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    Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Stand
    2. Back
    3. Borders
    4. Thickness
    5. Temperature
    6. Build Quality
  3. Picture Quality
    1. Contrast
    2. Local Dimming
    3. SDR Peak Brightness
    4. HDR Peak Brightness
    5. Gray Uniformity
    6. Viewing Angle
    7. Black Uniformity
    8. Gradient
    9. Pre Calibration
    10. Post Calibration
    11. 480p Input
    12. 720p Input
    13. 1080p Input
    14. 4k Input
    15. Color Gamut
    16. Color Volume
    17. Image Retention
    18. Reflections
    19. 3D
    20. Pixels
  4. Motion
    1. Motion Blur
    2. Image Flicker
    3. 24p Playback
    4. Motion Interpolation
  5. Inputs
    1. Input Lag
    2. Supported Resolutions
    3. Side Inputs
    4. Rear Inputs
    5. Total Inputs
    6. Inputs Specifications
  6. Sound Quality
    1. Frequency Response
    2. Distortion
  7. Smart Features
    1. Interface
    2. Ads
    3. Apps and Features
    4. Remote
    5. Remote App
    6. TV Controls
    7. In The Box
    8. Misc
  8. Sizes and Variants
  9. Compared
  10. Conclusion
  11. Q&A
Reviewed on Aug 21, 2017 , Ian Cumming, Martin Leduc, Mehdi Azzabi, Eric Bousquet

Samsung MU8500
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings
Version 1.1
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Test Benches:

  • 1.1: Summer 2017
  • 1.0: Winter 2015
  • 0.9: Winter 2014
  • 0.8: Winter 2013
Recommended if under (USD)
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What it is: Maximum price to be a better value than its competitors.
How to use it: This product is the best choice in its range if you can find it below this price.
Automatically calculated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
Value for price
beaten by
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What it is: Product with the best value in this price range
Other best choice in a cheaper price range
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Automatically updated every hour based on the scores and prices of all other products we've tested.
Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
7.6 $700 Sony
X900E
Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
7.6 $630 Sony
X900E
TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.7 $790 Sony
X900E
Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
7.2 $680 Sony
X900E
Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
8.1 $410 TCL
P607
HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
7.6 $630 Sony
X900E
HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
7.8 $620 TCL
P607
PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
7.8 $680 Sony
X720E
Type : LED
Resolution : 4k
Refresh Rate : 120 Hz

The Samsung MU8500 4k smart TV is a better than average television with good picture quality and low input lag. It features a curved design which some might find more aesthetically pleasing and it gets decently bright. It's also capable of displaying a wider range of colors which is good for saturated HDR content. Unfortunately, its picture quality degrades at an angle, and its local dimming leaves a lot to be desired.

Test Results
Design 9.0
Picture Quality 7.5
Motion 8.1
Inputs 8.8
Sound Quality 6.8
Smart Features 8.1
Pros
  • Great contrast ratio
  • Brighter than average
  • Low input lag for gaming
Cons
  • Image quality degrades at an angle
  • Poor local dimming

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9.0

Design

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Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 Design Picture
Curved : Yes

The MU8500 looks excellent. As the curved variant of the MU8000 it has the same wide stand which supports the TV well. All of the inputs are routed through the One Connect Mini, which helps for cable management. The power cable is very short after routing it through the base of the TV, which may be an issue for some setups. 

Stand
Samsung MU8500 Stand Picture

The stand is almost as wide as the TV itself, but has two positions. We tested the TV with the narrower setup, but it is also possible to place the legs so the width of the stand is 42.9".

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 9.8" x 34.9"

Back
Samsung MU8500 Back Picture
Wall Mount : Vesa 400x400

The back of the TV is plastic, but looks good. It has a textured finish, just like the MU8000. The cables can be routed through the left leg, as shown here.

Borders
Samsung MU8500 Borders Picture
Borders : 0.39" (1.0 cm)

The borders are thin and look good. They are made of metal and feel high quality.

Thickness
Samsung MU8500 Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 3.78" (9.6 cm)

The TV appears a bit thicker when viewed from the side due to the curve. This may cause it to stick out a bit when wall mounted, but isn't really an issue.

Temperature
Samsung MU8500 Temperature picture
Maximum Temperature
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What it is: The peak temperature found on the TV.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: <5°C
:
35 °C
Average Temperature
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What it is: The Average temperature measured on the TV
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: 30
Noticeable difference: 5
:
32 °C

The TV runs fairly cool, only getting slightly warm to the touch in a few spots on the back and the bottom edge. The One Connect box only ever gets slightly warm, never exceeding 35°C during our testing.

