Samsung MU9000 TV Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jul 17, 2017 at 09:01 am
Samsung MU9000 Picture
7.9
Mixed Usage
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.6
Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.2
TV Shows
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.9
Sports
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.3
Video Games
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.5
HDR Movies
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
7.9
HDR Gaming
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
8.0
PC Monitor
Value for price beaten by
: Not at the latest test bench
Type LED
Sub-Type
VA
Resolution 4k

The 4k Samsung MU9000 is a versatile TV, with very good picture quality and great motion handling. It can produce deep and uniform blacks, and supports HDR quite well. It isn't all good though as the image accuracy degrades at an angle and the range of colors produced isn't as wide as some other TVs.

Our Verdict

7.9 Mixed Usage

Great TV for a range of uses. Produces deep blacks, even in a well-lit room due to the excellent anti-reflection coating. Can get bright and product a wide range of colors. Motion handling is great, with only a short trail following fast objects. Unfortunately the image accuracy degrades when viewed at an angle.

Pros
  • Great dark scene performance
  • Feels very responsive
  • Can get bright
Cons
  • Images loses accuracy at an angle
  • Poor local dimming
7.6 Movies

Great for movies in a dark room. Very good picture quality with deep blacks, and uniformity is good. Has a local dimming function, but it doesn't work well and results in vertical blooming. 24p content is smooth.

8.2 TV Shows

Good for casual TV watching in a bright room. Deals with reflections well, and can get bright to overcome glare. Unfortunately the image accuracy degrades at an angle.

7.9 Sports

Good for sports fans. Motion handling is great due to the fast response time. Can get bright to overcome glare, and picture quality is very good. Unfortunately for wide seating the image quickly loses accuracy when viewed at an angle.

8.3 Video Games

Great for gamers. Low input lag and great motion handling so TV feels very responsive. Picture quality is very good.

7.5 HDR Movies

Great for watching HDR movies in a dark room. Very good picture quality with deep blacks and good uniformity. Can produce a wide range of colors and get bright, but unfortunately the local dimming doesn't work well to improve dark scene performance further.

7.9 HDR Gaming

Great for HDR gaming. Picture quality is very good, and motion handling is great. Feels responsive with low input lag. Can produce bright, vivid highlights.

8.0 PC Monitor

Decent PC monitor. Very good picture quality, but when close to the screen the edges lose accuracy due to the poor viewing angle. Feels very responsive with low input lag and great motion handling.

  • 7.9 Mixed Usage
  • 7.6 Movies
  • 8.2 TV Shows
  • 7.9 Sports
  • 8.3 Video Games
  • 7.5 HDR Movies
  • 7.9 HDR Gaming
  • 8.0 PC Monitor
  1. Update 3/30/2018: It was discovered that many 2017 Samsung TVs change their BFI frequency to 60 Hz when a lot of 60 Hz motion is detected on screen. The scores have been updated.
  2. Update 3/12/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  3. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.

Test Results

Design
9.5
Design
Style
Curved No

The design of the MU9000 is great. The TV feels as premium as it looks, and has a few nice touches such as the thin borders and textured back. Most of the inputs are located on the OneConnect box and are easy to access.  

Design
Stand

The stand of the MU9000 is similar to other Samsung TVs such as the KS9000 from 2016. It is small enough to fit on most tables and supports the TV well, although it will wobble a bit if knocked.

Footprint of the 55" TV stand: 33.7" x 13.8"

Design
Back
Wall Mount VESA 400x400

The rear of the TV looks good. Most of the inputs are located on the OneConnect box and are easy to access. The cable management is great, as the stand of the TV is used to route the cables out of the back (visible here).

Design
Borders
Borders 0.39" (1.0 cm)

The borders of the TV are thin and look great.

Design
Thickness
Max Thickness 1.89" (4.8 cm)

The TV is quite thin when viewed from the side. The bottom half of the TV is the thickest part, but even then it won't stick out much if wall-mounted.

