Samsung MU6500 Review (UN49MU6500, UN55MU6500, UN65MU6500)
Samsung MU6500 is the curved model of Samsung’s 2017 4K LED TV Lineup Series 6. The excepting of what impacted by the use of curved panel, what offered by MU6500 is similar to what offered by its brother MU6300 that comes with flat panel. Although it is an entry level of Samsung’s 2017 lineup and it is sold with an affordable price, it still has good picture quality and some attractive features. In the market, there are 3 screen sizes options available including 49 Inch (UN49MU6500), 65 Inch (UN55MU6500), and 65 Inch (UN65MU6500), where they are sold in price range $700 – $1500, depending on the screen size. Nevertheless, their prices certainly are not fixed and could still change at any time.
Features and Technology
As we have mentioned, Samsung MU6500 comes with curved panel that offers its own advantages than flat panel. On its panel, it uses VA panel technology with Direct LED backlight. Unlike MU7000 series or higher, MU6500 doesn’t have local dimming technology. Nevertheless, as the instead, it has UHD Dimming technology, a software manipulation that designed to boost the contrast ratio and black level of the images produced. Additionally, there is also Essential Black Pro technology behind it for maximizing black level of the images. Meanwhile, for maximizing its performance when handling reflection in a bight room, its screen uses semi gloss finish and there is Ultra Clear panel technology that designed for minimizing the glare and reducing reflection. Additionally, for maximizing the renditions of color so makes the color of the picture looks accurate, MU6500 is powered by 4K Color Drive Pro technology.
Like most of TVs released in 2017, Samsung MU6500 also already support HDR where it is powered by 4K HDR Pro Engine as the HDR processor. Like the higher series of Samsung’s 2017 lineup, MU65000 also just support HDR 10 format only and might be also HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) with upcoming software update. Additionally, although it is not able to show HDR images fully like what recommended by UHD Alliance due the limitation of some display aspects, overall, HDR performance of MU6500 is fairly good for its class. MU6500 is also equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine to ensure you can enjoy any resolutions videos with the quality close to 4K resolution. While for allowing you to watch fast moving images smoothly and clearly, it is powered by Motion Rate 120 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. For connecting with your other devices, it is equipped with 3 HDMI, 2 USB ports, and other inputs/outputs. Its input lags is very low, low enough to makes playing fast paced games feels responsively. And for offering you simple, attractive and responsive smart TV experience, Samsung MU6500 feature Tizen OS as its smart TV platform that powered by a fast quad core processor.
Samsung MU6500 Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel|
|Size Available||49 Inch (UN49MU6500), 55 Inch (UN55MU6500), 65 Inch (UN65MU6500)|
|Dimming Technology||UHD Dimming|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Yes|
|Color Technology||4K Color Drive Pro|
|HDR||4K HDR Pro|
|4K Up-scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion rate||Motion Rate 120 (60 Hz native)|
|Platform||Tizen Operating System|
|Key Apps||Full Browser, Cloud Games, Smart View, and more|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Touch Remote (TM1750A)|
|AV||1 (incl. adapter, shared)|
|Component||1 (incl. adapter, shared)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Speaker Type||Down Firing w/Bass Reflex|
|Total Power||20 watts|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
Samsung MU6500 Performance
Overall, picture quality of Samsung MU6500 can be said well. Its native contrast is over than 5000:1 that means it is strong enough to makes blacks looks absolute dark, even when set in dark room where the effect of high native contrast ratio is very sensitive. Combined to its good black uniformity, this makes dark scenes of images displayed on its screen looks excellent. Meanwhile, when displaying HDR images, native contrast ratio of MU6500 is also quite strong to reveal details of images in dark scenes, makes shadow details of HDR images looks clear like what intended. As we have know, for displaying HDR images, particularly dark scene like what intended, black level required is about 0.05 nits or darker. While with about 5000:1 of native contrast ratio, MU6500 can get black level darker than 0.05 nits that means it is dark enough to show dark area of HDR images excellently like what intended, even when set in dark room.
