Ty Pendlebury (CNET Australia)
September 8, 2011
The Samsung UA55D8000 is a superbly realised TV, which combines cutting-edge design with top-of-the-heap picture performance.
Did you ever take a long, hard look at your TV and say: "It's so boxy, can I have one that's a little less oppressive?" Well, you can be sure that Samsung has, with its 2011 range arguably the best-looking TVs that have ever been invented. The D8000, or Series 8, flagship isn't as minimalist as the barely there D7000 , yet it still features a ridiculously thin bezel. This one is covered in brushed faux-aluminium echoing last year's over-achieving Series 9 TV. For our eyes, we prefer the way the D7000 bleeds into the room courtesy of its clear plastic bezel, but the flagship still looks very special.
As the bezel is quite slim there isn't much room for controls so they're mounted around the rear of the set and armed with a proximity sensor. When you put your hand behind the edge of the TV, small on-screen icons appear by the side of the bezel. Unfortunately, the sensor isn't very sensitive and if too close to a wall or cabinet (say a foot or less) we found that the icons would slide on and off randomly. Thankfully, the icons are only a couple of inches tall, and aren't too obtrusive...
Every year, the mantle for "best TV of 20xx" passes between the same companies: Sony had it last year and Panasonic the year before. This time the focus is back on market leader Samsung and the excellent effort it's made in 2011 to produce products that are at least 12 months ahead of its competitors'. While we'll wait to see what the rest of the year can throw at us, it's indisputable that the Series 8 LCD is a truly cutting-edge television with performance at the very heart of it.