Samsung MU8500 vs KS8500 Review (UN55MU8500 vs UN55KS8000, UN65MU8500 vs UN65KS8500)
Samsung MU8500 is a part of Samsung’s 2017 Premium UHD TV lineup Series 8 and also a successor of KS8500, a part of Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TV lineup. The similarity between them, both of them come with Curved Panel. In the market, Samsung KS8500 is available on 3 screen sizes, 49 Inch (UN49KS8500), 55 Inch (UN55KS8500), and 65 Inch (UN65KS8500), while the successor MU8500 is only available on 2 screen sizes, 55 Inch (UN55MU8500) and 65 Inch (UN65MU8500). As a newer model, MU8500 should offer better performance than KS85000 as the predecessor or at least their performance is similar. Is that right? Let’s start to discuss the difference between them.
Short Review of Samsung KS8500 (UN49KS8500, UN55KS8500, UN65KS500)
Samsung KS8500 is a curved model of Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TV lineup Series 8. It is one of Samsung TVs that certified by Ultra HD Premium certification that means it can display HDR 10 contents fully without any issues. Comes with HDR technology, it already supports HDR 10 content only. One of the mainstay technology of KS8500 is about quantum dot panel that make it can deliver wide color gamut, even exceed than the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR fully. Additionally, peak brightness is also very bright, even brighter than 1000 nits due the number of Samsung’s advanced technology behind it like Peak Illuminator Pro, Ultra Clear Panel and more. Additionally, since it has deep black level, good black uniformity and strong contrast due Edge lit Backlight with local dimming that supported UHD Dimming and Ultra Black technology behind it, quality of the picture displayed on its screen looks very well for its class. Even in a dark room where black level plays important role, blacks looks very dark that makes detail images in shadow or dark scenes look clearly.
Meanwhile, for delivering smooth images when displaying sport program or fast movies, it is powered by Motion Rate 240 technology based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. Samsung KS8500 is also equipped with great UHD Up-scaling engine that allows you to enjoy contents with any resolution to near 4K quality. Additionally, the input lag of KS8500 is also low once game mode is activated. This makes KS8500 series is very comfortable to be used for games. And for completing your home entertainment with smart features, KS8500 series is equipped with Tizen OS as its smart TV platform and powered by a quad core processor.
Since Samsung KS8500 use VA panel technology, poor viewing angle become a major downside of it. This means the picture will looks degraded from side viewing angle. The other downside, there is no 3D technology behind it.
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Short Review of Samsung MU8500 (UN55MU8500, UN65MU8500)
As we have mentioned, Samsung MU8500 is a successor of KS8500. Comes as newer model, performance that offered is not as great as the predecessor due lacks of some technologies like quantum dot panel. Nevertheless, refers to the price when they are first released, Samsung MU8500 actually is sold hundreds dollar cheaper than KS8500. So, if its performance is not as great as the predecessor, this certainly is understandable.
Unlike the predecessor, there is no quantum dot technology behind it and as the instead, it is powered by 4K Color Drive Extreme. This certainly makes color gamut that covered by MU8500 is not as wide as KS8500. Nevertheless, it still supports wide color gamut that makes the color of the picture that produced looks accurate, even when displaying HDR. Additionally, MU8500 also uses edge lit backlight with local dimming (precision black). BY supported some technologies like UHD Dimming and Triple Black technology, this makes black level and contrast of Samsung MU8500 is very deep and strong. Otherwise, peak brightness of MU8500 is also quite bright due Peak Illuminator Pro and Ultra Clear Panel technology behind it. But unfortunately, it is still not as bright as peak brightness of the KS8500 and still below 1000 nits as the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR 10 fully. This course makes its HDR performance is not as great as the predecessor.
While picture quality of Samsung MU8500 is not as good as the predecessor KS8500, when handling motion blur, it offers better performance than the predecessor. This makes it offers smoother picture quality with less motion blur when used for watching sports program or other fast moving images. MU8500 is also equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine that allows you to watch any contents with the quality close to 4K quality. Meanwhile, talking about the input lag, it also has very low input lag, even under both game mode and PC mode that makes it is great for games or navigating the TVs feels responsive. And as its smart TV platform, Samsung MU8500 comes with Tizen OS 2017 version that comes with nicer theme and nicer animation than previous version.
Like the predecessor KS8500, poor viewing angle and 3D technology are major downsides of Samsung MU8500. Nevertheless, it is not alone because all TVs that use VA panel also have the same problem. As long as you avoid watch TV from side viewing angle, this should not be a big problem.
