Samsung H8000 – in-depth first look at curved flagship HD TV
The 8000 series is Samsung’s flagship HD TV range every year, fitted with all the latest features and gadgets – think Apple’s yearly facelift of the iPhone, and you’ll get it.
The H8000 follows 2013′s F8000 (no, we’re not sure what happened to G, either), and it brings various improvements, including revamped smart TV, expanded PVR functionality and, yes, a curved screen. Here are the key features of the H8000.
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Samsung H8000 – in-depth video first look
Samsung H8000 – key features
Curved screen – if you’ve ever been to an IMAX cinema, you’ll know how the screen appears to wrap itself around you. Samsung is going for the same effect with the H8000, claiming the curve brings better contrast and a greater sense of depth than a flatscreen. We’ll not know for sure until we get it into the lab. Oh, and you can still wall mount a curved TV with VESA-certified, ultra-slim mounts.
Picture quality – Samsung has introduced various new technologies in 2014 designed to give you better, more realistic pictures on the H8000. It’s aiming to improve motion, enhance detail, give great variation between the light and dark areas, and display more realistic colours. Again, though, we’ll need to test the TV before we know if any of it works.
Tidier connections – introduced with Samsung’s 4K ultra-HD TVs in 2013, the ‘one connect’ box replicates all your connections on the back of a TV in a sleek oblong. You can hide it away and just have a few cables coming from the TV to cut down on the mess.
Improved PVR – the F8000 had a single tuner PVR, but the H8000 comes with twin tuners. This means if you connect a hard disk drive to the TV, you can record one programme while watching another live, or record two programmes and watch a third you’ve previously recorded. So, you won’t miss a minute of your favourite shows.
Better smart TV? – just like its rivals, such as LG, Samsung has revamped it’s smart TV service in 2014 to (hopefully) make it better. For example, multi-link screen enables you to split the screen in half and have, say, live TV on one side and smart TV web browsing on the other. Read more about Samsung’s 2014 smart TV here.
Faster processor, quicker start-up – the H8000 has a quad-core+ processor, two times faster than the quad-core chip fitted in it’s previous TVs. This should make navigating the smart TV menus quicker and loading up apps zippier. Samsung says the H8000 starts up in 1.8 seconds, compared to the F8000′s 5.3 seconds – we weren’t able to confirm this in our demo, but Samsung insists it will be up and running when the set launches.
New remote control – we’ve got high hopes for Samsung’s 2014 smart TV remote. Not only does this tear-drop shaped device feel nice in the hand, but it also appears to be more functional than previous models. The trackpad is smaller than past generations, but it now has a touch-sensitive on-screen pointer that works a bit like a mouse cursor. Plus, the direct access buttons for tasks such as the EPG, are more prominent and easy to find. We’ve not yet seen a smart TV remote that could be used easily for everyday jobs, but this could be it.
Which? expert verdict – ‘Samsung staying ahead of the curve?’
Even though Samsung is one of many manufacturers forging ahead with 4K ultra HD TV - a new super-sharp TV screen resolution – it’s good to see that it hasn’t forgotten it’s HD TV range.
The 2014 flagship H8000 is brimming with the latest features, innovations and gadgets from Samsung, and that eye-catching curved screen.
However, it is the little improvements that can make the biggest difference, and that is why we have high hopes that Samsung’s promise of better smart TV and an improved remote control bear fruit.
Andrew Laughlin – senior researcher
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