The Samsung MU6100 is an entry-level 4K LED TV with decent picture quality and good smart features. Its build is a bit plasticky and simplistic, but it performs particularly well with video games thanks to its low input lag which keeps it responsive. Unfortunately, though, its picture quality degrades when viewed from an angle, and its handling of motion is sub-par.
Average TV for a mixed usage. The MU6100's high contrast ratio helps it produce a decent picture quality, and its low input lag keeps games responsive and immersive. However, its narrow viewing angle makes picking viewing positions more difficult, and the mediocre motion performance might be distracting for some.
Passable TVs for watching movies in a dark room. While the MU6100 produces deep blacks thanks to its high contrast ratio, its black uniformity is only average.It also cannot play 24p content without judder, which can be an issue for some people.
Good TV for watching shows in a bright room. Picture quality is decent, and TV can get quite bright to overcome glare and reflections. The smart interface works well for casual viewing too.
Decent for sports in a bright room. Picture quality is fine, and the TV can get quite bright to overcome glare and reflections. Unfortunately, moving objects have some visible blur, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle.
Great for gamers. The picture quality is decent, and the input lag is very low. Unfortunately, some blur can be seen following fast moving objects.
Below average for watching HDR. Although it supports the HDR10 format, it can't produce bright HDR highlights and doesn't support a wide color gamut. The overall picture quality is decent though.
Good for HDR gaming. Although the TV can't produce bright highlights or very saturated colors, it feels responsive due to the low input lag. Unfortunately, some blur may be seen with fast-paced games.
Good choice for a PC monitor. Feels responsive with low input lag, and can display full-color information for clear text on all backgrounds. The picture quality is decent, but the edges of the screen lose accuracy when viewed from up close and some blur is visible when scrolling webpages.
The design of the Samsung MU6100 is quite basic but functional. All of the inputs are fairly easy to access if placed close to a wall as they are angled towards the side of the TV. Unfortunately, the controls are located on the back of the TV similar to the MU6300 and can be a bit difficult to locate as it isn't visible from the front. The stand is wide and made of plastic but provides good support.
The footprint of the stand is almost as wide as the TV, and just barely fits on our table. It is made of plastic but provides good support.
Footprint of the 58" TV stand: 10.9" x 46.9"
The rear of the TV is quite basic, but the textured finish is a nice touch. It looks almost identical to the MU6300, with the same inputs locations and controls. If placed close to a wall the inputs are fairly easy to access which is good.
The borders of the TV have an average thickness and are simple with a textured plastic finish.
The TV has an average thickness. If wall-mounted it will stick out a bit, but this generally isn't too much of an issue.
The TV stays fairly cool, only getting warm to the touch along the top edge and in a few places on the back.
The build quality of the MU6100 is decent. The stand feels a bit more solid and stable than the MU6300, but all of the exterior of the TV is plastic and the remote feels a bit cheaper than higher-end Samsung models. Overall this isn't an issue for normal use.
The Samsung MU6100 has an excellent native contrast ratio. With close to 5000:1, blacks on the MU6100 are deep and dark scenes look great, especially when the TV is set in the dark room.
The MU6100 does not have a local dimming feature. The video is for reference only.
Good SDR peak brightness, good enough for a moderately bright room. The brightness remains fairly constant which is good, but the TV's CE dimming does make dark scenes darker, as shown by our 2% white window test. This brightness is almost identical to the sister MU6300, and brighter than most competing TVs like the Sony X690E, but not as bright as the smaller TCL P607.
Sub-par HDR peak brightness. The HDR brightness is a little less than the SDR, which is odd, and HDR demands more brightness because highlights in HDR content are often mastered at 1000 or 4000 cd/m². The brightness remains fairly constant, which is good, but the TV's CE dimming makes dark scenes even darker, as shown by our 2% white window test. Overall the brightness is only a little better than competing TVs like the Sony X690E and the Vizio E Series 2017, but far less bright than the smaller TCL P607.
The MU6100 overall gray uniformity is average. On the 50% gray uniformity, we can see that the 4 corners are darker than the middle of the screen. We can also notice some darker and lighter horizontal and vertical bands, which, unfortunately, cause some dirty screen effect.
Examining the 5% gray test picture, we can notice that both sides are lighter, but this is only due viewing angle and is not a real problem when looking at the TV in person. When viewed in person, not many issues can be noticed at all, which is a good result here.
Poor viewing angle, worse that most TVs with an IPS panel but better than most other TVs with a VA panel. Colors deteriorate worst at an angle, while brightness and black level deteriorate more gradually. Still, this TV isn't a good fit for a room where people often sit to the side of the TV and view it at an angle.
The MU6100 black uniformity could be better, as flashlighting can be noticed in each corner of the screen. Besides the flashlighting previously mention, the rest of the screen, especially the center, is free of major defects. As the MU6100 is missing a local dimming feature, the black uniformity can't be made better by turning it on.
The Samsung MU6100 has a semi-gloss finish which is decent at handling reflections. Direct reflections are diffused on the screen, reducing their intensity. This should be fine for an average room but may be an issue in a bright room.
Out of the box, when set on the 'Movie' picture mode and 'Warm2' color tone (the most accurate setting available), the MU6100 accuracy is disappointing. The white balance dE and Color dE are both high enough so that most enthusiasts could notice the inaccuracy and the gamma is also over our desired 2.2 target.
If you find the color temperature a bit too warm, the 'Warm1' color tone is a bit colder and has about the same accuracy, but note that all other color tones settings have a much higher level of inaccuracy.
