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Review: Samsung D8000 (LED)


Samsung D8000 (LED) review

Samsung impressed the world with their new 2011 TV line-up at CES 2011 in Las Vegas. The new TVs are not only slim but Samsung has also managed to reduce the TV bezel to make it appear almost invisible. In this review we will examine the D8000 flagship model with the new elegant design, Edge LED, 3D and the new Smart TV interface with Apps, internet browser and many more cool features.

Samsung D8000 looks good but how good is picture quality? Can Samsung’s new Smart TV platform impress us? And has Samsung managed to improve 3D picture quality compared to last year’s LED models? FlatpanelsHD will find out in this Samsung D8000 review.

Samsung D8000 is available in the US and Europe in 40, 46 and 55 inches called 40D8000, 46D8000 and 55D8000. Please notice that this is the LED variant but Samsung also has a D8000 plasma model.

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Size:55" widescreen
Response time:-
Contrast ratio:-
Color support:16,7 million colors
Signal processing: 8 for each color
Viewing angles (H/V):178/178
Dot pitch:
Panel type:LCD-TV with Edge LED
Wall mounting:
Swivel stand:
Dimensions (HxWxD): 70.7cm x 123.3cm x 3.0cm (without stand)
Weight16.2 kg
Built-in speakers:
Input formats: 480p/i, 576p/i, 720p, 1080i & 1080p (50, 60 & 24p)
DVI (but possible to convert through HDMI)
Audio (type) (Audio in/out)
SCART (1 input)
HDMI (4 inputs, 1 HDMI 1.4)
Audio (type) (1 output, headphones)
S/PDIF (optical)

Price and retailer:

US retailerUK retailer

Our first impressions

Samsung D8000 looks gorgeous. I have not been a big fan of the plastic frames on previous Samsung LED models but this new D8000 TV looks elegant and exclusive with the new extremely slim bezel.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

In the center of the bezel we find a small Samsung logo that is illuminated when the TV is turned on. Besides the logo the silver bezel is completely clean.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

In 2010 Samsung introduced the four-legged stand on most high-end models (except the C9000) and this look has been transferred to the 2011 line-up as well. The stand has a manual swivel function.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

All inputs are located on the back and as you would expect from Samsung the inputs are pointing either downwards or to the side, which is great if you are planning on wall mounting the TV.

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.


Samsung D8000 comes with this standard remote control in plastic. It is not different from the 2010 remote control.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

But you can also buy this new Touch Remote with a capacitive touchscreen.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

The Touch Remote is quite interesting. The design reminds me of an iPhone 3GS with a home button at the button. This button brings you back to the front screen and the button in the upper left corner turns on the TV.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

It’s not much different from the Touch Remote that came bundled with the 2010 models and if you are familiar with a smartphone you pretty much get the basic idea of Samsung’s Touch remote. From the front screen you have different icons to access different services on the TV and you can scroll to the right to see more options. Naturally, there is also a typical remote interface with volume up/down, channel up/down and numbers.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

All the Smart TV features can be controlled with this remote and a cool feature is the keyboard. Instead of having to use the actual TV as an on-screen keyboard when searching for YouTube videos you can use a keyboard on the Touch Remote. You can also connect D8000 to other smartphones running Android or iOS to enable the keyboard functionality.

Samsung has incorporated a lot of functionality from the 2010 models such as DLNA, USB recording and USB playback. But the all-new Smart TV platform looks far from similar to the 2010 platform so let us take a look at Samsung’s new Smart TV features. Smart TV is a general term used for TVs connected to the Internet and home network. This opens up a world of connectivity and content.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

From the front screen we have different Apps and options such as the USB recording function (only in Europe), a web browser and AllShare (DLNA). New Apps can be downloaded through the Samsung Apps Store.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

The interface looks great but unfortunately we experienced some loading time when browsing through the apps and in the App Store. We are not connected to the fastest Internet connection here at the office but I would have liked to see faster loading times from Samsung.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

If you connect to the App Store you have access to different categories such as video, games and lifestyle. The selection of Apps differ from country to country and unfortunately there is not much content in the European store at this point. The US store has more Apps, including some of the popular video-on-demand movie services.

