The 4k Samsung MU9000 is a versatile TV, with very good picture quality and great motion handling. It can produce deep and uniform blacks, and supports HDR quite well. It isn't all good though as the image accuracy degrades at an angle and the range of colors produced isn't as wide as some other TVs.
- Great dark scene performance
- Feels very responsive
- Can get bright
- Images loses accuracy at an angle
- Poor local dimming
The design of the MU9000 is great. The TV feels as premium as it looks, and has a few nice touches such as the thin borders and textured back. Most of the inputs are located on the OneConnect box and are easy to access.
The stand of the MU9000 is similar to other Samsung TVs such as the KS9000 from 2016. It is small enough to fit on most tables and supports the TV well, although it will wobble a bit if knocked.
Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 33.7" x 13.8"
The rear of the TV looks good. Most of the inputs are located on the OneConnect box and are easy to access. The cable management is great, as the stand of the TV is used to route the cables out of the back (visible here).
The TV stays fairly cool, only getting slightly warm to the touch in a few places on the back. The OneConnect box only gets slightly warm, reaching a maximum of 32 °C.
- 11% Contrast
- 6% Local Dimming
- 6% SDR Peak Brightness
- 6% HDR Peak Brightness
- 6% Gray Uniformity
- 7% Viewing Angle
- 4% Black Uniformity
- 2% Gradient
- 4% Pre Calibration
- 1% Post Calibration
- 6% 480p Input
- 9% 720p Input
- 11% 1080p Input
- 6% 4k Input
- 4% Color Gamut
- 4% Color Volume
- 1% Image Retention
- 6% Reflections
- 1% 3D
The Samsung MU9000 4k LED TV has a very good picture quality. When set in a dark theater setup, it reproduces dark scenes very well and blacks look very deep thanks to the excellent contrast ratio and remarkable black uniformity. If set in a room with a lot of light, the high SDR peak brightness can easily overtake any glare from the sun or a bright light and the screen finish deals with reflection remarkably. The viewing angle is bad though, and once again, the best viewing position is only a narrow area in front of the TV itself. Luckily, sports fans will be happy as the gray uniformity is good and dirty screen effect is almost non-existent. Finally, HDR movies look great on the MU9000. Colors are vibrant due to the wide color gamut and small highlights really shine thanks to the high HDR peak brightness. The only downside is when it comes to the local dimming, vertical blooming is sometimes visible when there is a very bright highlight, especially in letterboxes bars.
The Samsung MU9000 has an excellent native contrast ratio just above 6000:1, which is great for people who have a dark home theater setup as it results in detailed dark scenes with deep blacks.
With the local dimming feature set to 'High', the contrast ratio remains almost the same, which shows the poor implementation of the local dimming on the MU9000.
Note that we could not completely turn off the local dimming feature on the MU9000, but simply set it to 'Low'.
The local dimming feature on the Samsung MU9000 is bad and is very similar in performance as on the MU8000 and Q7F. Since the MU9000 is an edge-lit TV and that the local dimming span across a large vertical zone, a large vertical blooming is visible following the moving highlight on our test video. The local dimming has 3 setting ('Low', 'Standard' and 'High') and we recommend to test each setting to see what is best for you. If you find that the screen luminance change too much depending on the on-screen content, set the local dimming to 'Low' or 'Standard'.
Great SDR peak brightness. The sustained brightness remains a good 400 - 600 cd/m² for all tests, yet local dimming is able to spike the brightness above 1000 cd/m² in an ideal case, though not for very long, as shown in the plot over time. This brightness behavior is very similar to the MU8000, but the MU9000 is a little brighter in every test.
Great HDR peak brightness. The real scene brightness is good, and the TV's local dimming can make highlights in dark scenes even brighter, as shown by our smaller window tests. The 'Dynamic' picture mode is even brighter than the 'Movie' mode we test, as seen in the plot over time, but has less accurate picture quality.
The gray uniformity of the MU9000 is good. The edges of the TV are a bit darker, but this isn't too noticeable with normal content. The uniformity of the middle of the screen is very good, so there is very little dirty screen effect when panning over uniform sports fields. The 5% uniformity look even better than the 5%, which is very good.
Bad viewing angle, but fairly typical for a VA panel. Blacks turn gray and colors degrade when the TV is viewed from a small angle, while brightness decreases at a larger angle. People viewing the TV from the side will not have as good picture quality as people viewing from the front.
The black uniformity of the MU9000 is great. No clouding is visible near the corners or edges, which is good. Unlike the 2016 TVs with local dimming such as the KS8000 or KS9000, the local dimming on this TV can't be turned off. Instead, the 'native' picture was taken with local dimming set to 'low' and some vertical blooming is visible from the edge backlight.
As with other TVs of the 2017 MU line of Samsung, the MU9000 can display how gradient test image without any banding associated with an 8-bit panel. Overall the gradient looks smooth, but there is some imperfection, mostly in the darker green color. Luckily, we did not see any major banding while looking at some particularly demanding scene from HDR movies, which is great.
Prior to calibration, the accuracy of the MU9000 is very good. The target gamma of Samsung TVs is a bit different to our target of 2.2, but the colors are very accurate and the white balance is good in the 'Warm2' color temperature. For most people, a calibration is not necessary.
The calibration works very well to improve the color and white balance tracking. This is a great result and results in a very accurate picture. Like other Samsung TVs, the white balance takes a bit longer to perform but the results are impressive.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Good wide color gamut, though not as wide as the KS8000 from last year. The TV can produce fairly saturated red and blue, but struggles with saturated green, though this is common for modern TVs. The TV also isn't very accurate at showing the colors its able to. The MU8000 has better accuracy and a very similar color gamut.
