Samsung pays a lot of attention to the new QLED-series LCD TVs, but that does not mean you can write off the middle class devices such as the Samsung UE55MU6400 have a lot to offer for an interesting price.
Samsung UE55MU6400 – specifications
- What: Ultra HD Edge LED LCD TV
- Screen size: 55 inches (139 cm), flat
- Connections: 3x HDMI (1xARC, 3x v2.0a), 1x composite / component video, 2x USB, 1x digital optical audio out, 3x antenna, network connection, Bluetooth
- Extras: HDR10 +, HLG, WiFi (802.11n) built in, Tizen Smart Hub, USB / DLNA media player, DVB-T / C / S2, CI + lock, Smart Controller, voice control
- Dimensions: 1,235 x 784 x 334 mm (incl foot)
- Weight: 19.0 kg (including foot)
- Consumption: 111 / 0.3 watt (Energy Label A)
- UE65MU6400 (65-inch): 2,399 euros
- UE55MU6400 (55-inch): 1,399 euros
- UE49MU6400 (49-inch): 1,099 euros
- UE40MU6400 (40-inch): 899 euros
Samsung UE55MU6400 – design
In the middle segment you can not expect the greatest innovations, but a nice design is definitely still possible. This Samsung has a metal color frame of about one centimeter. The Y-shaped foot provides stable support, but unfortunately it is not a swivel base. The foot also needs a lot of depth (33 cm), so you have to take that into account.
Viewed from the side, the slim profile really stands out. The back is just like the higher models finished in black plastic with a horizontal stripe motif.
One of the most striking things you leave behind by shopping at Samsung in the middle segment is the One Connect box and the Invisible Connection of the QLED models. All connections are on the device, on the right side. They are all directed to the side, so you can effortlessly mount the device on the wall.
You have to fix it with three HDMI connections and two USB. That is one less for both than on the higher models. In addition, there is a component and composite video connection, and an optical digital output. The Samsung does not have a headphone output, but it does have Bluetooth. This allows you to connect a wireless headset or keyboard.
Samsung UE55MU6400 – ease of use
The installation procedure guides you effortlessly through the first steps. You select country and language, a network connection, and if you use the built-in tuners, the TV will load the channels. The TV tries to recognize connected devices, with varying degrees of success.
We notice no major changes in the settings menus. In the submenus for image and sound, most settings are still a level deeper in the ‘expert settings’. For example, as a regular user you do not have to plod through an endless series of meaningless options. Settings that can only be switched on or off are now equipped with a graphical on / off indicator in the form of a radio button.
Menus and Smart Hub run like a train. Every interaction goes smoothly and quickly, just as you can hope for from a top model.
Also on these models you get a Smart controller included, although it looks a bit less luxurious than the metal version with higher models. But he is certainly as good in the hand, and delivers the same ease of use. Initially we were worried about the small amount of keys, but the remote works very well with the Smart Hub so you rarely miss keys. Only those who have the habit of typing in channel numbers will have to adjust. The remote does not have number keys, you enter digits via an on-screen keyboard.
The greatest ease of use you get by using the Smart Controller as a universal remote for the connected devices. The TV automatically tries to recognize what you connect, but if that goes wrong, then it is enough to go through a very small procedure to set up the correct device yourself. Open the Smart Hub, go to Sources (penultimate icon on the left) and scroll in the options all the way to the right, to ‘Set universal Remote Control’.
Samsung UE55MU6400 – features
Smart TV platform
The Smart Hub shows all functions, sources and settings in a bar at the bottom of the image. You can adjust the order of icons so that your favorite items are at the front.
Above it appears a larger bar that shows options depending on your selection at the bottom. In Netflix, for example, you get a number of suggestions, if you choose the sources below you will see all possible sources.
The MU6400 is equipped with a full set of tuners for digital TV, and you can record to external hard drive. The media player reads as well as all of our test files, both Full HD, Ultra HD and HDR, and encoded in H.264, HEVC or VP9. Subtitles are no problem. The audio player also reads FLAC and ALAC.
The Smart remote is equipped with a microphone, and with that you can give a lot of commands or say queries, for the time being only in English. Even with Dutch as the menu language selected, that remains the case. Support for Dutch probably comes with a software update.
Samsung UE55MU6400 – picture quality
This midranger is equipped with a PLS panel, the Samsung equivalent of LG’s IPS technology. That means you have to expect a poor black value, but decent viewing angles.
The best choice starts from the film mode.
|Film Mode (Expert Settings)||Advanced|
Sharpness: 0 (to 20)
Tint: G50 / R50
|Clean Digital View: Off / On
Auto Motion Plus: Custom *
Local Dimming: Standard
Contrast improvement: Off
HDR + mode: Off *
Color tone: Warm 2
Gamma: BT.1886 / 0
RGB mode: Off
Color space: Auto
Explanation of main settings;
- Clean Digital View contains all noise reduction techniques. It is advisable to activate this if you are watching DVD or other low-quality image.
