Spectacular although they’re in lots of (although not all) methods, Samsung’s new QLED TVs don’t come low cost. Simply as nicely, then, that Samsung has offered a helpful ‘Plan B’ within the form of its MU collection. 

We lately checked out and had been impressed by the good worth UN49MU6400 (confusingly named the MU7000T within the UK). Not surprisingly, then, we’re feeling fairly excited by the arrival on our take a look at benches of the step-up UN55MU7000 (known as the MU8000 within the UK). In spite of everything, this 55-inch prices extra and boasts extra highly effective image know-how, so it’s obtained to be considerably higher, proper?

Design

Samsung MU7000 / MU8000 Specs

Display sizes out there: 49-, 55-, 65-, 75-inches
Tuner: Freeview HD
Panel know-how: LCD
4K: Sure
HDR: HDR10 + HLG
Good TV: Eden
Curved: No
Dimensions: 1229.four x 795.three x 351 mm (HxWxD inc stand)
3D: No
Inputs: four x HDMI, three x USB, Ethernet

The UN55MU7000 is certainly one of 2017’s most engaging LCD TVs. It’s impressively slim for a non-OLED panel, and its display body’s mixture of an ultra-thin shiny black body and outer metallic silver trim appears and feels way more premium than the end of the UN49MU6400. 

Its metallic boomerang-shaped desktop stand can also be a extra engaging possibility than the spindly legs tucked below every backside nook of the MU6400 units. The UN55MU7000’s central stand is extra sensible too, because it means you don’t want to position it on a chunk of furnishings as large because the display such as you do with the MU6400.

For individuals who care about what the again finish of their TV appears like, the UN55MU7000’s obtained you lined there too. Its gray, horizontally lined again panel appears crisp and sensible, and is comparatively uninterrupted by the same old connections. It’s because the UN55MU7000 makes use of an exterior connection field to minimise the cable spaghetti operating into the TV.

This field carries 4 HDMIs, a tuner enter, three USBs and the now de rigueur Ethernet and wi-fi Wi-Fi community choices. 

The trim, snug sensible distant management deserves a shout on this part for the spectacular method it reduces the button rely of the principle handset whereas additionally carrying a mic to help the TV’s voice management system.

The sensible distant additionally has ambitions of being a common distant able to robotically taking on management of all of your supply tools. You don’t even have to programme it; the TV robotically recognises your supply tools and makes use of that data to programme the sensible distant for you. In reality, although, we’ve by no means discovered making an attempt to recollect which button on the sensible distant works which characteristic of our supply gear as straightforward as simply selecting up every exterior supply’s separate distant!

Design TL;DR: The UN55MU7000 treads simply the proper line between delivering a ton of clutter-free model with out drawing undue consideration to itself. 

Good TV options

The second technology of Samsung’s so-called Eden sensible TV platform gives an impressively refined and environment friendly interface. Its dwelling display restricts itself to a few layers of compact icons so as to use it whereas nonetheless watching TV. The way in which the highest layer gives contextual direct content material hyperlink icons based mostly on what you’ve chosen within the backside engine makes for a slick, logical construction too. 

It’s additionally straightforward to re-organise the order of the house display apps in order that your favorite ones seem first, and the quantity of apps out there to you is prodigious. They embrace, fortuitously, all the large video hitters most individuals will want: Netflix, Amazon Video, and the catch-up platforms for the entire UK’s foremost terrestrial broadcasters. Netflix and Amazon each help 4K and HDR streaming.

Not like most different TV manufacturers nowadays, Samsung doesn’t present the UK’s terrestrial broadcast catch-up apps in a Freeview Play or YouView ‘wrapper’, denying you these platforms’ 7-day again digital programme information interface. Personally, although, we haven’t discovered this an awesome hardship given how intuitive the most recent model of Eden 2.zero is.

One final key ingredient of Eden 2.zero is its sensible voice recognition system. This allows you to management just about each characteristic on the TV by saying only one or two phrases; a far cry from the early days of voice management the place you needed to be taught complete new sentence constructions and lose all hint of a regional accent in case you needed the TV to have a greater than even probability of ending up the place you needed it to finish up.

