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The 55-inch Samsung UN55ES8000F LED-backlit TV lands one of the top spots on our comparison of the best LED TVs for its amazingly thin panel and competitive display features. Add the TV's local dimming capabilities, 3D compatibility and wide range of built-in tuners, and it becomes clear why this Samsung LED TV earns our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award. Additionally, the Samsung UN55ES8000F has one of the lowest operating power consumption rates of any TV we reviewed, and it boasts the highest number of built-in tuners.
Samsung is a prolific electronics manufacturer with products in nearly every conceivable niche, including sound systems, cell phones and televisions. Its line of LED TVs is impressive, and this LED TV made it to the top of our comparison for good reasons. Its contrast ratio outpaces most of the competition at 30,000,000:1, and its refresh and clear motion rates are comparable to the best LED TVs on the market. Combine this with the impressively thin display of the Samsung UN55ES8000F, and you have a fully featured flat-panel TV that will take up hardly any space in your theater room.
The most impressive thing about the Samsung UN55ES8000F is its ability to maintain such a wide array of competitive specifications in such a compact screen. The panel of this Samsung LED TV is thinner than competing flat-panel LEDs, and yet it maintains a level of display quality and functionality that puts most of the competition to shame. With a panel thickness of 1.2 inches, this TV has one of the slimmest profiles of any LED TV we reviewed.
The Samsung LED TV maintains its Energy Star rating while not in use and consumes a paltry 129 watts of power when in operation, which is by far the lowest amount when comparing TVs with a 55-inch screen. If you're worried about high energy bills but you don't want to sacrifice picture quality for low energy consumption, the Samsung UN55ES8000F is a fantastic option.
Other standard display features include two built-in 15-watt speakers, four standard tuners (PIP, MTS, ATSC and QAM) and an included base. The screen is also 3D capable, so if you have a 3D Blu-ray player or an upgraded PlayStation 3, you can watch your favorite 3D movies on this screen. It also offers local dimming capabilities, which adds to the screen's picture quality significantly. By dimming or brightening individual pixels in the LCD screen and modifying the brightness of the underlying LED panel, this television can achieve deep blacks and bright whites. The expansive feature set contained in such a small package is truly one of the most astounding parts of this LED TV from Samsung.
Smart TV options put the Samsung UN55ES8000F on the cutting edge of LED TV technology. Its Wi-Fi capabilities give you full access to the internet. This will turn your TV into a multifunctional tool where you can access all the free gaming and video options the internet offers, organize family photos and monitor exercise regimens, among other things.
Its foremost cutting-edge features are the TV's smart interaction capabilities, which allow you to do things like turn on the TV with your voice and use hand motions to access menus. Perhaps the most Jetson-like technology of all is facial controls, which activate your personalized settings when you walk into the room. While this space-age technology sounds impressive, it's still too young to function perfectly, and you may find yourself opting for the more traditional methods of manipulating your TV. But credit Samsung with thinking ahead of the competition.
The display specifications are where the Samsung UN55ES8000F really shines. The 30,000,000:1 contrast ratio puts it at the forefront of LED TVs of this size, and the picture quality is impressive. The refresh rate is the high-end standard of 240Hz, and there's a clear motion rate of 480Hz , both of which are competitive with similar TVs on the market.
The maximum screen resolution is 1920 x 1080, or 1080p. This TV can support several screen width formats, from the standard widescreen 16:9 format to the 4:3 ratio that is common for older TV stations. The viewing angle is very wide on this TV as well; its 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle means you'll be able to see a clean, crisp picture from almost any seated position.
The Samsung LED TV line that we reviewed offers plenty of connectivity options, including four HDMI ports and two USB and PC ports, as well as an Ethernet port and component and composite inputs. Regardless of what you may need to attach to this TV, its selection of built-in connectors should be plenty for your needs.
The warranty included with the Samsung UN55ES8000F covers parts and labor for one year, which is in line with the industry average for LED TV warranties. Samsung provides customer support through a number of channels, including telephone and email support, as well as a convenient live chat feature.
One of our favorite aspects of Samsung's customer service is the downloadable tutorials it provides for its TVs. You can download tutorials on everything from how to use Skype on your Smart TV to how to use the Allshare service. Additionally, you can download several versions of the latest user manuals.
The Samsung UN55ES8000F is an extremely competitive LED TV. With local dimming, 3D capabilities, an impressively thin screen, very low power consumption and cutting edge smart interaction technology, this TV is perfect for saving on energy bills without sacrificing any image quality.
The Samsung UN55ES8000F has one of the thinnest panels of all the TVs we reviewed.
While impressive in concept, the smart interactive capabilities still have a way to go before they are fully functional.
Because it offers fantastic display specifications and an impressively flat panel, this Samsung LED TV lands a top spot in our lineup.