Wednesday

Samsung UN46ES8000 Review

This is Samsung's top of the line for 2012, the 55 inch UN55ES8000. Tons of new features include a cool new remote which includes a QWERTY keyboard and Google's new TV search function. 3D viewing is awesome with a smooth, vibrant picture void of any problems from past years - no flicker from the glasses, no crosstalk, no blurring etc. It's also got that very cool styling and super thin screen depth. We wish Samsung could inlude more than 1 or 2 pair of the active shutter 3D glasses. Samsung has been working hard on their Smart Hub Smart TV offering for 2012 with more Apps and full search. Brightness on the UN55ES8000 LED backlit LCD TV is extreme and so is contrast. We absolutely love the contrast and black level. Watch out for washing out your colors with too much Brightness. Keep this setting set to moderate.

This is Samsung's top of the line for 2012, the 46 inch UN46ES8000. It's got loads of extra features including a cool new remote which includes a QWERTY keyboard, Smart Interaction, Smart TV Internet Options, and incredible new viewing features – not to mention the great aesthetics of the TV.



Micro Dimming Ultimate


The UN46ES8000 includes Samsung's new Micro Dimming Ultimate Panel Package which is a feature to describe edge lit local dimming. This new technology, through edge lit and not full array LED backlighting, creates a finer more detailed picture by brightening areas of the screen with light. Overall the effects are incredible and noteworthy and make a more colorful 3 dimensional image even from 2D programming. The micro dimming works by separating the picture into hundreds of parts and pieces and changing the amount of backlighting from the LEDs. Ultimately, the micro dimming helps a couple of key areas including side angle viewing quality and screen uniformity – both issues of past top end LED TVs.


Color

Colors are plenty bright but are somewhat muted from time to time – depending on content. Certainly with 1080p broadcast programming they will be super vivid. This is a great time to test our calibration settings for this model or its predecessor (either should work). You will see a marked improvement in realism with these color calibrations.








Back Light
Background light in scene images from the sun or other sources present an excellent contrast in the UN46ES8000 due to the great light throughput caused by the LED backlighting combined with Samsung's newer LCD panel overlays. This is also assisted by the clear coat screen. One of the side benefits of this is incredible picture quality in older 480p type signals (standard definition TV or DVD). In some scenes you would think you were watching a 720p high definition signal. Keep the backlight at a moderate setting of no more than 75% to prevent screen uniformity issues.



Contrast
Samsung's UND8000 series from last year included some of the best contrast ratio levels we experienced all year. Depending on the sensitivity of the light meter, contrast for this TV will be at the very top range. This Samsung TV is also be a top performer in brightness levels. We measure peak brightness from a quick review at CES, the UN46ES8000 has just as strong a performance. In torch mode (peak brightness) whites measure over 100 footlamberts.


3D Viewing Quality
3D Viewing Quality has improved drastically on this years and last years Samsung offerings. Samsung uses active shutter glasses in it's 3D offerings and continues to espouse that technology. Samsung has one of the widest arrays of 3D glasses available with the introduction of the (SSG-3300GR) model 3D glasses. The new 3D glasses are light and comfortable. The ES8000's active 3D display has great depth, detail and none of the crosstalk and bottom edge blurring that it once had. I've also noticed a marked decrease in eye strain/fatigue due to watching 3D on this TV and others like it. The only negative we have recently noted is some glare from the inside lenses of the glasses from surrounding room lights. Other than turning off the lights, I have not figured out a way around this problem.

Appearance

The striking appearance of the Samsung UN46ES8000 certainly will not disappoint you and it will become a focul point of any room. The look is characterized by a "window" effect with a .2" bezel frame design which increases visible screen area without increasing the size of the overall TV dimensions. The depth is around .5" as well so super slim. These features are similar to the successful D8000 from 2012. The color of the barely noticeable frame is silver chrome. The accompanying metal stand with this TV is U-shaped and is matte finish on the tops while the edges are a shiny chrome. It will stand out as a modern design in any case and is designed to complement the TV.