Samsung Smart TV
Samsung Smart TV

Samsung has also created something called Social TV. The basic idea is that you can watch a TV show while at the same time have your Facebook or Twitter feed running next to the show.

The built-in web browser is a new feature. We have seen web browsers from LG, Philips and Sony in their 2011 TVs and we are not impressed. None of them support Flash or java at this time and therefore we were surprised to see that Samsung does. Below you see the FlatpanelsHD website.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

The menu to the left is a Flash menu. Also, the fonts look correct. On for example Sony EX720 fonts changed when browsing websites using the built-in browser.

The browser is not super-fast, however, and navigation is slow. Also, even though the keyboard on the Touch Remote is a great help, it is still very difficult to browse the web, which is a shame because Samsung has a fairly good integrated TV web browser in their hands here. In my opinion a traditional web browser is just not a TV thing.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

There is also a range of other multimedia functions such as remote controlling via smartphones and the option to stream content from the TV to a phone or vice versa. You can learn more in our article about Samsung’s Smart TV platform here: First look at Samsung's 2011 Smart TV platform

Samsung has also developed a new menu look for the 2011 TVs.

Samsung D8000 review
Samsung D8000 review

To sum it up I feel that Samsung’s Smart TV platform holds a lot of potential. It is not perfect at this point but it has been further improved compared to last year’s platform. I say “potential” because Smart TV platforms are still young and we have only seen the first steps towards connected TVs. The App Store on Samsung’s TV is a great addition and it has more content than other manufacturer’s TV App stores but it definitely still lacks content – at least in Europe.

Calibration settings
The following picture settings options are available: Backlight, contrast, brightness, color, tint, and sharpness.

It also has some Eco modes and in the advanced settings I found: Black tone, dynamic contrast, shadow detail, gamma, Color Space, White Balance (RGB), 10p White Balance, Flesh Tone, Edge Enhancement, Motion Lighting, 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.

Energy consumption

Compare power consumption measurements on different TVs and monitors with our interactive power consumption applet here.

Below I have measured energy consumption on the 55-inch Samsung D8000.

Standby0.0 W0.0 W
SD+HD117 W81.5 W
3D120 W120 W

After calibration I measured power consumption to 81.5 W. That is significantly lower than for example plasma TVs and also lower than Toshiba’s 55-inch WX800 / WL768 model that was measured to 124 W after calibration.

I have also included a measurement of the 3D energy consumption. In the 3D mode the backlight is often maxed out to compensate for the reduction in light from the 3D glasses. Therefore the 3D mode also typically consumes more energy.

Calibration on Samsung D8000

Below you can see an out-of-box measurement on Samsung D8000 in the Standard picture preset without Eco mode.

Samsung D8000 review

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.

    Out-of-box picture quality on D8000 is not particularly impressive and the Standard picture preset on D8000 is not much different from other Samsung LED models. The colors are not accurate because the gamma curve is wrong.

    We want stable 2.2 gamma but on D8000 we measured gamma rising from 1.7 in the dark shades to 2.7 in the bright shades, which means that bright shades are too bright and dark colors are too dark (dark details are crushed).

    Brightness is also very high and we measured 357 cd/m2 which is one of the highest brightness values measured so far. We definitely want to reduce that after calibration. Color temperature was measured to 9005 Kelvin. We are aiming for 6500 Kelvin, which means that pictures on D8000 are too cold and bluish on D8000 with the standard settings. We hope for a better result in the Movie preset.

    I now switched to the picture preset called Movie and took a new measurement.

    Samsung D8000 review

    The movie preset is much better but still far from perfect. Gamma was now measured between 2.3 and 2.5 and the color temperature is too low, meaning that images on D8000 are slightly too warm and reddish.

    Brightness was measured to 238 cd/m2 and is still too high. The overall color deviations are much lower compared to the Standard picture preset, however. But I still hope that Samsung will incorporate more accurate picture presets in future TVs.

    I went on to calibrate Samsung D8000. Here’s my result.

