The Samsung JS9500 SUHD TV is a great 4k LED TV. The picture quality and its backlight are impressive, but it isn't without flaws. It has poor gray uniformity and a limited viewing angle.
The Samsung JS9500 looks and feels like a high-end TV. It is quite heavy and thick, due to its full array local dimming backlight. The stand, too, is quite stable, given the weight of the TV.
This is an okay TV for movies. Its blacks are pretty average, and the same can be said for the uniformity of dark scenes. If you're looking for an exceptional cinematic experience, this isn't the best TV.
It has a few nice extras, though. It has HDR, and is bright objects are able to get brighter than on any other TV we've seen when this feature is enabled. It also comes with really good local dimming, and very good 3D capabilities.
Turning on the local dimming didn't change our contrast ratio measurement at all (we measure it on a checkboard pattern). The native contrast on this TV is only average.
The local dimming is quite responsive, but there is some noticeable blooming around bright objects.
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Given the same HDR footage, the difference between how well two TVs display HDR content is based on how wide of a dynamic contrast range they can display. To test this, we display a 2% white window and put the backlight and local dimming to the max. We then measure how bright that rectangle is.
We measured 726.7 cd/m2 on the Samsung UN65JS9500, which is quite bright. You can see a big blooming area around it though, but at least the edges of the screen are completely turned off.
Of course, this test is far from perfect. When the HDR format gets standardized in a few months, we will update the review with a more meaningful test.
Unfortunately, the gray uniformity isn't very good. You can see a few darker spots and edges. Curved TVs tend to have worse uniformity than their flat equivalent.
Like all VA panels, the colors are not the same when you sit at an angle. You will need to watch in front to appreciate this TV's picture quality.
Update 01/06/2017: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results from 2016 TVs.
The black uniformity is average. Turning on the local dimming feature helps a little bit to hide this issue, but you can still see some clouding in some dark scenes.
The white balance isn't far off from the pre-calibration.
The colors don't get much better than this TV once it has been calibrated.
Note that to get the full benefit of 4k, you'll need to watch genuine 4k material, and also sit close enough to the TV to see the extra detail. We talk about this in more detail here.
Selecting 'Native' as the color space increases the gamut quite noticeably. It is still far from the full Rec. 2020, though.
The glossy screen does a great job at reducing reflected ambient light. However, direct lights are more defined, and also have a rainbow glare around them.
It can get very bright. It is great for a bright room - unless you have a window right in front of the TV. The reflection will be quite defined, which is distracting.
The 3D is good. A little bit of crosstalk, but nothing noticeable during normal scenes.
This TV doesn't have much blur, so it's a good choice for watching your sport of choice.
Even better, it doesn't have much of the blurry, smudgy look that plagues many LED TVs. That kind of thing can make a playing surface - be it a field, or a rink, or a court - look patchy, and also breaks your immersion in whatever you're watching.
The JS9500 has very little motion blur. We measured an average response time of 15.6ms, which is quite good. You won't have any problem in sports or video games.
Watching movies over a Blu-ray player in 24p has no judder, but you might see some when watching movies over a 60p or 60i source, because it can't always do the reverse 3:2 pulldown (sometimes it works, but not always). 'Auto Motion Plus' gets rid of this, but it comes with the soap opera effect.
Like most Samsung UHD TVs, the JS9500 has hardly any delay between performing an action in a game and seeing it appear onscreen. If you're playing a game that requires fast reflexes, this is a great TV to be using.
Combined with the minimal motion blur, this is a really good option for people who want a good gaming TV.
In game mode, the input lag is very low. PC mode has a higher input lag of 56.6 ms, which is a bit unfortunate if you want chroma 4:4:4.
It doesn't support 1080p @ 120fps, which is a bit of a shame, considering this is Samsung's best TV. To get 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, you must enable both PC mode and UHD Color.
For TV speakers, the bass you get here is really good. The JS9500 can also get pretty loud.
That said, the sound at high volumes gets pretty distorted, and isn't especially accurate. With quieter volumes, the sound is decently accurate, and there's not much distortion.
Note: Sound Quality test for TVs reviewed before 2017 was performed at 75dB, 85dB, and Max SPL. Starting 2017, the target SPL levels have been changed to 70dB, 80dB, and Max dB SPL.
The low-end cut off is excellent for a TV, and it gets loud too. However, the frequency response suffers at higher volumes, most likely due to pumping.
The distortion is good at very low listening levels, but it becomes significant as the volume increases.
Samsung's smart platform is really good, and the included remote is likewise pretty great. It includes voice and motion controls, so navigation is pretty simple.
Unique to Samsung's and Sony's smart offerings is the 'Playstation Now' game streaming feature. If you connect a DualShock 4 controller to this TV, you'll be able to subscribe to a game streaming service that offers old PlayStation games, playable directly from your TV.