Samsung ue60d8000

Sound

While the UE60D8000's picture performance is exemplary, its sonic ability is much less noteworthy. Quite simply, its in-built speakers aren't up the job of delivering the kind of robust, inspiring audio that its 60-inch images deserve.

Just by looking at the TV you can tell it's going to struggle - there's nowhere in its slinky frame to fit any decent speaker drivers. Even high-end speaker manufacturers haven't quite worked out how to get awesome audio from a cabinet just 30mm deep, so it's no surprise Samsung hasn't either.

The result is a sound that is average at best, with a dull, compressed quality that lacks dynamism and a sense of space. None of the five presets impressed me much, particularly as the Movie setting seemed to offer less in the way of low-frequency oomph than the others. In Fast Five, an armoured truck crashing through a concrete wall sounded more like a toy car ripping through crepe paper.

Be aware that there's a Sound Effect menu that's only usable when in Standard mode. Here you can call upon SRS TruSurround, which widens the soundstage and gives it a bit more presence. There's also a five-band equalizer should you want to tweak the UE60D8000's audio at certain frequencies.

Value

So, can the £4,300 UE60D8000 be considered good value? That will entirely depend on the size of your wallet and the size of your living room.

If you've set your heart on a 60-inch screen then its price tag is roughly in line with the competition from Panasonic's TX-P65VT30. Of course, that screen offers five more inches, and arguably an even finer image quality, but it doesn't match the UE60D8000 in terms of Smart features and sheer design flair, so there is a choice to be made.

The fly in the ointment is Samsung's own UE55D8000, a 55-inch model with the same feature set as this 60-inch beast that can be had for around £2,000 less. I suspect many shoppers will plump for that TV and sacrifice the extra five inches.

Ease of use

Considering everything it offers, Samsung's UE60D8000 is quite straightforward to use.

Initial setup is aided by a guided process that helps connect the set to your home network, tunes the analogue, digital and satellite receivers and checks for the latest firmware update.

Once this is done, the Samsung doesn't let go of your hand straightaway. All the various options in the menus are accompanied by text- and graphic-based descriptions of what they're for, which is good news for the less tech-savvy. And being in these menus is a bit of a wheeze, as they slide onto screen and shrink from view with some elan. It's a nice UI (with a cleanly presented EPG) that almost matches the premium feel of the set.

It's not all plain-sailing, though. The UE60D8000's stylish remote control is sensibly laid out and offers one-touch access to menus like 3D and Smart Hub, but it's backlighting is just odd - I could only get it to stay on for a few seconds, and the most important buttons in the centre, for moving around menus, are for some reason not illuminated. I found it a real pain trying to make adjustments in a darkened room.

Another gripe concerns the manual. The UE60D8000 ships with a basic user guide; a more detailed breakdown is available as an 'e-manual' online, but this isn't entirely satisfactory either. During my tests I found menu functions that I couldn't always activate (such as Expert Pattern) and couldn't establish why. Frustrating.