Samsung C8000 review

Review: Samsung C8000 (3DTV)

24 Jun 2010 | Rasmus Larsen

Samsung C8000 review

Samsung C8000 is one of Samsung's new 2010 LED-TV models (LCD-TVs with Edge LED backlight). It has a titanium design and a very slim frame. It is also one of Samsung's new 3DTVs with features such as 200/240 Hz, Edge LED backlight, [email protected], Samsung Apps and the new Premium Remote.

But how does Samsung C8000 compare to the new flagship models from LG, Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp? And how good is the 3D picture quality? Can Samsung build on the success of the 2009 models and is C8000 a major improvement to the cheaper Samsung C6000/C6300?

FlatpanelsHD will answer all that and go into depth with the 2D and 3D picture quality on C8000 in this review.

Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive e-mails when new reviews are online. We’ll soon publish our Panasonic V20, and Samsung C8000 plasma reviews as well.

Panel size: 40"
Resolution: 1920x1080
Response time: -
Contrast ratio: -
Brightness: -
Colour support: 16,7 million colours
Signal processing: 8 bit for each colour
Viewing angles (H/V): 178/178
Dot pitch: -
Panel type: LCD with Edge LED (Samsung)
Wall mounting:
Swivel stand:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 58.8cm x 95.6cm x 2.4cm (without stand)
Weight 14,9 kg
Built-in speakers:
Input formats: 480p/i, 576p/i, 720p, 1080i & 1080p (50, 60 & 24p)
1:1 pixel mapping:
Inputs
• VGA
• DVI (can be converted through HDMI)
• Audio (type) (Audio in/out)
• SCART (1 input)
• S-video
• Composite
• Component
• HDMI (4 inputs, 1 HDMI 1.4)
• Other
Outputs
• Audio (type) (1 output)
• SCART
• S/PDIF (optical)
Tuners
• Analogue
• DVB-T
• DVB-T (MPEG4)
• DVB-C
• DVB-C (MPEG4)
• DVB-S
• DVB-S (MPEG4)

Price and retailer:

US retailerUK retailer


Our first impressions

Samsung C8000 has a new silver brushed titanium look. This differs from the 2009 models that had a glossy black frame.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


Around the edge of the Titanium frame there's a transparent plastic edge.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


C8000 also has a new stand with 4 metal legs. It allows the user to swivel the TV manually.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


C8000 is very slim and measures less than 3 centimeters. And if you wish to wall mount the TV you can buy Samsung's own wall mounting solution to ensure that the TV gets very close to the wall.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


All inputs are located on the back of the TV and are cleverly positioned to point down and to the side. This way you can wall mount the TV without any trouble.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


We also found 2 USB ports on the side for USB hard drives, USB sticks and a USB Wi-Fi dongle.

Test tools

Our TV signal is DVB-S (satellite) from Canal Digital and DVB-T (terrestrial). We also have an analogue TV connection. Testing is done with the DVE (digital video essentials) and Peter Finzel test DVD. Testing is also done with DVD, TV, Blu-Ray and Media center/PC.

We use our own monitorTest. The software supports some of the traditional test patterns used to evaluate displays as well as some new and unique test patterns developed by the people here on FlatpanelsHD.
Sony PlayStation 3 is our Blu-Ray player.

All contrast measurements are based on the ANSI methodology.

Functionality

Below you can see the new Premium Remote from Samsung that is a huge step forward design-wise compared to previous remotes from Samsung.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


The Remote has a light button in the upper right corner. Sometimes it can be hard to activate the right buttons because the buttons are completely flat. The remote control feels right in my hand and Samsung has also added some extra weight to it which gives us an impression of quality.

The 2009 Samsung TVs had a very well designed DLNA function and the best from any flat panel manufacturer. C8000 also has the [email protected] and Samsung Apps features that we'll look at in this section. The EU version also has a PVR recording and time shift function. I'm not sure if the US models has this feature but I'll include a PVR section as well.

[email protected] and Apps
Samsung has updated their [email protected] system and it has more features and services than the 2009 models. The Internet feature plays together with the new Samsung Apps system.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


Samsung Apps is a new interface from Samsung that lets users connect to an App shop to download different Apps made by developers and companies. This is almost similar to the popular Apple App Store but just in a Television edition.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


When you start the Internet feature the TV is updating the Apps list.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


You can also choose from a variety of new Apps depending on your country. And more will follow later on as the App catalogue is extended.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


It's quite cool and a good way to connect the TV to the Internet. The problem - of course - is that it's a closed proprietary system made by Samsung and not open to other TV manufacturers. And content is still lacking.

