Samsung KS8500 Review (UN65KS8500, UN55KS8500, UN49KS8500)
In conjunction with KS8000 series, Samsung KS8500 series are parts of Series 8 of Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TV lineup. The difference to its brother KS8000 series, it comes with curved panel that offers wider side viewing angle. But it certainly is also sold more expensive than its brother. With performance that was not too far behind than top model 9 series, KS8500 offers more reasonable price. And as part of Samsung SUHD TV, of course picture quality is the flagship in addition there are also the other interesting and attractive features offered. But unfortunately, in 2016, Samsung didn’t equip their lineup including KS8500 series with 3D technology. Actually this is very unfortunate, but Samsung certainly has its own reason to remove 3D technology from their 2016 lineup.
Quantum Dot panel is the highlight technology of KS8500 series. In last year 2015, Samsung called this technology with “Nano Crystal Color”. The benefits, it can cover more than 93% DCI P3 color space and support 10 bits where this mean, it can deliver more than 1 Billion shades of color. Compare to other TV with 8 bit color that delivers about 16 Million shades of color only. This certainly will make the picture that produced looks more vibrant and natural.
Samsung KS8500 Specification
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||49” 55” 60” 65”|
|Dimming||UHD Dimming with Precision Black|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Ultimate|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot support 10 bit panel|
|4K Up-scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion rate||MR240 (Native 120 Hz)|
|Key Apps||Full Browser, Cloud Games, Smart View, and more|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Touch Remote (TM1650A)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Speaker Type||Down Firing w/Bass Reflex|
|Total Audio Output||40 Watts|
|Sound Effect||DTS Premium Sound 5.1|
The Performance of Samsung KS8500
When buying TV, of course picture quality becomes our main consideration before we consider other features. Samsung KS8500 is one of 4K TVs with solid picture quality. As a 2016 model, HDR performance becomes the main focus because in 2016, the main focus of 4K TV campaign is about HDR. So, how great HDR performance was offered by KS8500?
Before we discuss about its HDR performance, this would be better if we first discuss about technologies behind it. Like other member of Samsung SUHD TV, for processing HDR signals, KS8500 series is powered by HDR 1000 technology. But of course, for producing great HDR picture quality, it is not only about HDR processor. The strength of contrast and color gamut also has a major impact on the quality of HDR picture produced. Good HDR picture should have high dynamic contrast ratio with 1000 nits or more peak luminance and very deep black level. So does about color, it also has very wide color gamut range. This is required because this has to do with hiding or night scenes of the picture.
As we see on specification table above, there are UHD Dimming with precision Black, Ultra Black, and Peak Illuminator behind it. All of these technologies have major impact on black level and peak white delivered and certainly also on dynamic contrast ratio produced. UHD Dimming may not a tru local dimming technology but there are still Ultra Black and precision black local technology behind it that improves black level of Samsung KS8500. The result, black level delivered by KS8500 looks very deep. Otherwise, Peak luminance produced by KS8500 also looks very bright, more than 1000 nits. Moreover, Samsung always offers brighter panel than other competitor. With high dynamic contrast ratio between deep level and peak bright, this certainly can meet the minimum value required for good HDR quality.
When coming on color reproduction, Samsung KS8500 is powered by quantum dot panel where in last year it is called Nano Crystal Color. In addition to it deliver wider range of color gamut that can cover more than 93% color gamut, it also supports 10 bit color. As comparison is Samsung UHD KU series. They are only powered by active crystal color where color gamut delivered is not as wide as quantum dot panel. Additionally, they also support 8 bit color only. The difference between 8 bit and 10 bit is about shades of color that created. If 8 bit color only delivers about 16 million shades of color, 10 bit color delivers several times as much that is about 1.06 billion shades of color. This make color produced by Samsung KS8500 looks richer and more vibrant than what produced by KU series.
Overall, picture quality produced by KS8500 series is pretty strong in HDR or non HDR. It is much better than what produced by top series UHD lineup KU7500 series particularly on color produced. Contrast also looks stronger than KU series but not as significant as on color reproduction. It is one of the best 4K TV in 2016 with reasonable price if your main consideration in buying TV is about HDR quality.
One of the advantages of Samsung 4K TV is about their strong performance of their UHD Up-scaling engine. Maybe Sony 4K TV offers the best but Samsung also quite enough to math them. Any sources of full HD contents like Blu-ray movies displayed sharply in 4K quality without any lost of details. As well as sources of HD 720p like DVD or Cable TV, Samsung KS8500 series does a good job. Even for other sources with 480p, KS8500 also does a good job when up-scaling. Considering most of the contents that available in the market still have 1080p to lower, of course the role of great performance UHD Up-scaling engine is very important. What use we buy 4K TV if we were not able to enjoy video contents in 4K quality greatly.