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Samsung MU8500 vs KS8500 Key Specification
|Specs and Features||KS8500||MU8500|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||49 Inch (UN49KS8500), 55 Inch (UN55KS8500), 65 Inch (UN65KS8500)||55 Inch (UN55MU8500), 65 Inch (UN65MU8500)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Type of Panel||Curved||Curved|
|Backlighting||Edge Lit||Edge Lit|
|Dimming Technology||Local Dimming (Precision Black)||Local Dimming (Precision Black)|
|Picture Engine||Information not provided||UHD Remastering Engine|
|HDR Engine||HDR1000||4K HDR Extreme|
|HDR Support||HDR 10||HDR 10|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot Panel||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Ultimate||Yes|
|Blacks||Ultra Black||Triple Black|
|Depth Enhancing Technology||Auto Depth Enhancing||Information not provided|
|Motion Handling||Motion Rate 240||Motion Rate 240|
|Refresh rate||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2016||Tizen 2017|
|Sound Output||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)|
Samsung MU8500 vs KS8500 Performance
As we have mentioned above, lack of quantum dot technology makes color gamut that can be covered by Samsung MU85000 is not as wide as KS8500 series. You need to know, KS8500 with quantum dot panel can cover about 95% of DCI P3 color space while MU8500 can cover less than what covered by KS8500. Nevertheless, color gamut delivered by MU8500 still exceeds 90% of DCI P3 color space as the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR 10 fully. This course makes color of the picture that displayed on the screen of KS8500 looks richer and more vibrant than what displayed on the screen of MU8500. But considering color gamut delivered by MU8500 still wider than 90% of DCI P3 color space, of course this makes the color of the picture produced by MU8500 series also still looks accurate, even when displaying HDR contents. And of course when they are displaying SDR contents that only require Rec.709 color space, color of the picture that displayed on their screen certainly looks very saturated and accurate. Still about color performance, both of them also already support 10 bit depth of color that means each of them can deliver about 1.07 billion shades of color. This makes color gradient of the picture displayed on their screen looks very smooth without any major color banding. From here we can conclude, although KS8500 offers wider color gamut than MU8500 but essentially, color performance of both is great even when displaying HDR contents that require wider color gamut than SDR contents.
In term of black level and contrast, black level and contrast of Samsung KS8500 is also slight deeper and stronger than MU8500 is a newer model. But essentially, black level and contrast of both are very deep and strong for LED TV, far deeper than 0.05 nits as the recommendation for displaying HDR 10 contents fully even deeper than 0.02 nits. This certainly makes blacks of the images looks very dark even when used in a dark room. As we know, black of images that displayed on the screen of TV where its contrast is not so strong, when used in dark room, blacks will look tend to grey. With great performance on black level and contrast, this certainly makes picture will looks very detail in dark scenes or shadows especially when displaying HDR contents. As we know, the deeper black level, detail of images in shadow will look clearer and color looks more accurate especially for darker color that makes the picture looks more natural and realistic.
Moving on peak brightness produced by them, peak brightness of Samsung MU8500 is also not as bright as KS8500. Since peak brightness is one of the most important aspects of HDR, this certainly has an impact on HDR performance that offered by them. As we know, the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR 10 contents fully is 1000 nits of peak brightness and Samsung KS8500 can reach about 1500 nits of peak brightness. In other hand, despite picture of Samsung MU8500 can be said brightly due its bright peak brightness, but it is still below 1000 nits. This means, peak brightness of Samsung KS8500 is quite bright for displaying HDR contents fully, even when used in a room with sunlight coming in through the windows, it is quite bright to fight the glare. Meanwhile, peak brightness of MU8500 is only quite enough to fight the glare and makes its HDR performance is great when it is used in a dark room or a room with normal light. Meanwhile, for displaying HDR 10 fully or displaying HDR contents in a very bright room, it is not still quite bright.
From all display specs that offered by them, this indicate Samsung KS8500 offer better picture quality and greater HDR performance than MU8500, even KS8500 is certified by Ultra HD Premium certification that indicated it can display HDR 10 contents fully. Meanwhile for MU8500, although black level, contrast, and color delivered meet the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR, but its peak brightness is not quite bright to fight the glare in a very bright room where sunlight coming in directly through the window. Meanwhile when used in a dark room or bright room with normal light, peak brightness of MU8500 is quite bright to makes its HDR performance is great.
Still about picture quality, both of them are also equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine that allows you to enjoy any contents in 4K resolution. No matter the resolution of video sources, whether it is 480p like DVDs movies, 720p like movies from HDTV, or 1080p like Blu-Ray movies, all of them are displayed close to 4K quality clearly and sharply, even with small details preserved very well. And considering most of the contents that available in the market still have lower resolution than 4K, this feature certainly is very important.
