HDTV Review – Samsung UE55HU8500 Review

HDTV Review – Samsung UE55HU8500 Review

Samsung UE55HU8500 Review – “On the occasion of a visit to the headquarters of Samsung Italy, I had the opportunity to do some tests and a brief calibration on the new TV series HU8500 Ultra HD with curved screen and resolution Ultra HD, all revealing many surprises in store …”


Not enough diatribes between full HD and Ultra HD and even those between LCD, OLED and AMOLED. With the arrival of the first display “curved” discussion topics begin to be numerous and more and more interesting, although there is always the risk that the effect on consumers is kind of opposite. As for me, I am increasingly convinced that the availability of resolution screens Ultra HD 4K (3840×2160 pixels), with high quality and lower prices, will bring many advantages in this area, starting with a faster growth of the “hunger “quality by consumers who, especially in Italy, are accustomed really too bad.

Take this opportunity to remind you that some of the most important broadcasts of the state TV, as some news, I’m still in standard definition, with aspect ratio 4: 3 and – what is worse – with a number of format errors when they are broadcast services with value d ‘appearance in 16: 9 like those sports. The amount of high-definition content are still in small quantities and even lower quality. In theory, the arrival of content 4K Ultra HD progressive scan 414.7 Mega Pixels / sec will increase resolution to be up to 8 times faster than the HD (51.8 MP / sec) and up to 40 times more than the standard definition images (10.4 MP / sec).

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review - 2

Waiting for content 4K Ultra HD, which should arrive by the year 2015, when we can take comfort in only a few native content, available primarily via the web (Youtube, Netflix et cetera) or “self-produced” with smartphones like the Samsung Note 3, or Galaxy S5, or even with cameras like the new Panasonic FZ1000 that promises a picture quality that many fans would not be able even to imagine in relation to the purchase price.

Returning to bomb, at this time so effervescent and pseudo-transition between full HD and Ultra HD (which will probably last at least 10 years), with plasma technology now abandoned – also from Samsung Italy – and the AMOLED which begins to move first concrete steps swoop on the market too curved screens, with arguments certainly more aesthetic and technical but at first they had left me rather indifferent. After the first contact with real products and final, so well away from trade shows, I have to admit that the aesthetic itself won me even if the technological advantages bandied about by various manufacturers will also be so true as negligible.

Anyway, in my personal experience, I had to admit that the TV in question seems a bit more greater than it is in reality. The larger to exchange it for a 60 “and a 55”. About the curvature? This is highly unlikely, but it could also be about the choice of finishes and details. To analyze the possible advantages would a real debate and it is precisely what we will do next Thursday, June 26, in the presence of a small group of students in our discussion forums. If you’re curious, next Thursday, have a few hours of time and are willing to take a walk in Milan, if you want to participate you can take a look at the details in this focus.

Features, menus, and test conditions

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review - 3

The new Samsung Ultra HD TV range consists of 6 different lines of TV, organized in 16 different models, with diagonal between 40 “line HU6900 and 85” of the line HU7500 and prestigious model S9. Among these series there are only two with curved panels: HU8500 line with three models and with diagonals of 78 “, 65” and 55 “. HU8200 Then there is also the line, and finishes with very similar characteristics but with two only cuts available: 65 “and 55”.

The model I tested, the new Samsung UE55HU8500, is positioned on top of the current range TV, has a more powerful processor and can therefore rely on the features “smart” more advanced. The aesthetic is certainly rewarding: the curvature of the display is very noticeable and is also underscored by the support base, with a very elegant finish reminiscent of brushed aluminum, the same choice for the rear panel, very elegant.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review - 4

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review - 5

All connections (4 HDMI, 3USB, LAN, SCART, CI + slot, sockets RF, component signals, audio, et cetera) are all integrated in a small box, connected to the TV through a single cable. The HDMI ports are already compatible “2.0” and 60p while the electronics are capable of decoding 4K content compressed in HEVC. Should it be necessary, the compatibility with some of the future standards is ensured right from the replacement of this box with a more modern one.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review - 6

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review - 7

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review - 8

The menu is well organized, with very readable and modern graphics and fast. In this first meeting I missed the fast analysis of functions “smart” that delve definitely on another occasion and I preferred to use the few minutes available to verify the quality of the image, starting from the functions in the menu, providing more precise directly in the two paragraphs devoted to the measurement of performance.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review - 9

The test took place at the laboratory of the headquarters of Samsung Italy thanks to the precious Italian helpfulness of the staff who gave me almost a couple of hours for all the analysis of the case with the portable instrumentation, or with x-rite i1 Pro and x-rite i1 Display Pro.