7.0 Build Quality
Samsung MU8500 Build quality picture

The build quality of the MU8500 is a step up from the KS8000 of 2016. The parts feel slightly higher quality and fit together a bit better with less give.

7.5

Picture Quality

The Samsung MU8500 LED TV has a good picture quality. The great contrast ratio paired with the decent black uniformity make this TV a good option for your dark home theater room. Black looks deep and dark movies scenes look detailed. When set in a brighter environment, the MU8500 is still a good performer since it can get bright enough to fight glare from a bright lamp or a sunny window and can deal fairly well with reflections. The gray uniformity is very good and dirty screen effect is not a problem here, so great news for sports fans. The viewing angle is poor though so the MU8500 won't be the best option if you want to invite a bunch of friends to watch a big event or movie since the best picture quality is reserved for those sitting right in front of the TV. When it comes to HDR, the MU8500 is a good option since it has a wide color gamut and has an HDR peak brightness better than average. The only downside here is the poor local dimming, which can't really help get small highlight brighter than what it already can.

8.4 Contrast
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What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Samsung MU8500 Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
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What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
4167 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
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What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
4215 : 1

The Samsung MU8500 has a great native contrast ratio. At 4167:1 it is very good for a VA panel, but it is a bit less than other 2017 Samsung TVs, who usually have more than 5000:1. Even if it is not as high as other Samsung TV, the MU8500 will be a good performer in a dark room none the less and blacks still look very deep and the level of details in dark scene is still better than any IPS on the market today.

When the local dimming is set too high, the contrast ratio remains about the same (only 50 higher) and this is mostly because of the poor implementation of the local dimming on this TV.

1.8 Local Dimming
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What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
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What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
Yes
Backlight
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What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit TVs have more uniform blacks than some full-array TVs.
:
Edge

The local dimming is bad on the MU8500 and is similar to the local dimming of the flat version of this TV, the MU8000. The MU8500 is an edge-lit TV and the local dimming is implemented with vertical zones that span the whole screen. As a result, when there is a bright highlight on-screen, large vertical blooming is visible and this follows the highlight.

8.4 SDR Peak Brightness
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What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
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What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in SDR.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
419 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
571 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
1131 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in SDR video.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
590 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
509 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
455 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
435 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
534 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in SDR video.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
585 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
506 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 300 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 30 cd/m²
:
453 cd/m2
SDR ABL
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What it is: The standard deviation of the SDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: Content with large bright areas, such as for PC or video game use, and sports such as hockey
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.017

Plot over time

Great SDR peak brightness. The worst case brightness is still fairly bright, and local dimming is able to make highlights even brighter in dark scenes, as shown by our smaller window tests. The ~1000 cd/m² brightness in the 10% white window test only lasts for ~30 s, as seen in the plot over time, so the TV will only be able to reach this brightness in special cases. The brightness overall is very similar to the MU9000 and MU8000, though it's not as bright as the Sony X900E.

7.1 HDR Peak Brightness
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What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; HDR content.
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
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What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
422 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
580 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
Show Help
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
643 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
Show Help
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
640 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
Show Help
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
470 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
Show Help
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
458 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
441 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
564 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
566 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
468 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 550 cd/m²
Noticeable difference: 80 cd/m²
:
455 cd/m2
HDR ABL
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What it is: The standard deviation of the HDR sustained brightness, after linearizing for noticeable differences in luminosity
When it matters: HDR content with large bright areas, such as HDR gaming
Good value: <0.07
Noticeable difference: 0.01
:
0.017

Plot over time

Decent HDR peak brightness. The worst case brightness is still fairly bright, and the TV's local dimming is able to make highlights in dark scenes even brighter, as shown by the small white window tests. The overall brightness is very similar to the MU9000 and MU8000, though the Sony X900E is brighter than all of them.

7.8 Gray Uniformity
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What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Samsung MU8500 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
3.117 %
50% DSE
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What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.165 %
Samsung MU8500 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
0.561 %
5% DSE
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What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.086 %

The gray uniformity is good on the MU8500. Looking at our 50% gray uniformity picture, there is a warmer zone on the left side of the screen and some darker patches toward both sides of the screen. Even with those warmer and darker patches, the screen is still pretty uniform, especially in the center. As a result of this, the dirty screen effect is not really a problem here and when looking at some sports content like hockey of football, it is not really noticeable. This is a similar result as on the MU8000.