DLNA
The DLNA interface has changed compared to the 2009 models and is also different from the cheaper Samsung C6000 / C6300 series that we recently tested.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


The file support is pretty similar, though, which is not a bad thing because Samsung supports a lot of different file formats, including DivX and MKV video. Image files are also supported.

Navigation in the menus is fast and easy. The loading time is a lot lower than on the 2009 model which is positive. You no longer have to wait if you want to access folders with a lot of content. This was one of the main issues on the 2009 models and I'm happy that Samsung has improved this.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


Music and images are also supported and you can select to start Dias shows, playlists etc.

PVR recording
Note: I'm not sure if the PVR recording feature is enabled on the US models but the EU models have PVR.

PVR recording enables you to record live TV transmissions from the built-in TV tuners. C8000 also has a Time Shift function that can put live TV broadcasts on pause.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


Before you start you need to connect either a USB hard disc or a USB memory stick. This needs to be formatted so be sure to save any content on the device before you connect it. I tried with a USB stick but the TV told me it was unsupported so I tried with a USB hard disc instead. This worked great and was powered only by the USB from the Samsung C8000.

When it's connected you have access to different PVR recording functions. You can choose just to press the record button and your recording starts.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


You can also enter the EPG (electronic program guide) and time recordings.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


Samsung has also incorporated a Time Shift function to let you pause live TV transmissions.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


Everything is stored in a graphically attractive database where you can see the name and the description of the recorded sessions and sort them in different ways.

”Samsung
Samsung C8000 review


The PVR recording functionality is really great and works with all the three digital tuners in C8000 (antenna, cable, and satellite). The only problem is that the TV has no twin tuners, and this means that you have to stay on the same channel when recording. You cannot switch to another channel, but you can switch to for example a HDMI source.

Calibration settings
Samsung C8000 has some interesting setting options in the menus. Samsung has integrated these calibration setting options: Backlight, contrast, brightness, color, tint, and sharpness.

It also has some Eco modes and in the advanced settings I found: Black tone, dynamic contrast, gamma, Color Space, White Balance (RGB), RGB, 10p White Balance, Flesh Tone, Edge Enhancement, xvYCC and LED Motion Plus. Finally, in the picture options menu I found: Color Tone, Size, Digital Noise Filter, MPEG Noise Filter, HDMI Black Level, Film Mode and 200/240 Hz Motion Plus.

The 200/240 Hz Motion Plus also has advanced settings to control the amount of blur reduction compensation and judder reduction compensation.

This is quite cool because in the past Samsung's 200/240 Hz circuits had a tendency to be too aggressive.

You can also select from these picture modes: Dynamic, Standard, Natural, and Movie.

Energy consumption

I have measured energy consumption on the 40-inch 40C8000 below.

Out-of-Box After calibration
Standby 0,0 W 0,0 W
SD 127,4 W 93,7 W
HD127,4 W93,7 W



After calibration I measured energy consumption to 93.7 W. This is low compared to TVs without LED backlight but pretty much at the same levels of the 2009 Edge LED models from Samsung such as the B7000.

Also, please note that the flat panel TVs uses less power after calibration. This is common on flat panel displays because many picture parameters are reduced during calibration.

Calibration on Samsung C8000

Below I have measured the out-of-box picture quality on Samsung C8000 in the Standard picture preset.

”Samsung


The graph says this:

The number on the left is the delta value. Delta is a difference between two factors; here it’s the difference between the measured color on the panel and the actual color that is our target.

  • A delta value lower that 2 results in a visible deviation from the actual color.
  • A delta value over 4 or 5 results in wrong colors.
  • A delta value between 1 and 2 results in precise but not perfect colors.
  • A delta value lower than one results in almost perfect colors. The target is 0.
  • Everything between 0 and 1 is barely visible to the human eye.

    The out-of-box result is mediocre. We have seen more extreme picture characteristics on some of Samsung's older TVs. The color deviations are visible. Gamma is varying from 2.35 to 2.45. This is above our target of 2.2 gamma and means that all colors are darker than they should be.

    The color temperature was measured to 10060 Kelvin. This give us a much colder and more bluish picture than with our reference of 6500 Kelvin, and this is definitely too high. Brightness was measured to 381 cd/m2 which is also very high and too high for pleasant viewing.

    I tried to switch to the Movie picture preset and took a new measurement.

    ”Samsung


    This picture preset is better. Gamma is still a bit too high, going from around 2.2 in the bright grey shades to 2.3 in the dark grey shades but this is not critical.

