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Samsung KS8500 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Jul 01, 2016 at 08:54 am
Samsung KS8500 Picture
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.1
Movies
8.0
TV Shows
7.9
Sports
8.5
Video Games
8.3
HDR Movies
8.5
HDR Gaming
7.3
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Samsung MU8500
Type LED
Resolution 4k
Refresh Rate 120 Hz

The Samsung KS8500 4k UHD LED is a very good versatile TV. It offers great picture quality for movies and HDR content, has great motion handling and is very responsive for video games. It is a good fit even in the brightest living room as it can get very bright and deals well with reflections. Unfortunately, its picture deteriorates when viewed from the side.

Our Verdict

8.1 Mixed Usage

Great versatile TV. Handles a range of inputs very well. Great picture quality and contrast. Highlights get very bright and deals with reflections well.

Pros
  • Great for playing video games with low input lag
  • Very bright TV and coating limits reflections
  • Movies and HDR content look great
Cons
  • Picture deteriorates when viewed from the side
8.1 Movies

Very good for movies. Excellent picture quality when watched from directly in front. Very deep blacks and bright highlights.

8.0 TV Shows

Excellent for TV shows in a bright living room. Content looks clear from a range of resolutions. Handles reflections well and bright enough to compete with glare. Unfortunately picture quality degrades when viewed from the side.

7.9 Sports

Great for sports. Motion performance is very good, little motion blur. Average uniformity of playing field. Great picture quality.

8.5 Video Games

Excels for video games. Handles fast motion well. Low input lag. Great picture quality.

8.3 HDR Movies

Great for HDR. Very bright highlights and wide color gamut. Excellent picture quality and very deep blacks.

7.3 PC Monitor

Very good PC monitor. Very responsive TV. Handles motion well and supports a wide range of resolutions. Clear text on all backgrounds.

  • 8.1 Mixed Usage
  • 8.1 Movies
  • 8.0 TV Shows
  • 7.9 Sports
  • 8.5 Video Games
  • 8.3 HDR Movies
  • 8.5 HDR Gaming
  • 7.3 PC Monitor

Check Price

Test Results

Design
9.0
Design
Style
Curved Yes

The Samsung KS8500 has a very sleek and simple design. The stand has a shiny chrome finish and the back of the TV is glossy. Despite the curved screen, the TV doesn't appear thick and the borders are also very thin. 

Design
Stand

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 43.3" x 9.2"

The TV feels sturdy on the two simple chrome finished legs.

On the 65" TV there are reports of an alternate middle stand position, similar to the KS8000

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x400

The back of the KS8500 is all black and glossy.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.35" (0.9 cm)

The pixels don't reach the very edge of the screen but the borders are very thin.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.52" (6.4 cm)

Very thin TV, although it appears thicker when viewed from a 90 degree angle because of the curved screen.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
39.5 °C
Average Temperature
35.4 °C

The KS8500 has a few hot spots and gets slightly hotter than average, but it's nothing to worry about.

Picture Quality
9.4
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
7143 : 1

There is an excellent contrast ratio, similar to the KS8000 and KS9500. This results in very deep blacks.

3.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

Local dimming on the KS8500 is almost identical to the non-curve KS8000. When local dimming is activated, it produces blooming around bright highlights and on a big vertical column. When watching regular movies or HDR content, you will still get some very deep blacks and very bright highlights when local dimming ('Smart LED') is activated.

8.6
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
506 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
1076 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
1586 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
1098 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
581 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
583 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
322 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
574 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
696 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
564 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
566 cd/m2

The KS8500 is very bright even when watching standard SDR content, which is good since some other TVs are sometimes much less bright with SDR content versus HDR content. This test was done with 'Smart LED' set to 'High.'

