Samsung ES8000: An in-depth look at this flagship TV [Video]
The Samsung ES8000 TV is a cutting edge TV. It supports 2D and 3D content, and being a Smart TV provides access to a number of web-based services, including catch up TV, health and fitness tools, and social media.
Its stand out feature, however, is the voice and gesture control interface. It works with a standard remote control, and the new thumb-padded Smart Touch Control is also included, but when these are out of reach, you may want to talk to your telly or wave at it to access certain functions.
You can see the voice control and gesture control features of the Samsung ES8000 in use in our video below. Please let us know whether they’re features you think you’d find useful in the comments section below.
Exclusive, in-depth first look video of the Samsung ES8000 TV
Please note that the ‘Volume keep up’ command may not be present on the ES8000 when it launches and the TV has a 900MHz processor rather than a 900GHz processor as mentioned in the video.
What’s new with the Smart TV services?
Another main feature of this TV is that it’s a Smart TV, providing access to a host of social media and on-demand video services. Many Samsung TVs from 2011 offered Smart TV services, but this year’s Smart TV interface is in HD and it looks clearer and sharper as a result.
Using the same camera built into the TV bezel that detects the gesture controls, family members are recognised and individual Smart TV accounts can be accessed. This means that you can log in to your individual Facebook or Twitter accounts, and download Samsung apps that suit you and will only appear on your profile.
Smart TVs have been evolving rapidly over the last few years, and a number of Which? members have complained to us that services on older Smart TVs are no longer supported. Samsung, however, claims that the ES8000 is a future proof TV and that as users will be able to plug in hardware and software updates when they become available, the TV panel investment is more worthwhile.
Why would you want a camera on your TV?
Beyond being used for gesture control and the face recognition that logs viewers into their individual Smart TV profiles, the camera can also be used for video calls, through services such as Skype, and for fitness applications.
In the latter scenario, a user could watch a fitness instructor on one half of the screen and have the image captured by the camera shown on the other half of the screen. This would enable the user to keep a closer eye on how they are performing alongside the instructor.
The camera will also allow assigned users to remotely view what’s happening in the living room. A practical application of this is being able to check on the room when away from home, or keep a watchful eye on children. A light turns on when an assigned user attempts to remotely access the camera, and the feature can be switched off.
Most importantly, what’s the picture and sound quality like?
We’ll reserve judgment on these aspects of the TV’s performance until we’ve had the Samsung ES8000 in to our labs, when we’ll be able to conduct a full and comparitive evaluation; however our initial look at the TV suggests it should do well in the all-important picture quality tests.
Samsung claims that both 2D and 3D content will be better than last year’s impressive D8000 TV. Here’s a quote from the D8000′s review:
High-definition pictures look fantastic. Remarkable depth, silky-smooth motion and vibrant colour on both Blu-ray and Freeview HD pictures simply blew our expert viewing panel away. The Freeview HD in particular was significantly better than anything else we’ve watched. But what of standard definition, which is still the type of TV picture most of us watch most of the time? Fear not. Normal TV looks stunning too. A remarkable absence of picture noise (graininess), outstanding depth and fine detail really make the D8000 stand out.
Samsung also claims that the sound quality has been improved, however with such a thin panel we’re not expecting anything outstanding. Last year’s Samsung D8000 TV was awarded three-out-of-five for its audio performance, so this is something we’ll monitor closely on the ES8000 when we get it in to our labs after it launches in the next few months.
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