    Brightness is also reduced to 155 cd/m2 and this is a better light output level for all-round use. The color temperature is too low at 6136 Kelvin giving a slightly too reddish and warm picture. We aim for 6500 Kelvin.

    I now performed a calibration on Samsung C8000 and below you can see the result.

    ”Samsung


    I managed to correct the color temperature and came very close to our 2.2 gamma target ensuring accurate colors and the right balance in the picture.

    Samsung C8000 also gives us better results - after and before calibration - than Samsung C6000 / C6300 that we recently tested. On C8000 we managed to get a much better gamma tracking.

    Below you can see my calibrated settings on Samsung C8000.

    After calibration
    Profile: Movie
    Backlight 7
    Contrast 95
    Brightness 45
    Sharpness 0
    Color: 50
    Tint: G50/R50
    Black Tone: Off
    Dynamic Contrast Off
    Gamma 0
    Color Space Auto
    Flesh Tone 0
    Edge Enhancement Off
    xvYCC Off
    LED Motion Plus Off
    Color Tone Warm2
    Size Screen Fit
    Digital Noise Filter Off
    MPEG Noise Filter Off
    HDMI Black Level Low
    200/240 Hz Motion Plus Standard/Off
    • R-Offset: 25
    • G-Offset: 25
    • B-Offset: 26
    • R-Gain: 30
    • G-Gain: 23
    • B-Gain: 31


    I used the movie picture preset for my calibration and lowered the backlight control to reduce brightness from the panel. I have optimized the picture for dark environments and you might prefer a brighter picture during daytime.

    I also did a RGB (red, green, blue) calibration to improve color accuracy. I also deactivated a lot of the dynamic picture circuits.

    Picture quality on Samsung C8000

    Let's move on the examine picture quality in practice.

    Samsung C8000 has a slightly glossy panel but when it's turned with picture on it the reflections are almost irrelevant. C8000 has a lot fewer reflections than TVs such as LG LE8500, Sharp LE820 and Sony NX700.

    I have included a picture comparing LG LX9500 and Samsung C8000 below.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    We missed the final color accuracy in the movie mode but we ended up with a decent calibration on C8000. We would have liked to see a THX picture move. Panasonic and LG are both using the THX modes.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Color gradation on C8000 is good and better than on the C6000 / C6300 that had some issues with bands and not distinguishing all colors. The semi-bright and bright colors are all reproduced beautifully and only the darker colors have some very minor issues, such as a minor red tint on some grey shades. This was by no means critical.

    SD (non-HD TV broadcasts and DVD) picture quality is quite good. C8000 manages to reproduce a detailed SD picture with no visible noise which can be a problem on some plasma TVs and we also noticed some noise in the dark colors on the cheaper Samsung C6000/C6300.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Samsung C8000 also has a good de-interlacing and scaling circuit and we noticed no jaggies. Panasonic’s plasma TVs still has the edge in terms of SD picture quality, though, but C8000 certainly has better SD picture quality than most LCD-TVs today and this is positive.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    HD picture quality is good and detailed. The first firmware version of C8000 had some undefeatable noise reduction that cut some details but with the newest firmware this has been corrected. The accurate colors and good contrast levels add to a HD experience that is good compared to the LCD standard today. And again better than on the cheaper Samsung C6000/C6300 LED model.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    We also experienced good motion handling which is very important in order to maintain details on HD pictures.

    The TV support proper 1080p24playback. You just need to deactivate the MotionPlus system.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Last year we criticized the B7000 series for trailing issues and too slow response time. Therefore we were happy to see that the C6000 / C6300 model had no such critical trailing and blurring. And we can tell the same story about C8000. Response time is good and even faster than on the C6000.

    We saw minimal trailing on most colors, although there saw a tendency to a bit more trailing in darker colors and dark movie scenes. However, it was not critical like on the B7000 from 2009.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    This also means that motion is handled well on Samsung C8000, which is important for fast movement in games, movies and sports.

    I would have liked to see the scanning backlight technology in one of Samsung's TVs this year because it really improved response time on the LG LE8500 and LG LX9500. Samsung is not as fast as these two TVs but is doing pretty well all in all.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    The frame interpolation system (the 200/240 Hz system) on Samsung C8000 has some two setting options. You can adjust both judder and blue compensation in the custom mode or choose from some of the predefined presets.

    You should refrain from using it on the high setting. This creates a too artificial picture with too many artifacts. The 200/240 Hz system can be beneficial if you use some moderate judder and blur compensation (1-3 for both) but artifacts are never eliminated and on HD broadcast I suggest you deactivate the system.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Input lag is high with the MotionPlus system activated and you should activate the Game Mode to reduce input lag to a more decent level. In the game Mode C8000 still has some input lag but games are playable. C8000 is comparable to most semi-fast LCD-TVs today in regards of input lag.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Below I have measured black level and contrast.

