Samsung KS9500 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Apr 15, 2016 at 11:49 am
Samsung KS9500 Picture
8.1
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.2
Movies
8.0
TV Shows
7.9
Sports
8.4
Video Games
8.4
HDR Movies
8.4
HDR Gaming
7.3
PC Monitor
Type LED
Resolution 4k
Refresh Rate 120 Hz

The Samsung KS9500 4k UHD TV is a very well balanced TV. Its picture quality is great no matter the room, source or content being played. It can get very bright and handles reflections well. When viewed from the side though, its picture quality diminishes.

Our Verdict

8.1 Mixed Usage

Excellent performance for a variety of usages. Picture quality is great. Movies perform excellently. TV is bright enough for any room. Displays any resolution of content clearly. Unfortunately the picture quality diminishes when viewed from the side.

Pros
  • Great TV for movies especially HDR content.
  • Can get extremely bright and has very low reflection.
  • Great gaming TV with low input lag.
Cons
  • Loses picture quality at an angle.
8.2 Movies

Great movie performance. Dark scenes are rich and detailed. Smooth playback from any source. Excellent picture quality.

8.0 TV Shows

Great for daytime TV in a bright room. Excellent picture quality when viewed directly in front. Bright enough to compete with reflections, and coating handles reflections well. Unfortunately when viewed from the side the picture quality diminishes.

7.9 Sports

Great picture for sports. Pretty good motion handling with little motion blur for fast plays. Very good uniformity.

8.4 Video Games

Great for video games. Pretty good motion handling for fast camera movements. Very responsive with low input lag. Great picture quality.

8.4 HDR Movies

Very good HDR. Has a wide color gamut. Highlights get very bright. Colors pop and blacks are very deep.

7.3 PC Monitor

Works well as PC monitor. Supports a wide range of resolutions. Feels very responsive. Supports chroma 4:4:4 for clear text.

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

Test Results

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved Yes

The Samsung KS9500 has a great look. Its design is very simple, yet very sleek. The TV is really thin, lines are pure, metal parts boast a chrome finish and even its back have a nice textured dark-gray finish. It will definitely look good in any room.

Design
Stand

The metal stand has a chrome finish. It goes quite deep against the back of the TV.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 33.9" x 15"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x400

In rare setups where the back of the TV is visible (TV in the middle of a room), the Samsung KS9500 will look great. A cover hides the One Connect box connection.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.39" (1.0 cm)

Borders are thin and sports a simple and elegant metal finish.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 2.6" (6.6 cm)

Everything's thin on the Samsung KS9500. Its maximum thickness, when viewed directly from the side, only appears larger because of the curved screen.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
38.3 °C
Average Temperature
33.4 °C

The KS9500 does better than its lower-end cousin, the 8500. The One Connect box doesn't get very warm either at a measly 34C.

Picture Quality
9.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
6663 : 1

Extremely deep and impressive blacks for an LED TV. Among the highest native contrast ratio we have ever measured.

3.5
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

Local dimming isn't that good. Full array backlight TVs can do much better. We used local dimming ('Smart LED') set at 'High' for this test and unfortunately, the dot in our video stayed pretty dimmed. In practice, more blooming can be seen than in our video. The blooming shape is a big vertical band.

8.5
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
519 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
1183 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
1116 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
593 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
528 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
530 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
544 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
519 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
500 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
525 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
529 cd/m2

The Samsung KS9500 have a good SDR peak brightness. With a minimum of around 500 cd/ and with a peak of more than a 1000 cd/m², this makes this TV one of the brightest TVs tested with SDR content.

8.6
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
486 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
1490 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
1468 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
984 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
542 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
543 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
510 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
513 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
519 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
536 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
536 cd/m2

The brightest results we have seen so far. In this test, we used the 'High' setting for local dimming ('Smart LED') since it was able to brighten our 2% window the most. It went as high as 1490 cd/m². This mean bright highlights can get very, very bright. Good value for the 50% window too which mean the whole screen can also get pretty bright. Peak brightness works a little differently than on the Sony X930D. On the Samsung KS9500, on all window sizes, peak brightness will diminish after some time, but goes back up when something moves on the screen, like our mouse cursor. On regular materials, this mean brightness is more stable. Big blooming areas can be seen around some bright highlights though.
Update: Updated with sustained brightness.

7.7
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.258 %
50% DSE
0.157 %

Very good for an LED TV. The edges of the screen are darker but the TV is free from any obvious banding issue. The dirty screen effect (DSE) isn't much of a problem for sports when camera pans over playing fields.

4.6
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
LCD Type
VA
Color Shift
29 °
Brightness
39 °
Black Level
15 °

Like all VA LED TVs, the picture quality diminish at an angle. The blacks worsen and the colors shift. There is worse VA TVs than this one though but it is still a notable downside of this TV.

Update: We have changed the methodology of testing. Since this is an old TV which we don't have anymore, we extrapolated the results.

9.8
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.531 %

There is some faint cloud spots that can be seen on a totally black screen and the top edge of the screen is slightly more lit up than the rest of the screen. Overall though, the black uniformity of the Samsung KS9500 is among the best we have seen.

9.5
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit

The Samsung KS9500 displayed a very smooth color gradient with no color banding or color gradations to be seen.

8.6
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
White Balance dE
2.65
Color dE
2.3659
Gamma
2.11

No real issues before calibration except maybe for the blue which was a little prominent.

9.8
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
White Balance dE
0.28
Color dE
0.3281
Gamma
2.2

As for other Samsung TVs, calibration was a breeze and all issues were resolved. We ended up with very low white balance and color errors which is great.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Lower resolution content like DVDs maintain a well defined picture that looks good and not soft at all.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

Cable TV looks very good once upscaled on the KS9500.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Blu-rays looks very good and sharp.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

4k is really where the Samsung KS9500 shine though. Those who sit close enough to pick up all the little 4k details will enjoy the crisp picture this TV produce.