Looking at our 5% gray uniformity, nothing really comes out and this is a very good result and once again is it a very similar result as on the flat version of this TV, the MU8000.

4.5 Viewing Angle
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What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Score components:
LCD Type
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What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle.
:
VA
Samsung MU8500 Color Shift Picture
Color Shift
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What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
20 °
Samsung MU8500 Brightness Picture
Brightness
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What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
32 °
Samsung MU8500 Black Level Picture
Black Level
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What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
27 °

Poor viewing angle, but fairly typical of a TV with a VA panel. Colors wash out when the TV is viewed at a small angle, while blacks turn gray and brightness decreases at more moderate angles. This TV is not well suited for a room where people often view the TV from the side.

6.7 Black Uniformity
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What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Samsung MU8500 Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.52 %
Samsung MU8500 Black Uniformity Picture with Local Dimming
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
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What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
1.445 %

The black uniformity is average on the MU8500. As with other 2017 Samsung TV with local dimming, the local dimming can't be totally turned off and as a result, our test is based on the lowest setting available. Clouding is still visible near the bottom edge under the white cross though, but not near the corners since the local dimming has turned off the backlight in those regions.

When the local dimming is set to maximum, the result is a bit better, but the black uniformity is still average since the local dimming is causing some vertical blooming toward the middle where the white cross is situated and this effects the overall screen uniformity.

8.6 Gradient
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What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 Gradient Picture
Color Depth
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What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like UHD Blu-ray players. Won't matter for cable TV, regular Blu-ray movies, video game consoles or content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
10 Bit

The Samsung MU8500 performs great in our gradient test. The gradient is pretty smooth with only some minor color banding in the darker color, with the dark green being a bit more obvious. No 8-bit banding can be seen on our test picture. This is a very similar test result to other 2017 Samsung TVs, and even if not perfect, we did not notice any real visual problem while watching HDR movies.

7.6 Pre Calibration
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What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. Only the picture mode, color temperature, and backlight level were changed.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Samsung MU8500 Pre Calibration Picture Samsung MU8500 Pre Gamma Curve Picture Samsung MU8500 Pre Color Picture
White Balance dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
3.74
Color dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.79
Gamma
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What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.25

Out of the box, the Samsung MU8500 has a good accuracy. when set to the 'Movie' picture mode with the 'Warm2' color temperature, the white balance dE (3.74) is just a bit over what is noticeable to enthusiasts (3.0) and is a bit too warm. The Gamma is not too far from our 2.2 target, but the curve is not flat at all, with a big dip toward the lighter point of the white balance.

The color accuracy, on the other hand, is very good. With a color dE of only 1.79 out of the box, this is an extremely good result, as other Samsung TVs often end up with a similar result post calibration.

Overall, the MU8500 is accurate enough to be used as is without the need of a calibration.

9.5 Post Calibration
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What it is: TV's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All video on a TV that has been professionally calibrated. This isn't that useful, because most TVs can achieve a pretty good calibration if you spend enough time on them.
Score components:
Samsung MU8500 Post Calibration Picture Samsung MU8500 Post Gamma Curve Picture Samsung MU8500 Post Color Picture
White Balance dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.22
Color dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.08
Gamma
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What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.2

After calibration, the MU8500 has an outstanding accuracy. The white balance dE was brought down to a negligible 0.22 and the already good color dE, was also brought down even more to a mere dE of 1.08. Both those value are well beyond any level of inaccuracy that even an enthusiast could notice.

As for the Gamma, the curve was flattened considerably and the TV was right on our 2.2 target, with only a little issue toward the lower IRE. Overall this is a very good result.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input
Show Help
What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 480p Picture

Upscaling of low-quality content such as DVDs is good. Some halo artifacts can be seen along edges but details are preserved.

8.0 720p Input
Show Help
What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 720p Picture

720p content such as cable TV is upscaled well. The image isn't too soft.

9.0 1080p Input
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What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 1080p Picture

Full HD content such as Blu-rays are upscaled well. No issues can be seen.

10 4k Input
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What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, some PCs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 4k Picture

Native 4k (UHD) content looks great. The image is clear and detailed.

7.9 Color Gamut
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What it is: How many colors the TV can display.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
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What it is: Whether the TV has an option to enable wide color gamuts.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
:
Yes
Samsung MU8500 Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
85.54 %
DCI P3 uv
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What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
96.02 %
Samsung MU8500 Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec 2020 xy
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What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
64.08 %
Rec 2020 uv
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
72.06 %
Samsung MU8500 EOTF

Good wide color gamut in HDR, though not as wide as the Sony X900E and many high end TVs. Saturated red and blue fall a bit short of their BT 2020 targets, and green falls quite short, though poor green performance is common for modern TVs. On the bright side the TV is fairly accurate when producing the colors it's able to, as is common on Samsung TVs.

