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Review: Samsung UE65TU8000W – not without compromises

Samsung Q8S QLED TV
A budget-friendly 65 inch Review: Samsung UE65TU8000W TV with decent equipment and good picture quality. Samsung UE65TU8000 seems like a good candidate.

Review: Samsung UE65TU8000W

A budget-friendly 65 inch TV with decent equipment and good picture quality. That looks like a difficult task, but the Samsung UE65TU8000 seems like a good candidate. What compromises do you make to get a big picture for a reasonable price?

Samsung UE65TU8000W – specifications

  • What : Ultra HD Edge LED LCD TV
  • Screen size : 65 inch ( 163 cm), flat
  • Connections : 3x HDMI (3x v2.0, eARC, ALLM), 1x composite video, 1x stereo cinch, 1x optical digital out, 2x USB, 1x antenna, ethernet, Bluetooth [19659004] Extras : HDR10, HLG, HDR10 +, WiFi (802.11ac) built-in, Tizen 5.5, AirPlay 2, USB / DLNA media player, DVB-T / C, CI + slot, Crystal Processor 4K
  • Dimensions : 1,449 x907 x 282 mm (incl. Foot)
  • Weight : 20.9 kg (incl. Foot)
  • Consumption : 116 / 0.5 watt (Energy label A +)
  • List price : 1.099 euro

A complete overview of all Samsung models with their specifications, can be found here. All other line-ups for 2020 can be found here

Samsung UE65TU8000W – Design

For a device with a modest price, the TU8000 looks even more than decent. The 1 cm wide black frame around this model is hardly noticeable. Especially on this 65 inch model you forget that very quickly.

Where we see some more savings are the two feet. They are made of black plastic, and although they give the TV a good basis, they do look a bit cheap. The TV doesn’t really wobble, but the fact that the TV doesn’t use metal feet makes us a bit cautious.

Samsung UE65TU8000W
Samsung UE65TU8000W-Front view

The back is nicely finished. The arched back has a horizontal stripe pattern and the horizontal notches can be used to route the cables. But there doesn’t seem to be real cable management on the feet.

Samsung UE65TU8000W – Connections

This Samsung has three HDMI connections, all v2.0 with the necessary bandwidth to receive Ultra HD HDR. You will not find HDMI 2.1 connections on this model, but you will find eARC and ALLM. More information about all HDMI 2.1 functions, and whether you need them can be found here .

Samsung UE65TU8000W
Back view

Furthermore, there are two USB connections, a composite video input with stereo cinch input, an optical digital audio output, the network connection and one antenna connection. Some of the connections, including one HDMI, point to the rear. There is no headphone jack, but the TU8000 does have Bluetooth for wireless headphones.

Samsung UE65TU8000W – Ease of use and smart TV

Like all Samsung TVs, you can install the TU8000 using the SmartThings app, or the classic way using the remote. Both are very handy, but the smartphone installation obviously makes it easier to type in your WiFi password.

Although the Smart Hub interface is identical to that on the higher models, we do notice a small difference in response speed. Most actions are a bit slower, but we doubt whether you will find that really annoying. The ease of use remains excellent, the interface navigates smoothly, and is very clear.

Some of the settings such as the image and sound mode, or the game mode can be selected from the Home menu. The entire settings menu is well organized, with only the simplest settings quickly accessible. For more complex settings, go to the “expert settings”. Settings for the game mode can be found under “General, Manage external devices”.

The Smart Hub certainly remains one of our favorite smart TV platforms, and has a very wide range of apps. For a full overview of the possibilities, please refer to our background article about the Samsung Smart Hub

Remote control

The compact black remote is slim, slightly curved and fits perfectly in your hand. It is almost identical to the one on the higher models. Only the shortcut keys at the bottom for Netflix, Amazon prime and Rakuten TV are missing.

There are not many keys, but together with the Smart Hub this is rarely a problem. Only when you want to key in channel numbers regularly is the lack of number keys difficult. For that you have to use the “on screen” number block. You can configure the remote control to operate connected devices. Select the ribbon with all sources, and choose “Set universal remote control” on the far right.

Functions

No universal TV tuner as we find on most devices. The TU8000 has a single DVB-T / C tuner and one CI + slot. Satellite reception is therefore excluded, but recording to a USB hard disk is also not possible. You can still cast YouTube or Netflix to the TV, and there is Airplay2 support for iOS users. The media player is good, but it cannot handle the older Divx or Xvid and it does not play DTS soundtracks. Subtitles and HDR were no problem, and the audio player is complete.

Ambient Mode is also a bit skimped. For example, you can only choose from a range of artworks, background colors, photo frame or the new function “Music wall”. To do this, you connect your smartphone to the TV via Bluetooth. As soon as you play music, the TV shows a nice animation based on the music.

Samsung UE65TU8000W – Image processing

The Crystal Processor 4K provides the computing power needed for all image processing. Although these TVs are equipped with a different processor than the QLED models, the results are still very good. The deinterlacing is fine, and it usually recognizes film and video frame rates very quickly. Occasionally, the processor hesitated a bit longer, so that the moiré effect can be visible for a moment, or so that running text at the bottom of the screen sometimes has some jagging effect. The noise filter (under the “Image sharpness settings”) delivers excellent results in the “Auto” mode, both for random noise and block formation. It also eliminates color bands to a limited extent. Unfortunately, the filter also takes some detail, and since you can’t set the filter (it’s “auto” or “off”), you can’t choose a gentler treatment either. Those who are inclined to activate “Contrast enhancement” are better off turning it off. In the lowest setting, mainly bright accents are lifted, which may cause you to lose some white detail, but which also makes clear images a bit duller. In the “High” position you also lose extra black detail.