Design
Temperature
Maximum Temperature
100 °F (38 °C)
Average Temperature
90 °F (32 °C)

The TV stays fairly cool, only getting slightly warm to the touch in a few places on the back. The OneConnect box only gets slightly warm, reaching a maximum of 32 °C.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The build quality of the MU9000 is good. Some minor gaps are present around the frame, but overall the parts feel well constructed and very durable. There is some flex when pushing on the rear plastic, but this isn't an issue.

Picture Quality
9.1
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
6023 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
6027 : 1

The Samsung MU9000 has an excellent native contrast ratio just above 6000:1, which is great for people who have a dark home theater setup as it results in detailed dark scenes with deep blacks.

With the local dimming feature set to 'High', the contrast ratio remains almost the same, which shows the poor implementation of the local dimming on the MU9000.

Note that we could not completely turn off the local dimming feature on the MU9000, but simply set it to 'Low'.

1.8
Picture Quality
Local Dimming
Local Dimming
Yes
Backlight
Edge

The local dimming feature on the Samsung MU9000 is bad and is very similar in performance as on the MU8000 and Q7F. Since the MU9000 is an edge-lit TV and that the local dimming span across a large vertical zone, a large vertical blooming is visible following the moving highlight on our test video. The local dimming has 3 setting ('Low', 'Standard' and 'High') and we recommend to test each setting to see what is best for you. If you find that the screen luminance change too much depending on the on-screen content, set the local dimming to 'Low' or 'Standard'.

8.3
Picture Quality
SDR Peak Brightness
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
402 cd/m²
SDR Peak 2% Window
541 cd/m²
SDR Peak 10% Window
1067 cd/m²
SDR Peak 25% Window
555 cd/m²
SDR Peak 50% Window
478 cd/m²
SDR Peak 100% Window
425 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 2% Window
415 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 10% Window
499 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 25% Window
550 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 50% Window
476 cd/m²
SDR Sustained 100% Window
424 cd/m²
SDR ABL
0.017

Plot over time

Great SDR peak brightness. The sustained brightness remains a good 400 - 600 cd/m² for all tests, yet local dimming is able to spike the brightness above 1000 cd/m² in an ideal case, though not for very long, as shown in the plot over time. This brightness behavior is very similar to the MU8000, but the MU9000 is a little brighter in every test.

7.0
Picture Quality
HDR Peak Brightness
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
424 cd/m²
HDR Peak 2% Window
554 cd/m²
HDR Peak 10% Window
609 cd/m²
HDR Peak 25% Window
602 cd/m²
HDR Peak 50% Window
442 cd/m²
HDR Peak 100% Window
429 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 2% Window
420 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 10% Window
535 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 25% Window
534 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 50% Window
440 cd/m²
HDR Sustained 100% Window
426 cd/m²
HDR ABL
0.018

Plot over time

Decent HDR peak brightness. The real scene brightness is good, and the TV's local dimming can make highlights in dark scenes even brighter, as shown by our smaller window tests. The 'Dynamic' picture mode is even brighter than the 'Movie' mode we test, as seen in the plot over time, but has less accurate picture quality.

7.6
Picture Quality
Gray Uniformity
50% Std. Dev.
4.064 %
50% DSE
0.168 %
5% Std. Dev.
0.359 %
5% DSE
0.095 %

The gray uniformity of the MU9000 is good. The edges of the TV are a bit darker, but this isn't too noticeable with normal content. The uniformity of the middle of the screen is very good, so there is very little dirty screen effect when panning over uniform sports fields. The 5% uniformity look even better than the 5%, which is very good.

4.2
Picture Quality
Viewing Angle
Color Shift
19 °
Brightness
30 °
Black Level
16 °

Bad viewing angle, but fairly typical for a VA panel. Blacks turn gray and colors degrade when the TV is viewed from a small angle, while brightness decreases at a larger angle. People viewing the TV from the side will not have as good picture quality as people viewing from the front.