But unfortunately, you can enjoy the stunning picture quality that displayed on each of their screen only if you watch TV from center and in front of the screen. Since they have poor side viewing angle, the quality of the picture will look degraded started at 20 degrees off center and front. Blacks will look tend to grey while color will look faded. And the wider viewing angle you are watching from, the picture deterioration will be more noticeable. Nevertheless, if you don’t often watch TV from side viewing angle, this is not a big issue.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Despite for handling motion blur, both of them are powered by the same technology that is Motion Rate 240 based native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, but essentially, Samsung MU8500 offers slight better performance than KS8500 due its pixel response time is quicker. The result, the picture that displayed on the screen of MU8500 look clearer and smoother when they are displaying fast moving images like fast movies or sport program. On the screen of MU8500, there is only a short trail following fast moving object while on the screen of KS8500, a trail following fast moving objects look longer. But even so, most of people might not notice about it. So essentially, both of them are great TVs when used for watching fast moving images and the picture displayed on their screen looks clear and smooth. Meanwhile, when used for playing 24p movies, both of them also offer smooth picture quality without any judder. No matter the source is 24p movies from blu-ray, via 60p signals like movies from satellite TV or even 60p signals like movies from streaming media, judder can be removed completely without adding “soap opera effect. Additionally, since both of them are 120 Hz TV, they also already support 30fps/60fps motion interpolation.
The inputs/outputs of Samsung MU8500 and KS8500 are identical. There are 4 HDMI Ports, 3 USB Ports, RF In (Terrestrial), Ethernet, Built In Wi-Fi, Digital Audio Out (optical), and RS 232C. There are no AV In and Component In behind It, so if you have old devices where AV IN or Component in as their major connectivity, you need a converter to connect them on to M8500 or KS8500. But unlike most of TVs that available in the market where all of their inputs are installed on side or rear panel, most of inputs/outputs or MU8500 and KS8500 are installed on separated box called “One Connect Box Mini”. The advantage, if there is an update of these ports, you just need upgrade or change your box without change your TV. The other advantage of Samsung KS8500 and MU8500 is about their low input lag. Once game mode is activated, their input lag is very low at any source, no matter it is 1080p signal, 4k Signals, or 4K + HDR signals. Combine to low pixel response time, this makes both of them a very comfortable when used for playing games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. Nevertheless, under PC mode, the input lag of Samsung MU8500 is far lower than KS8500 that makes navigating the TV on MU8500 feel a bit more responsive than KS8500.
Smart TV Platform
Samsung MU8500 features Tizen OS 2017 version as its smart TV platform while KS8500 features Tizen OS 2016 version as its smart TV platform. But essentially they are identical. Both of them are also powered by the same quad core processor. A bit difference is about their appearance where Tizen 2017 comes with white them and nice animation that makes it looks more attractive. Nevertheless, this has no a major impact on their performance. Their performance is equally fast and responsive. Once an app is launched, its loading time is very fast. As well as selecting between apps or multitasking, it also feels very responsive. Additionally, navigating between different menus is also very simple. Talking about apps provided, they are also not far different. There are most popular apps like YouTube, Netflix, HuluPlus, Spotify, Amazon Videos, and more, Web Browser, Cloud Games like game fly or Play Station now, Screen Mirroring apps, and many more. Additionally, there is also Samsung apps store that allow you to download directly tons of apps from your TV.
As the controller, both of them are also equipped with similar remote control called “Samsung Smart Controller”. It is designed fit to the hand and very comfort to use. There is only a few buttons that makes navigation is straightforward. Additionally, it is also equipped with built-in microphone for voice navigation functionality and Google Voice Search. And with tons of IR command embedded, it can be functioned as universal remote that allows you to control other devices connected on your TV via HDMI ports with this remote.
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As we have discussed a lot above, although Samsung MU8500 is a successor of KS8500, but its performance is not as great as what offered by the predecessor, especially about its picture quality. Lack of quantum dot panel makes its color gamut is not as wide as what delivered by KS8500. Additionally, peak brightness of MU8500 is also not as bright as KS8500. Nevertheless, despite display specs of MU8500 is not as great as KS8500, but for this class, it is still great and above average. While on picture quality is not as good as KS8500, Samsung MU8500 offer better motion handling and lower input lag, especially under PC modes. While about smart TV and audio performance, performance that offered by them is not far different.
So, which is a better choice between them? As long as KS8500 is not yet discontinued by the manufacturer and still available in the market, I think KS8500 is a better choice considering it offers better picture quality and greater HDR performance but sold hundreds dollars cheaper. But because it is old model and as soon as possible, it certainly will be discontinued by the manufacturer, to get it, you should buy it immediately. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean MU8500 is a bad choice if you want a newer model. Refers to the price when they are first released, actually MU8500 was sold hundreds dollar cheaper than KS8500. And this certainly is very understandable if picture quality and HDR performance of MU8500 is not as great as KS8500.Now, the decision comes back to you according to your preferences. Whatever your choice, each of them are great TV for their class. But even so, before you decide to choose one of them, there are a lot of opinions from each of their real customers where you can make as your further consideration.