Samsung UE46D8000 review

Samsung's 3D LED TV justifies its premium tag

Samsung UE46D8000
Samsung's usual high quality design is in full effect here

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Samsung ue46d8000

With its abundance of hi-tech tricks the UE46D8000 is less a TV, more an all-singing, all dancing entertainment hub. The key to this is networking functionality. It comes with built-in Wi-Fi, affording you fast, cable-free access to DLNA media streaming and a vast range of internet content without the need for a USB dongle.

Samsung's Smart Hub service is the place to find all this online content. There's so much on offer here that we can't talk about everything in depth (and we've covered it many times before), but the key apps – Samsung's zeitgeisty name, not ours – include BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm, Acetrax, BBC News, YouTube and a channel for Samsung's own 3D content, while your social networking fix comes from Facebook, Twitter and Skype (for which you'll need to plug in the optional camera). There's tons to explore, more than you'll ever have time to sample, including row upon row of games, puzzles, kids' stories and educational apps.

It also boasts some fairly nifty tools such as Your Video, a database of film and TV programme information. You can find movies available on any of the featured video-on-demand apps (with direct links to them) giving details about each release such as cast and crew, photos and so on. You can even share stuff you like on social networking sites and view recommendations based on your viewing habits.

Additionally the Search tool lets you look for content by keyword, showing you all of the results in the on-board apps and allowing you to search the same keyword in the web browser – yep, you can even browse the internet at large with a live TV picture-in-picture, although it's a real chore to use with the remote.

The AllShare feature lets you stream your own content from networked PCs and other devices. That includes video, music and photo files, and a surprisingly wide range of formats is supported, including AVI, WMV, DivX HD and MKV. Of course you can also play back media from local USB devices, and if you connect an external hard-disk drive you can turn the UE46D8000 into a PVR, setting programmes to record from the EPG and pausing live TV with the Time Shift feature.

The UE46D8000 is a fully-fledged 3D set, using the active shutter system and a supplied pair of glasses (SSG-310GB) that uses Bluetooth to communicate with the TV. The specs are surprisingly lightweight and comfortable to wear, featuring an adjustable rubber nose band.

The set can also convert any content passing through its circuits into 3D, including programmes from the built-in Freeview HD tuner – pre-empting the arrival of proper terrestrial 3DTV by years. But 3D conversion is just the tip of this TV's technological iceberg, as there's lots of other impressive processing under the bonnet.

The 3D HyperReal Engine and precise Micro Dimming (which can adjust the clarity of smallest details) aim to produce the deepest possible blacks, while the Clear Motion Rate 800Hz harnesses the LED backlight, video processing and 'Ultra Clear' panel to effectively increase the refresh rate to 800 frames per second.