6.9
Picture Quality
Black Uniformity
Native Std. Dev.
1.409 %
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
1.356 %

The overall black uniformity of the MU9000 is decent. On the native black uniformity test picture, some clouding is visible in the center of the screen, but it is very faint. Unlike the 2016 TVs with local dimming such as the KS8000 or KS9000, the local dimming on this TV can't be turned off. Instead, the 'native' picture was taken with local dimming set to 'low' and some vertical blooming is visible because of the edge-lit backlight.

The black uniformity picture with local dimming was taken with the local dimming set to 'High' and the same clouding that was visible on the native test picture is still there, but it is less obvious.

9.1
Picture Quality
Reflections
Screen Finish
Glossy
Total Reflections
1.9 %
Indirect Reflections
0.4 %

The MU9000 is excellent at handling reflections. It has a glossy finish, so reflections are defined but also significantly reduced in intensity. There is a minor purple tint, but it works to further reduce any reflections. This is a great result, even for a bright room.

8.5
Picture Quality
Pre Calibration
Picture Mode
Movie
White Balance dE
1.96
Color dE
2.16
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6351 K

Prior to calibration, the accuracy of the MU9000 is very good. The target gamma of Samsung TVs is a bit different to our target of 2.2, but the colors are very accurate and the white balance is good in the 'Warm2' color temperature. For most people, a calibration is not necessary.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post Calibration
Picture Mode
Movie
White Balance dE
0.24
Color dE
1.05
Gamma
2.21
Color Temperature
6498 K

The calibration works very well to improve the color and white balance tracking. This is a great result and results in a very accurate picture. Like other Samsung TVs, the white balance takes a bit longer to perform but the results are impressive.

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0
Picture Quality
480p Input

Upscaling of DVDs or other 480p content is good. Minor halo artifacts are visible along strange lines.

8.0
Picture Quality
720p Input

720p content such as cable is upscaled well. Details are preserved and the image isn't too soft.

9.0
Picture Quality
1080p Input

1080p sources such as Blu-rays look good. The image is sharp and clear.

10
Picture Quality
4k Input

No issues can be seen with the display of native 4k content.

7.6
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Wide Color Gamut
Yes
DCI P3 xy
82.58 %
DCI P3 uv
90.60 %
Rec 2020 xy
60.58 %
Rec 2020 uv
69.49 %

Good wide color gamut, though not as wide as the KS8000 from last year. The TV can produce fairly saturated red and blue, but struggles with saturated green, though this is common for modern TVs. The TV also isn't very accurate at showing the colors its able to. The MU8000 has better accuracy and a very similar color gamut.

The TV's EOTF in the 'Movie' picture mode we test follows the HDR PQ curve very well, up until where it clips at its peak brightness. The EOTFs in Game and PC mode here and here are also very accurate, but have less peak brightness than Movie mode because local dimming is not applied.

6.9
Picture Quality
Color Volume
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage ITP
75.1 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage ITP
34.2 %
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
62.7 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage ITP
28.7 %

Mediocre color volume, though only really limited by its color gamut and dark color performance. The TV shows its wide color gamut almost perfectly throughout its entire brightness range except for really dark colors. The TV's poor local dimming was unable to make our black-with-white-border slide very dark in the center, so the black point, while still good, isn't as low as a TV with good local dimming like the Sony X900E.

7.3
Picture Quality
Gradient
Color Depth
10 Bit
Red (Std. Dev.)
0.121 dE
Green (Std. Dev.)
0.127 dE
Blue (Std. Dev.)
0.113 dE
Gray (Std. Dev.)
0.157 dE

As with other TVs of the 2017 MU line of Samsung, the MU9000 can display how gradient test image without any banding associated with an 8-bit panel. Overall the gradient looks smooth, but there is some imperfection, mostly in the darker green color. Luckily, we did not see any major banding while looking at some particularly demanding scene from HDR movies, which is great.

