Samsung MU9000 Review (UN55MU9000, UN65MU9000, UN75MU9000) – Samsung 2017 Premium UHD TV Series 9
Samsung MU9000 is the top model of Samsung’s 2017 Premium UHD TV lineup and also a successor of KS9000 Series. Like the predecessor KS9000 series, it also comes with flat panel. But since Samsung has released QLED Series in 2017 as the flagship, it is not a flagship of Samsung’s 2017 LED TV lineup. There 3 screens sizes options available for MU90000 including 75 Inch (UN75MU9000), 65 Inch (UN65M9000), and 55 Inch (UN55MU9000). In the market place, it is sold in price range $1500-$3500, depend on the screen size. But of course, this price is not fixed and could still change at any time. So, what features that offered by MU9000 and how is its performance?
Technologies and Features
Come as the successor of KS9000, Samsung MU9000 precisely lacks some major technology that makes its picture quality is not as good as the predecessor. One of the major loses over last year model is about quantum dot panel technology that makes its color performance is not as good as the predecessor. One of the missing technologies of MU9000 over the predecessor KS9000 is about quantum dot panel technology where this makes its color performance is not as good as the predecessor. But luckily, with 4K Color Drive Extreme as the instead, its rendition of colors is still fairly good and is not far behind the predecessor, so this makes the color of the picture displayed on its screen still looks very accurate.
On its panel, Samsung MU9000 comes with flat panel based on VA panel technology. It uses Edge Lit Backlight with Local Dimming technology named Precision Black. For maximizing contrast ratio and black level produced, there are also the number technologies behind it like Triple Black Extreme, and others, Otherwise, for maximizing its performance in a bright room, MU9000 is also powered the number technologies like Peak Illuminator Pro for maximizing peak luminance and Ultra Clear Panel Technology for reducing reflection and glare of ambient lights. Combination of all of these certainly makes the picture displayed on the screen of MU9000 looks fairly well with deep black level, good dark uniformity, bright peak brightness and good rendition of colors. Meanwhile, comes with HDR technology, MU9000 is powered by 4K HDR Extreme as their HDR Engine. But unlike some of its competitors which already support Dolby Vision, MU9000 only supports HDR 10 formats and might be also HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) with upcoming software update.
Additionally, for maximizing the picture produced when they are playing fast paced contents or 24p movies, Samsung MU9000 is powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This certainly makes the picture produced looks clearly and smoothly. Additionally, since it has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, it also has an ability to interpolate 30 fps and 60 fps videos. The other advantage that offered by MU9000 is about its low input lag, makes it is very comfortable when used for playing any kind of games including fast paced games. And that is not less attractive is about Tizen OS as its smart TV platform which offer simple, attractive and responsive smart TV platform with a lot of useful and interesting apps available.
But unlike other TVs with VA panel, limited side viewing angle becomes its major drawback. This certainly makes when viewed from an angle, the picture displayed doesn’t look as good as when viewed from center and in front of the screen. For this case, the seat placement to the TV will be very influential on the quality of the image viewed.
Samsung MU9000 Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||55 Inch (UN55MU9000), 65 Inch (UN65MU9000), 75 Inch (UN75MU9000)|
|Panel Technology||VA (Vertical Alignment) Panel|
|Backlight||Edge Lit LED|
|Dimming||Local Dimming (Precision Black)|
|Brightness Enhancement||Ultra Clear Panel, Peak Illuminator Pro|
|Black Enhancement||Triple Black Extreme, UHD Dimming|
|Color Technology||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|HDR||4K HDR Extreme|
|HDR Formats||HDR 10, HLG (a software update required)|
|4K Up-scaling||UHD Up-Scaling|
|Motion rate||Motion Rate 240 (Native 120 Hz refresh rate panel)|
|Key Apps||Full Browser, Cloud Games, Smart View, and more|
|Remote||Samsung Smart Touch Remote (TM1650A)|
|RF||1 (Common use for terrestrial and satellite)|
|Speaker Type||Down Firing + Front Firing|
|Total Audio Output||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)|
|Sound Effect||DTS Premium Sound 5.1|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
Samsung MU9000 Performance
Although not as good as the predecessor KS9000 series, Samsung MU9000 still has good picture quality. With about 6000:1 of native contrast ratio, it can reach about 0.016 nits of black level. Combine to good black uniformity, It is quite dark to makes dark scene looks excellently, even when set in a dark room where the impact of high native contrast ratio is more sensitive. Additionally, native contrast ratio of MU9000 is also strong enough to reveal detail of images in dark scenes, makes the shadow details of HDR Images looks clearly. As we know, for displaying dark scene of HDR images like what intended, the recommendation that have been set by UHD alliance is 0.05 nits or darker, while what reached by MU900 is far darker than this minimum recommendation, that means it is very good. But unfortunately, its local dimming doesn’t works as effective as the full array local dimming in boosting the contrast. With local dimming is set to “High”, the contrast ratio produced is relative the same, so there is no significant impact the caused. Nevertheless, overall, its dark room performance is excellent.
