The MU7000 is a good 4k smart TV. Its blacks are nice and deep thanks to its very high contrast, and it can produce a wide color gamut, which is good for HDR. Input lag for video games is low as well, and it has a design that will look good in any room. Unfortunately, it's not the brightest of its class, and picture quality deteriorates rapidly at an angle.
The MU7000 has a familiar central stand, common to most Samsung TVs. It supports the TV quite well and is very stable, but will wobble if knocked.
Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 13.3" x 34.4"
The rear of the TV is quite simple, but the textured back looks good. All of the inputs go out the side of the TV and are easy to access even if wall-mounted or positioned close to furniture.
The borders are quite thin and look good. The metal finish is nice and a step up from the plastic borders of the MU6300.
The TV is quite thin with the stand removed, which is great. If wall-mounted, it looks good. The stand does stick out quite a lot and so it can't be pushed back close to a wall without an alternate mount.
Although the screen gets very warm along the bottom edge, where the backlight LEDs are, the bottom of the TV only feels slightly warm to the touch. There should be no problems with this TV's temperature.
The build quality of the MU7000 is decent. The metal borders feel good but there are some minor gaps or play when pushing on the frame of the TV. The stand is much better built than the MU6300.
The Samsung MU7000 LED TV has a good picture quality. The high contrast ratio and the great black uniformity result in a good experience watching movies in a dark room. If set in a brighter environment, the MU7000 won't be as stunning, since it can't really get that bright to fight glare and reflection can be more prominent than on other TVs. Gray uniformity is very good and dirty screen effect is really not a problem no matter what content you are watching. The MU7000 has a poor viewing angle due to the VA panel, making it better suited for a living room where the viewer will be sitting right in front of the TV most of the time. Finally, when it comes to HDR, the MU7000 won't be the best in its category even if it has a wide color gamut since it can't get really bright and lacks a local dimming feature.
The Samsung MU7000 has an excellent native contrast ratio. With over a 6300:1 ratio, this TV can display deep blacks which make dark movie scenes look very good, especially when the TV is set in a dark room. This is a better result than on the MU8000 reviewed before, even with the MU8000 local dimming turned on.
The MU7000 has no local dimming. The video is for reference only.
Good SDR peak brightness. The TV's CE dimming severely dims very dark scenes, as shown by our 2% white window test, but otherwise stays at a consistent brightness of ~350 cd/m², good enough for a fairly bright room. Overall the brightness is very similar to the MU6300, and a considerable improvement over the KU7000. A plot of brightness over time is shown here.
Mediocre HDR peak brightness. The TV lacks local dimming so it attempts to make dark scenes darker by dimming the whole screen (called CE dimming, frame dimming), which unfortunately also severely dims the highlights as seen in our 2% white window test. In the other tests the TV's brightness is decent but not nearly as bright as intended for highlights in HDR content. Overall the MU7000's brightness is very similar to that of the MU6300, and a considerable improvement over last year's KU7000. A plot of brightness over time is shown here.
The MU7000 has a good gray uniformity for an LED LCD TV. Looking at our 50% gray test picture, you can see that both sides are a bit darker near the edges and there is a warmer zone fading toward the center. Luckily, dirty screen effect is not a problem here, as the center is pretty even. While watching our sports test clip, we did not notice the dirty screen effect which is very good for people who might use this TV mainly for sports.
The 5% gray uniformity is also very good and only the bottom edge is a bit brighter. This is mostly due to the fact that the MU7000 is a bottom-edge lit TV, but luckily this brighter bottom edge is not really visible while looking at normal content.
Bad viewing angle. Blacks turn grey very rapidly at an angle, then the colors shift and the brightness decreases. People sitting to the side of the TV will not have as good picture quality as people sitting directly in front. This viewing angle is very similar to the MU6300.
The MU7000 has a decent black uniformity for a LED TV. Some faint clouding can be seen near the upper corners, but overall the screen is pretty even and this is reflected in the low standard deviation numbers. This means this TV can display dark scenes very well and especially when watching movies in the dark.
Out of the box, the MU7000 has some issues. The white balance is not so accurate and a bit too warm. With a white balance dE over 4, an enthusiast may notice this level of inaccuracy. This, in turn, also affects the gamma, which ends up being higher than our 2.2 target.
Overall, all colors are a bit off, but not by that much and only the blues and cyans are tracking a bit worse than the rest. Even with this, the color accuracy is a bit better than the white balance though and at a dE of 2.78, it is still a good enough result so that it should not be noticeable in a normal home use.
The calibration of the MU7000 was fairly easy and most of the issues that were present out of the box could be fixed thanks to the 2 and 20 points white balance correction. Only the 5 and 10 points of the white balance were still a bit off in the end, but with an average dE of 0.19 for the final white balance, this is still a very good result. With the corrections applied to the white balance, the gamma was flattened considerably and with a final value of 2.21, the gamma is tracking very closely to our 2.2 target.
The color space management system provided some good results on the MU7000. As you can see on the related picture, pretty much all the colors are now tracking their target more closely, with only the deeper blues still being a bit off target. In the end, with a color dE of only 1.32, this is a great post-calibration result.
You can see our recommended settings for this Samsung MU7000 TV here.
Upscaling of low-quality sources such as DVDs is good. Some halo artifacts can be seen along straight edges, but details are preserved well.
