Samsung UE65K9000

FOR Sharp pic­ture; re­al­is­tic colours; im­proved OS; stylish AGAINST Lacks All4 and De­mand5; needs a sound­bar

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Contents -

The TV world is so lit­tered with acronyms (4K, HDR, 3D, LCD, LED) even to­day’s most slang-savvy teen would strug­gle to un­der­stand them all. When it comes to Samsung and LG, it’s tempt­ing to break down their ri­valry into two of them: SUHD vs OLED, re­spec­tively.

How­ever, un­like OLED, SUHD isn’t a panel tech­nol­ogy. Rather, it’s a term Samsung has coined – from the in­dus­try-wide ab­bre­vi­a­tion, UHD – for the tech­nol­ogy it uses in its flag­ship sets. It’s based on an LCD panel dis­play that uses Quan­tum Dot tech­nol­ogy – nano­sized par­ti­cles that pro­duce dif­fer­ent colours de­pend­ing on their size. Samsung claims it of­fers 64 times the colour ex­pres­sion of stan­dard TVS.

Makes a strong case for LCD

Also fall­ing un­der the SUHD um­brella is HDR1000, mean­ing the TVS can reach a bright­ness of 1000 nits, in line with the UHD Al­liance’s Ul­tra HD Pre­mium spec­i­fi­ca­tion – which also in­cludes a 4K res­o­lu­tion, less than 0.05 nits black level, and 10-bit colour depth – which the SUHD mod­els ad­here to, in­clud­ing this 65in UE65KS9000.

It sits just un­der the TVS in the moth­er­ship JS9500 range and like the rest of the SUHD line-up (with the ex­cep­tion of the UE55JS8000) has a curved screen. It also has new im­proved panels and Ul­tra Black Moth Eye fil­ter tech­nol­ogy that en­sures dis­tract­ing re­flec­tions are kept to a min­i­mum. Samsung re­mains adamant that curves make the pic­ture more im­mer­sive.

While there’s an ar­gu­ment for that when look­ing at the screen head-on, LCDS don’t have the wide view­ing an­gles OLED of­fers. We watch the UE65KS9000 from the very cor­ner of our sofa and it looks no­tably washed out com­pared with the LG OLED65E6V, which largely re­tains its colour and con­trast po­tency.

LG 1, Samsung 0? Not ex­actly. The Samsung replies with a slightly cleaner, sharper pic­ture and, de­spite all the OLED hoo-ha, makes an im­pres­sive case for the on­go­ing va­lid­ity of LCD.

Re­al­is­tic blood

A 4K HDR stream of Ama­zon’s The Man In The High Cas­tle is ex­pertly de­liv­ered, with lines con­fi­dently etched and colours nat­u­ral and brim­ming with sub­tlety. We find set­ting colour tem­per­a­ture to ‘Warm1’ sucks the ap­par­ent cool­ness from its out-of-the­box pal­ette for a more bal­anced pre­sen­ta­tion, so that ev­ery­thing from blood on faces to the au­tum­nal mix of leaves and brown Nazi uni­forms look all the more re­al­is­tic.

Ap­ply­ing mo­tion pro­cess­ing in mod­er­a­tion is worth your time, too, to iron out small jud­der is­sues. With it, the Samsung de­liv­ers one of the most sta­ble pic­tures we’ve seen.

The value of HDR is ap­par­ent when it comes to nu­anced shad­ing and, es­pe­cially, bright­ness. Neon lights in night scenes are ra­di­ant, as are ex­plo­sions. The level of high con­trast is eye-catch­ing.

Need­less to say, it can’t match the OLED set’s black depth, and while that makes all the dif­fer­ence when watch­ing some­thing such as Grav­ity – space in com­plete black­ness? Yes please – that’s a uni­ver­sal com­pro­mise of LCD tele­vi­sions com­pared with OLEDS.

For an LCD set, though, the UE65KS9000’S blacks go im­pres­sively deep – deeper than those man­aged by the Sony KD65ZD9BU, which strug­gles to match the Samsung for dark de­tail, too. The Samsung doesn’t strug­gle, pro­vid­ing in­sight into a dark of­fice, while en­sur­ing lights in the cor­ner of it shine brightly.