The TV's HDR Movie mode EOTF follows the HDR PQ curve fairly well, though its roll off into its maximum brightness starts a bit too early. The EOTFs in Game and PC are fairly similar. Turning 'Local Dimming' to 'Low' (its lowest setting) makes the whole HDR Movie mode EOTF less bright, which isn't good. With local dimming back to our default 'High', when the ST.2084 'Gamma' setting is increased to 2, the HDR Movie mode EOTF doesn't roll off before clipping at its maximum brightness, and thus follows the PQ curve much more closely. Users should increase the 'Gamma' to suit the brightness of their room.

7.2 Color Volume
Show Help
What it is: How many colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Samsung MU8500 P3 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
79.7 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
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What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
39.5 %
Samsung MU8500 2020 Color Volume ITP Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
64.1 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
Show Help
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
29.9 %

Decent color volume, mostly limited by just the color gamut and black level. The TV's local dimming helps it show its wide color gamut at a large range of brightnesses.

10 Image Retention
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What it is: How much a static image is retained on a TV screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When watching TV show, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor.
Samsung MU8500 Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 2 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 4 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 6 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 8 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 10 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %

Perfect result for the image retention test for the MU8500. No retention could be noticed at all after the 10 minutes burn-in scene and this is in line with other TVs using a VA panel.

7.0 Reflections
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What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 Reflections Picture Samsung MU8500 Bright Room Picture
Reflection
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What it is: Ratio of ambient light reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Ambient light in the room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 0.5%
:
2.4 %
Screen Finish
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What it is: Type of coating on the screen.
When it matters: Bright objects in the direct reflection path (for example, opposite the TV).
Good value: Glossy is good for ambient light, but not for direct reflections.
:
Semi-gloss

The reflection handling of the MU8500 is decent. It has a semi-gloss finish which diffuses reflection across the screen, reducing the intensity. Depending on where you're sitting the curve may help to avoid glare, or it may focus it to be more distracting. It is fine for an average room but may be an issue for a bright room where the higher end MU9000 is a better choice.

0 3D
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What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies and videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
3D
Show Help
What it is: If it can display a picture in 3D.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
No
3D Type
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What it is: The 3D technology used by the TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
Good value: Active have better resolution, but flickers. Passive is more comfortable, but loses half the vertical resolution.
:
No
2D to 3D
Show Help
What it is: Feature that converts 2D content to 3D.
When it matters: If you want to watch 2D content in 3D. Note that the quality is not as good as that of native 3D.
:
No

The MU8500 does not support 3D like the rest of Samsung 2017 line of TVs.

Pixels
8.1

Motion

The MU8500 has great motion handling. It has a fast response time, which results in only a short trail following moving objects. It uses PWM to dim the backlight at lower backlight intensities, so motion isn't as smooth as most TVs, but this isn't noticeable to most people. Movies from any source can be played smoothly, and the TV is able to interpolate content up to 120Hz for a strong soap opera effect.

8.1 Motion Blur
Show Help
What it is: Amount of blur on fast movement.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
Samsung MU8500 Motion Blur Picture Samsung MU8500 Response Time Chart
80% Response Time
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What it is: How quickly pixels can reach 80% of a full transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 8 ms
Noticeable difference: 4 ms
:
6.3 ms
100% Response Time
Show Help
What it is: How quickly pixels can fully transition from one color to another.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 20 ms
Noticeable difference: 10 ms
:
16.4 ms

The response time of the MU8500 is very good, resulting in only a very short trail following moving objects. This is great for fast-paced content.

2.8 Image Flicker
Show Help
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Sports, video games, when TV is used as a PC monitor
Score components:
Samsung MU8500 Backlight Picture
PWM Dimming Frequency
Show Help
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz). Frequencies that are multiples of 60Hz are better.
:
120 Hz
BFI
Show Help
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Samsung MU8500 BFI Picture Samsung MU8500 BFI Frequency Picture
BFI Frequency
Show Help
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: 60 Hz
:
120 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Option to insert black frames when in the best settings for gaming
When it matters: Reducing eye tracking blur for video games
Good value: Yes
:
No

The MU8500 uses PWM at 120Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 20/20 backlight setting. Lowering the setting down to 14/20 lowers backlight amplitude, while lowering it from 13/20 shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant. Backlight that uses PWM results in duplications following moving objects, but does clear up motion slightly. Unfortunately the 'LED Clear Motion' option doesn't reduce the BFI frequency and only dims the backlight. This is the same behaviour as the MU8000 and Q7F.

