Samsung 55-inch D8000 LED TV - Top Notch HD

Launch SRP: S$6499

The Smart Hub Experience

The Smart Hub Experience

One of the primary attractions of the Samsung D8000 and the new models in general is the Smart Hub, a topic that we have touched on previously. The feature offers a wide range of applications and video-on-demand (VOD) services. While testing we found its implementation to be slick and streamlined. The only blemish was the blinking main page of the Smart Hub whenever you returned to it after closing any app. On the whole though, if Singtel and Starhub follow through on their promise to deliver locally tailored content, the Samsung Smart Hub would definitely become a major selling point.

The home page for the Smart Hub lays out all the different sections in an easy to use interface. Content is divided into Applications, Your Video, Social TV and an all purpose display at the bottom. Situated top-center is the Search All function.

To delve a little deeper into the Smart Hub’s functionality, applications like YouTube work similarly to the real deal, providing you with options to browse by genres and categories, search and even flag questionable videos. A social media hub is also part of the Smart Hub parcel and is available for those addicted to Twitter and Facebook. Since a TV is accessible by almost anyone in your household, Samsung solves the problem of protecting your online accounts by introducing a SmartID profile for the TV giving you two layers of protection. Both free and paid video-on-demand and television channels are accessible through the Smart Hub as well.

The navigation bar for the YouTube application is displayed here and should be familiar to all. It offers the same functionality as other versions of the YouTube service. Note that if the video played is encoded at low quality, be prepared for a bad picture - especially on bigger screens.

To round-up the features, the Smart Hub also boasts an in-built browser. This however, falls well short of the experience most people would be used to on notebooks and smartphones. Typing with the remote using a T9 dictionary is a chore, made worse by the unresponsive buttons. Both tabbed and cursor versions of scrolling are choppy. Also take note that a software upgrade was required before the browser could function and you might have to do the same as well.

If you've a Samsung Galaxy Tab or Galaxy S mobile phone, you can get Samsung's Smart TV Remore app to help control your TV. This should help in text entry inputs as well. Unfortunately, we didn't have either of them to try it out in time for this review.

The T9 predictive text typing with the remote for the Web-browser is not optimal. Perhaps the Smart TV Remote app coupled with the Samsung Galaxy Tab or the Galaxy S could help this aspect, but we didn't have either of them on hand during our test duration. We'll update this aspect in the future.

The large elongated Samsung remote that accompanied our test unit. Unfortunately we were not given a chance to try out the full QWERTY remote that Samsung has also released.

3D Performance
HD Performance
SD Performance
The Good
Excellent HD performance
Smart Hub feature greatly expands functionality
Clean user interface and several customization options
The Bad
New Quad stand does not provide adequate stability
SD performance is unimpressive
3D performance not up to mark