Samsung 8500-Series LCD HDTV with LED Backlighting (Playback 26)

State-of-the-Art LCD TV with LED Local Dimming



Blu-ray Evaluation: Earth, Wind & Fire Live At Montreux


Although only recently released on Blu-ray, this concert is an ensemble of performances that were shot in high definition way back in 1997 and 1998 (Japanese national broadcaster and HD pioneer NHK is listed in the production credits, and brief glimpses of one of the main cameras reveals the NHK logo). You’d never know by looking at the crisp images of the E,W&F veterans having a ball playing their various hits are from early generation HD equipment. Choose the Screen Fit picture size to get pixel-perfect 1080p results.


With the Samsung set to Movie mode and the color temperature set to Warm 2, the 8500 goes into HD studio reference monitor mode. The color analyzer confirms the set’s colorimetry is nearly perfect, and the brightly lit concert stage is awash in color lighting that comes across with lots of vividness.


The copyright “guilt screen” message at the very beginning of the disc is simple white text against a black background, and the background is as black as can be—virtually no hint of gray at all. There’s no need to activate the Dynamic Contrast function to get these great blacks, either.

Shadow Detail

The brass players are stationed in front of a black scrim drop-cloth background, and it’s easy to see the folds in the curtain during their close-up shots. Similarly, the woofers in the various Peavey bass bins in front of the drum kit are easy to discern from behind the cabinets’ protective metal mesh grilles.


None noted.


Broadcast HDTV Evaluation: NBC Nightly News (NBC)


Newsman Lester Holt fills in for regular anchor Brian Williams, and the picture quality is simply pristine. Guests visiting at the time remarked how the picture looked ever so much better than they expected from HDTV. Test patterns from a Sencore HD generator and the Spears & Munsil Blu-ray test disc confirm that the 1080i deinterlacing function works superbly, with no artifacts at all.


The Samsung offers a color enhancement feature, but I found no need to activate it, as the set delivers extremely accurate colors (confirmed by the color analyzer) with realistic flesh tones with the Movie mode and Warm 2 color temperature settings.


Numerous graphics feature boundaries delineated by jet-black borders, and during brief moments between the program and commercials, the screen is completely darkened and is totally black. This is the kind of black performance typical of plasma sets.

Shadow Detail

As Mr. Holt delivers the day’s news, the studio lighting above reveals shadows from his head on the shoulders of his dark gray suit. The Samsung’s very good white detail capability reveals he’s wearing a tone-on-tone dress shirt, with the striping clearly noticeable.


None noted.



Priced for the very well-heeled, the 8500 series pretty much sets the standard for LCD flat panel performance. The video signal processing is excellent, and does a great job of upconverting and re-processing SD-originated video signals. The 240 Hz screen refresh is also similarly competent, and the ability to individually tune the processing for video-originated and film-originated content is a major plus.

 Compared to some other LCD flat panels that feature LED local dimming backlighting, the 8500’s incredibly slim cabinet depth of only 1.6 inches adds to the visual appeal of the set. The remote control is also the best HDTV remote currently on the market, and the added RF transmitting function will aid in placement versatility.

The only area where the Samsung is wanting is the connectivity issue. Only one SD or HD analog input is provided, and that will be a concern for at least some buyers. The recently-added Blockbuster streaming capability puts the set in the company of other LAN-equipped models (but that service is still relatively new, with limited HD titles at this point).

From a performance standpoint, the Samsung is first rate, with a picture that comes close to what top performing plasmas provide, which is a high compliment indeed.


Concerned Integrator (not verified) -- Thu, 12/17/2009 - 13:26

I do not believe that Samsung televisions have discrete commands for input or on/off. In this day and (automation) age, this is a huge oversight or an unforgivable ommission.

Anonymous Pro AV Rep (not verified) -- Thu, 12/17/2009 - 20:07

As of now, no discrete codes so the ability to control & integrate this device through any 2nd party (Crestron, Control 4, AMX, etc.) will continue to be an issue & IR repeaters are simply not an option.

