Samsung F9000 (UE65F9000) 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV Review
The pinnacle of LED TV engineering, so far?
The Ultra HD revolution continues to gather pace, with more and more manufacturers beginning to show their 4K hands.
Design & Connections
As is the norm for a high-end TV these days, the 65F9000 comes with 2 remote control choices in the box. One is a standard black plastic affair, which feels totally out of place in such a high-end package, whilst the other is far more ‘designer’. The touchpad remote looks like something from a sci-fi movie and as well as the eponymous touch controls, also allows for voice controls and search via the built-in mic. Also included are a variety of basic, well-used controls but, in all honesty, we still preferred the conventional route and it’s not as good as LG’s Magic Motion controller so there’s some work to do before it can be regarded as a viable, full replacement.
As we can see, in the default Movie mode, there really wasn’t too much wrong with the 65F9000’s output. Greyscale tracking showed a slight predominance of green in the whites and a bit too much blue in the darker portions of the picture but it’s hard to fault for a pre-set. Likewise, colours were also pretty much where they need to be against the HDTV Rec.709 standard, with just a few minor errors to iron out using the CMS.
Samsung’s calibration controls are amongst the best in the business and using both the 2 and 10 point White Balance controls we were able to dial in perfect greyscale and gamma tracking. The only thing we couldn’t fully fix with the controls was the slight under-saturation in red but it got close enough to prove virtually unnoticeable.
Just as importantly, colour tracking at lower saturation points was fantastically accurate, resulting in pictures that were very believable across the board. One thing we would note, if Rec 2020 becomes the colour standard for UHD TV, then this panel is not likely to be able to cope with the added demands of the more saturated colour palette but as nothing is agreed yet, that’s a moot point for now.
Contrast, Black Levels & Screen Uniformity
Perhaps Samsung’s greatest achievement with this 65-inch F9000, is in producing a panel with almost pristine uniformity. To be hyper-critical, there was a very faint, scotch pancake size patch of light visible toward centre left of the screen, on an all-black background but even that disappeared with the Smart LED control engage; and engage it you should. Even with it ramped up all the way to High, there’s no sense of details being crushed and few enough side-effects to make it a must. That said, we’ll give little to no credibility to the 0 cd/m2 measurement we took on a completely blackend screen with Smart LED set at High but the averaged reading of 0.33cd/m2, from a checkerboard pattern, would seem fair reflection of actual performance.
For the number crunchers, that’s an ANSI contrast of about 3500:1, which is very good, and made all the more so by the excellent screen uniformity. Our only real cause for complaint, from a screen consistency standpoint, was panel banding with some panning shots. Again, sporting content is a good place to go and see this issue but it rarely proved a distraction.
On paper (or is that screen), the Samsung 65F9000’s video processing is immense. Scaling of even lowly standard definition signals was nearly flawless and the same can be said for the deinterlacing and cadence detection qualities. In practical terms, the combination of having to both deinterlace and scale sometimes caused edges to break with real world content. It’s the challenge of eliminating blur with fast paced content that’s a more pressing concern, however, and it’s something we particularly noticed when watching Football at 1080i50. There is the option of trying the LED, or regular, Motion Plus processing but the former proved ineffectual and the latter erratic, introducing frequent jerky and stuttering movement. So, we need the standards bodies to come to the rescue by making sure they insist on frame rates brisk enough to ensure we’re not going to be seeing too much undue blur with our UHD sporting content; 120fps doesn’t seem unreasonable here but that’s also probably beyond what LED/LCD could reasonably support.
Picture Quality – Ultra HD
So, does that mean UHD is going to be a waste of time for most? Well, we won’t answer that question for anyone, you need your own eyes to be the arbiters on that, but, from what we’ve seen so far, the benefits aren’t solely resolution based. The above mentioned solidity and texture of images is incredibly pleasing and - if the pertinent standards bodies get their wish - wider colour spaces and increased frame rates will only help seal the deal. Whether an LED/LCD TV will ever really be up to those new challenges is another matter but with OLED waiting in the wings, the future looks promising for Ultra High Definition, if only from an enthusiasts standpoint. We’ll let the manufacturers worry about how to sell the idea to the masses whilst we carry on enjoying the fruits of their endeavours. We will just close by saying that we can’t wait for the next UHD TV to arrive with a whole batch of new content for us to salivate over.