The TV's EOTF in the 'Movie' picture mode we test follows the HDR PQ curve very well, up until where it clips at its peak brightness. The EOTFs in Game and PC mode here and here are also very accurate, but have less peak brightness than Movie mode because local dimming is not applied.
Mediocre color volume, though only really limited by its color gamut and dark color performance. The TV shows its wide color gamut almost perfectly throughout its entire brightness range except for really dark colors. The TV's poor local dimming was unable to make our black-with-white-border slide very dark in the center, so the black point, while still good, isn't as low as a TV with good local dimming like the Sony X900E.
Like other Samsung VA TVs, the MU9000 doesn't suffer from any temporary image retention.
The MU9000 is excellent at handling reflections. It has a glossy finish, so reflections are defined but also significantly reduced in intensity. There is a minor purple tint, but it works to further reduce any reflections. This is a great result, even for a bright room.
Like most Samsung 2017 TVs, the MU9000 doesn't support 3D.
The motion handling of the MU9000 is great. The response time is fast, resulting in only a very short trail of blur following fast moving objects. The TV flickers to dim, so motion isn't as smooth as some other TVs but most people won't notice it. Movies from any source can be played smoothly, and the TV is able to interpolate content up to 120Hz for fans of the soap opera effect.
The TV uses PWM dimming at 120Hz to reduce the brightness of the backlight. This 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.
The MU9000 is able to display 24p movies from all sources with the correct cadence. To remove judder without adding the soap opera effect, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and both sliders ('Blur Reduction' and 'Judder Reduction') to 0. The 'LED Clear Motion' feature is not related to judder, but to the black frame insertion feature.
The MU9000 has a 120Hz panel which can interpolate lower frame rate content. To do so, 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 60fps content. Note that any motion interpolation will introduce artifacts, so use a small value unless you really like the soap opera effect.
The MU9000 can display nearly any content, including HDR. It has low input lag which will please all but the most competitive gamers.
Low input lag, which will please all but the most competitive gamers. Both Game mode and PC mode have low input lag, though only PC mode can show 4:4:4 color properly. The PC mode input lag is an improvement over the KS9000.
- 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
- 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Most common resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is only supported when 'HDMI UHD Color' is enabled for the input used. 4:4:4 color is only properly displayed when the input's icon is set to 'PC' (aka PC mode).
PC mode cannot be activated for some input resolutions, such as 24 Hz. The icon will still be PC, but the picture settings that are disabled in PC mode are not disabled, indicating that the TV isn't in PC mode.
Only one of Dolby Digital or DTS can be enabled at a time, the TV will not switch between them automatically.
As with most TVs, the MU9000 doesn't deliver a particularly compelling audio experience. Adding in a soundbar or stereo speakers to your system will produce a great boost in audio quality.
Poor frequency response. The MU9000 shows a strong overemphasis onlower frequencies, and significant pumping and compression appears at higher volumes causing to drastically reduce clarity of content.
Subpar THD performance. The MU9000 shows significant distortion at every volume. It is free of aliasing though, which is good.
The MU9000 runs Samsung's Tizen 2017 smart platform, also called Smart Hub. It's simple and easy to navigate and has an excellent voice command feature. The center of the interface is the Smart Hub itself, whose simple layout makes it fast and easy to find what you're looking for. Navigating the interface is fairly smooth, but has more frame drops and small moments of lag than last year's Tizen platform. The remote has a microphone for voice commands, which can do many things like directly change settings, change between inputs and apps, and search for content. The remote doesn't have many buttons, so users need to navigate the Smart Hub or use voice commands to change most things. The TV can play content cast from a smartphone or tablet and can play from a USB drive in one of its three USB ports.
The TV did not show ads during our testing, but ads on Samsung TVs are often inconsistent. It can be assumed to have ads because all Samsung TVs since 2016 have had ads in the Smart Hub.
The remote is fairly simple with few buttons, requiring the user to navigate the Smart Hub or use voice commands to do most things. It has a microphone for Samsung's excellent voice command feature, which can do numerous things like changing between inputs and apps, directly changing settings, searching for content and searching through the web browser. The remote can also be used to control other devices, even ones that do not support HDMI CEC, using Samsung's OneRemote feature.
Differences between Sizes and Variants
We tested the 55" (UN55MU9000) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" version (UN65MU9000) and 75" version (UN75MU9000). If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung MU9000 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
Compared to other TVs
The MU9000 is a good 4k TV, but it's quite out of place in price point. It tends to perform worse than its competitors.
The Q7F is the next model up in the Samsung lineup. It can produce more vivid colors for HDR, but otherwise the performance is very similar. Both TVs have great motion handling and picture quality, so save the money and buy the MU9000 unless you really care about the most vivid colors for HDR.
The LG SJ8500 has a lower native contrast ratio, and worse picture quality in a dark room. It makes up for it with better performance in wide living rooms though, as the low native contrast isn't visible and the image remains accurate when viewed at an angle. If you've got a wide viewing area which always has some light then go with the SJ8500, otherwise the MU9000 is a better pick.
The Sony X900E has better picture quality for dark scenes due to the better local dimming feature, and better HDR performance due to the higher peak brightness and more vivid colors. In a bright room, the anti-reflection coating isn't quite as good as the Samsung but overall the X900E is still a better choice for most people.
The Samsung MU8000 offers almost the same performance and picture quality. Both TVs are great at handling motion, but in a bright room the MU9000 has the benefit of a better anti-reflective coating. If you've got a very bright room then it may be worth spending extra for the MU9000, but most people should go with the cheaper MU8000.