Samsung UN46B8000 Review Washington DC
Samsung UN46B8000 Review
November 9, 2009 By Geoffrey Morrison
240 IS GO! Samsung lights up the sides and slides into 240 Hz with the svelte UN46B8000.
This thing is gorgeous, and I haven’t even turned it on yet. Über-thin—I think it’s two dimensional.
Amazingly, the attractiveness of this set is only one of its claims to fame.
The UN46B8000 uses LED side lighting, which means that the LEDs that create the light you see are on the sides of the TV and aim inwards. They shoot across a dimpled plastic surface that directs the light towards your eyeballs. Most laptops work on the same principle. While you concede a tiny bit in the width of the display (hardly noticeable), you gain a lot more in an almost total lack of depth. OLED, eat your heart out. (It is not, however, an " LED TV ")
Unlike other LED “backlit” displays , side lighting doesn’t let you have local dimming. You can dim the entire backlight, much like you could on older LCDs. On the flip side, you get much lower power consumption, as there are far fewer LEDs to light.
Though not Samsung’s first 240 Hz display, the UN46B8000 does represent, to me at least, a big step forward in flat-panel design. The 8000 combines stunning thin looks, lower power consumption and the latest, increased refresh technology that is sure to represent what we’ll see in many TVs in the coming years. So, sure it's a sign of things to come, but how does it do now?
For as long as I can remember, Samsung TVs have made a little chime when you turn them on. It always sounded cheap, belying the quality of the display. This finally has changed. The five-note chime now has a decent timbre and sounds quite elegant, matching the look and feel of the set.
The same thoughtfulness extends to the remote, which I will go on record as saying is the best remote to come with any consumer electronics product I can remember. For one thing, it’s RF (radio frequency), so you don’t have to aim it at the TV. You don’t even have to be in the same room. Its design complements the TV, and not only does it have a backlight, but a built-in light sensor that automatically turns on the backlight when you need it. If that weren’t enough, the 8000 comes with a second remote, a tiny egg that only does volume, channel and power. You know, for kids (and by "kids" I mean "adults").
Like other Samsung TVs, the 8000 auto-senses when there is a device plugged into the TV, so the input menu gives you these first, making switching between sources easier. Once you see this in action, it makes you to wonder why every TV doesn’t have this feature.
Setup menus are typical Samsung, as in there are a lot of them, and they’re thorough and easy to navigate. There are plenty of options for the tweaky to tweak (read: me). If you press the Info button on the remote, it tells you the input and resolution of the incoming source and a little power meter that tells you how efficient the TV is with your current setting...