While dark area of images displayed on Samsung MU6500 looks excellent due its strong native contrast ratio, on the other hand, its peak luminance is not so bright. Since it doesn’t have local dimming, its peak luminance is tends to be consistent at 300 nits on any windows sizes. This even will dim to about 200 nits at small windows, makes the highlight in very dark scenes doesn’t looks so bright. Peak luminance of MU6500 is only enough to makes bright scene looks well when set in a dark room or a brighter room with natural light or indoor light. Meanwhile, when set in a bright room with sunny windows or very bright ambient light, its peak brightness is not effective to fight the glare. Additionally, its peak luminance is also far from enough to show highlight of HDR images brighter than 1000 nits like what recommended by UHD Alliance as the developer of HDR 10 format. With this condition, MU6500 is only suitable when used in a dark room or a moderately-lit room with natural indoor light and it is not an ideal TV when used in a bright room with sunlight coming through the windows or very bright indoor light.
Discussing about its color performance, like its counterpart MU6300, Samsung MU6500 also doesn’t yet support wide color gamut. Its color gamut is only good enough for showing colors in Rec.709 color space of SDR images, while for showing colors of HDR images, this is not wide enough. Nevertheless, although it is still narrower than 90% of DCI P3 required for displaying HDR images fully, most of colors in DCI P3 color space of HDR images are still shown properly. The result, some colors of HDR images might be shown less accurately, especially greens, but overall, its color performance is good and better than average. While when showing colors of SDR contents, Samsung MU6500 did not encounter any significant obstacles. Meanwhile, the color volume of Samsung MU6500 is also a bit disappointing. Since its peak brightness is not so bright, very bright colors in its color gamut can be shown fully saturated. On the other hand, its color gamut will narrow significantly for very dark colors. Still about its color performance, Samsung MU6500 already supports 10 bit depth of colors that means it can deliver about 1.07 billion shades of colors. This certainly makes color gradient of images displayed on the screen of MU6500 looks very smooth without any major color banding, not just for SDR contents but also HDR contents that mastered with 10 depth of color. There might still some little imperfections in dark green and blue, but overall, color gradient of MU6500 is fairly good.
Like other models of Samsung’s 2017 TV lineup, Samsung MU6500 also has great performance of UHD Up-scaling engine. This allows you to enjoy any resolution videos with the quality close to 4K resolution. When the source is 480p videos like DVD movie, some halo artifact might still be seen along straight edges, but overall, the final image in 4K displayed doesn’t looks too soft. Meanwhile, when the source is 720p like movies from TV cable, the picture displayed looks sharper and clearer with small details are preserved well. While when the source is 1080p video like Blu-Ray Movies, the final images in 4K resulted looks very sharp and clear with a lot of small details are preserved better. With the great performance in UHD Up-scaling engine behind it, you don’t need to worry about the scarcity of native 4K contents that available in the market.
Although Samsung has claimed the use of curved panel makes MU6500 has better side viewing angle coverage, but the improvement over flat panel is not too significant and the picture still look degraded if watched from side viewing angle. As we know, limited side viewing angle coverage is the major drawback of a TV that use VA panel. The result, started at 20 degrees off center and front, blacks will looks tend to grey while color will look shift. This certainly makes the picture doesn’t look as good as when watched from center and in front of the screen. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from side angle, you can ignore this issue.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
Although not as excellent as the competitor, Samsung MU6500 still has good performance when handling motion blur. Its pixel response time might not as low as the competitor, but it is quite low to make the picture displayed looks clear and smooth with less motion blur when used for watching fast moving images like sport program or fast movies. Following the fast moving object, there is only a short trail where most of people might don’t notice about that. But unfortunately, when used for watching 24p movies, it doesn’t have an ability to remove the judder, whether for 24p videos via 60p/60i signals like movies from streaming devices or satellite TV or even for native 24p videos like Blu-Ray Movies. Fortunately, most of people don’t sensitive to judder, so if you are including one of them, this should not be a problem for you. Additionally, since it only has 60 Hz native refresh rate panel, it supports 30 fps interpolation only and doesn’t support 60 fps motion interpolation.
