Samsung MU9000 vs MU8000 Review (UN55MU9000 vs UN55MU8000, UN65MU9000 vs UN65MU8000)
Samsung MU8000 Series and Samsung MU9000 Series are parts of Samsung’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV lineup. If we see the series number, MU9000 is a successor of KS9000 while MU8000 is a successor KS8000, but since QLED TVs is released in 2017, they are not as the top model of Samsung 2017 4K TV Lineup. In the market, MU9000 is available on 2 screen sizes including 65 inch (UN55MU9000) and 65 inch (UN65MU9000) while MU8000 series is available on 4 screen sizes including 49 Inch (UN49MU8000), 55 Inch (UN55MU8000), 65 Inch (UN65MU8000), and 75 Inch (UN75MU9000). Because the screens sizes that available on both of these series are 55 Inch and 65 Inch, this comparison certainly only applies for these screen sizes (UN55MU9000 vs UN66MU8000) and (UN65MU8000 vs UN65MU9000). And of course since MU9000 series is a higher series, with the same screen size, it is sold more expensive than Samsung MU8000 series. So, what are their differences and which is a better choice between them?
Short Review of Samsung MU8000 (UN49MU8000, UN55MU8000, UN65MU8000, UN75MU8000)
Samsung MU8000 series is the successor of KS8000 series. Still focus on HDR, it is powered by UHD Remastering Engine and 4K HDR extreme technology for supporting HDR 10 format. On its display panel, it uses VA panel technology with Edge-Lit LED backlight and local dimming called Precision Black. Supported by UHD Dimming technology and Peak Illuminator Pro makes the picture looks well with deep black level and bright peak brightness. Since black level is deep and peak brightness is quite bright, this makes the picture looks consistently well no matter it is used in a dark room or bright room. Meanwhile, as the successor of KS8000 series, it precisely lacks of quantum dot panel. And as the instead, it is powered by 4K Color Drive Extreme technology. Although lack of quantum dot makes the color gamut delivered by MU8000 series is not as wide as what delivered by KS8000, but color of the picture produced by MU8000 series still look accurate. Even when displaying HDR contents that require wider color gamut than SDR contents, it still looks very accurate.
In addition to good picture quality for mixed usage, Samsung MU8000 series also has good motion handling. It is powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This means when used for watching sport programs or other fast moving images, the picture will look smoothly with virtually no motion blur. Additionally, when playing 24p movies, MU8000 also offers smooth picture quality with judder-free at any sources. The input lag is also very low that make it is a great TV when used for video games. And the other interesting thing that offered is about Smart TV platform where with Tizen OS as its platform and powered by a quad core processor, it offers attractive and responsive smart TV with a lot of apps are available.
Like the predecessor KS8000, MU8000 is not equipped with 3D technology that course will be a bit disappointing for 3D fans. The other major is about poor side viewing angle where the quality of the picture will look degraded once you watch TV off center and in front of the screen.
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Short Review of Samsung MU9000 (UN55MU9000, UN65MU9000)
Come as the successor of KS9000 series, Samsung MU9000 series is also lacking of quantum dot technology. This course makes its color reproduction is also not as good as what offered by the predecessor. And as the instead, MU9000 series is also powered by 4K Color Drive Extreme technology likes the lower series MU8000. The result, color gamut is still wide and similar to the lower series MU8000, but not as wide as what delivered by KS9000 series. But even so, it is quite enough to make the color of the picture that displayed look accurate and vibrant.
Like the lower series MU8000, Samsung MU9000 is also powered by UHD Remastering Engine as its image processor and 4K HDR Extreme for processing HDR 10 signals. On its panel, it also uses Edge-Lit backlight with local dimming called Precision Black. Additionally, there are also UHD Dimming, Ultra Clear Panel, Triple Black Extreme, and Peak Illuminator Pro. Combination of these technologies makes black level of Samsung MU9000 is deep as well as the contrast is also very strong. In other hand, Peak brightness is above average and quite bright to make the quality of the picture look consistently well in a bright room. Samsung MU9000 is also a great TV when used for watching fast moving images like sports due its low pixel response time. Like the lower series, it also has low input lags that makes it is comfortable when used for any kind of games. And for anticipating the scarcity of 4K contents that available in the market, Samsung MU9000 series is equipped with great performance UHD-Up-scaling engine.
Like MU8000 series, poor side viewing angle is also a major downside of MU9000 Series due it uses VA Panel. And like other Samsung lineup since 2016, there is also no 3D technology behind it.