This 55 incher has to make do with a 50Hz panel. That means moderate motion sharpness, and a lot of detail is lost in fast images. Activating “LED Clear Motion” Black Frame Insertion (which is BFI) brings back some detail, but then creates a distinct ghosting effect with a double border always visible behind moving objects. It also takes a lot of clarity. To make pan images in film a bit smoother, you can opt to activate vibration reduction, although that of course depends on personal taste. It works very well, without unduly disturbing picture effects.

Main settings

Here you will find an explanation of the most important picture settings and tips for setting up your TV.

General Expert Settings Picture Sharpness Settings
Picture Mode: Movie
Picture Format Settings: 16: 9 Standard
Customize on screen: On
Brightness: 41
Contrast: 45
Sharpness: 0-5
Color: 25
Tint (G / R): 0
Contrast Enhancement: Off
Movie Mode: Auto
Color Tone: Warm 2
Gamma: BT.1886 / 0
Shadow Detail: 0
RGB Mode: Off
Color Space: Auto
Custom:

Vibration Reduction: 4-10
LED Clear Motion: Off

Noise Reduction: Auto or Off

Samsung UE65TU8000W – Image Quality

This Samsung is equipped with a PLS panel, Samsung’s own IPS variant. That means a moderate contrast and a reasonable viewing angle. The PLS panel provides ANSI contrast of approximately 870: 1. The Edge LED backlighting cannot improve that further, there is no local dimming.

That contrast is fairly modest, and you will certainly notice that when you look in the dark. In dark scenes, the screen fails to achieve deep black, and the backlight shines light through the black bands above and below a film. Small light accents are also dimmed by the TV, very noticeable in the Gravity test scene. Presumably in order not to put further pressure on the contrast.

When we check the uniformity, it indeed appears that the backlighting on the bottom left and right is shining through, just like the top left. There is also a slight glare in the corners. In clear images the uniformity is good.

We put the TV in the “Film” image mode, which shows very good results. Samsung has recently also made the “Filmmaker mode” available. However, it differs from the film mode only because the “Image sharpness settings” are disabled. The image is sufficiently bright and shows all shadow detail. The gray scale is neutral and the color reproduction is excellent. Avoid looking at darkening. With some ambient light the result is nicer because the moderate contrast is less noticeable.

Samsung UE65TU8000W – HDR

This Samsung supports HDR10, HLG and HDR10 +, but no Dolby Vision. A more difficult problem is that the TV scores absolutely too weak for HDR playback. The peak luminance remains stuck at 297 nits on both a 10% window and a full white screen, but here too we notice that smaller white areas are dimmed.

The Samsung does show all white detail, but has to be its low peak brightness is obviously very strong in tone maps, which inevitably leads to relatively dark images in HDR. Most striking, however, is that the television only supplies an SDR color range. With 53% Rec2020 and 74% DCI-P3 there is no broader color gamut.

All these factors obviously have a consequence. Yes, the Samsung supports HDR, but what you see actually looks more like an SDR image. It is not equipped for intense light accents, clear images or bright colors.

Samsung UE65TU8000W – Gaming, Reflections and viewing angles

The viewing angle is wider than that of a VA screen, but the screen suffers from IPS glow. As a result, the screen seems to have a faded glow from a somewhat sharper angle?

In the Film image mode, the input lag is 82.5 ms, a decent result. In game mode it drops to 9.9 ms, which is of course excellent. Gamers can also use ALLM, but there is no VRR (it is a 50Hz model). In game mode you can also adjust Motion plus settings to reveal more detail.

Samsung UE65TU8000W – Sound quality

The sound quality on this class of models is decent for everyday use with enough volume and a touch of bass, but not really possible. unpack with strong movie soundtracks or good music. Rely on a soundbar for this, there is 8cm space under the screen.

Review equipment

For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. We use an HDFury Vertex to analyze any HDR problems.

Samsung UE65TU8000W – Conclusion

Obviously, you have to make compromises for this price. Most eye-catching is the poor HDR display, the maximum brightness and the lack of a wider color range are responsible for this. The screen can also only provide a moderate contrast. The slight uniformity problems are especially visible in dark scenes. In this price category, HDMI 2.1 was also lost, although the TV does deliver eARC and ALLM.

The UE65TU8000W delivers very good performance for SDR. The color reproduction is fine, and with clear, colorful images, the result is certainly to be enjoyed. Leave some light on in the room, so that the moderate contrast is less noticeable. The TV has a very low input lag, and is therefore a reasonable choice if you don’t have HDR gaming in mind. The Tizen Smart Hub not only provides excellent ease of use, but also an extensive range of apps. The price is certainly competitive, even more so if you can score it with promotion.

Cons

  • Very poor contrast
  • Insufficient brightness and color range for HDR
  • Slight uniformity problems
  • No HDMI 2.1 [19659077]

Pros

  • Excellent image processing
  • Very good SDR color rendering
  • Low input lag
  • Smart Hub
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