On the other hand, peak luminance of Samsung MU9000 is also fairly bright, bright enough to make bright scenes looks excellently when set in a dark room or moderately lit-room. If the local dimming is not too effective to boost the contrast ratio and black level, it is very effective to makes the highlights of images in dark scenes gets very bright, makes the highlights of HDR images looks excellently. Additionally, when set in a bright room with a lot of light, although its performance is not as good as brighter TVs, its peak brightness is still bright enough to fight the glare from a bright light or sunlight, makes the picture looks consistently amazing in bright room with a lot of lights. But unfortunately, its peak brightness is not quite bright to get the Ultra HD Premium Certification set by UHD Alliance due it is still below 1000 nits. This means, it cannot show the highlights of HDR images in brightness range 1000 – 4000 nits like what intended. Nevertheless, although not as good as some high-end TVs, HDR performance of Samsung MU9000 is fairly good.
As we have mentioned, lacks of Quantum Dot panel might makes color gamut delivered by Samsung MU9000 is not as wide as the predecessor KS9000 or Samsung QLED TV lineup with quantum dot panel behind them. Nevertheless, it still already supports wide color gamut that means most of colors in DCI P3 color space can be properly shown by MU9000. It might still have a bit issue on saturated green where it also becomes a common problem of most of TVs, but red and blue still can be shown fairly saturated. This certainly makes colors of the picture displayed on the screen of MU9000 still looks fairly accurate, even when displaying HDR videos which mastered with wide color gamut. Meanwhile, when showing colors in REC.709 of HDR images, it doesn’t have any major issues. On the other hand, Samsung MU9000 also already supports 10 bit depth of color that means it can deliver more than 1.07 billion shades of colors. As the comparable, TV with 8 bit panel can only deliver about 16 million shades of colors. This certainly makes color gradient of HDR image which mastered with 10 bit depth of colors looks very smooth. Its color gradient might not as smooth as Sony TVs that has perfect color gradient, but overall, its color gradient still can be said very good. There is only some little imperfection on darker greens where this should not be a problem and doesn’t have a significant impact on its color gradient as a whole.
Meanwhile, for anticipating the many videos with lower resolution which available in the market, Samsung MU9000 is equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine. Its performance is relatively the same to other model of Samsung LED TV lineup or its competitors. No matter the resolution of the video source, whether it is Blu Ray Movies with 1080p resolution, movies from HDTV with 720p resolution, even low resolution videos like DVDs with 480p resolution, all of them will be displayed sharply and clearly in 4K resolution with a lot of details are still preserved well. This certainly allows you to enjoy videos contents with any resolution with the quality as possible as close to 4K quality.
But unfortunately, like other TVS with VA panel, the side viewing angle coverage of Samsung MU9000 is very limited. Started at 20 degrees off center and front or even narrower, blacks look tend to grey while color also start to look inaccurately. This certainly makes the picture displayed doesn’t look as good as when viewed from center and front. And the wider angle you are watching from, the picture will look worse. But even so, As long as you watch TV from its viewing angle coverage and doesn’t often to watch TV from side viewing angle, this should not be a problem for you.
