Samsung UN55MU8000 Review – Good Enough To Be Excellent?
It’s time for the Samsung UN55MU8000 Review, a 2017 TV that excels in constancy, without necessarily shining in any chapter. Constancy in picture quality, audio system, up-scaling engine and many others.
Unlike most TVs, that rock in certain chapters and suck in others, the MU8000 has very good features in everything. But is this consistency enough make it a great TV? Can these over-average feature compensate the lack of a certain quality?
It’s time to have a closer look at the MU8000’s start-up line.
So Let’s Get To The Review
Producer: Samsung Electronics
Price: $1,098 at the time I wrote this review
Cheapest place to buy: Amazon
Worth Buying? : To me it is
- Gorgeous design, with elegant edges and double, sturdy stands
- Very good picture quality, with high contrast rates, brightness, black levels and color depth
- Great up-scaling engine that can easily convert even 480p content
- Absolutely no motion blur in scenes
- Judder can appear rarely, but it’s minimal and the human eye accommodates to it easily
- Decent audio system, at about the sane level as the others
- Upgraded smart system, which is not easier and faster to use
- Great for gaming, with its very low input lag, fast response time and no motion blur
- Supports HDR gaming as well
- Price is very correct, proportional to its value
- Free shipping included
- Bad local dimming feature, but the great contrast compensates it
- Poor viewing angles, just like any LED TV
- Under average reflection filter
- Ads can’t be turned off completely, even though they appear very rarely
1. Appearance & Design – Something New
The TV itself looks absolutely gorgeous. It has an over-averagely thin built, with a very elegant aspect. The borders are very small, so the screen is perfectly maximized for a better user experience. Samsung receives an extra point for letting go of the “curved trend”, and going for a straight, extremely practical design.
Even the TV stands come forward through their unusual style. Even though most models go for a central, one-piece metal stand (which pretty much became a normality), the MU8000 brings in something new. The stand consists of 2 smaller pieces, each placed in the corner, thus ensuring a much sturdier placement of the TV.
Though I’m not a huge fan of double stands in modern TVs, I must admit that I love MU8000’s idea. It’s original, sturdy and most importantly, it looks much better than 90% of the existent TVs.
2. Picture Quality – The Good Compensates The Bad
All in all, the MU8000 delivers clear, deep images with accurate levels of black and good brightness rates. The contrast is high enough to ensure a great user experience, together with the very good color saturation levels.
The pictures are above decent levels. And considering its price, I would say the picture quality of this TV is good to very good.
With a native ratio of 4723:1, the MU8000’s contrast rates are indeed very high, but not unbelievable.
However, considering the price, its contrast is much better than many TVs from this category. Black levels are very deep, the colors have strong shades and the final images look good not just in a darker room.
MU8000’s doesn’t excel when it comes to brightness, but it produces very good rates, especially when it comes to SDR. In HDR brightness, the MU8000 delivers good rates for the human eye. However, it’s not as bright as some competitors in tests, but this isn’t visible too easily.
Despite not being absent, the MU8000’s local dimming isn’t the best one on the market. Even when turned to “High”, the local dimming feature doesn’t change the contrast rates almost at all. Though it should normally increase contrast only in certain parts of the screen, there isn’t any big difference when the local dimming is on.
The black levels are still excellent, but that’s because of the TV’s great contrast and black uniformity, not because of the feature itself.
For a 4K TV of this price, the color saturation and depth has pretty good levels I would say. With a color depth measuring 10 bits, the MU8000 is able to produce accurate enough colors for the human eye and a very smooth color gradient.
Just like many LED TVs, the MU8000 doesn’t excel in filtering the reflecting light. Although this could never be too bothering in a normally lighted room, the user experience might worsen in a very bright room. For this reason, try to keep this TV far from the window and never face to face with a powerful light source. At least not if your room is already well illuminated.
3. Viewing Angles – Watch Just From The Front
Just like most LED TVs, the MU8000’s picture quality faces serious problems when viewed from one side.
The image starts to degrade slowly after going beyond 20°, starting with a black levels fade and a decrease in color saturation as well. This is a consequence of the VA panels from the TV’s construction, but so is the great image quality when viewed from the front.
Therefore, the bad viewing angles remain the MU8000’s biggest problem. So keep in mind that side watching isn’t indicated, because the user experience won’t be too pleasurable.
4. Up-scaling Engine – Easy, Quality Conversion
MU8000’s scaling performances are indeed very good for the price, considering there are enough $1000+ TVs that serve poor up-scaled content.