8.2
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
92.31 %
DCI P3 uv
95.53 %
Rec 2020 xy
67.11 %
Rec 2020 uv
73.92 %

Nice coverage of DCI P3 and Rec 2020. Colors are able to get a good deal more saturated when HDR content is playing compared to traditional Rec 709 content.

7.1
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage
81.907 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage
58.284 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage
62.251 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage
43.415 %

The Samsung KS9500 performs very similarly to the other KS* TVs, and is one of the best color volume performers of the 2016 models. It can produce bright, saturated colors but unfortunately at low luminosity levels the volume is limited.

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
0.5 %
Screen Finish
Glossy

Although the Samsung KS9500 has a glossy screen, its screen doesn't reflect a lot of lights. The curve also stretch the reflections so they appear wider but less harsh. Some little rainbow effects can be observed around bright objects but aren't that noticeable.

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

Picture Quality
Pixels

Motion
8.0
Motion
Motion Blur
Response Time
17.1 ms
Overshoot
0.1 ms

Dark to bright transitions, like the 0% to 100%, take longer. This can be seen on our moving logo test, where the right edge of the logo appears darker. As a whole though, motion is good on the Samsung KS9500.

2.8
Motion
Image Flicker
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz
BFI
No
BFI Frequency
120 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

The TV is able to detect and do the reverse 3:2 pulldown on all sources inluding 60i and 60p. For those two, we had to set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' with both sliders to 0. This didn't add the soap opera effect.

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

Motion interpolation ('Auto Motion Plus') can be enabled on all content. This will smooth out motion, but also add the soap opera effect (SOE). Low 'Custom' values will add smoothness without much of the SOE.

Inputs
8.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
20.5 ms
1080p With Interpolation
120.7 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
112.9 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
37.1 ms
4k @ 60Hz
20.7 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
37.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
20.6 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
37.2 ms

Very fast 1080p input lag. All types of games feel responsive. Competitive gamers will like the benefit they get from that low input lag. 'Game' mode has to be selected from the 'Special viewing modes' under the 'Picture' menu to get the lowest input lag. When sending and HDR signal at 1080p resolution under game mode, 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

To enable 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, turn on 'HDMI UHD Color' from the picture menu. For the other resolutions, 4:4:4 can be enabled only by enabling PC mode (on the list of inputs, hover the current input used and press up on the remote, then 'Edit' and select 'PC'). We have measured 37.1 ms of input lag under 'PC' mode. A curved screen is always nice when sitting up close on setups where the TV is used as PC monitor.

Inputs
Side Inputs

Inputs
Rear Inputs

Inputs are located on the required One Connect box.

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 2
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
8.0
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Std. Dev. @ 70
1.99 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
2.76 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
5.48 dB SPL
Max
90.5 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
60 Hz

Very good frequency response and low-end cutoff, especially for a TV. But maximum loudness could be better. The TV also seem to be producing compression and pumping near the maximum loudness.

5.3
Sound Quality
Total Harmonic Distortion
Distortion @ 70
0.019
Distortion @ 80
0.191
Distortion @ Max
0.168

Relatively high distortion. Although this TV doesn't produce audible aliasing, the harmonic distortion could be audible at times.

Smart Features
Smart Features
Apps

The 2016 Tizen smart platform offer the most popular apps plus more. Navigation between the different apps menus is quick and straightforward. The different menus of the TV also look better than on the 2015 Samsung TVs.

8.5
Smart Features
Interface
Smart OS Tizen (2016)

The revamped interface of the Tizen smart platform is a welcome improvement. It isn't as pretty as LG's WebOS smart platform but a step in the right direction. It is also very responsive on the Samsung KS9500 and provide the most popular apps. A Mini One Connect box come with this TV and offers enough inputs for most needs. The included remote works well too and can even work as a universal remote for devices connected to the TV.

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

Smart Features
TV Controls

A single button is found underneath the Samsung logo at the base of the TV. Simple commands can be performed like changing inputs, volume and turning the TV on and off. This button is easily accessible if the TV is wall-mounted, which is handy.

Smart Features
Remote
Remote Smart

The remote is simple to use and feels good in hand. It can be a little hard to operate in the dark though since not all buttons have tactile feedback. It doesn't work as a pointer like some other Samsung remotes so text input can feel cumbersome at times.

Smart Features
In The Box

- Remote
- Batteries
- Wall mount adapters
- Mini One Connect box with cable
- Cable management accessories
- Manuals

Smart Features
Misc
Power Consumption 53 W
Power Consumption (Max) 141 W
Firmware 1008

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 55" (UN55KS9500) version FA01. For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 65" version (UN65KS9500).

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Samsung KS9500 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.

Size Model US Canada UK Warehouse Warehouse long
55" UN55KS9500 UN55KS9500FXZA UN55KS9500FXZC UE55KS9000 N/A N/A
65" UN65KS9500 UN65KS9500FXZA UN65KS9500FXZC UE65KS9000 UN65KS950D UN65KS950DFXZA

Compared to other TVs

Comparison picture

Top row, from left: Samsung KS8000 (UN55KS8000), Samsung KS9500 (UN55KS9500), Vizio P Series 2016 (P65-C1). Bottom: Samsung KS9000 (UN55KS9000), Sony X930D (XBR55X930D), LG EF9500 (55EF9500). Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Samsung KS9500 is the best LED TV we have reviewed so far for a mixed usage but there are cheaper and near as good TVs that are available which explains why we don't really recommend the KS9500

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