10 24p Playback
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What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-free 24p
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 24p signal.
When it matters: Blu-ray and DVD movies; 24 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60p signal.
When it matters: Movies from streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.); 60 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60i
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
Yes

The Samsung MU8500 is able to display 24p movies without judder and this from all sources. To remove judder without adding any soap opera effect, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and both sliders ('Blur Reduction' and 'Judder Reduction') to 0. 'LED Clear Motion' turns on the black frame insertion and is not related to the motion interpolation.

10 Motion Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Also known as 'Soap Opera Effect'. It is an optional feature that increases the frame rate of the video, smoothing movement.
When it matters: If you like the look of smoothed video. Not everyone does.
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 30 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 60 fps.
When it matters: 30 fps or lower videos. Includes movies, TV shows, some video games.
:
Yes
Samsung MU8500 Motion Interpolation (30 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 60 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 100 fps.
When it matters: 60 fps videos. Includes some video games, some sports channels.
:
Yes
Samsung MU8500 Motion Interpolation (60 fps) Picture

The MU8500 has a 120Hz panel which can interpolate lower frame rate content. To enable interpolation, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and increase the 'De-judder' and 'De-blur' sliders. The 'De-judder' slider affects 30 fps or lower content, and the 'De-blur' slider affects 60 fps content. Note that any motion interpolation will introduce artifacts, so use a small value unless you really like the soap opera effect.

8.8

Inputs

Show Help
Score components:

The MU8500 can display most content, including HDR. It has great low input lag, which will please all but the most competitive gamers.

8.9 Input Lag
Show Help
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
4k @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
23.4 ms
1080p @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 60Hz input.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
23.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz with HDR.
When it matters: HDR Video games.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
23.6 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz with HDR.
When it matters: HDR video games from a console outputting a 1080p signal.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
22.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
79.6 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on the TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz in a fully featured picture mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
78.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4.
When it matters: PC Monitor
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
22.1 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
When it matters: PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
22.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 with HDR enabled at 8 bit
When it matters: PC Monitor with an HDR capable graphic card
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.8 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 with HDR
When it matters: PC monitor with an HDR capable graphics card
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
21.7 ms
4k With Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag for 4k content when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
78.7 ms
1080p With Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag for 1080p content when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
78.7 ms
1080p @ 120 Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 120Hz input.
When it matters: When the TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40 ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
N/A

Great low input lag, which will please all but the most competitive gamers. Both game mode and PC mode have the same input lag, though 4:4:4 color is only shown properly in PC mode. This input lag is nearly identical to all 2017 Samsung TVs, but a bit worse than some TCL and LG TVs like the TCL P607 and the LG SJ8500.

8.0 Supported Resolutions
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What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 1060p @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and 60 fps gaming.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Show Help
What it is: 120 fps 1080p signal supported.
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 30 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: 60 fps 4k signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: Productivity and 60 fps gaming in 4k.
:
Yes

Most input resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color is only supported when 'HDMI UHD Color' is enabled for the port used. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly when the input's icon in the Smart Hub is set to 'PC' (aka PC mode). PC mode can't be enabled for some input refresh rates like 24 Hz; although the icon will still change to PC, settings that are normally disabled in PC mode are not disabled, and 4:4:4 color is not shown properly.

Side Inputs
Rear Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 0
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 0
Composite In : 0
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 0
SD/SDHC : 0

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Show Help
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
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What it is: Better format, due to its dynamic nature.
When it matters: Currently, only available via streaming.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
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What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
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What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
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What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
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What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
ARC : Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3 : No
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : No

Only one of Dolby Digital or DTS can be enabled at a time, the TV will not automatically switch between them depending on what the content supports.

6.8

Sound Quality

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What it is: How well and accurately the audio is reproduced.
When it matters: When a good and accurate sound reproduction is needed.
Score components:

The Samsung MU8500 is a decent sounding TV. It doesn't get particularly loud, but it doesn't have any glaring flaws that notably reduce its usability. A good set of speakers would still be a noticeable upgrade though.