    Samsung D8000 review

    After calibration I saw good picture parameters. Gamma is not 100 % stable and varies by 0.13 but my calibrated picture settings provide much more accurate picture quality on D8000 than the Movie and Standard picture presets. The wrong gamma primarily means that the darker colors are not reproduced accurately.

    As shown in the graph (to the right) above color deviations are now much lower. Color temperature is very close to our 6500 Kelvin target and was measured to 6744 Kelvin. I have also reduced brightness to 128 cd/m2 because I aim to optimize picture settings on D8000 for viewing in dark rooms.

    I am satisfied with the calibrated result on D8000 and the most advanced users can improve things even further by accessing the RGB 10 point settings menu. I only used the basic RGB Gain and RGB Cutoff setting options. It makes no sense to share the advanced settings, simply because these need to be set up for each individual TV.

    Below are my calibrated settings.

    Picture preset:Movie
    Black ToneOff
    Dynamic ContrastOff
    Shadow detail0
    Color SpaceAuto
    Flesh Tone0
    Edge enhancementOff
    Motion lightingOff
    LED Motion PlusOn
    Color ToneWarm1
    SizeScreen Fit
    Digital Noise FilterOff
    Mpeg noise filterOff
    Film modeOff
    HDMI Black levelLow
    Motion PlusOff

    I lowered the settings called shadow detail to 0 (default is +2) and increased the setting option called gamma by +1 in order to improve gamma. I also changed the contrast setting. Lastly I did a RGB calibration with the RGB gain and cutoff settings. For even more advanced color settings Samsung provides RGB 10 points setting options.

    I have lowered the settings called backlight to reduce brightness on the panel. If you primarily watch TV during daytime you might prefer to increase the backlight setting 2-3 points.

    Picture quality on Samsung D8000

    In this section I go through picture quality with the calibrated settings.

    Samsung D8000 has a semi-glossy panel with some reflections. It does not feature a glass front like some of LG, Sharp and Sony’s recent TVs but instead a glossy coating similar to that found on many laptops. In a brightly lit room you might experience some reflections in the darker areas of the screen but most pictures are reproduced without distracting reflections from lamps and windows.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    I moved on to examine color gradation on D8000. Color gradation is a term used to describe how a TV distinguished the many colors from each other. We use color gradients to examine color gradation and we want gradients without “bands”.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Color gradation on Samsung D8000 is fairly good but not perfect. In the darker areas of the color gradients D8000 has some problems with distinguishing all of the colors. I also saw some bands in semi-dark areas and D8000 is not a top performer in this area. It is on par or maybe slightly lower than Panasonic VT30 when it comes to color gradation. Toshiba’s WX800/WL768 is still the best performer in the area of color gradation that I have seen in our recent reviews.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    SD picture quality on D8000 is generally good. The colors are accurate after calibration and SD pictures look detailed and crisp. I believe that Samsung has made some noticeable improvements in this area compared to last year’s C8000 model although I have to say that Panasonic VT30 still gave us more detailed and crisp SD picture quality.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    HD picture quality is great. I really enjoyed watching HD content on D8000. Pictures are very detailed and I noticed that Samsung has improved black levels compared to last year’s models and especially the C9000 range, creating very intense and detailed pictures.

    An important aspect of HD picture quality is response time, simply because you want a TV to reproduce a high level of detail even in fast motion. Therefore I moved on to examine response time on D8000 and I hoped to see better response time than Samsung has managed in the past. Last year’s model was semi-fast but the 2009 B7000 model was too slow, resulting in visible trailing.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Luckily, response time on D8000 is fast, actually pretty fast. I saw very little blurring on fast motion and Samsung has improved thing even further compared to the 2010 line-up. I did not notice any significant overdrive trailing (white halos around moving objects) either, which is great.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    One of the reasons for the fast response time is the scanning backlight system. Similar to most other new LCD-TVs, Samsung has incorporated a scanning backlight system that aims to reduce trailing/blurring on fast motion by constantly rolling a black line from the top of the picture to the bottom at a very fast refresh rate. This trick is utilized to constantly “reset” the human eye and nullify the sample-and-hold principle of the LCD technology.
    Below I have taken a few pictures to show you the scanning backlight principle.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    In order to utilize the scanning backlight system you need to activate LED Motion Plus in the advanced picture settings menu. It is not activated by default on all picture presets.

