Last month I finally got round to replacing my 6 year old Sony LCD TV with a new Smart TV. I picked up a Samsung 8 Series Smart TV, the catchy titled UE55ES8000. The TV is a 55″ LED Smart TV and has all the expected features of a Smart TV including apps, 3D and a Freeview HD tuner. Here is my video review of the TV.
I am using the TV connected up to my Sky+ box, Media Center PC and my Xbox all of which I connected up via HDMI. As the TV has three HDMI ports I could bin my old HDMI switcher which was causing me a lot of grief, so the family are very happy with the setup. The picture quality is absolutely fantastic, the colours are very rich and I could really see a difference in the refresh rate over the old Sony TV.
With the TV you get two remotes, one of them the traditional style remote and the other designed to control the smart TV features as it has a touch pad on it very much like a laptop trackpad. You can control the TV with only your hands as it has Kinect style hand controls which works surprisingly well but for me you can’t beat using a traditional remote control. Voice commands are also available but to be honest I am happy sticking to the standard remote.
Also with the TV you get two pairs of Active Bluetooth 3D glasses, movies play very well in 3D and look great. I must admit I am not that big a fan of wearing 3D glasses while watching TV but for a quality movie its worth it. The TV does have a 3D mode that will convert 2D content in to 3D which kind of works but it’s no substitution for true 3D content.
Samsung have an app store as part of the Smart TV features. There is BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Netflix, LoveFilm and lots of other apps including Skype, BBC News and social apps. One thing I have noticed is that many of the things I use my HTPC for are taken care of by the TV apps. So the Smart TV is certainly reducing the need for a PC connected to the TV but that is probably worth a post in its own right. There is a camera built in to the TV which can used for taking photos from the TV (not exactly sure why you would want to do that) and for it can be used Skype.
Also built in to the TV is a DLNA/UPNP client (Samsung AllShare), I was able to take pictures on my Nexus 4 and send them straight to the TV using Twonky Beam. You can also pull content from a DLNA server, I had no problem browsing my servers and watching videos stored on a Windows machine on the TV. You could also plug a USB drive into the TV and watch it without needing a PC.
While I was at CES last month Samsung announced the Series 9 range of LED TVs which have a new UI, fortunately Samsung will be releasing an Evolution kit bringing the 9 series features to the 8 series. There are no price details yet but it’s good to know the newly purchased TV is not completed out of date.
So here is my video review of the Samsung Series 8 55″ TV (UE55ES8000)
The TV is priced around £1799
|Energy efficiency class||A|
|On-mode power consumption||110 W|
|Annual power consumption||161 kWh|
|Screen size||55″ (139 cm)|
|HD standard||Full HD 1920 x 1080|
|Resolution||1920 x 1080|
|Audio power||10 W|
|Speakers||Yes – 2|
|Connectivity||3 x HDMI, VGA, USB 2.0 x 3, Ethernet, 1 x Scart, 1 x component, 1 x composite|
|Audio output||Headphones socket|
|DVB-T Tuner||Freeview HD
|Picture enhancement||3D HyperReal Engine|
|Smart||Catch Up TV, Social Networking, Web Browser and Skype|
|3D ready||Active 3D|
|Other functions||Smart Interaction, Smart Content, Smart Evolution, Voice command remote|
|Remote control||Yes and smartphone remote|
|Accessories included||2 x Active Bluetooth Glasses|
|Internal menu languages||29 European Languages|
|Dimensions||1230.3 x 761.6 x 210 mm with stand
1230.3 x 722.3 x 30.8 mm without stand
|Weight||19.3 kg with stand
16.6 kg without stand