The Samsung MU6300 is a better than average 4k Smart LED TV. It's not very extravagant, but it provides decent picture quality and a good set of features. Its input lag is noticeably better than average, making it a good choice for gamers. Picture quality does, unfortunately, degrade quite rapidly at an angle, and it could be a bit brighter to better accommodate well-lit environments.
The design of the MU6300 is good. It is almost identical to the KU6300 from 2016, and won't turn many heads. The stand supports the TV quite well and the borders are an average thickness. The build quality is similar to other competing TVs.
The V-shaped center stand is iconic of Samsung TVs, and looks very similar to the KU6300 from last year. If knocked, the TV does wobble quite a bit but is still quite stable.
Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 12.1" x 33.2"
The back of the TV looks the same as the KU6300 and is all plastic. All of the inputs can be accessed from the side, which is great for those who place the TV near a wall. The controls are also relatively easy to access.
The borders of the TV have an average thickness. They are made of plastic.
The thickest part of the TV is near the bottom, but it won't stick out too much if wall-mounted.
The MU6300 gets warm to the touch along the top, sides and at parts of the back of the TV, but this shouldn't be a problem.
The build quality is the same as the KU6300 from 2016. The stand feels a bit cheap but the TV certainly isn't going to fall apart from normal use.
The Samsung MU6300 TV has a better than average picture quality. Its excellent contrast ratio and amazing black uniformity help the TV to display dark scenes with a lot of detail, especially when set in a dark environment. When set in a brighter room, the MU6300 doesn't fare as well since it cannot really get bright enough to fight glare from bright lights or sunny windows. The gray uniformity is not that great and dirty screen effect is visible, especially when watching sports like hockey. The viewing angle is bad on the MU6300, so it will be better suited for rooms with a narrow seating since the picture quality is best when viewed from directly in front. When it comes to HDR, the lack of local dimming and of a wide color gamut really hurt its capacity to make HDR stand out when compared to SDR content.
Excellent native contrast ratio for the Samsung MU6300, like the 2016 KU6300. With 5768:1 contrast ratio, the MU6300 can produce very deep blacks and can provide a good movie experience when set in a dark room.
Update 09/21/2017: The 43" size likely uses an IPS panel, according to many user reports. This means that it will have a contrast ratio of ~1000 cd/m², which results in a sub-par contrast score of 6.0.
There is no local dimming on the MU6300. The video is for reference only.
Good SDR peak brightness. The TV will appear bright even in a fairly bright room, though in a very bright room it may appear too dim. The MU6300 has less aggressive CE dimming than the KU6300 from last year, as the 10% window test was not dimmed unlike on the KU6300. However the MU6300 is not as bright as the KU6300, even with this less aggressive dimming. A plot of peak brightness over time is shown here.
Okay HDR peak brightness. Most of an HDR scene will be shown bright enough, but highlights will not reach anywhere near the 1000-4000 cd/m² they're intended to reach. Very dark scenes will be dimmed by the TV's CE dimming, but because the TV lacks local dimming, the highlights will be dimmed along with the rest of the scene. A plot of peak brightness over time is shown here.
The MU6300's overall gray uniformity is ordinary. There are some large vertical bands visible in the center of the screen, which unfortunately creates some dirty screen effect when watching sports like hockey. Both the left and right sides are also darker than the rest of the screen, but since the center is ok, it results in less dirty screen effect.
The top and bottom edges are brighter than the rest of the screen and this is clearly visible on both the 5% and 50% gray test picture. This problem is less visible when watching normal TV content, but can be visible when uniform colors are displayed near the edge and can be distracting.
Poor viewing angle. Blacks turn grey very rapidly at an angle; colors shift and brightness decrease not long after. People sitting to the side of the TV will not have as good picture quality as people seated directly in front.
Update 09/21/2017: The 43" size likely uses an IPS panel, according to many user reports. This means that it will have a much better viewing angle, resulting in a decent score of ~6.5.
The MU6300 has an excellent black uniformity, similar to the 2016 KU6300. Looking at our test picture, you can see that the blacks are pretty even and the whole screen is free of major clouding issues, which is great especially for dark scenes in movies.
The MU6300 is okay at handling reflections. It has a semi-gloss finish which reduces the intensity of direct reflections but also diffuses them across the screen. For an average room this isn't much of an issue, but in a bright room this may be a problem.
Out of the box, the pre-calibration had some issues, but most of them are because the Samsung MU6300 is tracking the gamma BT.1886 instead of the more traditional gamma 2.2 (LG TVs also use BT.1886 out of the box). This is not a bad thing on its own and overall, the TV could be used as-is without too many issues.
The calibration process is a bit more difficult to perform on the MU6300 and Samsung TVs are in general a bit more tricky to calibrate. Even with the slightly trickier calibration, the final result is excellent. The white balance dE was brought down to a negligible 0.22. which is very good. As a result of the white balance correction, the gamma curve was flattened and now tracks closer to our 2.2 target.