    Samsung’s 200/240 Hz system is called Motion Plus (without LED) and personally I prefer to deactivate this function. 200/240 Hz systems are designed to smooth out movements by creating new images that are inserted into the image stream. By doing this, moving images become smoother, but also creates a artificial look that reminds us of a cheap soap-opera. Samsung’s system has a range of setting options to make the system less aggressive but for Blu-ray and gaming you should turn it off. It also adds input lag to console gaming.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    With Motion Plus deactivated I measured input lag to 42 ms and it increased to over 70 ms with Motion Plus on. This is not optimal for gaming and if you want the best gaming experience from a console gaming machine plasma TVs are still the best choice. On Panasonic VT30 we found just 19-24 ms input lag.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Below I have measured black level and contrast.

    Black level0.08 cd/m20.03 cd/m2
    Brightness357 cd/m2128 cd/m2
    Contrast ratio4463:14267:1
    Contrast ratio +/- 50

    After calibration I measured black to 0.03 cd/m2, which is fantastic. It is on par with Sony X720 that we praised for its deep black levels and it is also on par with most plasma TVs such as Panasonic’s GT30 range.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Compared to Samsung’s 2010 models black is deeper and more intense. We measured 0.05 cd/m2 black on C8000. However, the deepest black levels are still achieved on LCD-TVs with LED local dimming such as LG LE8500.

    Shadow detailing on Samsung D8000 is fairly good but not perfect. Gamma in the dark end was not perfect in the Movie preset (nor the Standard preset) and even though I improved it after calibration I never reached perfect 2.2 gamma. That also means that some details in very dark movie scenes and games are crushed. It is not critical at all but the 2-3 darkest grey tones closest to black are not distinguished from black. This is very common on LCD/LED models.

    Below I have examined the Samsung D8000 a completely dark room to see if it has clouding or backlight bleeding.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Samsung D8000 has very little bleeding; actually close to none. We tested the 55-inch version of D8000 that is naturally more prone to light leaking, so if the smaller TV sizes in the D8000 range come with even lower backlight bleeding levels, 2011 is certainly shaping up nicely for Samsung’s LED line-up.

    3D picture quality on Samsung D8000

    We used the PlayStation 3 and a 3D Blu-ray player to test 3D movies and 3D games.

    I won’t say too much about 3D in general and what you should expect but instead refer to our Panasonic VT25 / VT20 review for a general 3D introduction.

    In this test I want to examine 3D depth, 3D picture quality, 3D crosstalk and finally include a small comparison to some of the other 3DTVs on the market.

    As I have said before LCD models with LED backlight has much higher light output in the 3D mode compared to 3D plasma TVs. That also means that 3D viewing in very bright rooms is possible on LCD/LED models.

    I was not impressed with Samsung’s first generation 3D LED models from 2010 and I criticized C8000 and C9000. Both TVs had too much crosstalk (double images in 3D), which made a pleasant 3D experience impossible. Therefore I was eager to see if Samsung had taken action to improve 3D picture quality in 2011.

    Therefore I am also very pleased to see that Samsung has made big improvements. Actually D8000 is far, far better than C8000. D8000 has some crosstalk but most of the time I saw nothing. The 3D experience is much nicer and 3D depth is great on D8000.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Avatar looked fantastic in 3D and with PS3 3D games I only rarely saw crosstalk. I generally enjoyed the 3D experience on D8000 – something that I cannot claim to be true for last year’s 3D LED models from Samsung.

    I recently saw low crosstalk levels on Sony EX720 and Toshiba WX800/W768 and I have to put Samsung D8000 in the same category. It has better 3D picture quality than EX720 and it is probably on par or very close to Toshiba WX800.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    What specific 3D improvement Samsung has worked on internally is hard to tell but I noticed that they have definitely incorporated a crosstalk compensation system. This is a basically a picture circuits that analyzes the 3D pictures before they are shown on the LCD panel. I saw a few cases of artefacts created by this 3D image compensation system that probably works very similar to 100/120 Hz systems but it was not critical. I guess that it is probably a bit more visible in gaming with constant movement but I do not really see it as problem for average users.

