"TV will keep you happy until 4K is perfected."4.5 starson by grimesad
Pros: Picture Quality
PC Mode great
Cons: Mild Flashlighting
Motion Control lacking for some
Majority of Smarthubs apps disable cinema black
Stand to wide for most TV stands
Samsung Phone Tech support doesn't konw their own products
Summary: I have had this TV series for about 3 months now. I am VERY pleased with the purchase. The previous ES8000 model was plagued with cloudiness, banding--both gone in F series. Flashlighting is minimal on this set and improved over the ES series. I have owned both the 55" and 60". Both had the same TS01 panel and the 60" had slighly more flashlighting. I needed a LED TV upgrade and was on a budget that didn't place me in the local array dimming technology zone(best type of LED TV right now). Plasma's are too reflective for my environment and the extra heat is unwanted (this tv does not compete with the top of the line plasma's though.).
Right away I noticed how solid the TV itself felt. IF I had to do it over again, I would definitely recommend the 55/60" F8000 for others to buy over the ES8000. Just ensure you pay get the best deal for the MSRP is overpriced. For ES8000 owners...I wouldn't upgrade. No way. This TV will hold me over until 4K's are on the market for awhile, helping perfect them and lower price.
The out of the picture color settings weren't horrible but I enjoy having my set calibrated. I believe this tech is at it's "ceiling" and there is minimal room for improvement using edge lit technology. Companies should focus on tri-luminous/local-array dimming technology.
The current 11.04 firmware I am using has a few FIXABLE problems:
-Game mode input lag is MUCH worse than PC mode. Also both modes have Smart LED disabled(great feature for picture quality).
-3D setting "light control" settings on "high" resets to "low"
-Netflix, Vudu, Amazon Prime, DLNA video's all have cinema black disabled..why?
Picture Quality: The picture quality on this TV is fantastic especially after a few color tweaks (posted below). The blacks are so DEEP compared to my last tv(direct lit led) but high end plasma's still beat it. There is a SMALL amount of flash lighting in all four corners(more noticable on 60" when in PC mode); I believe this is a fault for ALL edge lit tv's as that is how the image functions. I can only notice flashlighting in all black lighting with something like movie title in middle of screen and black on rest of screen, or if in PC mode with a most black screen. Unless you are really looking for it in a black screen and concentrated on a corner you will not notice flashlighting. Also with a fully black screen and just bright white thick words in center, there WILL be haloing...that is just how edge lit tv's funciton.
Viewing Angle: Fairly limited. You will notice the farther off center you will notice more of a degradation in picture quality. This doesn't bother me as my "seat" is always right in front. Even to my left and right I can't tell(14.5 feet away, 4-5feet of moving off center). Most end users are not as particular or picky as me when it comes to picture quality, many will not even care or notice a difference until a more extreme angle(an angle you can't reach in the room my TV is in).
Price: MSRP is overpriced. Ensure you get a good deal(greystone appliances, or easy coast tv's for pricematch. and get a local store to pricematch to best price you can find. The 55" should be around $1999 and 60" $2320. I attempted to get Amazon to price match a store that was not on their official authorized list and they refused (attempted multiple times, through different numbers and chat). I then went to Best Buy and they had no issues pricematching. Good for them. I bought my last flagship Samsung TV in 2008/9. The A850 model(now in bedroom, this TV still satisfies me and looks better than many lower model Sammy TV's on market today).
Stand: I hated the TV stand. To feng shui for me. My wife loved it though. It actually fit our TV stand, be warned if you have a small TV stand it will not fit...this stand is very wide. This helps the tv to appear to "float". It even came with some sort of oversized plastic screws and rope that ensured a child couldn't pull the TV down (smart). I planned on mounting this TV though like my last TV, so the stand doesn't matter much to me.
