The Government of Quebec is shutting down non-essential businesses till April 13. Therefore, our lab is temporarily closed and we can't test new products. In the meantime, we will continue to update articles from home.

Samsung MU6500 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Updated Jul 24, 2017 at 09:24 am
Samsung MU6500 Picture
Test Methodology v1.2
7.3
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
6.6
Movies
7.4
TV Shows
7.1
Sports
8.1
Video Games
6.7
HDR Movies
7.6
HDR Gaming
8.0
PC Monitor
This TV was replaced by the Samsung NU7300
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The Samsung MU6500 is a decent entry-level 4k LED TV with good picture quality in a dark room. It features a curved design that is pretty rare to find nowadays, and it can produce uniform blacks without any major uniformity issues. Unfortunately, though, its picture quality deteriorates at an angle, and it could be a bit brighter.

Our Verdict

7.3 Mixed Usage

Decent TV for a mixed usage. The MU6500 doesn't excel at anything, but it provides a good experience for most usages. Its picture quality is good, but it might have issues if placed in a bright living room with wide seating arrangements because of its limited viewing angle and brightness.

See our Mixed Usage recommendations
6.6 Movies

Passable TV for movies in a dark room. The MU6500's contrast and black uniformity are good, but it lacks a local dimming feature to enhance them even further. It also cannot playback 24p content without minor judder, but not everybody is sensitive to this problem.

See our Movies recommendations
7.4 TV Shows

The MU6500 does a decent job with TV shows, it has a decent soap opera effect, and it's smart platform makes it easy to access content from apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime video. Unfortunately, though, it could be a bit brighter, and its handling of reflections isn't the best.

See our TV Shows recommendations
7.1 Sports

Decent TV for watching sports. The MU6500's screen uniformity is good, so fields and ice rinks look even and free of blotches. Its viewing angle is quite narrow though, so it's not a great choice for viewing parties where people are going to be sitting to the side of the TV.

See our Sports recommendations
8.1 Video Games

Great TV for video games, the MU6500 has a low input lag making inputs responsive. Its handling of motion is also decent, so fast moving objects show limited trailing.

See our Video Games recommendations
6.7 HDR Movies

Average TV for HDR movies. While the MU6500 does support HDR10, it lacks a wide color gamut and doesn't get very bright. Because of this, HDR movies will show a limited effect.

See our HDR Movies recommendations
7.6 HDR Gaming

The MU6500 maintains its gaming performance well with HDR games since its input lag isn't affected.

See our HDR Gaming recommendations
8.0 PC Monitor

Passable PC monitor. While decent for normal use, the MU6500's motion blur might be a bit high for PC use. moving text and mouse interaction will show a longer than usual trail which can be distracting.

See our PC Monitor recommendations
  • 7.3 Mixed Usage
  • 6.6 Movies
  • 7.4 TV Shows
  • 7.1 Sports
  • 8.1 Video Games
  • 6.7 HDR Movies
  • 7.6 HDR Gaming
  • 8.0 PC Monitor
Pros
  • Low input lag
  • High contrast and uniform blacks
Cons
  • Picture quality deteriorates at an angle
  • Could be a bit brighter
  1. Update 3/12/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2. Learn more about our versioned test bench system here.
  2. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
8.5
Design
Style
Curved Yes

The MU6500 looks good with a similar design to other 6 series Samsung TVs such as the MU6300 and KU6300 except for the additional curve. It has the iconic Samsung central stand which provides good support and can fit on most tables, but otherwise doesn't really stand out. The borders are an average thickness, and the inputs are easy to access if placed close to a wall.

Design
Stand

The central V shaped stand supports the TV well but will wobble a bit if knocked. It looks very similar to the KU6500 from 2016.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 12.2" x 32.9"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x400

The rear of the TV is made of corrugated plastic, similar to the KU6500 from 2016. It looks fine, and the inputs are easy to access from the side. Note that if attaching a VESA mount, the included spacers may be necessary, which can cause the TV to stick out a bit from the wall.

Design
Borders
Borders 0.67" (1.7 cm)

The borders of the TV have an average thickness and are made of plastic.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 3.46" (8.8 cm)

The TV appears thicker when viewed from the side due to the curve.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
97 °F (36 °C)
Average Temperature
93 °F (34 °C)

The TV runs fairly cool, only getting a little warm to the touch in a few places on the back.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the MU6500 is okay. All of the parts are plastic, but this is unlikely to present any issues during normal use.

Picture Quality
8.8
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
5253 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
N/A

Great native contrast ratio for the MU6500. With over 5000:1, this Samsung TV can do deep blacks, which in turn makes for great dark scene performance when set in a dark home theater room. This is a very similar result as the Samsung MU6300, which is the flat counterpart.

0
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
No
Backlight
Direct

There is no local dimming on the MU6500. The video is for reference only.