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Samsung MU9000 vs MU8000 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||MU8000||MU9000|
|Resolution||4K (2160x3840)||4K (2160x3840)|
|Sizes Available||49” (UN49MU8000), 55 inch (UN55MU8000), 65” (UN65MU8000), 75” (UN75MU8000)||55” (UN55MU9000), 65” (UN65MU9000)|
|Backlighting Technology||Edge Lit LED||Edge Lit LED|
|Local Dimming||Yes (precision black)||Yes (Precision Black)|
|Picture Engine||UHD Remastering Engine||UHD Remastering Engine|
|HDR Engine||4K HDR Extreme||4K HDR Extreme|
|Color Technology||4K Color Drive Extreme||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Blacks Technology||Triple Black||Triple Black Extreme|
|Peak Illuminator||Yes (Pro)||Yes (Pro)|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Yes||Yes|
|UHD Up-scaling Engine||Yes||Yes|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2017||Tizen 2017|
|Processor||Quad Core||Quad Core|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1750A)||Samsung Smart Remote (TM1750A)|
|RF In (Terrestrial)||1||1|
|RF In (Satellite In)||No||1|
|Built In Wi-Fi||Yes||Yes|
|Speaker Type||Down Firing + Front Firing||Down Firing + Front Firing|
|Sound Output||40 Watts||40 watts|
The Differences between Samsung MU9000 and MU8000
As we see on comparison table above, there are some points which distinguish between Samsung MU8000 and MU9000. But essentially, they are not too major that make a big impact on the picture quality that produced by them.
The Level of Triple Black Technology
This is the technology that designed for maximizing blacks of the picture in certain light condition. As we see on comparison table above, Samsung MU9000 is powered by Triple Black Extreme while MU8000 is powered by Triple Black. The difference between them is about how dark each of these technologies reach, especially on certain light condition like at the morning or afternoon. And of course, Triple Black Extreme of MU9000 as a higher level can reach darker blacks than standard Triple Black technology of MU8000.
Samsung MU9000 series is equipped with Component In (RGB Input) while MU8000 series is not equipped. Of course, this allow you to connect your other devices with Component In as the major connectivity like DVDs onto MU9000, while for connecting it onto MU8000, you need a converter.
RF In (Satellite In)
This input is used for receiving Satellite TV Broadcast. This means, you can enjoy Satellite TV on MU9000 series without additional Satellite Receiver while for watching TV Satellite on MU8000, you still need additional external Satellite Receiver.
Samsung MU9000 vs MU8000 Performance
Separated from their differences about the level of Triple Black technology behind them, overall, both of Samsung MU8000 and MU9000 offer good picture quality in a room with any light condition and for mixed usage. No matter you use them for watching Movies, TV Shows, Sports program, the picture displayed on each of their screen looks well. Lack of Quantum Dot over the predecessor KS8000 and KS9000 might have an impact on their color reproduction and makes their color performance is not as great as the predecessor. However, 4K Color Drive Extreme behind them does a good job for delivering wide color gamut and tons of shades of color. The result, color still looks accurate and natural, even when displaying HDR contents that require wide color gamut. Additionally, they also already support 10 bit depth of color. This means both of them can deliver about 1.07 billion shades of color that makes color gradient look very smooth when displaying HDR contents.
Meanwhile, Peak brightness of Samsung MU9000 and MU8000 is also quite bright to drown out the glare. This means when they are used in a bright room, the glare can be minimized so make the picture looks consistently well. As well as when displaying HDR contents in a room with normal light, the picture displayed still look bright. Nevertheless, its peak brightness is not as bright as what offered by the predecessor KS9000 or KS8000 series and still below 1000 nits as the minimum recommendation set by UHD Alliance to get Ultra HD Premium Certification. This means when used in a very bright room where there is sunlight coming in through the window, this will be a bit issue.
On the other hand, black level and contrast of Samsung MU9000 and MU8000 is very deep and strong for LED TV. Black level reached by them is darker than 0.05 nits even lower than 0.02 nits that mean it is good for displaying HDR contents even in a dark room. As we know, for displaying HDR, black level of TVs that is recommended is 0.05 nits or lower. Blacks of images look absolute black even in a dark room. This will makes detail images in shadow or dark scene will look clearer and the color looks consistently accurate. Meanwhile, because each of them is powered by the different level of Triple Black technology, this makes Samsung MU9000 series as a higher series offers a bit deeper black and stronger contrast. The result, MU9000 offers slight better a dark room performance than MU8000.
While picture quality of Samsung MU8000 and MU9000 is very good, both of them also equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine. It is for anticipating the scarcity contents that available in the market. As we know, most of the contents that available in the market still have 1080p or lower. But with great UHD Up-scaling engine behind it, this should not be a big problem for MU8000 and MU9000. Even low resolution content like DVDs movies with 480p resolution looks sharply and clearly in 4K resolution with small detail preserved well. And of course, the higher resolution of the sources like 720p or 1080p contents, the final images in 4K resolution produced looks sharper and clearer.
