Samsung PN64D8000 Review
Description: Samsung PN64D8000, 64" 1080p, Plasma 3D TV
Dimensions: 58.6" (W) x 35.0" (H) x 1.5" (D) Without Stand
Stand Depth: 13.8"
Reviewer: Robert Wiley
Date: Late Summer 2011
This shot from the 3D Blu Ray of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs shows excellent color and detail.
- Great Looks, cool stand
- Excellent Standard Definition up conversion
- Film-like picture quality experience
- Black Levels Excellent
- Full Web Browser
- Audio Quality/Inbuilt Speakers
- Good Value for Large Sizes
- 3D Viewing
- Lower contrast due to lower measurement for peak whites
- QWERTY Remote difficult to use and not backlit
Samsung's C8000 series plasma was our favorite TV last year, hands down. We were the first company to review a plasma TV way back in year 2000 and last year's C8000 series was one of the best pictures we have seen since the Pioneer Kuro. The entire office was blown away by it's performance, picture quality and overall good looks. In 2011 one of Samsung's theme for plasmas is "+1", by making the bezel even thinner they are adding 1 diagonal inch to every size of plasma, 59 replaces 58, 64 replaces 63 and so on. With the smaller bezel the physical size of the TV remains the same even though the screen is larger.
HD Picture Quality: 9/10
As mentioned this was our top rated TV from last year with an overall rating of 9.45/10. Unfortunately, Samsung did make a few changes that hurt the picture quality slightly. The reason for that appears to be energy consumption. A yellow sticker on the TV touts the dollar usage per year at $35 per year. I think I would rather pay an extra dollar a month to get better brightness. As you know, plasma TVs use more power to produce white and light colors. The D8000 has lost some of it's light output and brightness from last year. This did not vary much even when toggling up the contrast settting to peak and the cell light control to peak. While Panasonic also throttled back energy consumption on their top end plasma TVs, we were able to circumvent this by strong color push in the 10 point white balance control menu. Only the top end Samsung's get the Real Black Drive filter which does a great job of reducing external reflected light. It takes the light in, but doesnt let it back out thus reducing glare.
3D TV Viewing: One of the biggest improvements from last years C8000 is the 3D viewing quality which is drastically improved. There was no notable flashing from the glasses or blurring in the bottom left and right corners of the picture as there was last year. Instead the experience was enjoyable and more engrossing without the negatives. We also experienced much less eye fatige this time around.
Standard Definition Picture Quality: 9/10
A shot from Four Weddings and a Funeral shows both an excellent picture with Standard Definition images and how the real black filter works to reduce glare and absorb ambient room light
Features Rating: 9.5
The D8000 is a very attractive television.
Internet: First off, Wifi is built in on the D8000 plasma which saves having to purchase and extra Wifi dongle. Samsung has expanded the Internet lineup on the PN59D8000 to include Yahoo!, Netflix, Blockbuster, twitter, Facebook, USA Today, Pandora, Napster, You Tube, Google Maps, Daily Motion, and Samsung Apps which gives options on gaming and sports and other material. There is also a full web browser (along with the keyboard QWERTY remote) which is an upgrade over the D7000 series. Samsung has more Apps in its "Smart Hub or Smart TV" Internet suite than any other manufacturer. The two most popular, Texas Holdem and Sudoku are free, but many of the Apps unfortunately are worth about what you pay for them, between .99 and $2.99 each.
The remote for the D8000 includes a full QWERTY keyboard on the back that makes using the web browser and search features much more convenient.
Value Rating: 9/10
Plasma TVs are really bringing it in the value category. The massive 64" D8000 sells for $3400 from authorized Internet dealers. When shopping for this TV, Samsung has often included a promotion for two free pairs of glasses or the 3D Starter kit which has two pair of glasses and two movies. Competition is ever present from Panasonic with the TC-P65VT30. Also try the top end LG 60PZ950.
Overall Rating: 9.2/10