Smart Interaction; Voice And Hand Gesture Control
This is one of the most unusual features to come out in the TV industry in years. Useful? We'll have to wait and get a lot of feedback. Perhaps the greatest and most unbelievable feature on this TV is the facial recognition and voice and hand control in the ES8000. Maybe “control” is not the right word. It might be better to say “suggestion.” But you can certainly turn the TV on just by saying, "Hi TV." That much we have seen in person. When the Smart Interaction feature is turned on, waving your hand in front of the ES8000 while it's running will prompt it to display menu control choices near the bottom of the screen. The tab choices are transparent and small at the bottom of the screen so it does not interfere too much with the content you are watching on-screen. Controlling the on screen pointer with your hand motion, going to the control option you want, then closing your hand will tell the TV to open that option. The facial recognition part of the equation allows the TV to know which settings to set the TV to when you arrive to watch it and turn it on. This feature we have not had the chance to test or see in action. See that little bulge atop the TV? All this is enabled by the small built in front facing camera located there. Interesting feature? Certainly. Useful? Jury's out

.Smart TV
Samsung Smart TVWith an entire new set of services, Samsung's Smart TVs allow the family a rich variety of options for their home viewing pleasure. Not only can families enjoy their TV shows and Blu-Ray movies, but they can view personal photos, organize their to-do lists, and manage their exercise regimens—all through the TV. There's no worry of this innovative technology fading into obscurity, either; with a Smart Evolution feature, the TV uploads the newest features each year through a kit.
High end Samsung TVs will include their new "Smart Hub" in 2012, this divides the connected features of the TV into categories:
Samsung Apps:Samsung was the first to offer an HDTV app store similar to the ones you find on today's smartphones. There is plenty of free content like YouTube, Pandora, streaming media and social media content and there is also premium content that varies in price but is for the most part cheap.

Your Video:Based on what content you watch this area of the Smart Hub will suggest content you may enjoy based on your viewing habits.

Search All:Search your TV, any DLNA connected devices and even networked PCs all at the same time. Quickly find the content you are looking for

Along with the other Smart TV features, you get Google TVs new search function and also Samsung's Social TV feature which allows you to see facebook activity, Twitter feeds and other social media platforms on a side bar.

WiFi
Built in Wifi is included in the ES8000 and allows for easy connection to the Internet to enable the Smart TV Internet TV options.

Quick Specs
  • 46" Diagonal Screen
  • 1080p Full HD
  • 3D Compatible Active 3D
  • Smart Interaction allowing voice, gesture control and facial recognition
  • SmartHub
Dimensions
  • Width 41” X 25.75”Height X 1.25” Deep Without included stand
  • Width 41” X 28.37”Height X 8.37”Deep With Stand
  • Weight 32.2lbs with Stand
Specifications
  • Screen Size: 46"
  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 1920 x 1080p
  • Refresh rate: 240Hz
  • Progressive features: micro-dimming technology, edge-lit LED backlight, DLNA, 3D, Samsung SmartTV, Smart Interaction, QWERTY Remote
  • Inputs: 4 HDMI v.1.4 (best audio/video connection) / 2 USB 2.0 / PC input / component video / composite video / component audio / optical digital audio / PC audio
  • Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 25000000:1
  • Audio enhancement: SRS TheatreSound HD / SRS TruSurround XT provides 3D sound
  • Built-in speakers: 15W x 2
  • Mounting options: swivel pedestal stand / wall-mountable
  • Remote control: QWERTY remote
  • Active 3D enabled
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • DLNA compatible
  • Samsung SmartTV apps, media hub, and web browser
  • ConnectShare USB
  • Skype on Samsung TV
  • Ultra Clear Panel
  • Wide Color Enhancer Plus
  • Eco Sensor
  • AutoMotion Plus 240Hz with Clear Motion Rate
  • Built-in bottom speakers
  • Game mode