The Samsung TU8000 is a decent TV, but it lacks some key features you might find in higher-end TVs. It has exceptional dark room performance thanks to its excellent contrast ratio and incredible black uniformity, but it lacks a local dimming feature to further darken any blacks. It has decent reflection handling and decent peak brightness but struggles in rooms with direct light. It doesn't support a wide color gamut for HDR content, and the viewing angles are disappointing, so you lose image accuracy when viewed from the side. Most gamers will appreciate the incredibly low input lag and black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur, but unfortunately, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology.
The Samsung TU8000 is a decent TV for most uses. With its excellent contrast ratio and amazing black uniformity, dark scenes in movies look great, but unfortunately, it doesn't support a wide color gamut for HDR movies. The viewing angles are quite disappointing, so you won't be able to watch your favorite game or TV show in a wide seating arrangement. However, it's a good gaming TV due to its incredibly low input lag and its black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur.
The Samsung TU8000 is a decent TV for watching movies. It has a fantastic contrast ratio and amazing black uniformity, and even though there's no local dimming feature, dark scenes look great. This TV can remove judder from 24p sources and from native apps, but not from 60i/60p sources such as cable boxes.
The Samsung TU8000 is decent for TV shows. It does a decent job at handling reflections and can get bright enough to combat glare in rooms with some lighting, but it struggles in well-lit rooms. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are disappointing, so you lose image accuracy if you're watching shows from the side. On the upside, this TV displays 720p and 1080p content, such as from cable boxes, well with no upscaling artifacts.
The Samsung TU8000 is okay for watching sports. It has a decent response time, with not much motion blur, and there's a black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. Unfortunately, there's visible dirty screen effect, which is distracting during sports, and the viewing angles are disappointing so you can't enjoy the game with a big group of friends.
The Samsung TU8000 is good for video games. The input lag is incredibly low and the response time is decent, resulting in a responsive gaming experience. If you game in the dark, the contrast ratio is excellent, so blacks appear as they should. It does a decent job at reflection handling, but if you game in really bright rooms, the reflections might be too distracting. Unfortunately, it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology.
The Samsung TU8000 is mediocre for HDR movies. With a fantastic contrast ratio and incredible black uniformity, dark room viewing is excellent. However, it doesn't support a wide color gamut for HDR content and doesn't get bright in HDR, so it can't display vivid colors as the creator intended them to be.
The Samsung TU8000 is decent for HDR gaming and has an incredibly low input lag with 10-bit HDR enabled with a decent response time. Unfortunately, it doesn't support a wide color gamut and its HDR peak brightness is sub-par, so you won't get an immersive HDR gaming experience. It also doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology.
The Samsung TU8000 is decent to use as a PC monitor. It can properly display 4:4:4 chroma, which is important for reading text, and the input lag is incredibly low, so it responds quickly to your actions. Unfortunately, with disappointing viewing angles, you lose image accuracy if you place it in meeting rooms or if you sit close to it. However, you don't have to worry about the risk of permanent burn-in with static displays.
The Samsung TU8000 is a budget TV in Samsung's 2020 lineup. Samsung has shifted their lineup this year, so the TU8000's closest model from last year is the Samsung RU7100. We expect the TU8000's main competitors to be the TCL 5 Series/S525 2019, Sony X800H, Vizio V Series 2020, and the Hisense H65G.
The Samsung TU8000 has an excellent design. It's the same as Samsung's entry-level TV in the QLED lineup, the Samsung Q60T QLED, except its borders are a slightly darker shade of grey. Overall, it has a simple and modern design with thin bezels. The feet are inserted into the TV itself, so you don't need to screw them on, and there are clips on the back of the feet for cable management.
The Samsung TU8000 has a similar stand to the Samsung RU7100. The feet are inserted into the TV but aren't reversible, and there's a clip on the back of them for cable management. The stand supports the TV well but there's still some wobble.
Footprint of the stand on the 55" TV: 40.2" x 9.9".
This TV is slightly thinner than the RU8000, and it shouldn't stick out too much when wall-mounted.
The Samsung TU8000 has a decent build quality. It feels well-built, with no obvious gaps in construction, but some people may be disappointed that it's entirely made out of plastic. It has a better build quality than the RU8000, partly because our RU8000 unit arrived with a crack in its bezel.
There's no local dimming feature; the video above is provided for reference only.
The Samsung TU8000 has mediocre SDR peak brightness, but it's a decrease from the Samsung RU7100. Like the RU7100, small highlights in dark scenes are dimmed by the TV's frame (CE) dimming feature, which can't be disabled, but it stays consistent across other types of varied content. This TV can't get bright enough to overcome glare in bright rooms.
We measured the peak brightness after calibration, setting the Picture Mode to 'Movie', Gamma to '2.2' and its brightness to 'Max'.
