As always, we ran our usual battery of tests to determine the capabilities of the Samsung D8000. Datacolor's Spyder3TV Home Theater Color Calibration kit helped us ensure proper calibration for the TV, seeing that showroom settings are always harsh with the contrast settings set too high for our liking.
As mentioned, to maintain a standard across our review units, we calibrated the TV with Datacolor's Spyder3TV Home Theater Color Calibration kit prior to our visual tests. This is to ensure we assess the HDTV based on optimal display settings, and not purely on visual estimation alone. Using the TV's Standard preset, we've also disabled all the necessary 'boosters' such as color and edge enhancement features.
Starting off from this neutral ground, we ran through the diagnostic tests and came to the following calibrated settings as our conclusion: Brightness at 44, Contrast at 98, Color at 56 and Tint at 0. Black and white luminance readings were measured as 0.109 cd/m2 and 356.656 cd/m2 respectively. These figures suggest that the black levels and overall brightness achievable on the Samsung D8000 55-inch TV are pretty good when compared to other equivalent sized TVs we tested not too long ago such as the 55-inch Sony BRAVIA NX810 3D TV and the 60-inch Sharp AQUOS AQUOS Quattron LE925M 3D TV. We'll soon find out in the following pages if these figures do translate to an even more enjoyable TV viewing experience with our movie tests.
Lastly, we would like to mention that the findings from Spyder3TV are quite impressive because they are extremely close to the out-of-the-box settings we found our unit calibrated to initially. In fact, keeping most features at the middle setting would ensure your Samsung D8000 is ready to perform close to optimal levels as soon as you set it up.
DisplayMate is an application which generates a sequence of test patterns to determine the capabilities of imaging devices, like color and gray-scale accuracies for example. For our tests, we've hooked up the TV to our display test-bed PC using an HDMI connection. To be fair across the board, we have also disabled all visual enhancements on the TV in order to reduce the variables involved.
The Samsung D8000 boasts a 25,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and a real refresh rate of 240 Hz. It is now time to see how these numbers translate to real time performance. Here are some findings based on the relevant and critical test patterns:-
First results were disappointing. On the Screen Uniformity test, we noticed bleeding at the four corners when looking at a black background. With a white and gray background, overall uniformity was splotchy and we could see patches of different brightness.
The results picked up and the different shades of gray were well defined and clearly delineated from the black background they were presented on. Performance was excellent on the calibrated setting of 44 for brightness and increasing brightness to higher levels made differentiation of the darkest boxes possible as well without overly affecting the rest of the gray scales.
No perceptible change of hue occurs across the color scales. However, there is a greenish tinge to the yellow color as it progressed to the deeper spectrum. The Samsung D8000 makes up lost ground for its performance in our earlier screen uniformity test.
Another thorough test of the TV’s abilities when handling colors was presented by the 256-Intensity Level Color Ramp.
IDT's HQV Tests are designed to assess image quality and the handling of digital displays and players through a variety of video signal processing tasks which includes decoding, de-interlacing, motion correction, noise reduction and film cadence detection. We've programmed the Blu-ray player to playback in 1080i in order to stress the TV's video processor. This compels the TV's processor to convert interlaced signals into progressive to accommodate the HDTV's panel. Here are the results we noted on two of the most crucial tests:-
The Samsung D8000 has two noise reduction filters, a general feature and one designed to specifically address MPEG Noise. Their performance was commendable and both helped clear up a display that was relatively noise free to begin with. Importantly, the image quality and detail was not degraded to a significant extent when the noise reduction features were engaged.
A rotating bar on a black background is used to test the diagonal filtering capabilities of the TV. The Samsung D8000 showed no tearing or jagged edges and the solid lines point towards a strong ability to reconstruct from an interlaced source.
Most modern TVs have adequate cadence detection, but when subjected to the rigorous test sequence of the HQV they almost always falter. Keeping that in mind, the vertical banding noticed with the SMPTE boxes when testing the Samsung D8000 provide evidence of good telecine conversion properties. For most other TVs, we usually see the boxes toggle between solid white and solid black colors. There is evidence then that this TV will be able to handle 24p (an encoding type found on Blu-ray) playback with a good degree of fidelity and these results made us look forward to our actual film testing on the following page.