There are a few sound modes on board the Samsung PS51D8000, including Music, Movie, Amplify and Clear Voice, as well as a separate section containing the self-explanatory SRS TruDialogue and SRS TruSurroundHD. SRS TruSurroundHD is the most impressive - don't expect 7.1 wizardry, but we did perceive a much wider soundstage that was just about suitable for movies.
Kudos go to Samsung for achieving what would appear to be some low frequency sound - not something we've often heard from a flatscreen TV. It's able to go to fairly high volumes without getting distorted, too.
Despite its slimness, this plasma TV actually has rather good speakers, something that at a stroke justifies our continued criticisms of TVs with weak sound, and gives us hope for the future.
The reticence of 3D TV manufacturers to give away multiple pairs of 3D glasses with their latest wares will be the death of the format, and we're sad to report that it's a similar situation with the Samsung PS51D8000. Not a single pair of 3D specs adorns the box.
Judged on ultimate picture quality, the Samsung PS51D8000 is a mixed bag. It's not bright enough to compete with LED TVs, but not dark enough to be considered as good a home cinema choice as Panasonic's ultimate plasmas. The TV is left somewhat in limbo - but that's easily spun as 'good value', and justifiably so.
Considering its Smart Hub and associated online trickery, the Freesat HD tuner and Wi-Fi, we'd judge the Samsung PS51D8000 to be just about worth the £1,000+ price tag. It's as versatile a TV as you'll find, and a better performer with 3D than most other TVs in its price range - although the inclusion of some 3D glasses would instantly convince us.