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From the moment you first lay eyes on it, the UE46D8000 is a very special TV. The thin bezel, super-slim profile and gorgeous silver stand make it an absolute stunner design-wise. But its feature list is equally attractive, offering the latest mod cons like network media streaming and Smart Hub, as well as support for 3D, external HDD recording and multimedia formats.
But there's substance behind the style too. In terms of picture quality it may not boast the direct LED backlighting of its higher-end brethren, but deploys its edge LEDs to devastating effect, bringing yousharp, nuanced and deep hi-def pictures with both 2D and 3D material.
There are few TVs that can match the UE46D8000's level of aesthetic exuberance – its drop-dead gorgeous design will make it a real talking point in your living room. Smart Hub provides a hugely generous range of apps in a slick, attractive interface, while the rest of the network capabilities are nicely integrated.
Add generous connections, built-in Wi-Fi, extensive multimedia support, 2D-to-3D conversion and you've got a set that many brands would call their flagship. And in terms of operation, it's as if Samsung designed this set for a child, but jazzed up the GUI for adults.
The set's 2D pictures are excellent by LED standards, offering inherently bright, vibrant pictures teeming with clean, sharp detail and subtly rendered colours. And apart from a few instances of crosstalk, 3D images are stunning.
Some crosstalk is noticeable with 3D pictures, and Freeview SD pictures don't dazzle in quite the same way as HD with some noise issues and slightly unnatural colours.
The web browser is a chore to use with the remote, and although it's better than some flatpanel TVs, the sound system's lack of bass makes sound quality unbalanced.
With stunning looks, a hugely generous feature list and largely knockout picture quality, the UE46D8000 is a premium TV in every sense of the word, and easily justifies its asking price.
In fact, the presence of the brilliant Smart Hub alone might be enough to make some whip out the credit card. Its few flaws are nowhere near grave enough to mar your enjoyment, making this Series 8 set an unmitigated success.
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