Although overall picture quality of Samsung MU9000 and MU8000 is very good, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have a downside. As VA TV, poor side viewing angle is a major downside of both. This means when you watching TV from side viewing angle started at 20 degrees off center, the contrast is degraded and color is shifted. But because it is a native characteristic of VA panel, of course they are not alone. In other hand, as long as you don’t often watch TV from side viewing angle, this should not a big problem.
Motion Handling and 24p Movies
Both of Samsung MU9000 and MU8000 are great TVs when handling motion blur due their pixel response time is very low even lower than predecessor KS9000 and KS8000. The result, when used for watching fast moving images like sport or fast movies, the picture that produced looks very smooth. There is only a short trail following the fast moving object and for most people, this should not be an issue. In other hand, both of them also offer smooth picture quality with judder-free when used for watching 24p movies. No matter the source is 24p movies of Blur Ray, 24p via 60i signals like movies from Satellite TV, or even 24p via 60p signals likes movies from streaming media, by certain setting on “Auto Motion Plus”, Blur Reduction, and “Judder Reduction”, Judder can be removed without adding any “soap opera effect”. Additionally, because both of them are 120 Hz TV, they also can interpolate lower frame rate contents. This means both of MU9000 and MU8000 already supports 30fps and 60 fps motion interpolation.
The excepting of Component In and Satellite IN as their differences, Samsung MU8000 and MU9000 are equipped with the same inputs/outputs. There are 4 HDMI Ports, 3 USB Ports, RF IN (Terrestrial), Ethernet, Built-in Wi-Fi, Digital Audio Out, and more where most of these input/output ports are located on separate box called “One Connect Box Mini”. Additionally, their HDMI ports also already support most of HDMI formats like CEC, HDCP 2.2, Audio Return Channel, and more. The other advantage, once game mode is activated, their input lag is very low at any sources, even for 4K with HDR signals. This means both of them are great for any kind of games. No matter it is 1080p games, 4K games, 4K HDR games, casual games, fast paced games that require fast reflex, you will feel comfortable to play them without any lag.
About Smart TV, there are no differences between them. Both of Samsung MU8000 and MU9000 feature Tizen 2017 as their smart TV platform. Both of them are also powered by a fast quad core processor. Essentially, it is similar to last year version, but in this version, the layout is designed more attractive with white theme and nicer animation. Nevertheless, it doesn’t have a big impact on its performance. The loading time of an app is very fast once it is launched. Additionally, selecting between apps also feel responsively. Navigating between different menus also designed simple and straightforward. One of the advantages of Tizen OS is about the apps provided where it provides a lot of useful and interesting apps. There are premium VoD (Video on Demands) apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and more, web Browser, Cloud Games Apps like PlayStation Now, and many more. Additionally, there is also Samsung apps store where you can download tons of apps from your TV.
As the controller, Samsung MU8000 and MU9000 use smart remote called ‘Samsung Smart Controller’. It is not much different to what used by the predecessor KS8000 and KS9000 series. There are not many buttons on this remote. But the advantage, it is equipped with built in microphone for voice navigation functionality or Google Voice Search. Additionally, with tons of IR commands embedded, this remote can be functioned as a universal remote where you can control a lot of other devices connected to your TV with a single Samsung Remote.
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As we have discussed a lot above, although not as good as the predecessor KS9000 or KS8000, essentially, both of Samsung MU8000 and MU9000 have good picture quality. Black level is deep and contrast is strong that makes the picture produced looks very good even when used in a dark room. Additionally, peak brightness is quite bright to fight the glare when they are used in bright room. Lack of Quantum Dot technology might have an impact on color that produced by them. But although not as wide as what delivered by the predecessor KS8000 and KS9000, color delivered by them still looks accurate, even for HDR contents that require wider color gamut than SDR contents. In addition amazing picture quality for their class, both of them also offer great performance on some features like motion handling, UHD Up-scaling, 24p Playback, low input lag, and attractive smart TV platform. The only major downside of both is poor side viewing angle.
Which is a better choice between the? As we have discussed above, there are not major difference between them that has a big impact on their picture quality. The only difference between them that has impact on picture quality is about the level of triple black technology behind them. With almost similar performance but sold about hundreds dollar cheaper for the same screen size, Samsung MU8000 certainly is a better choice. Nevertheless, if you don’t mind to spend more hundreds dollar to get the advantages of MU9000, this course is also not a bad choice. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your need and preferences. 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.