Usability

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We obliquely covered much of the usability aspect of the Samsung PS64F8500 when talking about its features. But a recap certainly can't do any harm. So…

Samsung's 2013 TVs go further than those of any other brand right now when it comes to trying to help people find content and interact with the features on offer.

The inclusion with the Samsung PS64F8500 of a second remote control with a touchpad and built-in mic is extremely welcome, and we're also starting to warm after a few false dawns to Samsung's increasingly clever (through regular firmware updates) voice recognition system. Heck, we've even seen demos to suggest that Samsung's previously irritating gesture control engine is about to become usable, following yet another upcoming update.

Samsung PS64F8500 review

The move to five separate on-screen hubs works well in principle too, and the enormous sophistication of Samsung's 'viewing habits learning engine' is a boon, so long as you're patient while it builds its knowledge of your preferences.

There remain two problems with the Samsung PS64F8500's usability, though. One is that Samsung hasn't done enough - in the interface's current form, at least - to help teach users about the features on offer. This means that we can readily imagine many users not even knowing that some of the features are there, or else feeling uncomfortable and uncertain about how to make the most out of them.

The other issue is that Samsung really needs to consolidate its second-device functionality so that smart device users can enjoy control of their TV, multimedia sharing and second screen viewing via one single app.

Sound

Samsung PS64F8500 review

Pictures as big and bold as those of the Samsung PS64F8500 deserve an equally big and bold audio accompaniment. And actually, that's pretty much what they get.

The unusually powerful speaker system makes good use of the TV's relatively large and heavy-duty chassis to produce an impressively wide soundstage that enhances the sense of immersion created by the screen.

There's more bass in this soundstage than you'd usually hear too, courtesy of the woofer on the TV's rear, while the main speakers are powerful and large enough to deliver both a decently scalable mid-range and some rich, harshness-free treble detailing.

Value

Samsung PS64F8500 review

Panasonic's upcoming P65VT65 is set to cost £3,350 (around AU$5,172 / US$5,107) and Samsung's own 'mere' 55-inch UE55F8000 LCD model costs £2,500 (around AU$3,860 / US$3,811).

So with that in mind, if you ask us £3,000 (around AU$4,620 / US$4,575) is by no means an outlandish amount to pay for a screen as huge, feature-rich and talented as the Samsung PS64F8500.