Samsung UN60D8000 LED LCD 3D HDTV Review$4,299.00
The Samsung UN60D8000 ($4299 MSRP) packs in every feature we've ever heard of, along with quite a few we'd never heard of. The TV is as thin as they come, with the panel measuring only 1.2 inches. The gleaming, 4-legged pedestal is also a pleasant change from the black box aesthetic. The Samsung UN60D8000 includes support for 3D display, two pairs of 3D glasses, built-in WiFi, a web browser, a remote with QWERTY keyboard, all sorts of contrast and local dimming features, connection to the Samsung app store, Skype, and a bunch of local networking options.
Every TV has good and bad points, so let's summarize them here. In its favor, the Samsung UN60D8000 features the best integration of "smart" TV features that we've seen to date. The Smart Hub mission control interface makes perfect sense; we just needed someone to show the world how it could be done. The built-in internet browser, specifically, is more gimmick than computer replacement, but it's nice to have. In terms of raw video performance, the contrast ratio is outstanding. The motion performance is among the best and smoothest that we've seen, if you take advantage of the video processing features (just remember to turn them off if you're watching film-based content). The 3D performance is among the best we've seen from an LCD television, bridging the gap between LCDs and plasma TVs.
On the downside, the color performance was good, but not perfect. The viewing angle is abysmal, something that Samsung continues to struggle with on its LCDs. As with many of these ultra-thin TVs, luminance uniformity is a problem. The blotchiness of the backlight is visible in any dark scene.
The biggest obstacle, though, is the price. Though you'll surely find it for a less than the $4299 MSRP, the price is still much higher than you'd paid for any similarly sized plasma TV. The cost to scale LCD panels to these monstrous sizes is reflected in the base price. Plasmas can simply be made bigger for less money. Why not get Samsung's very own PN59D8000 ($2999 MSRP), which offers most of the same features for a lot less money? Plasmas won't get nearly as bright as the Samsung UN60D8000, or any LCD, but it may be worth the trade-off if you're determined for the best picture but hampered by a budget.
Overall, the Samsung UN60D8000 is a monster of a TV and you are not going to be disappointment. But prices like this require that you understand exactly what you're getting for your money and whether you need every single feature. If not, there are very good TVs out there for less.