The 55D8000 is one of the Samsung's most ambitious TVs yet. It looks extraordinary, sets new standards for multimedia capability and introduces a more defined apps sensibility that considerably increases the potential for video streaming.
Brightness and colour performance in 3D mode are unprecedented, while crosstalk noise is certainly reduced, though not entirely eradicated.
Add to all of this a stellar 2D performance in HD and standard-def, plus even a respectable sound performance, and the 55D8000 certainly is one hell of a way to kick off 2011's TV generation.
The 55D8000's bezel-free design is a revelation, as are its huge roster of connections, ground-breaking Smart Hub interface, greatly expanded online service, much-improved 3D pictures and science-defying contrast performance. It even sounds quite good, for heaven's sake.
There are some very occasional colour tone concerns and some of the picture presets are ill-judged. More colour management tools might have been nice, but the only significant problem is 3D crosstalk.
After seeing some of its flagship LED TV thunder stolen last year by the 3D-led resurgence in plasma's fortunes, Samsung has gone into innovation overdrive for the first of its 2011 LED models. Its design will turn heads right away, thanks to the way it shrinks the bezel to the point where you frequently completely forget it's there.
It also covers all the connectivity bases and revolutionises the TV operating system via its excellently conceived and presented Smart Hub interface.
Its online services are so extensive, meanwhile, that the 55D8000 might reasonably be described as the first genuinely 'smart' TV, while its picture performance is outstanding in 2D mode and mostly excellent in 3D mode.
There's still a bit of crosstalk noise over 3D images, but this isn't severe enough to stop the 55D8000 from being an absolutely terrific TV for what, in the circumstances, isn't an unreasonable amount of money.
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