When it comes to 480p content sources like DVDs, the MU8000 does its job properly but without managing to produce a quality image. There’s no wonder, considering the low quality of this kind of content. However, the pictures do look slightly improved than original, thanks to the noise reduction (which is vital in 480p content).
720p content is a different chapter, as the pictures start gaining both accuracy and details. Some noise is still visible, as the image isn’t perfectly clear. However, the improvement is easily visible, compared to the original.
Blu-ray content looks great on this TV, almost as good as original 4K one. The only visible differences are in image clarity, as the colors are still almost as deep and accurate.
5. Motion Blur & Judder – You Can Do With Auto-Motion
Even low-quality content such as DVDs can be properly played by the MU8000, without any judder compromising the picture.
However, one of the consequences of this ability is a pronounced soap-opera effect. Although it may not be disturbing for many people, this effect actually cuts off the extra background blur, which is most of the times natural. The result? An image that looks too smooth and unrealistic, which could actually become quite annoying for other users.
Therefore, in order to get the best picture, the best thing is to do a compromise. Turn off the Auto-Motion from the settings, as this is responsible for the soap-opera effect. Obviously, some judder will appear immediately and it will be quite bothering at first. But your eyes will get used to it, as it’s not too bad.
So all in all, the MU8000 handles motion blur and judder very well itself. But if the images don’t seem too natural, it’s probably because of the Auto-Motion, which is usually turned on by the producer. If turned off, some minimal judder may appear, but it won’t damage at all the image quality.
6. Audio System – Not Worse Than The Rest
It’s already quite a rule that most LED TVs don’t excel at sound, at least not from an expert’s point of view.
The TV’s sound performance itself isn’t worst than most, in fact it’s a bit over average in my opinion. The total audio output is 40 watts, which is far from bad. The bass sounds are much more perceptible and the volume is also slightly louder. So for an average user, the sound features should be more than enough.
However, for a home theatre experience or for a very large, emptier room, an additional soundbar or a pair of speakers can improve the experience immediately. That even though the TV’s gorgeous look will suffer from this.
7. Smart System – Upgrades From Last Year
Samsung upgraded the already-good Smart Hub platform to Tizen, which comes with a much easier navigation system and an upgraded interface.
The system pretty much keeps the Smart Hub’s design, with the main apps listed at the bottom, together with the recommendations. However, what’s changed is actually the easier-to-access interface with menu.
Tizen also focuses a lot on voice commands, as the remote lacks many additional buttons. On one hand, its simplicity makes it easier to use and more user-friendly, but on the other hand, most still prefer the classic buttons to voice commands.
One thing I don’t like about the Tizem smart system is the presence of ads. In fact, that’s not a characteristic of the smart system, but rather of this TV. The ads appear quite rarely, that’s true. But unlike most TVs, there’s no way you can turn them off. And even though that’s not a very annoying issue, the presence of ads in the middle of a fight scene may be unpleasant.
8. Gaming – All You Want, HDR Included
Unlike most TV from the same price category, the MU8000 has an input lag of around 22 ms in Gaming mode. That is extremely low for a mid-range TV, and it means that it’s more than suitable for PC gaming.
The input lag is also pretty low outside Gaming mode (around 25 ms), but turning it on before gaming is essential because of a much better responsiveness and image focus. Motion blur is not a problem either.
At the time this TV appeared on the market, it did not have HDR gaming feature included. However, things have changed this June, when an upgrade made it compatible with HDR games.
So now that it can display HDR in gaming too, the MU8000 is quite perfect for any real gamer. The very low input lag, fast response time and lack of motion blur are everything you could wish for.
So Why Should I Buy This TV?
Just like you saw in this Samsung UN55MU8000 Review, it may not be the best TV in the world. However, its features make it one of the bests from its price range.
Despite the bad local dimming and the narrow viewing angles, it still does a very good job when it comes to pictures. High contrast, black uniformity, good brightness levels and very accurate colors are just a few of its strong points in picture.
The motion blur is also not a problem at all, which makes this TV a great choice for gaming, besides its low input lag.
Therefore, if you want a good TV that doesn’t excel in anything but is over-average in all chapters, I think the MU8000 is a perfect choice. It may not impress you with a certain thing, but it is constant in all chapters, unlike most TVs on the market.
So the choice is all yours. 😉
If you have any further questions on the Samsung UN55MU8000, don’t hesitate to comment below for further explanation