Samsung UN55B8000 LCD HDTV First Impressions Review
From our limited hands-on testing of the UN55B8000 at CES in Las Vegas, we were impressed with the display.
Connectivity & Media
Audio & Video Ports
There are a good selection of ports on the UN55B8000 on the bottom right corner of the back, with some vertically located and others horizontally from the top, the vertical ports are a headphone socket, a USB port, audio input, optical digital audio input and 4 HDMI ports (with one plug in the bottom socket on our photo. The horizontal ports are (from the left) an Ethernet port for connecting the display to the Internet, an antenna port, analog video inputs, component video inputs and a VGA port for connecting a computer to the display. One omission here is a DVI port for connecting a computer, but you can buy an adapter for converting a DVI port into a HDMI one for a couple of dollars, so that's not a big problem.
The ports on the UN55B8000are located behind the bottom left corner of the screen
Media & Other Connectivity
Like most of the manufacturers this year, Samsung is making a big deal of the ability to get content on the TV from the Internet; a feature they refer to as Internet@TV. They are doing this by working with Yahoo, allowing the user to download and run small programs called Widgets that can do things like show stock prices, weather, Fickr photos and RSS feeds. We'll reserve judgment on these features until we can try them out and see how useful they really are. For other forms of media, the UN55B8000has two USB ports that allow the user to connect digital camera, hard drives and other devices and to display their contents on the screen. There is no mention, however, of some of the streaming media features that we are seeing on other displays, such as LG's announcement of the ability to display Netflix content on their latest models. The UN55B8000can display YouTube videos through a Widget, though, so you can watch videos of skateboarding bulldogs to your heart's content instead of movies.
The ports are somewhat awkwardly located if you frequently swap devices around; to get access, you will have to rotate the TV around, or climb behind it because the ports are recessed in the back. Whetehr this will be an issue depends on if you regualrly swap out devices. If you don't you will probably like the recessed appraoch, as it keeps the cables out of the way. If you do, it will be a pain. Other manufacturers get aroudn this by piutting some portys on the bottom or side of teh display, but the thin design of the UN55B8000 precludes this.
We were not able to test the speakers built into the LNXX BX8000, but they are apparently located in teh bottom of the display and proejct the sound down and out into the room. Samsung has added a subwoofer, but we'll have to wait to get a review unit in before we can judge if this gives us the teeth-shattering bass that we like.
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