7.6
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
306 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
196 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
353 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
352 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
352 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
352 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
196 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
349 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
349 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
349 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
349 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.039

Plot over time

Good SDR peak brightness. The TV's CE dimming dims very dark scenes, as shown by our 2% white window test, but otherwise the brightness remains very consistent. This brightness is nearly identical to the MU6300, but less than the rival TCL P607.

6.1
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
310 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
189 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
348 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
347 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
347 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
347 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
189 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
344 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
344 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
344 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
344 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.041

Plot over time

Mediocre HDR peak brightness. The brightness is fairly consistent, but the TV's lack of local dimming prevents it from making highlights very bright in dark scenes. Worse, its CE dimming actually dims highlights in very dark scenes, as shown by our 2% white window test. Overall the brightness is very similar to the MU6300, but less than the rival TCL P607.

7.2
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
3.818 %
50% DSE
0.187 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.763 %
5% DSE
0.119 %

The MU6500 has a decent overall gray uniformity. For a direct-lit TV, which are often more prone to have a worse gray uniformity, the MU6500 fair well. The center of the screen is fairly even and dirty screen effect is not really a problem. Most of the gray uniformity issues come from the sides and corners being a bit darker than the center.

Not much problem can be noticed when looking at the 5% gray uniformity test picture too, which is excellent news.

4.2
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Shift
21 °
Brightness
32 °
Black Level
13 °

Bad viewing angle, but fairly typical for a VA TV. Blacks turn grey when the TV is viewed from even a small angle, while colors shift and brightness decreases at moderate angles. This TV isn't well suited for a room where people often view the TV from the side.

8.3
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
0.808 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
N/A

Great black uniformity on the MU6500. Looking at our test picture, some faint clouding can be noticed, but it is not enough to affect the whole evenness of the screen overall and this marginal clouding is not apparent when looking at some movie clips with dark scenes.

7.2
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Semi-gloss
Total Reflections
6.1 %
Indirect Reflections
0.8 %

The MU6500 is decent at handling reflections. It has a similar semi-gloss finish to the MU6300 and KU6500 and diffuses reflections across the screen, which reduces their intensity but isn't the best at fighting glare. It is fine for an average room but may be an issue in a bright room.

7.8
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Movie
White Balance dE
3.30
Color dE
2.36
Gamma
2.29
Color Temperature
6269 K

Out of the box, the MU6500 is pretty accurate and for most people, it could be use 'as is' without any need for calibration.

The white balance is a bit on the warm side, but only toward high IRE. Looking at the gamma curve, we can see that it does not follow hoe 2.2 target closely, and this may be because Samsung TV follow a different target, but overall, the difference is not that of a problem here.

The Color dE is not too high overall, and most colors are tracking, from not too far there targets. The higher value in the red, blue and magenta are a bit more problematic than the rest though, but not enough to cause a problem while watching normal video content.

9.3
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Movie
White Balance dE
0.22
Color dE
1.68
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6572 K

As with other Samsung TV, the calibration process was done very fast and without too many issues. Overall, the 2 and 10 points were pretty accurate and responsive for the most part, leaving only a small issues in the lower IRE, which could not be corrected completely. But when compared to the pre-calibration, this is still a very good result. As you can see, the gamma curve looks much flatter than before and is now tracking our 2.2 target very closely.

As for the color dE, it was brought down to 1.68, which is great, but the problem in the higher value in the red, blue and magenta were still present and could not be corrected completely without causing more issues than needed. In the end, even with those little problems in the higher red, blue and magenta value, it did not cause any problem while watching normal TV content.

You can see our recommended settings for this Samsung TV here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Upscaling of DVDs and other low quality content is good. Some minor haloing artifacts can be seen along straight edges.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content such as cable looks good. The image is slightly softened, but details are preserved well.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

Full HD content is upscaled well and the image remains clear.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

No issues can be seen with native 4k content.

6.7
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
No
DCI P3 xy
74.30 %
DCI P3 uv
81.07 %
Rec 2020 xy
53.32 %
Rec 2020 uv
59.12 %

Standard color gamut, only good enough for SDR content. Green and red fall well short of their HDR targets, especially green. Though, on the bright side, the TV is fairly accurate at showing the colors it's able to, as with many Samsung TVs.

The TV's EOTF in the 'Movie' picture mode follows the HDR PQ curve fairly well until 40% stimulus grey, where it starts to roll off severely before arriving at its max brightness. When the TV's 'Gamma' setting is made +3 this roll off is far less severe, but the darker shades are made a bit too dark, shown here. The game mode EOTF is fairly similar to Movie mode, and 'Gamma' +3 has a similar effect, shown here. PC mode's EOTF most closely follows the PQ curve, especially with 'Gamma' +3, shown here. Users should adjust the 'Gamma' setting to suit the brightness of their room.

5.7
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
66.5 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
21.8 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
47.6 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
15.6 %

Disappointing color volume. The TV's color gamut narrows for very dark colors, and it can't make fully saturated colors very bright either.