Good options TL;DR: A user-friendly and customisable interface makes it straightforward to entry a powerful vary of on-line content material. Particularly in case you spend a couple of minutes getting used to the concept of speaking to your TV.

HD/SDR efficiency

Although the UN55MU7000 is all about HDR and 4K, that doesn’t imply it may possibly’t ship the products with the HD and customary dynamic vary (SDR) sources most of us mere mortals will nonetheless discover ourselves anticipating more often than not. 

Quite the opposite, the UN55MU7000 is excellent with no matter SDR content material you throw at it. For starters, it converts HD sources to its native 4K decision exceptionally nicely. Photos look markedly sharper and extra detailed, but that is achieved with out the image wanting processed or unnatural. Edges don’t look over-stressed and grain isn’t distractingly exaggerated – because of the upscaling’s potential to identify the distinction between true image content material and supply noise. The one qualification we’d add is that it is advisable to make certain the TV’s Sharpness setting isn’t any increased than its 30-35 degree if you’d like upscaled footage to look their greatest.

The UN55MU7000’s HDR-friendly brightness additionally offers SDR footage loads of punch, particularly since its mixture of a VA-type LCD panel and domestically dimmed edge LED lighting helps it produce deep but additionally insightful black ranges. These present an enticing basis for the display’s SDR colors, serving to them to look pure, wealthy and subtly detailed, even within the darkest corners.

One last level to say right here is HDR+. To not be confused with the lately introduced HDR10+ format for including lively metadata to the HDR10 trade customary, HDR+ is Samsung’s system for changing SDR content material into HDR. That is simply essentially the most aggressive HDR conversion system presently discovered within the TV world, injecting large quantities extra brightness and color punch into SDR footage. 

Whereas many will take pleasure in the way in which HDR10+ allows them to make use of the TV’s full brightness and color capabilities on a regular basis reasonably than solely when watching HDR content material, Samsung’s aggressive strategy can depart some colors wanting reasonably unnatural and a few vivid areas wanting a bit bleached. The system may also exaggerate supply noise, particularly MPEG compression artefacts at midnight areas of digital broadcasts. So whilst you can and may attempt HDR+, remember that it definitely comes with strings connected.

HD/SDR Efficiency TL;DR: Offered you’re taking a bit of care with its settings, the UN55MU7000 is a formidable performer with HD and SDR content material.  

4K/HDR efficiency

The UN55MU7000 claims to be able to hitting brightness peaks of round 1000 nits, and delivers a measured brightness on a 10% (of display measurement) white HDR window of round 650 nits. These numbers are each increased than you’ll usually look forward to finding on such an inexpensive 55-inch 4K LCD TV, and assist the UN55MU7000 ship a punchier, extra full-on excessive dynamic vary picture than you normally get at this value.

It’s notably nice to see actually vivid components of HDR photos not solely popping off the display with fantastically life-like impression, but additionally containing extra refined shading and element than finances TVs normally handle. 

This excessive brightness additionally allows the TV to ship a way of the broader color vary related to HDR sources, and helps elucidate some impressively refined color detailing in each vivid and darkish components of the HDR image. 

The UN55MU7000’s use of a neighborhood dimming system means its edge LED lighting can mix the brilliant HDR stuff with respectable black ranges too. Although to be clear on this level, there are different units on the market – most notably Sony’s XE9005 collection – that commerce a bit of brightness for a lot deeper black ranges with very watchable outcomes.

Evaluating the UN55MU7000’s dealing with of darkish HDR scenes with Samsung’s personal MU6400 collection produces some fascinating outcomes, too. Whereas the UN55MU7000 will get a bit of darker with its black ranges, the extent of distinction isn’t as pronounced as you may anticipate given it brings native dimming to the desk. There’s nonetheless a definite gray wash over every thing, and the UN55MU7000 additionally introduces some localised backlight inconsistencies you don’t get with the MU6400 collection. 

To some extent, in fact, since they use exterior lights to light up their pixels, no LCD TV will be capable to ship the kind of HDR-aiding brightness ranges the UN55MU7000 gives with out compromising black degree efficiency. It’s true, too, that the comparatively refined impression of the native dimming system means the image doesn’t throw up lots of the distractingly stark backlight bands related to extra aggressive native dimming engines. However we’d have nonetheless anticipated a barely extra pronounced distinction enchancment between the MU7000 and the MU6400.

