Whether you like it or not, 3D TV is the technology of the year. With movies like Avatar, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Monsters vs Aliens wooing a family audience, it's not hard to see why.
To enjoy 3D at home, you'll need a 3D-ready TV and a 3D Blu-ray player or a Sky+HD subscription. Samsung offers one of the most comprehensive 3D TV ranges for you to choose from. The range includes both plasma and LED-illuminated LCD TVs, which means you can choose whichever technology you prefer.
The flagship, 55-inch, 1080p, 3D-ready UE55C8000 LCD TV with LED edge lights isn't cheap, but we'd consider coughing up for its array of awesome features and new technology. Read this review and we'll help you decide if you're ready for a £3,000 credit-card bill.
Beauty and the bezel
There's only one way to describe the UE55C8000's appearance: stunning. It really is a triumph of design. The brushed-metal, ultra-thin bezel looks great, and the TV is wafer-thin, which means it will hardly protrude into your living space at all if you mount it on a wall.
The remote control is silver, with flat buttons that look great but don't always respond with the positive feel that we're fond of. Still, it's backlit, which makes it an absolute doddle to use the TV in the dark or while wearing 3D glasses.
On the back of the TV, you'll find a host of inputs, including four HDMI sockets, aerial and Scart inputs, and an optical digital out for audio. Because the UE55C8000 is so thin, some of these sockets require break-out connections, but these seem to work just fine, and shouldn't present any problems.
Let's talk about specs
The UE55C8000 has tonnes of nifty features. As well as Samsung's most advanced LED-illuminated LCD panel, and all of the company's new filters and picture-processing software, the TV also features some pretty cool extras that you might not expect.
The two USB sockets on the TV can be used for multiple purposes. If you want to connect to the Internet wirelessly, then you can do so with an optional Wi-Fi dongle. You can use the USB sockets to watch video, look at photos and listen to music too. Unlike most TVs we see, the UE55C8000 is also happy playing MKV files. That's great news for Internet geeks with a mountain of cat videos to watch.
The USB sockets also offer a new skill -- they can be used to enable makeshift recording functionality. Plugging in a hard drive lets you to record your favourite shows without a separate PVR. Recordings are only playable on this TV, though, so don't get excited about watching them on a laptop during your long commute to work. You could take the TV on the train with you instead but you'll need to remember to pack a power generator too.
The TV also features Samsung's Internet@TV platform, which allows access to online content like Skype, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Most exciting of all though is that LoveFilm and BBC iPlayer are also going to be available on the TV.
Standard-def looks decent
There aren't many 55-inch TVs on the market that can do a decent job of stretching a standard-definition Freeview image to fill the massive screen. Sadly, the UE55C8000 is no exception. That's hardly Samsung's fault, though, and the inclusion of a Freeview HD tuner means that at least there's some high-quality content available to people who buy this TV.