MiX (not verified) -- Fri, 12/18/2009 - 10:37

Yes, they do. I have B7000-series and I can select inputs and do power on/off with discrete codes with my Pronto.

Sony Fan (not verified) -- Thu, 12/17/2009 - 15:14

No one seems to discuss how long this set with LED technology will actually last. Sony sets have lasted 10 years or more.
If there is a power surge as we have in Florida all the time, can the LED take it?

Chi Bob (not verified) -- Thu, 12/17/2009 - 15:18

The LEDs should be much less surge sensitive than all the video processing electronics. Besides, if you have power surges in your area, then it is time to invest in a high quality surge suppressor rather than fret about LED burnout.

Anonymous Engineer (not verified) -- Thu, 12/17/2009 - 16:10

If you live in an area of frequent brown-outs/power surges, I recommend you purchase an Uninterruptable Power Supply- a few hundred dollars spent on an excellent UPS will save your A/V system's bacon, and allow you to use it for some period in a black-out event.

arcfan (not verified) -- Thu, 12/17/2009 - 16:45

How about PQ comparisons with Samsung's plasma sets or better yet, Pioneer's now defunct Kuro plasma sets--which set the standard for PQ? Thx

Anonymous HT Geek (not verified) -- Fri, 12/18/2009 - 02:42

Pioneer is not the only defunct product on this page. If you haven't read, the 8500 series, along with the 8000 and B550 series are currently under a 60 day Presidential review period, after which, they may be banned from importing to the US for technology infringement against Sharp for four of their patented technologies. Beautiful as they are, this TV just kind of became a collector's item...until they replace it by this time next year, that is. Interestingly enough, this has also influenced the discontinuation of Sony's XBR10 series due to their use of the 8000 series LCD panel from Samsung.

patent dood (not verified) -- Fri, 12/18/2009 - 06:44

Doubt it... Samsung sells TVs its made and gives Sharp a chunk of the change and prolly license if it is upheld under treaties. Neither wants the tech to waste away when $$$ can be made

Anonymous HT Geek (not verified) -- Fri, 12/18/2009 - 13:53

There's your verification on the Samsung products, turns out I missed the B750 series in the model lineup. This is part of the email that we got at my retail store from my purchasing team after many inquiries on the B8500 TV's and when they would be in stock for sale.

patent dood (not verified) -- Thu, 02/18/2010 - 16:11

So did the president ban these TVs?

dp118 (not verified) -- Fri, 12/18/2009 - 07:44

Did I miss it in the review? Horizontal off axis viewing degrades picture quality. During an in-store demo, I moved about 15 degrees off axis and began to notice degradation in the picture quality. At 45 degrees, it was very noticable. On axis, this TV is as good as the reviewer indicates. Unless your viewing area is very nearly straight-on or close to it, I'd check this TV first before purchase.

jp (not verified) -- Fri, 12/18/2009 - 23:17

any suggestions/advices the different between vizio/samsung and which one is better over all. i am a little comfised with all those technical details etc.

HUGEFUPA (not verified) -- Fri, 01/15/2010 - 21:59

URC has discreet codes for this model. installed one today, However RF to IR repeater on this set is impossible.

CarlosQ -- Fri, 01/13/2012 - 06:00

The Consumer Electronics Show, presenting the devices that are being released this year, is currently in full swing in Las Vegas. Some think that smart phones are replacing digital cameras, but manufacturers are not certain of that prospect. Samsung, along with other tech businesses, are rolling out new lines of smart cameras and camcorders. Source of article: Samsung and others announce smart cameras at CES

Nabiq -- Fri, 11/09/2012 - 02:01

The word LED stands for light emitting diodes. It is a latest technology that has replaced the use of standard florescent tubes in televisions. Samsung LED LCD TV uses this technology to create very fine images.

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