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 other Samsung VA TVs, the MU9000 doesn't suffer from any temporary 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
8.4
Motion
Response Time
80% Response Time
5.7 ms
100% Response Time
13.8 ms

The response time of the MU9000 is very fast, resulting in only a very short trail following moving objects. This is excellent for fast-paced content. The response time for this TV is almost identical to the response time of the MU8000 and better than the KS9000 of 2016.

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

The MU9000 uses PWM at 120Hz to dim the backlight, starting at 20/20 backlight setting. Lowering the setting down to 14/20 lowers backlight amplitude, while lowering it from 13/20 shortens the duty cycle, while amplitude remains constant. Backlight that uses PWM results in duplications following moving objects but does clear up motion slightly.

Update 03/30/2018: Scaled the 'Luminosity' axis of the plots; now the Flicker-Free plots and the new BFI plot have the same 'Luminosity' axis.

8.8
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
Yes
Min Flicker for 60 fps in Game Mode
120 Hz

Unfortunately, the 'LED Clear Motion' option doesn't reduce the BFI frequency and only dims the backlight. This is the same behaviour as the MU8000 and Q7F.

Update 03/30/2018: It was discovered that many 2017 Samsung TVs change their BFI frequency to 60 Hz when a lot of 60 Hz motion is detected on screen. The score, photo and plots have been updated.

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

The MU9000 has a 120Hz panel which can interpolate lower frame rate content. To do so, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and increase the 'De-judder' and 'De-blur' sliders. The 'De-judder' slider affects 30 fps or lower content, and the 'De-blur' slider affects 60fps content. Note that any motion interpolation will introduce artifacts, so use a small value unless you really like the soap opera effect.

7.5
Motion
Stutter
Frame Hold Time @ 24 fps
27.9 ms
Frame Hold Time @ 60 fps
2.9 ms
10
Motion
24p Judder
Judder-Free 24p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60p
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via 60i
Yes
Judder-Free 24p via Native Apps
Yes

The MU9000 is able to display 24p movies from all sources with the correct cadence. To remove judder without adding the soap opera effect, set 'Auto Motion Plus' to 'Custom' and both sliders ('Blur Reduction' and 'Judder Reduction') to 0. The 'LED Clear Motion' feature is not related to judder, but to the black frame insertion feature.

0
Motion
Variable Refresh Rate
Native Refresh Rate
120 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 MU9000 doesn't support a variable refresh rate.

Inputs
8.9
Inputs
Input Lag
1080p @ 60Hz
24.2 ms
1080p @ 60Hz + HDR
23.5 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
79.1 ms
1080p @ 120Hz
N/A
4k @ 60Hz
23.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
24.2 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
19.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
19.8 ms
4k @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
80.1 ms
4k With Interpolation
80.0 ms
4k @ 120 Hz
N/A
4k with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A
1080p with Variable Refresh Rate
N/A

Low input lag, which will please all but the most competitive gamers. Both Game mode and PC mode have low input lag, though only PC mode can show 4:4:4 color properly. The PC mode input lag is an improvement over the KS9000.

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 common resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is only supported when 'HDMI UHD Color' is enabled for the input used. 4:4:4 color is only properly displayed when the input's icon is set to 'PC' (aka PC mode).

PC mode cannot be activated for some input resolutions, such as 24 Hz. The icon will still be PC, but the picture settings that are disabled in PC mode are not disabled, indicating that the TV isn't in PC mode.

Inputs
Side Inputs

On the side of the TV is one USB, and an ethernet port.

Inputs
Rear Inputs

The external OneConnect box contains all of the HDMI inputs to the TV.

Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI 4
USB 3
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
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 1,2,3,4)
HDMI 2.1 Full Bandwidth
No
ARC
Yes (HDMI 4)
USB 3.0
No
HDCP 2.2 Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
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.

Sound Quality
6.2
Sound Quality
Frequency Response
Low-Frequency Extension
89.80 Hz
Std. Dev. @ 70
4.23 dB
Std. Dev. @ 80
4.42 dB
Std. Dev. @ Max
8.53 dB
Max
89.4 dB SPL
Dynamic Range Compression