Wall Mount: I opted for a low profile wall mount from Monoprice. The one I picked was $14 and the product ID number is 5918 from monoprice's website. This places the TV pretty much ON the wall with this mount. It's about 19mm off of the actual wall. I was able to run the power cord and a Redmere technology HDMI thin cord(10ft for $17 over at Monoprice..same cord is cheaper on Amazon: $12) It came with all the necessary bolts and spacers for the F8000 (1 small/1 large on top bolts and 2 smalls on bottom bolts).
Heat: Had the TV on for 12 hours and couldn't find any hot spots or to much heat to make me worried with how close the TV was to the wall. Was an issue on certain ES8000 sets last year causing a V spot of cloudiness.
Remote: The remote is solid and touch part is amazing. It's not a gimmick at all and actually works great. I find it easy to type with there on screen keyboard. Came with crappy batteries so I opted for some standard spare ones I had in the house. It would have been nice to get a standard remote though for older generations that do not like touchpad technology. Especially to use for standard no smart features on the tv. The European model gets a 2nd remote.
Extended Warranty: I bought my warranty through Costco's squaretrade deal for $99. It will cover ME for 4 years. If I used my AMEX it would have been 5. Research your own warranties and determine if you are ok with how squaretrade handles their warranties, they will not put more money into it then what the TV is worth (pretty sure it is actually what YOU paid for it).
Smart Hub/"Smart TV" features: Easy, smooth. It would be nice if it was a bit more customizable. Its nice to have all apps in one system. No more need to use my xbox or bluray player apps as the tv smart hub works great. Browsing the internet is as smooth as Safari on my iPhone 5. EXCEPT when dealing with flash, then it slows way down...I'm not sure if flash is compatible. Netflix and Amazon Video stream fine, just wish they had the Smart LED feature. S-Recommended feature does not support Century Link Prism TV(their FIOS tv). They have the DSL rights to my area so I can't have any other FIOS TV. Not a fan of motion control, just like the kinect not useful yet, to gimmicky. Voice seems fairly well if you practice at using it although I had a movie set it off twice in a matter of 3 weeks. I prefer to hit buttons myself, using your voice still isn't natural to me. I was able to stream DLNA sources easily(up to 1080P 3D) with no issues wireless on a 5ghz network. Only issue is DLNA servers on Samsung TV's don't let you fastfoward so you have to find a workaround for certain movie formats. Mine solution was using ZappoTV(free app on iphone) to inform my NAS DLNA to stream to TV...then I could FF/Rewind on tv with touchpad remote(flicking remote left or right) OR doing it form my phone.
Smart LED: I have tried for weeks of turning it on low as opposed to off. I decided to stick with low, it does not bother me. This feature can be bothersome to certain people, let your own eyes bet the judge. I might even try to go higher. I even find myself using normal sometimes.
Cinema Black: I love this feature it def makes the bars more black on widescreen flicks. I have not noticed this(nor have others), but another owner claim that the black bleeds into the picture where the black meets the "lit" area. Again you be the judge of this feature, let your eyes guide you.
Devices: Hooked up my 10-13 year old 1st gen microsoft bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Worked just fine, somewhat impressed how functional it seemed to be.
Banding: I did several different banding tests and had no banding. I found none.
Stuttering: I really had to work on finding something to get this tv to stutter. My bluray player on any movie? No. Streaming all different types of formats up to 1080P 3D quality on my laptop to TV via HDMI..no stutter. Streaming from my NAS(Synology DS213+) to TV with same formats/qualities listed above. No stuttering. I played with my Prism TV box and upon another users advice to try watching HGTV panning shots of before/after, I was able to get the TV to half step baby stutter on panning shots on HGTV. No other stuttering noticed. Other users have noted stuttering on Verizon FIOS though and had to set their AMP to clear. Mine works great on custom(settings below).
Sound: No idea, disabled it to use my own speakers(newegg runs crazy sales on polk audio speakers) and a Denon 2112CI. A few years ago I spent $700 for Samsung's HTIB. HUGE mistake, so many repairs. Do yourself a favor and invest in a real audio company that has longer warranties and stand behind their product for longer.
