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Samsung UE40C8000 review

Best Premium 40-42in TV, Awards 2010. This TV has everything you could need, and the performance to match its slimline looks Tested at £1600.00

Our Verdict

Best Premium 40-42in TV, Awards 2010. Chic looks when it’s switched off, great pictures when it’s switched on – what more do you want?

For

  • 3D
  • styling, specification
  • great picture-making, with motion a particular highlight

Against

  • Insubstantial sound from built-in speakers
  • the obligatory 3D cross-talk issues

We've observed in the past that there are some things people will pay more for to receive less of, and here's an object lessen.

The Samsung UE40C8000 (our premium 40-inch Award winner) is smaller in every direction than its LE40C750 sibling (despite having the same screen size) and is lighter, too. So naturally it's more expensive. Almost double the price, in fact.

A royal flush of connectivity
If you've the wherewithal, though, it's money well spent. This TV is gloriously desirable, and as far as spec goes, it's what the motor industry calls ‘fully loaded'.

You get LED backlighting (hence that skinny profile), BBC iPlayer, LoveFilm and all the rest via Samsung's Internet@TV service, 200Hz motion processing, USB playback and recording, Freeview HD, DNLA compatibility for streaming network content to the TV… ‘exhaustive' only begins to describe it.

The remote looks equally good, if a trifle convoluted, and Samsung's on-screen menus are among the best around. Set-up is as straightforward or as in-depth as you want it to be.

Better source, better pictures
As far as performance goes, the Samsung starts impressively and gets better as source quality improves. TV reception is stable, and gives an early indication of how accomplished the 'C8000 is where motion is concerned.

It describes colours convincingly, lends bite to high-contrast scenes and digs up detail in black tones. Standard-definition broadcasts can look soft, mind you, particularly from stations such as Dave.

The Samsung's punch is apparent when upscaling DVDs, too. Detailed, smooth and subtly textured images are the C8000's calling-card, and it offers bright, clean whites and fanatically controlled motion. Only a suggestion of coarseness to skin-tones makes any kind of negative impact.

That coarseness is eradicated with the switch to a Blu-ray of Bad Lieutenant, which means the Samsung is pretty much beyond reproach. Its pictures are vibrant, its mastery of motion is obvious, and difficult patterns and edges are handled with assurance.

3D cross-talk remains an issue
Put on Samsung's (lightweight, fairly comfy) 3D glasses, fire up some content and, provided you're sitting up straight and paying attention, it's enjoyable. Though pictures are undeniably darker than 2D images, and a bit ruddier too, the 3D effect is pronounced and stable.

Cross-talk (when one eye receives information intended for the other) is occasionally an issue, just as it is with every other 3D TV we've seen, though it jars here disproportionately because the C8000 is so accomplished with 2D.

The only area where the Samsung can't justify its price compared to its cheaper stablemate is sound. Just like every other super-slim screen here, it sounds toppy and short of substance – though it does at least stop short of outright hardness.

Never mind the sound, though – consider the looks and the picture instead and it's obvious why the UE40C8000 carried off an Award.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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