    So, D8000 definitely surprised me. I had hoped to see these improvements but I was a bit unsure what exactly to expect. If this trend continues it basically means that the 3D LED/LED models are much closer to 3D plasma models in 2011 than in 2010. However, I still have to point out that the plasma technology is still the superior choice for 3D experiences and in particular 3D console gaming. Samsung D8000 is a much better 3D TV that last year’s LED models from Samsung but it is not on par with for example Panasonic VT30.

    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 on Samsung D8000 are actually quite good. I saw a minor drop in color intensity from wide angles but nothing alarming. Samsung D8000 is certainly in the good end when it comes to viewing angles. However, it is not on par with plasma TVs. See the viewing angles pictures taken on D8000 below.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Contrast is lower from angles, which also means that black levels are not as deep. This is a common issue on LCD/LED models and so far Sony HX900/HX909 is one of the only TVs without this effect. Plasma TVs have no problems in this area.

    Samsung D8000 review
    Samsung D8000 review

    Sound quality

    Samsung has made an effort to improve sound quality in their very slim 2011 TVs – and with some success. The speakers provide clear and deeper sound than the 2010 and 2009 LED models. For casual TV watching the speakers are adequate.
    The bass is weak but not as weak as before. The mid tones are much better on D8000.

    For movies, games and music I still recommend separate speakers.


    Samsung D8000 is very slim and very elegant. The new extremely thin bezel looks great and all inputs on the back of the TV are either pointing down or to the side. Samsung’s new Smart TV platform is very interesting, with an App Store, social TV and a built in browser that actually works and supports flash. Add to that tons of other multimedia functions such as DLNA streaming, USB recording (in Europe), USB playback and remote controlling with smartphones, and we have one of the most promising Smart TV platforms available today on D8000. The same Smart TV platform is also found in cheaper Samsung LED variants and plasma TVs.

    Picture quality on D8000 is generally great and Samsung has made a number of improvements compared to last year’s LED models. Black depth is beautiful and as low as the best Edge LED based TVs and even on par with Panasonic GT30 (2011 plasma). The TV has almost no clouding or backlight bleeding and the viewing angles are wider than previous LED models from Samsung (although contrast is reduced from angles). Also, response time is fast because of the scanning backlight system and we did not notice overdrive trailing either. All these factors help D8000 deliver good SD picture quality and fantastic HD picture quality.

    However, out-of-box color accuracy could have been better and the Movie preset is not very accurate either. We managed to get proper color accuracy after calibration but I really wish that Samsung would integrate more accurate picture presets in the future. Color gradation is not perfect either and shadow detailing leaves room for improvement. On the other hand Samsung has improved 3D picture quality considerably and crosstalk is much, much lower than on the 2010 models. That also means that Samsung D8000 has fairly good 3D picture quality with impressive depth control and D8000 delivers a much more pleasant and enjoyable 3D experience. That is certainly a big plus in my book, based on the fact that the 2010 LED models were almost useless in 3D mode.

    D8000 a huge improvement over C8000 from 2010 and I am very pleased to see that Samsung continues to improve picture parameters on their TVs. I feel Samsung has made some significant improvements to picture quality in 2011 and D8000 is in my opinion the best Edge LED based TV we have tested so far.
    The gap between Edge LED and backlit LED TVs has narrowed with the launch of D8000 and I feel that D8000 is the first Edge LED model from Samsung that I can truly recommend as a great TV competing with plasma TVs in the high-end area. Therefore I also award Samsung D8000 with our Top Recommendations Award.

    Press the award logo to learn more.

    Price and retailer:

    US retailerUK retailer

    HD picture qualityOut-of-box picture settingsLiving room
    Response time and scanning backlightColor gradationHome Cinema
    Black depthShadow detailing not perfect
    Almost no cloudingLacks an accurate picture preset
    Smart TV platform and functionality
    Slim design with inputs pointing to the side
    3D picture quality improved drastically

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    Samsung D8000 debate

    For questions and comments please visits this thread in our forums: Samsung D8000 debate

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