8.5
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
467 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
1561 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
1518 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
1017 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
531 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
539 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
486 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
525 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
520 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
530 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
537 cd/m2

The KS8500 screen can get very bright. It is about as bright as the other KS series TVs, including the higher end model KS9500. On a static image, the maximum brightness drops to around 500 cd/m² over time. Like the other TVs in the Samsung SUHD line, we did this test with 'Smart LED' set to 'High' and with a HDR signal.

7.1
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.665 %
50% DSE
0.186 %

The gray uniformity is quite similar to the KS8000. The vertical edges of the screen are slightly darker, and the horizontal edges slightly brighter. Overall it is quite a good result for an LED and should not be an issue.

4.6
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
LCD Type
VA
Color Shift
30 °
Brightness
36 °
Black Level
25 °

Picture deteriorates when viewed from the side but not as much as other LED TVs with a VA panel. This appears the same as the KS8000 and KS9000.

9.6
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.623 %

The whole screen appears uniform without any issues when displaying a black image. At an angle, you can see a bit more issues though.

9.0
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The Samsung KS8500 displays a smooth color gradient with some little imperfections in the dark green.

7.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
4.65
Color dE
3.1941
Gamma
2.16

Out of the box, the Samsung TV had some issues with both the Gamma as well as the White Balance dE. The Gamma had a unpleasant curve, and the White Balance dE lacked blue, and had too much green and red. As for the Colors, the Color dE was at an acceptable level.

9.7
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.59
Color dE
0.4587
Gamma
2.23

Thankfully, since this is a Samsung TV, the calibration was quick and easy. Most issues that were present during the pre-calibration were corrected.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

The Samsung KS8500 does a great job at delivering a very detailed and crisp image in any resolution you throw at it. Even DVDs looks good once upscaled.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

The KS8500 also does a good job with cable TV channel. 720p looks great once upscaled.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Blu-rays looks very sharp once upscaled without any lost of detail.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

Native 4k content looks very good and sharp on the KS8500 TV. For a good selection of 4k content you can look here.

8.2
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
92.84 %
DCI P3 uv
94.70 %
Rec 2020 xy
67.65 %
Rec 2020 uv
71.76 %

Good coverage of both DCI P3 and REC 2020. Colors can get richer while viewing HDR material.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage
81.832 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage
56.705 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage
62.463 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage
40.749 %

Similar to the other KS* TVs, the KS8500 can produce very bright and saturated colors. Unfortunately when the backlight is on max for HDR it can't produce dark saturated colors.

10
Picture Quality
Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.000 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.000 %

9.5
Picture Quality
Reflections
Reflection
0.4 %
Screen Finish
Glossy

Reflections are dealt with very well on the KS8500. Direct reflections appear stretched because of the curved screen, and there is a purple tint similar to the LG OLEDs. This is the only TV from the KS series we have seen with the purple anti reflective coating. Reflections are very faint and should not be an issue for most environments.

0
Picture Quality
3D
3D
No
3D Type
No
2D to 3D
No

Picture Quality
Pixels

Motion
8.2
Motion
Motion Blur
Response Time
15.9 ms
Overshoot
0.2 ms

The response time of this TV is pretty low, with very little overshoot present. A small faint trail can be seen behind the Rtings logo, but nothing too dramatic. This is slightly better than the Samsung KS8000, mostly due to the 20% to 80% transition. As with other Samsung TVs, the backlight is controlled via a flickering PWM.

4.8
Motion
Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz
BFI
Yes
BFI Frequency
60 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
No

10
Motion
24p Playback
Judder-free 24p
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60i
Yes

When playing 24p content over any source there are options which remove judder. For 60Hz signals, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and both sliders to 0 to remove judder without adding the soap opera effect (SOE)

10
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Yes

Since this TV is 120Hz, 'Auto Motion Plus' can be used on 30Hz and 60Hz signals. This will add the soap opera effect (SOE). Low custom values will work well to smooth out motion with a minimum of the soap opera effect.

