I first went gaga for Samsung TVs at CES a couple of years ago when they started rolling out the large flat-screen HD TVs. They were beautifully-bezeled with super sharp pictures that looked like you could reach out and touch the characters or scenes onscreen. Then, last Christmas we visited my parents and c2cDad practically drooled watching TV on their new 55" Samsung SMART TV. It was impressive, and lived up to what I'd been telling him about the TVs I see at tech press events.
So when we returned home to NJ after Christmas, and happened upon a fantastic sale price in a Best Buy flyer for a 55" Samsung D7000 3D SMART TV, we were primed to run out and buy it on the fly. It was a spontaneous splurge and we've enjoyed it immensely. We've watched a few of the Kiddo's annimated movies in 3D, even watched a little of the Olympics in 3D. In fact, we couldn't believe our good fortune when we were contacted about joining Samsung's Families in Motion intiative and trying out this year's new model, the Samsung ES8000!
The Samsung ES8000
We received an email the day before delivery with a window of when the Samsung ES8000 was scheduled to arrive. Were we excited? Like a puppy sitting at the front door, staring out the window waiting for its owner to return - I swear that was the picture of my husband looking for the driver that day. In fact, he specifically worked from home that morning so he could be there when it arrived to help set it up.
We cleared, dusted and otherwise prepped the entertainment center for quick and easy placement of the Samsung in its new home. Our poor D7000 has now been relegated to our finished basement (which my husband and son were thrilled about, by the way), as it was a great upgrade to the one that was currently in their “man cave.”
When we first bought our D7000, we took it out of the box like we were handling our grandmother's china. It was a long, careful and methodical approach to ensure it didn’t shatter into a million pieces. This go around we knew that the Samsung ES8000 was a solid piece of electronics, not that we were tossing it around the room, but we weren’t as concerned with its fragility.
Within minutes (this time), we had screwed in the base, and had the TV fully set up on the entertainment system. Literally it was that easy….power cord, check. HDMI cable, check…and we were up and running. c2cDad boasted that he would have the set up and running within minutes, so I challenged him to timing it, and we were in fact up and running with our cable box DVR, TiVo, Blu-Ray player, Xbox, PS3 and Nintendo Wii all set to go within 26 minutes from the box, connecting the stand, and watching TV.
Sitting back on the couch admiring our handy work, the one thing you notice right off the bat is the artistically designed TV base stand appropriately named the "Arch Flow Stand." While the four pronged "X" stand of the D7000 seems like it'd be more stable, rest assured the base stand of the ES8000 isn’t going anywhere. Not only was it is stylistically beautiful, but it wasn’t wobbly at all as room full of kids were jumping and dancing along to the Psy "Gangnam Style" concert on The TODAY Show.
The on-screen TV set up took up the bulk of the time, as
there were several screens that we needed to get through to ensure that the
audio and video was set up properly. The ES8000 comes with not one, but two remotes,the second of which is a Smart Touch Remote that allows you to use its built-in microphone and trackpad to control the menus on your TV although we used the standard remote to set up the TV.
Here we are prepared to watch The Avengers on Blu-ray, the way it filled up the screen from corner to corner was amazing.
There's a lot of great feautures packed into the ES8000, even moreso than our D7000, that we're excited to put through its paces. Stay tuned (no pun intended) for more to come on what we think will be our favorites:
Motion controls - much like using the Xbox with Kinect to control video games and any movies we stream through the Xbox, you can now control your SMART TV by hand from the sofa across the room! Samsung SMART TVs and even have the Angry Birds app installed, so we can play Angry Birds as a family on the TV - through the TV! I can't wait to share about our Angry Birds on the TV experience!
The Fitness app - as I prepare for a half marathon later this winter, I'll be checking out the Fitness VOD app to add some new routines to my workout, especially for those snowy days that I won't want to head outside to the gym.
Family Share - This photo sharing site allows you to privately create your own area to post photos, memoes and events with friends and family, which can then be shared even on multiple devices.
Social TV aspects - In addition to Facebook, we're excited to try out Skype right off the TV, now that the Samsung ES8000 has a built-in camera mounted to the top of the screen.
There's lots more that we can't wait to explore, so check back in a few days as we explore some of the cool features of the Samsung ES8000!
A huge thank you to Samsung for providing the television for us to try out, and for sponsoring my blog these two months as part of their #FamiliesInMotion initiative.