7.6
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.121 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.130 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.098 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.130 dE

The MU6500 does a great job displaying our gradient test image. No 8-bit banding can be seen and overall, besides some little issues in the dark green and blue, this TV does a similar job to the rest of the Samsung line of TVs.

10
Picture Quality
Temporary Image Retention
IR after 0 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 2 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 4 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 6 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 8 min recovery
0.00 %
IR after 10 min recovery
0.00 %

Like the flat MU6300, the MU6500 does not suffer from any image retention.

10
Picture Quality
Permanent Burn-In Risk
Permanent Burn-In Risk
No

We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.

Picture Quality
Pixels
Motion
7.6
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
7.5 ms
100% Response Time
19.1 ms

The response time of the MU6500 is good, resulting in a short trail following moving objects. This is good for most people when watching fast-moving content. This is not as good as some higher-end Samsung TVs like the MU8000, but it is very similar to the MU6300 from 2017 and the KU6300 from 2016.

4.0
Motion
Flicker-Free
Flicker-Free
No
PWM Dimming Frequency
120 Hz

The MU6500 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. Backlight that uses PWM results in duplications following moving objects while helping to clear up motion slightly.

8.6
Motion
Black Frame Insertion (BFI)
Optional BFI
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps
60 Hz
60 Hz for 60 fps
Yes
120 Hz for 120 fps
N/A
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

It is possible to reduce the flicker frequency to 60 Hz by setting 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and activating 'LED Clear Motion'. If you don't mind the visible flicker produced by this option, it helps to clear up fast moving content.

7.0
Motion
Motion Interpolation
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Yes
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
No

The MU6500 has a 60 Hz 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. Note that any motion interpolation will introduce artifacts, so use a small value unless you really like the soap opera effect.

8.3
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
22.6 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
0.0 ms

This TV is great at showing content without stutter. Even for low frame rate content such as 24p movies with a long frame time there is only ~22ms of static image each frame, which makes the image appear smooth even for slow panning shots.

0
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
No
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
No
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
No

This TV can't remove judder from 24p movies, and this independently from any type of sources, that be 24p, 60p and 60i. This is the same result as seen on the MU6300, MU7600 and even the 2016 KU6300. For most people, this is not really an issue though, as judder in movies is not often noticed, but if it is the case, a 120Hz TV like the MU8000 may be a better choice for you.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
60 Hz
Variable Refresh Rate
No
4k VRR Maximum
N/A
4k VRR Minimum
N/A
1080p VRR Maximum
N/A
1080p VRR Minimum
N/A
VRR Supported Connectors
N/A

Like other 2017 TVs, the MU6500 doesn't support a variable refresh rate.

Inputs
9.2
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
19.9 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
19.9 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
88.8 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
19.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
20.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
21.3 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
21.0 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
90.4 ms
4k With Interpolation
89.9 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A

Excellent low input lag, which should please all but the most competitive gamers. Game mode and PC mode both have the same low input lag, though only PC mode can properly show 4:4:4 color. This input lag is very similar to all 2017 Samsung TVs, though not quite as good as the TCL P607.

6.7
Inputs
Supported Resolutions
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
No
1440p @ 60Hz
No
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Yes
4k @ 120Hz
No

Most resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color is only supported when 'HDMI UHD color' is enabled for the input used. 4:4:4 color is only displayed properly when the input's icon is set to PC (aka 'PC mode'). PC mode doesn't work for some refresh rates, such as 24 Hz. The icon will still change to PC, but the settings that are usually disabled in PC mode are not, and 4:4:4 color is not shown properly.

Inputs
Side Inputs
Inputs
Rear Inputs

All of the inputs are located out of the side of the TV.

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 3
USB 2
Digital Optical Audio Out 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm 0
Analog Audio Out RCA 0
Component In 1 (incl. adapter, shared)
Composite In 1 (incl. adapter, shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) 1
Ethernet 1
DisplayPort 0
IR In 0
SD/SDHC 0
Inputs
Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Yes
Dolby Vision
No
HLG
Yes
3D
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 (HDMI 1,2,3)
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
No
ARC
Yes (HDMI 3)
USB 3.0
No
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3)
CEC Yes
MHL No
Variable Analog Audio Out No
Wi-Fi Support Yes (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz)

Only one of Dolby Digital or DTS can be enabled at a time, the TV will not switch between them automatically depending on which the content supports.

Sound Quality
6.6
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
89.80 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
3.97 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
4.19 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
6.34 dB
Max
87.9 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression
3.71 dB

Passable frequency response. The MU6500 lacks a room correction feature that would help reduce the impacts of room modes which can cause an overemphasis in the lower frequencies.

6.6
Sound Quality
Distortion
Weighted THD @ 80
0.231
Weighted THD @ Max
1.150
IMD @ 80