7.0 Frequency Response
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What it is: How accurately the sound level of each frequency is being produced.
When it matters: For a balanced and neutral sound.
Samsung MU8500 Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Movies, Gaming. Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: < 60Hz
Noticeable difference: 10Hz
:
75.51 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 70dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at quiet listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
3.56 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured at 80dB SPL, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at moderate listening levels
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5 dB
:
3.49 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
Show Help
What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard deviation) in frequency response measured with the TV at maximum volume, as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: Shows the TV's frequency response at under maximum load
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
5.79 dB
Max
Show Help
What it is: Maximum volume reached by the TV at their optimum viewing distance (size dependent)
When it matters: For listening to loud audio.
Good value: > 88 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
86.1 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
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What it is: The amount of difference between the TVs frequency response performance at 70dB SPL and Max dB SPL. Too much compression will result in pumping in the sound.
When it matters: When an accurate and free-of-pumping performance is required at higher volumes
Good value: < 3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.5
:
3.2 dB

Decent frequency response. The MU8500 follows our target fairly well, with a slight overemphasis on lower frequencies due to the lack of a room correction feature to reduce the effects of resonances. It could be a bit louder though, and dynamic range compression is present at higher volumes.

6.3 Distortion
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What it is: Deformation of an output signal compared to its input, usually clipping, harmonic distortion, or inter-modulation distortion caused by non-linear behavior of the sound system.
When it matters: When a clean, pure and transparent reproduction is desired.
Score components:
Samsung MU8500 Total Harmonic Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
Show Help
What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 80dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.331
Weighted THD @ Max
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at the TV's maximum SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
1.662
IMD @ 80
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What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
5.42 %
IMD @ Max
Show Help
What it is: The average amount of inter-modulation distortion produced by the TV under maximum load. The percentage shown here is the average result of 3 separate test signals/standards: SMPTE, DIN, & CCIF
When it matters: When a clean and free of aliasing reproduction is desired
Good value: < 5%
Noticeable difference: 2
:
16.41 %

Average distortion performance. The MU8500's levels of THD are not the best, but there aren't any major peaks that notably lower the listening experience. IMD levels are fairly high at maximum volumes, but the MU8500 is free of aliasing.

8.1

Smart Features

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Score components:
  • 42% Interface
  • 2% Ads
  • 37% Apps and Features
  • 16% Remote
  • 3% Remote App
Samsung MU8500 Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Tizen
Version : 2017

The MU8500 runs Samsung's 2017 Tizen smart platform, also called Smart Hub. It has a simple layout that is very easy to use, yet still gives access to many advanced features and settings, and has an amazing voice command feature. The key to the platform's ease of navigation is the Smart Hub itself, which serves as the center of the interface and contains all other sections. The simple design of the remote reflects this philosophy: it has very few buttons and lacks buttons for inputs and settings, relying on its home button and navigation controls to access these things. While this makes navigation simple to understand, it does slow it down by requiring more steps to get to your destination. This is alleviated somewhat by the remote's incredible voice command feature, which can directly perform many actions without needing to navigate the interface at all, actions like changing between inputs and apps, changing settings and searching for content.

8.0 Interface
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What it is: The usability, features and performance of the main interface of the TV, not including the interfaces of the apps themselves.
When it matters: Anytime when using the TV, but especially when changing settings and using apps.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Ease of Use
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What it is: How easy the interface is to navigate, affected by the organization of its layout, placing frequently accessed elements in areas that are faster to access, etc.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Easy
Smoothness
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What it is: How smooth the interface is to navigate, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Average
Time Taken to Select YouTube
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What it is: How long it takes to select YouTube for launch, starting from HDMI 1 input, when YouTube is placed first on the list of apps or added as a shortcut. This does not include app launch time, and does not use a fixed YouTube button on a remote. This serves as an indication of the time needed to select any app.
When it matters: When launching any app.
:
5 s
Time Taken to Change Backlight
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What it is: The time it takes to navigate to the 'Backlight' setting ('Brightness' on Sony TVs). This serves as an indication of how long it takes to navigate to basic TV settings.
When it matters: When changing TV settings.
:
7 s
Advanced Options
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What it is: Whether advanced options and settings are available, such as color calibration.
When it matters: When customizing the TV and using the smart features.
:
Many

The center of the interface is the Smart Hub itself, through which you must pass to access the rest of the interface. This makes navigation easy to understand, but it does add extra steps to performing some actions like changing settings. To help alleviate this, the Smart Hub's second row shows a quick menu for the icon under focus, containing common options like quick settings and suggested content.