Inputs
8.1
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
23.1 ms
1080p With Interpolation
130.4 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
123.2 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
39.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz
19.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
33.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
19.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
33.2 ms

For gaming, set the input icon to 'Game Console' and enable 'Game' mode from the special viewing modes. This is a very similar result to the other TVs in the KS series and should be great for most people. When sending and HDR signal under game mode with an 1080p resolution, the input lag is 22.6ms.

8.0
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes

Enable 'HDMI UHD Color' to accept a 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 signal. Chroma support at up to 4k results in better defined text in certain situations. Although the KS8500 has a 120Hz panel, it does not display a 120Hz signal. When setting the input to PC, there is 39.5ms input lag.

Inputs
Side Inputs

Inputs
Rear Inputs

Inputs are located on the required One Connect box.

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
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
Dolby Vision
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwidth Yes
ARC Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3 No
HDCP 2.2 Yes
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out No

The TV supports 5.1 passthrough for Dolby Digital and DTS, but it is necessary to select the correct audio type in the sound settings, since it doesn't change automatically.

Sound Quality
7.0
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Std. Dev. @ 70
4.32 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
5.06 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
6.75 dB SPL
Max
92.1 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
75.51 Hz

Good low-end cutoff and maximum volume, for a TV. However, frequency response could be better. There's also pumping and compression present under heavy load.

4.8
Sound Quality
Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion @ 70
0.051
Distortion @ 80
0.191
Distortion @ Max
0.288

Poor performance. The amount of harmonic distortion is rather elevated even at medium volumes, and it gets progressively as the volume increases.

Smart Features
Smart Features
Apps

The most popular applications such as Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Video are supported by this TV. You also have many other applications that can be downloaded from the store.

8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Tizen (2016)

Just like other 2016 Samsung TVs, this TV also comes with the latest Tizen operating system. That means that you will experience a very smooth and responsive smart interface performance. You will also have many supported applications available such as Netflix, Youtube, and Amazon Video. In terms of inputs, this TV offers many inputs, but lacks the compatibility of both component in and composite in, making it difficult to plug older devices that do not support HDMI.

When a new device is detected (such as when a computer is woken from sleep while plugged into an HDMI port) the TV automatically switches to this device. This may be an annoyance if you are watching other content at the time.

0
Smart Features
Ads
Ad-free
No
Opt-out
No

Ads are present on the home screen as well as in the app store on the KS8500.

Smart Features
TV Controls

Basic TV controls can be accessed underneath the bottom right of the TV. It can easily be accessed if the TV is wall mounted.

Smart Features
Remote
Remote Smart

The remote is identical to that of the Samung KS8000. It also is simple and comfortable, allowing users to easily navigate through the Tizen interface. It also sports a microphone to send voice commands to the TV.

Smart Features
In The Box

  • One Connect Box
  • One Connect Box Cable
  • Screen cleaner
  • Remote
  • Batteries
  • Wall mount spacers/adapters
  • Manuals

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 52 W
Power Consumption (Max) 139 W
Firmware 1112

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 55" (UN55KS8500) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the other sizes.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung KS8500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size Model US Canada UK Warehouse Warehouse long
49" UN49KS8500 UN49KS8500FXZA UN49KS8500FXZC UE49KS7500 N/A N/A
55" UN55KS8500 UN55KS8500FXZA UN55KS8500FXZC UE55KS7500 UN55KS850D UN55KS850DFXZA
65" UN65KS8500 UN65KS8500FXZA UN65KS8500FXZC UE65KS7500 UN65KS850D UN65KS850DFXZA

Compared to other TVs

Comparison picture

Top left: Vizio P Series 2016 (P65-C1). Bottom left: Samsung KS8000 (UN55KS8000). Middle: Samsung KS8500 (UN55KS8500). Top right: Samsung KS9500 (UN55KS9500). Bottom right: Sony X930D (XBR55X930D).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Samsung KS8500 is a great versatile TV but is hard to justify when its little sister, the non-curved version KS8000, offers almost the same picture quality and is sold for cheaper. Keep that in mind with our recommendations below.

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