    Out-of-Box After calibration
    Black level 0,11 cd/m2 0,05 cd/m2
    Brightness 381 cd/m2 119 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio3467:12380:1
    Contrast ratio +/- 100


    After calibration I measured a black level of 0.05 cd/m2. This is fair for an Edge LED based LCD-TV and not much higher than most plasma-TVs today but not as low as the local dimming LED models such as the LG LE8500.

    The Precision Dimming (Edge LED with a few local dimmign zones) has no real effect in practice. This system is not comparable to local dimming systems such as those in the LG LE8500 model.

    Compared to last year’s models, such as the B7000 series and B8000 (review only available on our Danish site, FlatpanelsDK) series C8000 has a similar black level reproduction.
    We measured on 0.05 cd/m2 on the B7000. So, no real improvement in terms of black. However, the panel is free of serious reflections and this also means that during daytime black is quite black to the eye.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Samsung C8000 still has the auto dimming feature that people complained about on the 2009 LED models. Basically this feature dims the overall light output from the backlight when the picture on the TV is almost dark. This can be annoying because the panel is also dimmed in cut scenes showing a black screen. This can be distracting and I wish Samsung would have included an option to turn this off in the menu.

    Shadow detailing on C8000 is fair. I can distinguish most shades of grey and the dark colors are also distinguished. The 1-3 darkest shades of grey can be hard to distinguish, though. You check this on your own TV as well with our monitorTest software here.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    It's also positive that C8000 does not have the same noise in black colors that we saw on the cheaper Samsung C6000 / C6300 model.

    Finally I examined clouding / backlight bleeding issues on Samsung C8000. Below you can see C8000 in a completely dark room.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    As you can see on the picture C8000 has some clouding issues and this is a shame. This is a typical issue with Edge LED based LCD-TVs and some users experienced problems on the 2009 series, as well. You have to remember that clouding can vary from one TV to another so another C8000 model might not suffer from clouding like our sample.

    I managed to reduce clouding by lowering the backlight control in the menu but it was never eliminated completely.

    3D on Samsung C8000

    FlatpanelsHD will soon have a Samsung C8000 review online, too. And afterwards we'll publish a 3D comparison article between the two 3DTVs, so stay tuned or join our RSS feed.

    Samsung BD-C6900
    Samsung BD-C6900


    We used Samsung's own 3D Blu-ray player for 3D playback as well as the PlayStation 3 that has recently been updated to support 3D gaming.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Samsung's 3D glasses can be seen below. I found the glasses comfortable and better than the 3D glasses from Panasonic's VT25 / VT20 model. Samsung’s 3D glasses are fitted closer to the head and less light come in from the sides. The glasses also come in children sizes.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    I won't include a section about the 3D experience and what you should expect from the 3D experience, and there I will refer to the Panasonic's VT25 / VT20 review for some views on the perspectives on 3D and 3D in general.
    Instead I'll include some 3D tests to see how Samsung C8000 compares to LG LX9500 and Panasonic VT25 / VT20 and some PlayStation 3 impressions from 3D gaming on Samsung C8000.

    Samsung C8000 has fair 3D depth for most content but as I have said before the actual 3D experience and 3D effect depends largely on the 3D content. Samsung has bundled a Monsters vs. Aliens 3D Blu-ray and actually this is not a very good movie in terms of 3D execution. The 3D effect is mediocre and you should try to get other content.

    Therefore I tried with some 3D demo discs with various 3D content that I also used on the LG LX9500 and Panasonic VT25 / VT20.

    Samsung C8000 has good 3D depth and perspective that creates an immersive experience. Just like on the LG LX9500 I feel that the out-of-picture effects such as water splashing onto the screen is a bit better than on
    Panasonic VT25 / VT20. The objects very close to you stay in focus.

    Samsung C8000 also has a higher light output than the 3D plasma TVs and we talked about this in the LG LX9500 review as well. Because the 3D glasses reduce brightness a lot the TV need a higher light output from the backlight. C8000 can do this and this improves 3D viewing during daytime.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Another very positive thing on Samsung C800 is that you can adjust almost every picture setting in the 3D demo. On LX9500 the picture settings menu was deactivated in 3D mode but on C8000 you can still chose from different picture presets and adjust parameters such as backlight, RGB etc.