0 Ads
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What it is: Whether or not ads can be found on the TV's smart platform.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
Score components:
Ads
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What it is: Whether the TV's main interface has ads. This does take into account ads in third-party apps.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Yes
Opt-out
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What it is: Whether you can opt out of the ad services or not. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not only disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
No
Suggested Content in Home
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What it is: Whether suggested content appears in the TV's home menu or main menu. Suggested content can include recommended movies, TV shows, YouTube videos etc.
:
Yes
Opt-out of Suggested Content
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What it is: Whether the suggested content feed in the home menu can be removed or hidden
:
No

The TV did not show ads during our testing, however, the appearance of ads is often inconsistent. It can be assumed that the TV has ads because all Samsung TVs since 2015 have had ads, and several of their 2017 TVs showed ads during testing, such as the MU8000.

8.5 Apps and Features
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What it is: The usability, features and performance of apps and other smart features.
When it matters: Only when using smart features such as apps, casting and USB playback.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 Apps Picture
App Selection
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What it is: The number and variety of apps available to download for the smart platform.
When it matters: When downloading new apps.
:
Many
App Smoothness
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What it is: How smooth it feels to navigate the interfaces of apps, affected by lag and frame drops.
When it matters: When using apps.
:
Average
Cast Capable
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What it is: Whether apps on a phone or tablet can cast content to the TV.
:
Yes
USB Drive Playback
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What it is: Whether the TV can play content from a drive connected to one of the TV's USB ports.
:
Yes
USB Drive HDR Playback
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What it is: Whether HDR files played from a USB drive can be displayed properly.
:
Yes
HDR in Netflix
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What it is: Whether HDR content on Netflix can be played back in HDR using the native Netflix app.
:
Yes
HDR in Amazon Video
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What it is: Whether HDR content on Amazon Video can be played in HDR using the native Amazon Video app.
:
Yes
HDR in YouTube
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What it is: Whether HDR content on YouTube can be played in HDR using the native YouTube app.
:
Yes

The TV comes preloaded with some popular apps like Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. Many more apps can be downloaded from the Apps menu. Apps run smoothly with little lag or frame drops. Navigating the interface, on the other hand, does have more frame drops than last year's Tizen 2016 platform, but it still fairly smooth.

8.5 Remote
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What it is: The usability and features of the TV's physical remote.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 Remote Picture
Size
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What it is: How big the remote is
:
Small
Voice Control
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What it is: The capabilities of the TV's voice control feature
:
Many Features
CEC Menu Control
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What it is: Whether the remote can act as a universal remote for HDMI CEC enabled devices. This was tested on our Samsung UBD-K8500 4K Blu-ray player, and may not be valid for other CEC devices as implementations vary by manufacturer.
:
Yes
Other Smart Features
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What it is: Whether the remote has any other smart features, such as a pointer, universal remote support for non HDMI CEC devices, etc.
:
Yes

The TV's remote is small and has few buttons, but has great smart features like voice control and universal remote control. In tandem with the TV's interface emphasizing the Smart Hub, the remote lacks many buttons like inputs and settings, instead relying on the home button and navigation controls to reach these things using the Smart Hub. This simplifies the remote and ease of use, but slows down navigation by requiring more steps to get to your destination. This is alleviated somewhat by the amazing voice control feature: voice commands like 'HDMI 2' and 'Backlight 14' can directly perform actions like changing between inputs and apps, changing settings and searching for content. The remote can also act as a universal remote for other devices, even ones that do not support HDMI CEC, using Samsung's OneRemote feature.

7.0 Remote App
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What it is: The features of the official phone and tablet app for the TV.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Samsung MU8500 Remote App Picture
Acts as the Remote
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What it is: Whether the remote app can emulate all the buttons of the physical remote.
:
Yes
Launches Apps and Inputs
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What it is: Whether the remote app can launch the TV's apps and change between its inputs.
:
Apps Only
Inputs Text in YouTube
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What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for YouTube searches.
:
No
Inputs Text in Netflix
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What it is: Whether the remote app can enter text for Netflix searches.
:
No
Streams Device Files
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What it is: Whether the remote app can stream files from the phone or tablet to the TV, files such as pictures, music and video.
:
Yes
Controls TV Settings
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What it is: Whether the app can change all or some of the settings on the TV, such as the backlight.
:
No
Voice Control
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What it is: Whether the remote can send voice commands to the TV.
:
Yes

The Samsung Smart View app has a few useful features, like streaming files to the TV from the device running the app; but it lacks some features that other companion apps have, such as text entry.

TV Controls
Samsung MU8500 Controls Picture

The TV has a single physical button. When pressed it brings up a menu with six icons: power, input, volume up and down, and channel up and down. A short press changes icons and a long press activates them.