For connecting with other devices, Samsung MU6500 is equipped with 3 HDMI and 2 USB ports, a bit less than most of high end TVs. There are also 1 Component In and Composite In (AV IN) for connecting with your old electronic devices where they don’t have HDMI port. Additionally, there are also 1 Ethernet In, RF In (Terrestrial), and Digital Audio Out. With all inputs/outputs provided, I think they are enough to cover most of your other electronic devices. Meanwhile, the input lags of Samsung MU6500 are excellent at any resolution under “Game Mode” and “PC Mode”. This certainly makes it is very comfortable when used for any kind of games, no matter it is 1080p games, 4K games or 4K HDR games. Fast paced games that require fast reflexes even still feel responsively without laggy.
Smart TV Platform
Like other Samsung’s 2017 Smart TV lineup, Samsung MU8000 also features Tizen 2017 as its smart TV platform and powered by a fast quad core processor. The User Interface is designed attractively with white theme and nice animation, but it has still easy navigation. Across the bottom of the screen on “Home Screen”, there is a “ribbon” contains quick access to a lot of popular apps, allow you to launch one of them without leaving the home screen. Thank to its fast quad core processor and decent memory, once you launch an app, it will open quickly. Additionally, switching between opened apps also feel responsively. Meanwhile, talking about apps provided, there are a lot of preinstalled apps available like Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web Browser, Live TV, Cloud Games, and many more. Additionally, there is also apps store that provided tons of downloadable interesting and useful apps where you can directly download from your Samsung TV.
As the remote, Samsung MU6500 use the “Samsung Smart Controller” like what used by other models of Samsung’s 2017 Lineup like MU7000 or MU8000. The remote is very simple and small with only few buttons, it even lacks “Number”, “Inputs”, and “Setting” buttons. Fortunately, it has excellent voice command, so lack of these buttons can be replaced by speaking to the microphone on the remote. The other interesting point that offered, it can be functioned as a universal remote for controlling other devices connected on your TV via HDMI ports.
As we have mentioned above, the exception of impacted by the use of curved panel, overall, picture quality and performance of Samsung MU6500 is similar to its counterpart Samsung MU6300. As an entry level TV, the picture produced by MU6500 is fairly good. Come with HDR technology, its HDR performance is also not so bad. But unfortunately, since its peak luminance is not so bright and its reflection handling is also not so good, it is not an ideal TV when used in a bright room with sunny windows or very bright indoor light. But once it is used in a dark room or a moderately lit-room with natural indoor light, picture quality displayed on its screen looks fairly good. Additionally, some features offered also have great performance like good motion handling, low input lags and other, makes it is a good cheap TV for mixed purposed like watching sports program, play games, or streaming videos. The drawback, its side viewing angle coverage is limited. The other drawback, it doesn’t have an ability to remove the judder when used for watching 24p movies at any source.
Should I buy This TV? As we have mentioned, performance offered by MU6500 is similar to MU6300 that sold tens to hundred dollars cheaper, depending on the screen sizes. The excepting of the aesthetic of curved panel, the improvement over MU6300 is not too significant. So, if you don’t mind to spend more of your money to get the aesthetic of curved panel, it might be a good TV for you. But if you hope the improvement on picture quality over MU6300, you might be disappointed and you should turn away to Samsung MU6300 because it is sold cheaper. Now the decision comes back to you according to your preferences.
- Strong Native Contrast Ratio
- Good Black Uniformity
- Low Input Lags for fast paced games
- Attractive Tizen OS
- Side Viewing Angle Coverage is limited
- Peak Brightness is not so bright