- Auto Motion Plus: this is always a matter of taste. Car is a good all-round solution. If you want more control, choose Custom and set vibration reduction somewhere between 6 and 8. We do not recommend LED Clear Motion, the flickering in the image is visible.
- HDR + mode can be activated to taste. It makes the image much clearer.
General image properties and image processing
A part where you give very little or in many cases even nothing compared to more expensive models is the image processing. The Samsung UE55MU6400 detects flawlessly all film and video frame rates, and provides very good deinterlacing, so you will be spared from moiré and jagged edges. With the noise reduction you really have to choose everything or nothing. ‘Clean digital view’ works on both random and compression noise, and you have to choose on or off. This is unfortunate because you still have little flexibility, but the effect is fine if you work with bad sources (even with DVDs).
Motion sharpness is invariably a part where the price of the device determines which quality you get. The MU6400 really has to surrender in that area. Fast moving images have a hazy edge, which causes loss of detail. Stay away from ‘Led Clear Motion’, it creates visible flicker in the image and colored edges. ‘Auto Motion plus’ in the Auto setting works fine to eliminate shocks in pan images, but many people want more control. Then choose ‘adapted’ in the highly simplified menu and set ‘reduction of vibration’ somewhere between 6 and 8.
The greatest concession you do in terms of basic performance. The PLS screen is combined with a backlight without local dimming. The panel can only present a very moderate black value, which results in a contrast of 970: 1 in our tests. That is sufficient for use in the living room. Cinefiles think twice better, in a darkened room you clearly notice that the black tends to dark gray. The screen shows sufficient black detail, but that is partly due to the weak black value. Activating contrast enhancement gives the image more punch, but it costs extra black and white detail. We also notice that the highest white values tend to be red, you can eliminate that by lowering the contrast from 95 to 90.
The screen is particularly well calibrated. Only the gray scale shows room for improvement. The color temperature is a bit too warm, except in the darkest tones where it is too cool. The error lies on the boundary of what is visible, so you will hardly notice it. The color range and color reproduction are excellent. This Samsung shows very natural images, with accurate skin tones and vibrant colors.
In these middle-class screens it is unrealistic for the time being to expect real HDR images. But HDR support is provided, for HDR10 and HLG (and later for HDR10+). The screen of the MU6400 models has a particularly good color range; it achieves 90% DCI-P3 (65% rec2020), but it suffers from a peak luminance of 307 nits. HDR images that are mastered to a maximum of 1,000 nits are therefore significantly darker, an effect that is even stronger on content that is mastered for 4,000 nits. The screen also sensitively raises the black value as soon as there is more than 10% average brightness in the screen, so that really dark parts of the screen show too much detail. In short, yes you have HDR support, but real HDR reproduction is very difficult with these limitations.
In the expert settings of the image menu you can activate HDR + to give your SDR content an HDR touch. That choice makes images a little clearer, it is a choice that you can consider when you look at a lot of light.
Reflections and viewing angles
The PLS panel provides a decent viewing angle, so you can safely sit sideways. Reflections are poor, avoid direct light on the screen.
In the film mode, we measure an input lag of 91.1 ms on the Samsung MU6400 series. That is obviously too much for a good game experience. With the game mode active, the lag drops to 17.7 ms and that is another top result. Do not forget to activate that mode, you can find it in the settings, under General, Manage external devices, Game Mode. Formerly it was under the image settings, which was a lot more logical.
Samsung UE55MU6400 – audio quality
For the news, your daily soap and the occasional fascinating TV series, the audio output of the UE55MU6400 is excellent. With music and epic film soundtracks you can hear that the sound is too sharp, and the Samsung quickly reaches its limits. As long as you do not turn the volume too high, that is not a problem. The ‘optimized’ audio preset is certainly worth trying out, it gives the audio a fuller sound.
For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, an AVFoundry HDMI Pattern Generator , an HDFury Integral for HDR patterns and the Spectracal Calman for Business software.
Samsung UE55MU6400 – conclusion
What compromises do you make when you choose this middle class device? The UE55MU6400 mainly delivers on black value, contrast and motion sharpness. HDR support does have the device, but the peak luminance is too low for real HDR reproduction, even though the color range is fine. The device comes into its own in an ordinary living room environment, with soft light. The image processing delivers beautiful, sharp images that are very pleasant and realistic thanks to excellent calibration and very good color rendering. The Smart hub and accompanying Smart controller remote guarantee a modern and pleasant TV experience.