Talking about motion clarity, of course this has to do with video contents with a lot of fast scenes. Unfortunately, Samsung never becomes the best about motion clarity. But this doesn’t mean performance of Samsung KS8500 series is bad. For do this job, KS8500 is powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz native refresh rate panel. The result looks clearly and smoothly when you are watching sports program or fast action movies on the screen of KS8500 series. Motion blurs may not be eliminated completely and still appears in certain condition, but for most people with untrained eyes, these motion blurs are not too noticeable. And this performance is much better than what offered by Samsung KU series with native 60 Hz refresh rate panel.
Like other member of Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TV line up, Samsung KS8500 series also features Tizen Operating System as its smart TV platform and powered by a quad core processor. Although its interface design is not as pretty as Google android TV on Sony or Sharp Smart TV, but it is still use friendly. This is better than traditional Samsung Smart TV featured by Samsung UHD KU series. Taking about features, there is smart hub that allows you to organize your favorite apps. Tizen OS allow multiple users. This means each of your family can make their own settings by log in on their own profile. In addition to Smart View, S Recommendation, VoD Service, and many other interesting apps that become mainstay of Samsung Smart TV in last couple years, in 2016, there is new feature called Cloud Gaming that allows you to play tons of attractive clod games. Unlike many other cloud games service that charge you with monthly subscription, for playing cloud game on Samsung KS8500 series, you will just be charged with Pay per Title. This course is more effective and efficient considering not every time you’re going to play games.
Moving on performance, the performance of Tizen OS is fast and very responsive. You will be impressed with loading on time that offered where you are opening apps. This is understandable because it is powered by a quad core processor. But this is purely not only the role of processor considering with the same processor, Samsung KU series with Samsung Smart TV is slower. And that is not less useful is about Smart Touch remote where it will make you easier and more comfort when operating apps o browsing in the internet.
I think 4 HDMI and 3 USB ports as a major connectivity is sufficient for covering your HD devices like Blu Ray Player, Satellite Receiver and other or USB storage devices like digital camera, Smart Phone or USB disk. But if your HD devices is too many and need other ports, this is not a big problem because Samsung has provided upgradable one connect box that can be used as additional connectivity. For connecting on the internet, there are built in Wi-Fi and Ethernet port as your options. But unfortunately, Samsung KS8500 series is not equipped with AV and component input, so of course it cannot be used for your old devices where their major connectivity is AV or RGB Component like DVD Player or other devices.
Moving on Audio equipment, Samsung KS8500 is equipped with 2.1 channel speaker with total audio output 40 watts and there is built in sub-woofer. For medium or smaller room, actually it is very impressive but for larger room especially for UN65KS8500, it is not quite enough. But even so, if you are less than satisfied with performance that offered by built-in audio system on KS8500, you can add external audio system by buying sound bar or other audio system devices separately.
What offered by Samsung KS8500 are similar to what offered by its brother KS8000 series except it offers wider range of side viewing angle. This course is a major impact of the use of curved panel on KS85000. HDR performance is one of the flagships of Samsung KS8500 where it can meet the minimum standardization of good HDR picture quality. Color is solid as well as contrast, peak white looks very bright while black level look very inky. The other strong point is about UHD Up-scaling Engine. As we know, the great performance UHD Up-scaling of 4K TV is still needed considering 4K contents that available in the market is still scarce. Additionally, although it is not the best in class, motion clarity of KS8500 when displaying fast moving images is also great.
Smart TV platform is also the other positive point that offered by KS8500 series. In addition it is fast and responsive, there are also a lot of interesting apps provided. User interface is also designed more user friendly and easier to use. But unfortunately, there is no 3D technology behind it. As we know, there is no Samsung 4K TVs lineup released in 2016 that equipped with 3D technology, even for top class KS9500 series. Despite the unfortunate, of course Samsung has their own reason or they want more focus on HDR.
Samsung KS8500 is a 4K TV that offers pretty strong in almost aspect of home entertainment. It is one of the best models of 4K TVS that offers more reasonable price than top level 4K TV, but in term of features and performance, it doesn’t lose too much.
- Great HDR Perfomance
- Excellent Peak White and Contrast
- Solid Color Performance
- Attractive and Responsive Smart TV
- Nice Physical Design
- No 3D Technology
- Lack of USB 3.0 Support