    But there’s one problem with 3D on C8000 and that’s crosstalk. Crosstalk refers to the phenomenon where the pictures intended for the left eye and the pictures intended for the right eye are not clearly distinguished by the 3DTV and therefore some of the different picture elements are visible when they shouldn't be. This creates a transparent and light halo effect around objects because the left and right images mix up, and it happens simply because the TV is fast enough (the response time and refresh rate is too slow).


    3D crosstalk to the left. Notice the halo around the head


    Just like on the LG LX9500 Samsung C8000 has too much 3D crosstalk making the 3D experience imperfect.

    When I compared to the LX9500 C8000 had a bit more crosstalk in some scenes but less in other scenes. On Samsung C8000 the crosstalk is a bit more"muddy" and darker, thus making it a bit more visible in practice. On LX9500 it was more transparent and ghost-like. All in all, C8000 has a bit more crosstalk compared to LX9500.

    Crosstalk is visible on all 3D content but less critical on for example 3D animation. We also tried some 3D gaming on PlayStation 3 and WipeOut had a fair amount of crosstalk that was distracting.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    This is a shame and our reference in terms of 3D picture quality is still the Panasonic VT25/VT20 that had almost zero crosstalk giving a much more complete 3D experience.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    About the 2D to 3D conversion: This function is primarily a marketing thing I feel. On most content it is not convincing and in order to make it work you really need very high quality HD content that is easier to convert into 3D, simply because the 3D conversion technology can analyze the depth information with the help of focused and unfocused objects (objects in the front tends to be more focused with picture content than objects in the background).

    On SD the 2D to 3D conversion is useless but with some HD content you can achieve a semi-convincing 3D effect and with some games the 3D effect can be enjoyed from the 2D to 3D conversion setting. But all in all I won’t recommend that you use this function. You need real 3D content to enjoy 3D and the 2D to 3D conversion needs further development.

    PC and Media Center

    The TV supports 1:1 pixel mapping. In order to achieve 1:1 pixel mapping you need to select the aspect ratio called “Screen Fit” in the OSD.

    Viewing angles

    Viewing angles are wider than on the cheaper Samsung C6000/C6300 that we recently tested but viewing angles are still not perfect. The color intensity is reduced and black levels are reduced from angles. Samsung C8000 still struggles with maintained colors and is not on par with the best LCD-TV or plasma TVs today.

    Below you can see the horizontal and vertical viewing angles.

    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    ”Samsung
    Samsung C8000 review


    Sound quality

    Sound quality is not very good. The very thin frame leaves no room for proper speakers and you can hear that. The bass is weak and the midtones, too. There's a clear voices function that I recommend that you activate because human voices can be hard to distinguish from other sound elements.

    I recommend a separate sound system for most viewing on C8000. Especially for movies and games.

    Conclusion

    Samsung C8000 is the new very thin LED model from Samsung. Once again Samsung has managed to create a very slim TV with clever positioning of the inputs/outputs and a lot of functionality such as Internet, DLNA, PVR recording and other well-functioning media features (and a satellite digital tuner in some countries). At the moment Samsung has the best working media functions in a TV, primarily because of the Internet Apps and DLNA features.

    Samsung C8000 has some good picture quality elements such as good SD detailing and fairly accurate picture settings. We are also very pleased to see that Samsung has managed to fix the response time issues that we experienced on the 2009 B7000 model. On the other hand it has some issues with light uniformity and viewing angles.

    The 3D picture quality has some advantages compared to Panasonic VT25/VT20 but just like on the LG LX9500 Samsung C8000 has issues with 3D crosstalk where the left and right images are not clearly separated. This creates a ghost effect that can be distracting and this affects 3D picture quality on Samsung C8000.

    All in all Samsung C8000 is a worthy successor to the Samsung B8000 from 2009, simply because it follows the same path that made B8000 popular. It has some pros and cons that we also saw on B8000 but Samsung has managed to incorporate a lot of interesting media functionality that works well. Picture quality has been improved a bit but C8000 is no revolution and no big step, and picture quality is not comparable to the absolute best TVs today. Unfortunately we are not entirely convinced with the 3D picture quality because of the crosstalk issues.

    Get a price on the Samsung C8000 on Amazon.

    Subscribe to our Newsletter to receive e-mails when new reviews are online. We’ll soon publish our Panasonic V20, and Samsung C8000 plasma reviews as well.

    Price and retailer:

    US retailerUK retailer


    Pros ConsTarget group
    DLNA and loading time Clouding Living room
    Inputs facing to the side Viewing angles Home Cinema
    PVR recording Sound quality
    Response time improved Price a bit too high
    SD picture quality 3D crosstalk

    Samsung C8000 debate

    For questions and comments please visits this thread in our forums: Samsung C8000 review debate



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