In The Box
Samsung MU8500 In The Box Picture

  • Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote
  • Wall mount spacers

Misc
Power Consumption : 51 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 129 W
Firmware : 1123

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 55" (UN55MU8500) version AB03. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" (UN65MU8500).

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung MU8500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size Model US Canada Warehouse Warehouse long
55" UN55MU8500 UN55MU8500FXZA UN55MU8500FXZC UN55MU850D UN55MU850DFXZA
65" UN65MU8500 UN65MU8500FXZA UN65MU8500FXZC UN65MU850D UN65MU850DFXZA

Compared to other TVs

Samsung MU8500 Group Shot Picture
Top left: Vizio P Series 2017 (P65-E1). Bottom left: Sony X900E (XBR55X900E). Middle: Samsung MU8500 (UN55MU8500). Top right: Sony X850E (XBR65X850E). Bottom right: Samsung MU8000 (UN55MU8000).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Samsung MU8500 is a good 4k LED TV, but it's not very competitive compared to other TVs in its price range.

Vizio P Series 2017
55" 65" 75"

The Vizio P Series 2017 is the highest-performing model in Vizio's line of products. It has an excellent picture quality thanks to its better than average local dimming capabilities that do a great job at enhancing contrast. Compared to the MU8500, it's better in about every aspect. Unless you really want a curved TV, the P Series is a better pick.

Sony X900E
49" 55" 65" 75"

The Sony X900E is a better than average mid-range 4k LED TV with good local dimming and great picture quality and versatility. It has great motion and gets quite bright for HDR. The only aspect where it comes a bit short of the Samsung is its input lag which is slightly higher, but it's not enough to warrant picking the MU8500 over the better performing X900E.

Sony X850E
65" 75"

The Sony X850E is a mid-range 4k smart TV only found in sizes 65" or larger. It performs similarly to the MU8500 in most aspects, but it's usually found a little cheaper. They're very similar TVs overall, but most people are better off saving their money and getting the less expensive Sony X850E.

Samsung MU8000
49" 55" 65" 75" 82"

The Samsung MU8000 is a mid-range 4k TV with good picture quality. Minus the curved design, it performs virtually the same as the MU8500. Unless you really want the curve, you're better off saving your money and not paying the premium for the MU8500.

Conclusion
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

7.6Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
Good TV for a mixed usage. The Samsung MU8500 produces a good picture quality and has a versatile set of features that make it a decent performer in most usages.
7.6Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
The MU8500 does well with movies in a dark room. Its very good contrast ratio helps it produce deep blacks and it's capable of playing back 24p content without judder. Unfortunately, though, its local dimming feature leaves a lot to be desired and it doesn't do much to enhance the picture quality
7.7TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
Better than average TV for watching TV shows or live broadcasts. The Samsung MU8500 upscales lower resolution content quite well and gets bright enough to be enjoyable at all hours of the day. Its handling of reflections could be a bit better though.
7.2Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
Decent TV for watching sports. Fast motion doesn't have any very noticeable trailing and the screen itself is quite uniform and free of major blotchiness. Unfortunately, though, its narrow viewing angle means that people watching the TV from the sides will have a worse picture quality.
8.1Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
Great TV for playing video games, the Samsung MU8500's low input lag and low motion blur make games feel responsive and immersive. Combined with the good picture quality this makes for a great gaming experience.
7.6HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Good TV for HDR movies, the MU8500 can display 10 bits of color depth for smooth HDR gradients and it also gets decently bright. Its color gamut could be a bit wider though.
7.8HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
Good TV for HDR gaming. THE MU8500's HDR capabilities are translated well with video games and its input lag remain low regardless of the input type.
7.8PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Very good PC monitor. The MU8500 supports chroma 4:4:4 for crisp text and it has a low input lag for responsive mouse movement. Its curved design also helps reduce the effects of its narrow viewing angle when sitting close to it.
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Questions & Answers

1 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
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I wanted your recommendation on Factory Refurbished TVs. I am looking to buy a 55 inch 4k UHD TV with 120Hz 'effective' refresh rate. I found a factory refurbished TV which was about 200$ cheaper than a new one. Do you think it's OK to invest in it or may I end up with problems with the TV?
Factory refurbished TVs are often very good quality, so we usually recommend them if they're ~30% cheaper. If the price difference is less than that it's up to personal preference if the added risk and reduced warranty is worth it. You can also look at our 'Recommended if Under' prices to see if it's good value at that price. Note that 120 Hz 'effective' refresh rate and similar marketing numbers are meaningless and can be ignored.
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