In terms of rendering 4K, the UN55MU7000 is a chip off the spectacular Samsung block. Be it a 4K Blu-ray or a top quality 4K stream, it appears pin sharp and stuffed with HD-thrashing element. There’s a higher sense of depth to 4K photos too, as regular, and hues typically profit from the additional mix definition having so many pixels to work with can ship.

You do have to restrict the sharpness setting to round its 35-40 degree to cease the acute detailing beginning to shimmer with noise. As long as you do this, although, you’ll normally be left marvelling at simply what a distinction a superb 4K image could make.

A mix of minor judder or processing flaws within the set’s dealing with of movement (relying on whether or not you’re utilizing the movement processing or not) can cut back the 4K readability a bit of throughout sport or motion scenes. Although truly, the UN55MU7000 does higher on this respect than most equally priced rivals. 

There are a few different flaws to report although. First, colors look a contact skinny with vivid HDR content material. This implies that the kind of brightness the UN55MU7000 delivers advantages from extra wide-colour pixel techniques of the type QLED’s Quantum Dots can present.

Second, the UN55MU7000’s footage break down if it’s important to watch it from an angle of greater than 30-35 levels. Black ranges and color saturations cut back, and also you grow to be extra conscious of sunshine banding from the native dimming system.

4K/HDR efficiency TL;DR: Other than not fairly upping the distinction ante as a lot as we’d like, the UN55MU7000 does a greater job than most TVs in its value bracket of taking advantage of 4K and HDR’s charms.

Sound High quality

Contemplating how slim its bodywork is and that its design doesn’t embrace any seen audio system, the UN55MU7000 doesn’t sound unhealthy in any respect. It doesn’t precisely shake your foundations with its bass ranges, and its most quantity may not be sufficient to fulfill very massive rooms. Nonetheless, it sounds clear, detailed, and enjoyably dynamic within the mid and treble ranges, and it does a surprisingly efficient job of constructing voices sound nicely rounded and convincing. 

You may need to take into account including a superb soundbar to the TV sooner or later, maybe, but it surely’s not one thing you’ll should rush to do.

Sound high quality TL;DR: The UN55MU7000 sounds higher than you’d anticipate, and adequate to make including an exterior sound system a luxurious reasonably than a necessity.

Different panels to ponder

If you’ll find just a bit extra, you would bag your self Sony’s KD-55XE9305. This makes use of an modern new backlight system that makes use of two LCD gentle plates in sequence, offering twice as a lot native management over the place gentle seems within the image. This strategy can sometimes trigger some noticeable ‘squared off’ gentle clouding round very stand-out vivid objects, however on the identical time it allows the 55XE9305 to get greater than twice as vivid because the UN55MU7000 whereas additionally delivering some punchy black tones.

Sony additionally gives some sturdy competitors for nearly the identical cash because the UN55MU7000 within the 55XE9005. This falls wanting the Samsung on the all-important (for HDR) brightness entrance, however its use of a direct LED lighting system, the place the lights sit instantly behind the display reasonably than round its edges, helps it ship deeper, extra constant black ranges throughout darkish scenes. That is notably essential in case you’re keen on watching movies with the lights down.

Lastly, sarcastically we expect the UN55MU7000 is positioned in a barely troublesome place by its personal UN55MU6400 (MU7000 within the UK) Samsung siblings. Though it doesn’t go fairly as deep with its black ranges or fairly as vivid with its gentle peaks the distinction isn’t as excessive as you may anticipate contemplating the MU6400 mannequin is considerably cheaper on the time of writing. Additionally, the extra uniform look to the MU6400’s backlighting throughout darkish scenes, presumably resulting from it not utilizing native dimming, arguably makes its footage extra constantly immersive, if much less dynamic.

Verdict

The UN55MU7000 is an effective tv. Its brightness benefit helps it attain HDR components different equally priced rivals can’t – one thing which additionally makes it a powerful possibility for vivid dwelling rooms.

It’s only a disgrace it doesn’t take extra benefit of its native dimming system to ship a stronger enhance in image high quality over Samsung’s personal, considerably cheaper MU6400 vary.

  • Take a look at our information to the best 4K TVs out there for our prime picks
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