Motion handling and 24p Playback
Some other TV might offer greater performance but Samsung MU9000 is still a great TV when used for watching fast paced videos like sports program or fast movies. The combination of Motion Rate 240 technology and its low pixel response time result in smooth and clear picture quality with almost no motion blur visible. Following fast moving object, there is only a faint short trail where most of people might not notice about that. On the other hand, MU9000 is also a great TV when used for playing 24p movies. No matter the source of the movies, whether it is native 24p videos like Blu-Ray Movies, 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from Satellite TV, or even 24p videos via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices, all of them can be shown clearly and smoothly on its screen with judder-free. Nevertheless, to remove judder without adding “Soap Opera Effect” you certainly must set certain setting on its picture setting like “Auto Motion Plus” to “Custom” and both of “Judder Reduction” and “Blur reduction” to “0”. Additionally, since it has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, it also can fairly well interpolate lower frame rate contents like 30fps and 60fps videos.
Like other middle to high end TVs, Samsung MU9000 also equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as its major connectivity. Its HDMI ports certainly already support most of HDR format required for this time like HDCP 2.2, CEC, ARC, and more. In addition to USB and HDMI, there are also 1 RF IN (Common use for Terrestrial and Satellite), Ethernet In, and Digital Audio Out (Optical). Like other middle to high end models of Samsung TVs, there are no AV In and Composite In behind It. Additionally, most of their inputs/outputs ports are not also located on its side or rear panel, but on separated box called “One Connect Box Mini”. Meanwhile, Samsung MU9000 also has low input lags at any source under “Game Mode” and “PC Mode”, it even lower than the predecessor KS9000, particularly its input lags under “PC Mode”. With about 24 ms of input lags, this certainly low enough to play any kind of games on MU9000 feel responsively without laggy, even for fast paced games which require fast reflexes.
Like other model of Samsung’s 2017 Smart TV lineup, Samsung MU9000 also features Tizen OS 2017 as its Smart TV platform. Compare to last year version, there are not many changes and improvements except if comes with nicer themes and animations that makes its appearance is more attractive. But even so, it is still simple and easy to navigate. On its “Home Screen”, there is a ribbon contains quick access to a lot of most popular and favorites apps, so this allows you to launch an apps without leaving the home screen. Additionally, most of features and common settings also can be accessed by voice command feature. Meanwhile, in order to it has fast and responsive performance, it is powered by a fast quad core processor and large enough memory. This allows the app is opened quickly once it is launched. Additionally, selecting between apps or multitasking also fast and feel responsively. Talking about apps provided, there are preinstalled apps available like YouTube, Amazon Videos, Netflix, Web Browser, Cloud Games Apps, Live TVs and many more. Additionally, there is also apps store called “Samsung Apps Store” that provided tons of useful and interesting apps, games, and contents where you can directly download from your TV.
As the controller, SamsungMU9000 comes with smart remote called “Samsung Smart Controller”. It is similar to what used by the predecessor Samsung KS Series or other model like MU8000 or MU7000. Its remote is simple and only has minimalistic buttons. It might lack some quick access buttons for common use, but as the instead, it is equipped with built in microphone for voice command feature that has a lot of useful functionality like changing between inputs and apps, changing settings, and many more. The other interesting thing, this remote can be functioned as universal remote that allows you to control some basic functions of other device connected your TV via HDMI ports with this remote.
Since it lacks some major technologies and features like quantum dot panel or others, its picture quality might not be as good as the predecessor KS9000, particularly on their renditions of color. Nevertheless, its price when it was first released is cheaper than the price of KS9000 when it was first released. On the other hand, its picture quality is also not far behind the predecessor. It still has excellent picture quality with deep black level, good black uniformity, bright peak brightness, and good renditions of color. Overall, HDR performance is also great. But unfortunately, it cannot shows highlights of HDR images in range 1000-4000 nits like what intended where this is the only aspect that inhibit it to get Ultra HD Premium Certification. Additionally, the excepting of its poor side viewing angle coverage, the performance of other features that offered by Samsung MU9000 is great, whether it is about its motion handling, 24p playback, input lag, UHD Up-scaling engine, or Smart TV performance.
Should I buy This TV? The only major drawback of Samsung MU9000 is about its poor side viewing angle coverage. So, as long as you don’t often watch TV from side viewing angle, MU9000 series might be a good mid-end TV for mixed use. But even so, before you decide to buy it, there are a lot of opinions from the people who have purchased it where you can make as your further consideration.
- Strong Contrast and Good Black Uniformity
- Good Motion handling for sports
- Low Input Lag for games
- Side Viewing Angle coverage is limited