After unboxing, we selected the “Movie” mode, which is the picture preset which does the best job at showing video with its original colours and brightness levels. We still had to make a few adjustments, though: with a 1080p HD source, we lowered the [Sharpness] to 0 to avoid textures becoming harsh, and selected [Picture Size]: “Screen Fit” from the [Tools] submenu. This gave us an high-def image free of any haloing artefacts, without the edges of the picture being overscanned (cropped), and with uncompromised, full 1080p resolution. We then measured greyscale shades using our profiled Klein K-10 colorimeter device, which, together with CalMan software, reports how neutrally coloured the TV’s output is:
For an uncalibrated Samsung HDTV, the UE55F8000′s greyscale quality was good. Only a slight excess of blue permeated the image, and even in this case, we didn’t find the quality troubling. Of all the excesses you can have, blue is the easiest to ignore – and if you’re not used to watching calibrated displays all day every day like we are, you’d likely never notice anything was out of place. It’s also an improvement on last year’s ES8000 series (which we reviewed in May 2012), which featured a stronger blue glow in near-black areas of the picture, and also a red tint in the shadow details. By comparison, this year’s F8000 is a step better and although it features a bit of a blue tint, the said tint is remarkably consistent from the darkest up to the brightest shades that make up the TV picture, which bodes very well for later calibration perfection.
In fact, this positive attribute (called Greyscale Linearity) is more commonly seen on IPS LCD panels (such as those found in many LG and Panasonic LED TVs), which feature significantly poorer black depth than the VA type favoured by Samsung. So, hats off to Samsung for delivering the best of both worlds with the 55F8000′s panel.
Calibration was an absolute cinch on the UE55F8000. Had we needed to, it does feature an extensive 10-point White Balance adjustment menu, which would allow us to fine-tune the colour of grey at each of the 10 measured areas seen in the chart above. In fact, we barely even touched this extensive control, and achieved the above result (which is visibly perfect and free of colour tints) almost exclusively with the standard 2-point control. Once again – the greyscale linearity on our Samsung 55-inch F8000 review unit was excellent.
You’ll notice that there is a small dip in red at around 40-70% brightness. Why didn’t we correct this if we had the full controls available to do so? Because the error is unnoticeable to the eye, and using in-TV calibration controls – especially, from our experience, 10-point adjustment settings – can create other subtle problems elsewhere. We chose to let sleeping dogs (invisible dogs?) lie.
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Don’t use your coupons as soon as you get them.
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