Samsung 55in. UN55B8000 LED HDTV - Specifications and First Look

Article Index
Samsung 55in. UN55B8000 LED HDTV
Specifications and First Look
Subjective and Objective Tests
Viewing Angle and Widgets

Specifications:

Specs


Of all of these specifications the 5,000,000:1 Mega Dynamic Contrast ratio is the most interesting.  You will notice that this number is far greater than the typical 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio that is typical for their Plasma TVs.  The other specifications are fairly normal and there is nothing else that is particularly noteworthy.

 

First Look:

Thin TV While the 50" Plasma TV from Samsung never blew me away, the 8000 series TVs from Samsung step it up a notch as they slim it down.  This TV is just over an inch thin and looks pretty classy in any room.  Granted, it's no 9000 series that was announced this past January at CES in Las Vegas, but it is still a pretty sweet TV.  It looks like most other Samsung TVs and my only concern is the stand that supports the TV by a acrylic pillar.  It does swivel though and that is a good thing if you have the TV set on a stand perpendicular to a wall and want to angle the TV for better viewing.  The back of the TV is quite well ventilated and contains a lot of ports that we'll look at in a minute.

The 55" UN55B8000 comes with a total of four HDMI ports, one VGA port, a single component set of ports that also can double as a composite video input.  There is also a USB2.0 port, TV Tuner and an Ethernet port for connecting to your network.  Because the TV is so thin, these are all side mounted and are a little tough to get at if you have large clunky cable ends.  I find it a little disappointing that there is only one set of component video inputs, but as more devices go with HDMI, it is surely understandable.

 Rear Inputs
Rear Inputs
Inputs Close
Inputs Close

 

While we're on the subject of hooking things up and cables, I highly recommend that you check out monoprice.com if you haven't already.  Independent tests show that their HDMI cables - of any length - have identical quality to overpriced cables such as the monster, and it can save you $500 easily.  It is important to note that if you are hooking up a computer from a DVI port, you'll need to use HDMI 1, and the appropriate audio cables to make things work seamlessly.  Other than that, it's pretty much a no-brainer.  

 

TV Menus:

Although the TV picture and audio seem to work very good out of the box, there are a lot of settings that allow you to tweak, mess, and possibly degrade your picture quality.  Samsung has included several pre-defined settings that control both audio and video settings.  For example, "Sports" mode boosts the saturation and brightness while "Cinema" drops the color to a more neutral tone and the brightness dims for a better viewing experience in a darkened room.

 Media Stuff
Media

The menus weren't that impressive and we'll cover the Medi@2.0 a little later on.  The only thing that really interested me was the Dynamic contrast ration level.  It appeared to make a bit of a difference, but we'll take more about that when we test this large TV.