The color dE was also brought down to 1.62 using the color management system, but some saturation targets in the blues and reds were still a bit off and could not be corrected without creating other problems. Overall this is a good result.
You can see our recommended settings for this Samsung MU6300 TV here.
Upscaling of low-quality content such as DVDs is good. The image is a little bit soft, but details are preserved.
720p content such as cable looks good. The image is a little bit soft but there is a minimum of upscaling artifacts.
The TV has a narrow color gamut, which can only properly show colors in the SDR Rec 709 color gamut. Most colors in HDR content will be shown properly, but deep colors will be desaturated to fit within the TV's gamut. On the bright side, the TV is fairly accurate when showing the colors within its gamut.
The TV's EOTF follows the HDR PQ curve fairly well, and rolls off gently to its maximum brightness, though it starts rolling off sooner than most TVs. This EOTF was taken in Movie mode; the EOTFs for game and PC mode are shown here and here, and aren't much different.
The TV has a narrow color gamut and lacks local dimming, so it can't produce a good color volume. Its CE dimming helps it darken dark colors, but its color gamut also narrows for dark colors.
The MU6300 can display our gradient test image without too many problems. Some small irregularities can be seen in the darker shades of color and grayscale, but overall this is a good result.
The MU6300 does not have any image retention and this is the same result as the 2016 KU6300.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The motion handling of the MU6300 is mediocre. The response time is good, resulting in a fairly short trail following fast moving objects but those sensitive to judder will notice it when watching movies from any source. The backlight uses PWM to flicker so motion isn't quite as smooth as some other TVs. The TV has a 60Hz panel which can interpolate lower frame rate content.
The MU6300 uses PWM at 120Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 12/20 backlight setting. Lowering the setting from 12/20 shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant. PWM causes a duplicated trail following moving objects in 60Hz content so motion isn't as smooth as TVs without a flickering backlight.
It is possible to reduce the flicker frequency to 60Hz by setting 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and activating 'LED Clear Motion'. This helps to clear up fast moving content if you don't mind flicker.
The MU6300 has a 60Hz panel which can interpolate lower frame rate content. To add the soap opera effect, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and increase the 'Judder Reduction' slider.
The Samsung MU6300 is great at displaying content without stutter, even for low frame rate content such as movies. The response time helps to transition between frames, producing a smoother image.
The MU6300 can't remove judder from 24p movies playing from 60Hz sources, and can't adjust the refresh rate to display 24Hz sources with the correct cadence. This is the same result as the 2016 KU6300. Note that not many people are sensitive to judder so it may not necessarily be a deal breaker.
Like most current TVs, the MU6300 doesn't support any variable refresh rate features.
The MU6300 supports nearly all the common input signals, including HDR, so most content will be properly displayed. It also has very low input lag which should please all but the most competitive gamers.
Very low input lag. When in game or PC mode the input lag is a low ~20 ms, which should please all but the most competitive gamers. This is an improvement over the KU6300, which had higher input lag in PC mode than in game mode.
All the common input resolutions are supported, except 120 Hz input because this is a 60 Hz panel. All three HDMI ports now have enough bandwidth for 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 when 'HDMI UHD color' is enabled, an improvement over the KU6300 which only supported full bandwidth on HDMI 1.
4:4:4 color is only properly supported in PC mode, which is activated by changing the icon of the input used to 'PC'. PC mode doesn't work for some input frame rates such as 24 Hz; the icon may still display PC, but the settings that are normally disabled in PC mode such as color and tint are not disabled, indicating that PC mode isn't active.
Since the MU6300 doesn't have an analog audio out, to connect a pair of headphones you will have to either use bluetooth headphones or headphones with a digital optical audio input like the Turtle Beach Elite 800.
Only one of DTS or Dolby Digital can be enabled at a time, the TV will not switch modes depending on the input. This is the same behavior as the Samsung TVs from last year.
The sound reproduction capabilities of the MU6300 are very reminiscent of the KU6300 from 2016, which is to say, not exceptional. It's about average for what's found in TVs, but it will greatly benefit from an upgrade.
Decent frequency response. The MU6300 produces a relatively flat response, but higher volumes produce a lot of compressions rendering them not recommended. The TV's bass extension is below average as well at 95W.
Passable THD performance. The TV produces decently low amounts of distortion, but it effectively doubles at higher volumes. This isn't very audible though.
The MU6300 runs Samsung's 2017 Tizen smart platform, which is easy to navigate but has more frame drops in its animations than last year's Tizen. The home menu is a narrow bar at the bottom of the screen, and most smart features can be accessed without leaving this home menu, making the interface easy to use. Voice commands from the remote's microphone also allow many tasks to be done directly, such as changing settings and searching for content, without having to navigate the TV's interface.