browsing on the Samsung PS51D8000 is also a victim of frequent "Cannot connect" messages, despite the set being warmed up and fully networked. But the main issue here is it's slow - so slow - to scroll through pages. It took us at least 10 seconds to get from a headline on a BBC news story to being able to read the first paragraph. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

Like Smart Hub, the Freeview HD electronic programme guide is also immaculately designed. With the exception of Sony, perhaps, no other manufacturer gets close to Samsung's slick treatment of the Freeview TV schedules - and this time it's a thoroughly speedy experience.

Smart Hub is just about fine for daily operation, but that doesn't mean the standard picture/sound/set-up menus have been sacrificed. A green menu button on the Samsung PS51D8000's lightweight and intelligently backlit remote control takes us to the picture menus, which contain an immediate surprise.

Samsung ps51d8000 review

Besides the usual tweaks for contrast, brightness, sharpness, colour and tint, there's also a dedicated section for adjusting the pixel brightness of each cell in the plasma panel. This Cell Light setting goes from one to 20, yet even on its top setting it never reaches the scorch-yer-eyes out levels of some LED TVs.

Preset picture modes include the usual dynamic, standard and movie modes, but there's also another mode simply called 'relax', which appears to dim the brightness even further than the movie mode. It's worth trying out if you're planning to watch in blackout surroundings (where plasmas also do their best work).

An advanced settings menu has choices surrounding gamma, colour space and white balance, as well as a motion lighting feature that adjusts brightness levels according to the amount of movement on the screen, thereby reducing power consumption.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product Family8000
3D Type3D
Brand NameSamsung
Screen Size129.5 cm (51")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
Weight with Stand (Approximate)25.40 kg
Standby Power Consumption1 W
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
DLNA CertifiedYes
Height with Stand802 mm
Width with Stand1195.90 mm
Depth with Stand309.50 mm
Number of Common Interface1
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height719.4 mm
Width1195.9 mm
Depth37.1 mm
Sound SystemSurround Sound, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Pulse, DTS
Product Series8000
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesWeb Content Access, PC Streaming, Media Player, Auto Program, Closed Caption, Sleep Timer, Picture in Picture, Auto-off
Product ModelPS51D8000
Product NamePS51D8000 Plasma TV
Manufacturer Part NumberPS51D8000
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Adding intelligence to Smart TV
With Samsung at the forefront of Smart TVs, it's only natural that the Plasma +1 TV is fully equipped with all of the latest Smart TV technology. Tap into the world's first built-in TV app store to make using your TV more exciting.

True 3D experience in a whole new light
Experience 3D TV at it best with the PDP 8000, which produces the ultimate in 3D picture quality that is utterly immersive. This is possible thanks to Samsung's innovative 3D HyperReal Engine, which delivers superior performance and crystal-clear Full HD images. The unique Plasma +1 design has a much slimmer bezel, and delivers a huge and immersive viewing experience with its +1 inch screen. And with cinematic 3D Sound, featherweight 3D glasses with ergonomic design, and an integrated converter that lets you enjoy 2D games and shows in 3D too - home entertainment has entered a new dimension.

Package Contents
  • PS51D8000 Plasma TV
  • Remote Control
  • Battery
  • Slim Gender Cable
  • Power Cable
  • User Manual
  • E-Manual
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)23.20 kg