The sound quality is surprisingly good, with a wide, open midrange that enables believable and clear dialogue complementing a reasonable gift for subtle treble effects and, most startling of all, a genuine portion of bass.
Obviously, £2,500 is a lot of money to spend on a TV, but then the 55D8000 is 55 inches across and comes with groundbreaking 'smart' capabilities, impressive 3D playback and exceptional 2D pictures with both high and standard definition.
Ease of use
Smart Hub instantly makes the 55D8000 much easier to use than most TVs that combine multimedia, DLNA and online functions. After all, never before have you been able to access absolutely everything in your source arsenal from a single page.
Another great touch on the Smart Hub is the Universal Search tool, which enables you to send out search requests across absolutely every source option you've got connected including the open internet.
The setup menus are neatly presented and there's a cool new touch in the form of an 'interactive instructions manual', which displays a short but usually coherent explanation of whatever option you've got selected.
The standard remote control supplied with the set is pretty decent, too. It doesn't look as glamorous as the TV, but its layout is reasonably logical and its buttons are accessible. It's also good to see dedicated e-manual, 3D, Social TV and, especially, Smart Hub buttons.
Samsung also does an optional touchscreen remote for the 55D8000. Thankfully, this is much better than the hugely frustrating effort shipped with last year's 9000 Series screens. It particularly comes into its own with the Smart Hub, making icon selection and, best of all, text input (into the search field or the internet browser) much more straightforward than it is on the standard remote.
It's not all good, though, for the LCD remote does also make using some much more basic functions feel unnecessarily tortuous.
Overall, though, the 55D8000 is impressively straightforward to use, considering its sophistication.