LAB: measurements in default mode

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 10

We start from the analysis of the curves of gamma and luminance values ​​of maximum, with the default settings in mode “Dynamic”, comes to 341 candles per square meter and is worth slightly less than other flat-resolution 4K Ultra HD which I measured recently. In any case, the dynamic mode is characterized by a general rather low quality video, with white balance and also define only “balance” is an understatement, very low values ​​of the range on the high light and high lower ones and very complementary colors away from the reference. In short: a medium disaster. The default settings “Natural” should be only slightly better for the parameters of the range. White balance and color are always forgotten.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 11

With the “Standard” mode the gamma curve to be significantly better, but the highlights loses several points while the white balance and colors are always lontani.Al contrary, by selecting the “Film” There is very close to the reference in many ways view .; in this case, however, the luminance down to 272 candles per square meter, a value more than enough even stay in well-lit but also much lower than other competitors. The gamma curve, however, is really very good, with values ​​that, when you choose the default mode, are between 2.1 and 2.3 over most of the gray scale. In addition, it is possible to modulate the response by changing the curvature in general a very simple and intuitive and, more importantly, no surprises.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 12

In the graph at the top we can see the white balance in the default mode “Film”, very close to the reference and Delta E values ​​of uv which remains fully acceptable for most of the gray scale. In this first look, I was not possible to measure the value of the native contrast ratio of the display, both for the lighting conditions of the environment, both for the slight curvature of the display that has prevented me to “seal” the opening of the portable measuring instrument. For a more precise measurement I will need the traditional Minolta LS100, properly calibrated and a completely darkened. Anyway, looking indirectly the “fold” of the gamma curve in the low light, it seems that the TV is able to not go too far beyond a value of about 1.000: 1, easily surpassing the display with IPS technology.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 13

The color reproduction is to forget for almost all preset modes but it is good for mode “Film”. The Delta E uv is very low for colors close to red, blue and cyan and is a bit higher for yellow and magenta, with a tendency to over-saturation in the intermediate steps for yellow, cyan and magenta and the sub-saturation for red. In any case, the situation described in this way is likely to seem worse than it is in reality: in the worst cases (yellow and magenta), the average Delta E uv is equal to 6 and the average Delta E uv color reference card Gretag Macbeth is 3.35, then already very low.

LAB: measurements after calibration

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 14

For the calibration, I started from the default “movie” setting first play of the primary colors within the triangle of reference gamut of high definition. The display is not able to go much further, then larger color spaces such as Adobe, DCI or REC.2020 can not be played even with ad hoc calibration.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 15

After selecting a default color space closer to REC.709 I proceeded to calibrate the white balance on two points (highlights and low lights, exactly in that order), achieving such good results not to proceed further, namely with the scale of gray steps of 10%.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 16

The result is very good indeed, and the maximum error on the gray scale, according to the scale Delta E uv with weighing of the luminance and of the range, is lower than 6 and is related only to the step at 10% intensity of the input signal, situation improved with the calibration of that single step and that, for the limited time available, I had to postpone.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 17

In these conditions, the values ​​of the range are excellent and comprised between 2.2 and 2.3 for a good part of the gray scale (from 45% to 95%) and drops very gently, reaching the value of only 2.00 to 15% intensity of the input signal. The first step is already worth 1.7 to 5% and is synonymous with a good sense of three-dimensionality and playback levels of the nuances very precise. The color reproduction is the thing that has impressed me the most. Even in this case, the tools available for calibration are many and very powerful: with a little patience it is possible to calibrate hue, saturation and luminance of the primary and secondary colors, with excellent results.

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 18

By limiting the calibration to the white balance, the values ​​are already very good, with a Delta E uv which becomes even more content than the movie settings and gives something only in the intermediate step of saturation of yellow and green, and partly also to the magenta and where there is only a slight tendency to over-saturation. The average Delta E color uv test card Gretag is less than 2 In a nutshell, the overall picture is very good and can be further improved, provided you invest a bit of time in the combinations of color calibration is in control and in balance white on 10 points, taking great care not to prejudice a reproduction of the nuances that already seems very good.

preliminary Conclusions

HDTV Review - Samsung UE55HU8500 Review 19

After years of forced away from Samsung, this first contact with the first TV Ultra HD with curved panel has not left me indifferent. The image quality is generally very good, especially if you choose the default mode “film”. With a few more minutes it is possible to further optimize some of the main parameters of the images, without the need for a colorimeter and special abilities. With instrumentation and appropriate knowledge and tools that Samsung has included in the calibration menu will delight the most avid of a “geek” with good, very good chance of reaching the reference in many fields photometric.

Unfortunately, with this short visit at the headquarters of Samsung I only had time to do some measuring and calibration experiment with a more than satisfactory. For a more detailed analysis of the functions of the smart and picture quality with the test material, images, TV, Blu-ray Disc and sources native resolution 4K Ultra HD, I had to schedule another appointment.

Will I be able to learn more about this TV exactly tomorrow, Thursday, June 26, at the headquarters of Samsung Italy to Cernusco and in the company of some fans entered the forum discussion of AV Magazine. The occasion is a comparison with other Samsung TV, both at full HD resolution that Ultra HD, with both flat and curved panel. For more information and to attend the event in one of the two events (between 10:30 and 13:00 or between 14:30 and 17:00) you will find all the information available in the focus at this address. If you are interested do not worry: there are still some places available.

In the meantime, pending the completion of this test with emphasis on further refinements of the calibration and analysis on the reproduction of static and dynamic images, we mark the official product page with all the technical features, available at the following address: www.samsung.com,  Credit : avmagazine.it