The firmware I'm currently running is 11.04. Right when I started the TV and setup network it notified me that I had an update available. I said not to and to turn automatic updates off. Still, Samsung updated the firmware (they are known to sometimes do this). This can be a bad thing as in the past on other sets they sometimes take away features or make the sets look worse--not better. On my last TV it was easy to upgrade OR downgrade firmware...now it's a PITA to downgrade but still possible.
Evolution Kits: I think until these kits prove themselves they are a complete and utter joke. UNLESS these kits prove themselves somehow improving picture quality. If they don't at most I might update the last year its "compatible" with my set to upgrade the processor.
Game Mode: This setting helps reduce lag while playing through your gaming consoles(xbox/ps3). I played BF3 on my Xbox just find and did not notice any lag. UNTIL I enabled PC Mode. Then it became very apparent that PC mode was much more functional for gaming than "game mode". Try PC Mode first gents, it has less lag. Samsung seriously needs to fix this in an update.
NOTE: PC mode can only be accessed on sources not assigned to a "Samsung" device(i.e. Samsung Bluray) or any input set up with their universal remote system...it renames source forcing a keyboard naming option that does not enable PC mode. Simply select HDMI 1/2/3/4, select tools(top right), a drop down list should appear, select PC and select it. This mode/dropdown list is ONLY accessible from HDMI's that weren't previously assigned to a Samsung Product or your universal remote. If you wish to assign PC mode to a port previously assigned to STB, just delete the universal remote settings.
The features currently disabled in 11.04 are:
Game mode settings not available:
HDMI Black Level (forced normal)
Auto Motion Plus
10p White Balance (forced off)
PC Mode settings not available(MUCH is disabled):
Digital Clean View
MPEG Noise Filter
HDMI Black Level
Auto Motion Plus
RGB Only Mode
10P White Balance
Summary: This TV is an excellent purchase for the right price. I believe it deserves 5 out of 5 stars as it has very MINOR flaws: somewhat pricy, stand wide, stutters nonexistent on my tv service(Century Link Prism TV), flashlighting (BARELY there, doesn't even bother me as I think this edge lit tech is perfected and Samsung needs to hurry up and take over sharp's patents so they can get back to local dimming array models).
Current Color Setting's I'm using from an online forum members home calibrator's settings and slight tinkering of my own(remember, all sets are different and you should use this only as an end user as a good "base" too start with and tweak to your liking's..thats why mine do not match his, also I added turned on cineblack/smartled):
Backlight=6(night)-14(day) with best backlight to use being 10
Pic Size - screen fit
Color temp - Warm 2
Film Mode Auto 2
Auto Motion Plus > Custon > Blur = 10, Judder = 0, Clear = off (NOTE: if you get studdering, try turning it off custom and onto Clear)
Color Space - Auto
10 point WB - Off
Cinablack=On (you can leave this off if you wish, just make sure its on for widescreen)
Dynamic Contrast=Off(using it can crush blacks too if not careful)
Note: Press the 3D button on the remote and select 2D>3D to put the F8000 into the 3D mode
Turn off everything that says Auto to Off Except Film Auto2 in Picture Options
Movie Mode - Note 2D and 3D on the same HDMI Input have separate memories
Picture Size - Screen Fit
Frame Depth 5
Light Control > High
Advanced Mode - off, off, 0, and off
Color Space - Custom
R R38 G0 B6
G 15 23 9
B 9 0 51
Y 47 52 9
C 14 51 53
M 41 0 48
White Balance 27 29 28 0 8 50
10p White Balance - not accessible in 3D mode
Color Temp Warm2
Dig Clean View - off
Mpeg - off
Film - Auto 2
Auto Motion Plus - Custom - Blur 10 - Judder 5 - LED Clear Motion Off
Smart LED Off
Cinema Black Off
XBox: PC Mode on, HDMI Black Level: Normal, Standard Mode(I adjust the settings similiar to whats posted above, higher backlight. Game Mode is better for color control but has higher lag than PC Mode.
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