It’s not about get­ting you ‘one or the other’, and that abil­ity to mul­ti­task ma­te­ri­alises again in Mad Max: Fury Road on Ul­tra HD Blu-ray, as truck lights punch out from a clear and well-de­tailed night scene.

Up­scale is up town

As we feed it a stan­dard Blu-ray of Fu­ri­ous 7, the Samsung makes the gar­gan­tuan task of up­scal­ing look easy. Apart from a slight loss in crisp­ness and fine de­tail, it doesn’t feel like much of a come­down. Colour de­tail and sub­tlety still im­press and, in the ex­hil­a­rat­ing-border­line-ridicu­lous ac­tion scenes, mo­tion feels smooth and nat­u­ral.

Stan­dard-def­i­ni­tion broad­casts won’t ‘wow’ – as is the case with all 4K sets we’ve seen, the pic­ture is plagued by no­tice­able soft­ness and noise – but HD chan­nels are much more clear and de­fined, with the bold hues of our favourite day­time tele­vi­sion pro­grammes (the blues in The Jeremy Kyle Show and reds of Tip­ping Point) solid and bright.

“The slim bezel-less screen is worth do­ing an ob­ser­va­tional lap around. The Samsung is in­deed a beauty, not just in­side but out­side too”

Ac­cept­able sound

While the UE65KS9000 doesn’t have the OLED65E6V’S vol­ume lev­els, or as much weight be­hind the pre­sen­ta­tion, the 60W 4.1 chan­nel set-up never sounds over­worked. It’s ab­so­lutely fine for day­time TV: bal­ance is spot-on and di­a­logue is more than clear enough.

How­ever, to get a sound as ex­hil­a­rat­ing as the Samsung’s pic­ture, the au­dio reins will need hand­ing over to a sound­bar, par­tic­u­larly for gains in dy­namic ex­pres­sion and bass.

Can op­er­ate your lights, too

All of Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVS fea­ture IOT (‘in­ter­net of things’) tech­nol­ogy, so the UE65KS9000 can act as a re­mote con­trol for Samsung’s compatible home de­vices, from door locks to light switches. Those more in­ter­ested in ‘true’ TV func­tion­al­ity have BBC iplayer, ITV Player, Net­flix and Ama­zon at their Tv-bing­ing dis­posal. How­ever, with­out All4 and De­mand5 it isn’t the most com­pre­hen­sive app list we’ve seen.

Samsung’s Tizen op­er­at­ing sys­tem is back this year, and not with­out up­grades. The menu still sits along the bot­tom of the screen, much like LG’S WEBOS, but there’s now a col­lapsi­ble sec­ond row that takes one more button press out of ac­cess­ing sources, sug­gested or most-watched shows. We hover the smart re­mote over the Net­flix tab and above it float our most re­cent watches. Nice!

It feels quicker, too. Pro­vid­ing there’s a good in­ter­net con­nec­tion, apps and web pages load in haste. While there’s wi-fi on board, con­nect­ing via the eth­er­net port lo­cated on the telly’s right-hand side panel is pre­ferred for greater sta­bil­ity.

One USB port sits next to it, while two more are housed in Samsung’s ex­ter­nal One Con­nect box that sits along­side, with four HDMI in­puts and an op­ti­cal out­put.

Beau­ti­ful in­side and out

The idea of the One Con­nect box is that it can be easily swapped out for new it­er­a­tions to ac­com­mo­date fu­ture up­grades, but it also helps make connections more ac­ces­si­ble and the UE65KS9000’S stylish de­sign less blem­ished.

In fact, the slim bezel-less screen and tex­tured back panel are worth do­ing an ob­ser­va­tional lap around. The UE65KS9000 is in­deed a beauty, not just in­side but out­side too.

While OLED has its ben­e­fits, LCD cer­tainly won’t be con­signed to the waste bin any time soon – not when the tele­vi­sions are still this good and, dare we say it, af­ford­able.

Upgraded Tizen op­er­at­ing sys­tem and smart re­mote make a good pair

Curved pro­file of re­mote con­trol echoes the UE65KS9000’S curved screen

UE65KS9000 has a curved screen like most Samsung SUHDS

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