1080p sources such as Blu-rays look good. The image is sharp and details remain clear.
Wide color gamut, not as wide as many high end TVs but very similar to that of the MU8000. The MU7000, unfortunately, can't show fully saturated red, green or blue. It struggles most with showing saturated green but this is common for almost all TVs. Fortunately its accuracy with the colors it can show is not bad, though it tends to severely undersaturate colors near the white point.
The TV's EOTF follows the PQ curve fairly well, clipping at its peak brightness with a bit of roll off before, though the roll off starts earlier than with many other TVs. This EOTF was measured in Movie mode; the EOTF for game mode is here and for PC mode is here.
Mediocre color volume. The MU7000 can show its wide color gamut at a range of moderate brightnesses, but at the top of its brightness range it has difficulty making saturated colors bright enough, and at the bottom of its range its color gamut narrows.
Update 08/16/2017: With the conversion to the 1.1 test bench, the normalized Rec. 2020 coverage was listed incorrectly and has been fixed.
The MU7000 can display our gradient test image without any banding normally seen on an 8-bit panel. Some imperfections can be seen in the darker shades but most of the lighter shades are free of banding. This is good since this is where you normally would notice it more in movies, like in light blue skies.
Perfect result for the MU7000 on our image retention test, as no retention could be noticed. This is in line with other Samsung TVs using VA panels.
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 MU7000 is passable. The response time is average, resulting in a faint trail following fast moving objects. The image flickers when the backlight is reduced, but this isn't really noticeable. The black frame insertion works well to clear up fast-paced content. Some minor judder is present when watching movies, but this isn't noticeable to most people. The TV has a 60Hz panel which is able to interpolate lower frame rate content.
The MU7000 uses PWM at 240Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 9/20 backlight setting. Lowering the setting from 9/20 shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant. Backlight that uses PWM results in slightly less smooth motion and occasionally in fast paced content, duplicate images may be seen behind fast moving objects.
It is possible to reduce the flicker frequency to 60 Hz, which helps to reduce persistence blur. To do so, activate 'LED Clear Motion' from the 'Auto Motion Plus' menu. Unfortunately it is not possible to activate 60 Hz black frame insertion when in 'Game' mode.
The MU7000 has a 60Hz panel which can interpolate lower frame rate content. To interpolate 30 fps content, 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.
The Samsung MU7000 is great at displaying movies and TV shows without stutter. This is a result of the response time, which smooths the transition between frames. Even for slow panning shots the image is smooth.
The MU7000 can't play movies without judder. This applies for movies playing from any source whether it is 24p, 60p or 60i. Luckily, not everyone is sensitive to judder, but if you are then the MU7000 may not be the best TV for you.
Like other 2017 TVs we've tested, the MU7000 doesn't support a variable refresh rate.
The MU7000 supports most common input signals, including HDR, and can properly display most content. It has low input lag which should please all but the most competitive gamers.
Excellent low input lag. When in Game mode or when the input's icon is set to PC, the TV's input lag is ~20 ms, which should please all but the most competitive gamers. The PC mode input lag (4:4:4) is a considerable improvement over the KU7000 from last year.
All the common input resolutions are supported, except 120 Hz input because the TV has a 60 Hz panel. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color is only supported when 'HDMI UHD Color' is enabled. 4:4:4 color is only properly displayed when the input's icon is set to PC. 4:4:4 color is properly displayed in HDR content.
4:4:4 color is not properly displayed for some input refresh rates, such as 24 Hz. This is because even if the input's icon is set to PC, the TV acts as if the icon isn't PC if the input refresh rate is 24 Hz. This is visible in the TV's settings because the settings that are normally disabled in PC mode are not disabled.
Only one of Dolby Digital or DTS can be enabled at a time, the TV will not automatically change between them depending on the content.
The MU7000's sound reproduction capabilities are about average for TVs, which isn't to say it is good. It won't have issues with clarity at reasonable volumes, but it isn't anything to write home about. Like almost every other TV, it would greatly benefit from a sound bar or other external speaker upgrades.
Passable frequency response. While bass isn't very extended with a cut-off at 95Hz, the frequency response is reasonably flat. Unfortunately, higher volumes produce exceptional amounts of pumping and compression, rendering them practically unusable.
Poor distortion performance. THD is relatively high at every volume, but it gets exponentially worse with higher volumes.
The MU7000 runs Samsung's 2017 Tizen smart platform, also called Smart Hub. The core of the interface is the Smart Hub itself, a narrow bar at the bottom of the screen that provides quick access to many of the TV's features. The interface is well designed and easy to navigate, but there are often frame drops in its animations that were more rare in last year's Tizen. The TV's remote is very simple and has few buttons, but luckily it has a built-in microphone for voice commands, which can do an amazing list of things in the interface such as changing settings and searching for content.
The center of the interface is the Smart Hub, which must be navigated to access the rest of the interface. This makes it easy to use, but does add extra steps when doing things like changing inputs and settings. This is alleviated somewhat by the second row of the Smart Hub, which is a quick menu containing common settings or recommended content for the item under focus.
The Smart Hub unfortunately has an ad box next to the app menu, and there is no option to remove it.
The TV comes preinstalled with many popular apps such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. Many more apps can be downloaded from the app menu.