After calibration, the accuracy of the MU6100 is excellent. The white balance dE was brought down to a mear 0.20, which at this level, imperfection are unnoticeable for most people, and the gamma curve was flattened and now track our 2.2 target almost perfectly. As for the color dE, it was brought down considerably to 1.97, which is good, but some professional could still notice some inaccuracy, but for most people, this is very acceptable.
You can see our calibration settings here.
Low-quality content such as DVDs are upscaled well. The image is slightly blocky, however, detail is preserved. Some minor haloing artifacts are visible.
Sports and other 720p content are displayed well with good smoothing along edges. Some artifacts are visible along straight lines.
Full-HD content such as Blu-rays or streaming is upscaled well. The image remains sharp and details are preserved.
Standard color gamut, only good enough for SDR content. Most of the colors in HDR content will be shown fairly well, but areas of extreme color will not be shown as saturated as intended. The TV's accuracy at showing the colors it's able to is also not very good, as the majenta and green shades don't follow their target lines properly. HDR content will still look decent, but not as good as on a TV with a wider color gamut.
The TV's EOTF in the Movie picture mode follows the target PQ curve fairly well, but is a little too dim. Adjusting the 'Gamma' slider to '+2' makes the EOTF follow the PQ curve almost perfectly, as shown here. Users can raise the gamma slider to suit their room brightness. The EOTF in 'Game' mode is very similar to the one in 'Movie', while the 'PC' mode EOTF follows the PQ quite closely without any adjustment.
Sub-par color volume, but fairly typical for a TV without a wide color gamut. The TV does do a good job of showing its full color gamut at a large range of different brigntnesses, except at extremely low brightnesses that the TV can't achieve due to its limited contrast ratio and lack of local dimming.
The MU6100 is very good at displaying our gradient test image. Some little imperfection can be noticed in the dark color, especially in the dark green and blue, but none of the banding normally linked to an 8-bit panel can be noticed. Fortunately, even though there is some imperfection in our gradient test image, movies and TV show does not show many signs of color banding.
The MU6100 is free of temporary image retention when exposed to a static image for a short time, as seen on our test picture, taken right after an exposure to a static image for 10 minutes.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
Decent response time, good enough for most content but fast moving content may appear a little blurry. A long trail can be seen following our moving logo, but fortunately the trail is very faint. While the motion isn't bad, many other competing TVs have a faster response time like the Sony X690E and Vizio E Series 2017.
The TV dims the backlight without using PWM from 'Backlight' setting 20/20 until 13/20, then it dims using PWM from 'Backlight' 12/20 until 0/20. This means that the screen will not have flicker when at high brightness, but at mid brightness and below the TV will have worse flicker the dimmer it gets. Because the flicker is at 120 Hz it won't be very noticeable, but it will cause double image artifacts during motion, as seen in the photo in the motion blur section. This means that the TV has worse motion when the backlight is dim, while TVs without flicker like the Sony X690E have good motion no matter their brightness.
The TV has a black frame insertion setting called 'LED Clear Motion', that intentionally adds flicker to make motion much clearer when watching 60 Hz content like video games. This produces excellent 60 Hz motion as seen in the above photo, but the flickering it introduces may be distracting to some users, and it unfortunately doesn't work in game mode.
The TV can use the soap opera effect to make motion clearer, by interpolating lower frame rate content up to 60 fps. However because it only uses a 60 Hz panel it cannot interpolate from 60 fps to 120 fps.
This TV is great at showing content without stutter, even low frame rate content such as movies. 60 fps content plays very smoothly, and for 24 fps content there is only 17ms of static imagery for each frame which is great.
Similarly to the MU6300, the MU6100 can't remove judder from 24p movies. From 24p sources like a Blu-ray players (24p) or from cable boxes (60p), 24p movies always show some judder. This is not a deal breaker for most people though, as not everyone is sensitive to judder.
The MU6100 doesn't support variable refresh rate features.
Excellent input lag, good enough for all but the most competitive gamers. 'Game' and 'PC' mode have the same low input lag, but only 'PC' mode can properly show 4:4:4 color for PC use. Overall the input lag is the same as most other Samsung TVs, and better than most Sony TVs, but a little worse than some LG and TCL TVs like the TCL P607.
Most common input resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is only supported when 'HDMI UHD Color' is enabled. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly when the HDMI input's label is changed to 'PC' (aka PC mode). PC mode doesn't work properly for some input refresh rates such as 24 Hz; the label changes to PC but the settings that are normally disabled in PC mode are not disabled, and 4:4:4 color isn't shown properly.
All of the inputs are directed out the side of the TV, similar to the Samsung MU6300.
Only one between Dolby Digital and DTS can be enabled at a time, the TV will not switch between them automatically depending on the content played.
Average frequency response. The MU6100 follows our target decently, but its limited low-frequency extension can make its signature seem a bit thin. Additionally, the MU6100 lacks a room correction feature that could reduce the impact of resonances in the lower mid-range. Unfortunately, dynamic range compression is also present at higher volumes.
Average distortion performance. The MU6100 has no issue maintaining low distortion levels at average listening volumes, but IMD rises significantly the higher the volume is set.
The interface is centered around the Smart Hub, which gives access to the rest of the TV's settings. This makes the TV easy to understand for first time users, yet for more advanced users there are also dedicated buttons on the remote to open settings directly. The second row of the Smart Hub contains quick settings and suggested content, depending on the icon under focus, which can be faster than opening the icon itself.
The TV did not show any ads during testing, however ads on Samsung TVs are often inconsistent. It can be assumed that the TV has ads because all Samsung TVs since 2016 have had ads, and ads were visible on several 2017 Samsung TVs during our testing. If anyone notices ads on their MU6100 please send us a photo by email, we'll update the review.