If you don't care as much about image accuracy but want to get the brightest possible, then set the Picture Mode to 'Vivid', Gamma to '2.2' with the slider set to '+3', and the Advanced Contrast Enchancer to 'Max'. We were able to get 301 nits using these settings.
This TV has a poor HDR peak brightness. Like the SDR peak brightness, small highlights in dark scenes are dimmed by the TV's frame (CE) dimming, but it remains fairly consistent across varied content, although it's not bright enough for well-lit rooms. With HDR content, this TV fails to display vivid colors and highlights don't pop the way the creator intended.
We measured the peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Movie HDR' Picture Mode and Gamma ST.2084 set to '0' with the contrast and backlight both at 'Max.'
If you want to get the brightest possible in HDR, we were able to reach 344 nits by setting the Picture Mode to 'Movie HDR' and the Advanced Contrast Enhancer, brightness and contrast all to 'Max'. However, the image quality decreases and the blacks look gray with these settings.
The Samsung TU8000 has okay gray uniformity. The left and right edges of the screen are noticeably darker, and there's visible dirty screen effect at the center, which is distracting during sports or panning shots. However, the screen is more uniform during dark scenes.
The TV has an outstanding black uniformity. There's some blooming around the center cross, but it's not very noticeable. Even though there's no local dimming feature to darken any blacks, it's still a great TV to use in a dark environment.
The TV has a decent reflection handling, similar to the Q60T. There are some reflections in an average-lit room, which shouldn't be a problem for most people, but the reflections might be distracting in brighter rooms.
The Samsung TU8000 has decent out-of-box color accuracy. Most colors and different shades of gray are inaccurate. The gamma curve doesn't follow the target well, so dark scenes will appear darker than they should, and other scenes will be brighter. The color temperature is warmer than our target of 6500K, so most colors will have a red/yellow tint to them.
Post-calibration, the color accuracy is amazing. Most colors are accurate and the color temperature is very close to the target of 6500K. However, the gamma curve is slightly off the target, so most scenes might appear slightly darker than they should.
You can see our recommended settings here.
480p content, like DVDs, is upscaled without any issues or artifacts.
720p content, like cable TV, is displayed properly, with no sign of artifacts.
Like the RU7100, the Samsung TU8000 doesn't support a wide color gamut, which is quite disappointing. The EOTF doesn't follow the PQ very well, so most scenes will be darker than they should, and they're even darker in 'Game' mode, as you can see here. If you're looking for a Samsung TV that supports a wide color gamut, then check out the RU8000.
You can make HDR brighter by setting the Picture Mode to 'Movie',Gamma ST.2084 to '+3', Advanced Contrast Enhancer to 'High' and the brightness and contrast each to their max. The EOTF follows the PQ curve better with these settings, as you can see here.
Without a wide color gamut, the Samsung TU8000 has a mediocre color volume as it fails to produce a wide range of shades and colors.
The TV has a sub-par gradient performance. It struggles with all colors, but mainly darker ones. There's a Noise Reduction setting to help smooth out banding, but it doesn't help much, if at all. This is the worst banding we've seen on any TV, and we double-checked our results to confirm them.
Unlike most VA panel TVs, there's temporary image retention on the Samsung TU8000 immediately after a static image is exposed.
We don't expect VA panels to experience permanent image retention, as the VA panel in our long-term test appears immune.
The Samsung TU8000 has an okay response time. There's some overshoot which will cause a bit of blur trail behind fast-moving objects, but it's not very noticeable. This is an improved response time from the RU7100.
The Samsung TU8000 uses a PWM to dim the backlights at any setting below 100%. It flickers at a very high frequency of 600Hz, so it shouldn't be noticeable for most people. However, in 'Game' mode with Auto Motion Plus enabled, it flickers at 120Hz.
Like the Q60T, the TU8000 exhibits a strange behavior when displaying a single uniform color with the backlight flicker at 600Hz, causing a rolling effect from the bottom to the top of the screen, which you can see here.
There's an optional black frame insertion feature to help reduce motion blur. You can enable it by setting LED Clear Motion to 'On'. Unfortunately, the flicker is always at 60Hz and its timing is off, resulting in duplication of the image, similar to the RU7100. The BFI feature also darkens the screen a fair amount.
This TV can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 60fps. To use the motion interpolation feature, set Picture Clarity to 'On' and Judder Reduction at '10'. It automatically sets the backlight to flicker at 120Hz, which may cause some duplication, although there's less duplication than the Q60T. There aren't many visible artifacts in most content.
You can see our motion interpolation settings here.
There's not much stutter on this TV when displaying lower frame rate content.
Update 08/03/2020:We've updated the TV to the latest firmware (Version 1301). The TV is now able to remove judder from 24p sources and from native apps, but only when Picture Clarity is disabled. It can't remove judder from 60i or 60p sources. The score has been adjusted accordingly.
This TV can't remove judder from any source.