Samsung PS51D8000 review

Clean, comfortable 3D and smart TV on a plasma screen

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Samsung ps51d8000 review

We're pretty sure the 'new kind of TV' promised by Apple TV and Sony, among others, will improve on Samsung's Smart Hub - but, for now, it's a good place to start.

Boasting enough features to be deemed at least a mid-to-high-end TV, the Samsung PS51D8000 keeps plasma at the forefront for anyone after picture perfection, but it's 3D that this set excels with.

We liked

Although Freeview HD has come to be regarded as almost the bare minimum for a TV in the UK, any set that adds built-in Freesat HD gets a hearty slap on the back from us. Doing so might set the super-slim Samsung PS51D8000 tumbling, but there's a lot more to get head over heels about - its nicely designed, all-encompassing and content-stuffed Smart Hub user interface, for one.

The appearance of the Explore 3D app is a great addition, particularly since those buying 3D glasses will get one of the best - and certainly the best value - 3D performances available anywhere in the TV market.

We disliked

Smart Hub looks great and is an advanced piece of software, but it's slow and gets in a muddle. After waiting for several apps to load and umpteen connection problems (even when wired to a router), we declare this a rather moody GUI.

Aside from middling contrast for 2D fare, our only other complaint is that there are no 3D glasses included in the box - and the Samsung PS51D8000's awesome 3D pictures make that an especially bitter pill to swallow.

Final verdict

Sensibly - in our view - sticking to active shutter 3D while the slow trickle to the less impressive passive 3D tech continues, Samsung is quickly becoming as known for its good value 3D plasma as it is for its impossibly slim LED TVs.

It's sculpted another stunner with the Samsung PS51D8000, and although Smart Hub could do with debugging and super-charging, this is an easy to use TV with all the latest features - and a cracking 3D performance.