Picture Quality – Full HD & SD
A little late to the party, perhaps, I’ve just started watching Game of Thrones on Blu-ray and it’s testament to the qualities of the 65F9000 at 1080p24, that I was compelled to romp through all the episodes before it was sent back. With the Smart LED control engaged – and you should – black levels and dynamic range were superb with no sense of detail being lost.
Picture Quality – 3D
The Samsung 65F9000 certainly has a lot going for it with 3D content. There’s size in particular, 65-inches is excellent for 3D in the home, giving pictures the necessary impact and depth and the almost stellar brightness the F9000 possesses ensures they’re delivered with impressive punch. The F9000 employs an active shutter 3D system but we never felt there was undue flicker or any real sense of eye-fatigue but we could certainly see a little crosstalk, at times, in very high contrast scenes. Still, no matter, the Samsung 65F9000 delivered one of the best 3D experiences we’ve had in home, to date.
- Superior dimming technology
- Incredibly life-like images
- Almost uncanny uniformity
- Tremendous scaling of lower res content
- Knock-out picture accuracy
- Built to last
- Smarter than your average TV
- Sports & fast paced action can be blurry
- It aint cheap when there's little to no 4K content
Samsung F9000 (UE65F9000) 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV Review
The first thing that strikes you is the build quality - it's reassuringly solid and heavy and the One Connect box means you won't be left floundering when the standards start changing. Menu interfaces and navigation are smooth and slick and Samsung has stuck in just about every Smart feature one could hope for.
Out of the box, the F9000 was already fairly faithful to Industry standards but following a quick calibration, performance was absolutely Reference category. Combine stunningly accurate colours with superb dimming and you get pictures that leap out of the screen, dripping in dynamic range.
Video processing was generally so good that the 4K panel even managed to improve the better 1080p content we gave it to digest, although sports and fast moving content at 1080i showed the limitations of LED technology. For Ultra HD to succeed, we need the standards bodies to ensure we have high enough framerates so that the next gen of TV entertainment doesn't become a blur-fest.
All in all, the Samsung F9000 is an absolute triumph of engineering. We'd certainly encourage anyone tempted in to the world of Ultra HD to put it right at the top of their go-see list but, caveat emptor, there's little to no native content to watch on it. For now, at least.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level9
2D Picture Quality8
3D Picture Quality8
Ease Of Use7
Value for Money7
Our Review Ethos
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Display LED Backlight Type Edge Display Format 4K Ultra HD Screen Size 65 In Resolution 3840 x 2160 Pixels 1080p24 Support Yes Claimed Contrast Ratio Mega Contrast 3D Technology Active Refresh Rate 1000 Hz Aspect Ratio 16:9 Picture-in-Picture PiP
Image Enhancement Engine 3D HyperReal Engine
3D Accessories Active Glasses
PVR Features Twin Tuners
External PVR Ready
Smart TV Yes Smart TV Features WiDi
Video on Demand Access
App Store Access
File Formats XViD
Speakers Stereo with Subwoofer Speaker Output 70 Watts Supported Sound Formats Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital Plus
DSP Sound Features
Energy Efficiency Class B Power Consumption 180w Power Consumption (Standby) 0.3 Release Year 2014 Width (With Stand) 1462.3 mm Height (With Stand) 884.2 mm Depth (With Stand) 320 mm Weight 32.1 Kg Width (Without Stand) 1462.3 mm Height (Without Stand) 837.8 mm Depth (Without Stand) 40.7 mm
HDMI Type HDMI
HDMI with ARC
HDMI with MHL
HDMI Inputs 4 Scart Connections 1 Composite Inputs 1 USB Ports 3 Common Interface Slot Yes Ethernet Port Yes Digital Audio Out Yes Headphone Socket Yes Wi-Fi Built-in
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