Samsung UE65HU7500 (HU7500) Ultra HD 4K TV Review
Big and flat, that's how we like it!
What is it?The HU7500 is Samsung's flagship flat Ultra HD 4K LED TV and, after already reviewing the UE48HU7500 and UE55HU7500, it's time to check out the big screen 65-inch version - the UE65HU7500. The larger screen size incorporates all the same features found on the smaller models with an Ultra HD 4K panel, precise local dimming, excellent video processing and a state-of-the-art Smart TV platform with the most comprehensive video services on the market. You also get two remote controls, plenty of connections and a very effective set of picture controls, should you wish to get your new screen calibrated.
Who is it aimed at?
Obviously given the fact that the HU7500 has a flat screen, it is clearly aimed at those that are unconvinced by Samsung's belief in the benefits of a curved screen. The other Samsung Ultra HD 4K TVs like the HU8500 and HU8200 use curved screens, along with offering certain other benefits such as the One Connect box in the case of the HU8500. However if its a flat Ultra HD 4K TV that you're after, then the HU7500 represents the current zenith of Samsung's television technology.
What does it look like?The HU7500 may eschew the elegant curves of Samsung's other models but it's still a very attractive design, with a silver trim surrounding an ultra-thin black bezel that in turn encompasses the gloss black screen. The supplied 'aero' stand has a brushed metal finish and a sleek construction that matches the trim of the main chassis. Unfortunately all this gorgeous design philosophy does come at the expense of being unable to swivel the stand. The HU7500 doesn't come with a One Connect Box, so all the connections are located at the rear of the chassis, but the stand does features a useful wire tidying system for effective cable management.
Connections on the HU7500Whilst the HU7500 might not have the One Connect box, it does come with an excellent selection of connections that should keep even the most demanding of AV enthusiasts happy. There are a total of four HDMI inputs, three of which face sideways and one which points outwards. We also get a generous selection of other inputs, including support for legacy video connections, three USB ports, an optical digital audio out and both wired and wireless LAN.
The HU7500 includes Samsung's usual attractive design flair and extensive set of connections.
How do I control it?As has been the case with all of Samsung's higher-end TVs this year, the HU7500 comes with a choice of two remote controls. There's the standard one, which is small and made of black plastic but has all the necessary buttons for controlling your TV in a more traditional manner. There's also Samsung's Smart Controller, which is a motion pointer with a few basic controls and a microphone for voice control, which is actually now very effective - "Launch Netflix" being our favourite command but it's really useful for general video and web searches too.
If all those control options weren't enough, there's also Samsung's excellent remote app available free for both iOS and Android. The Smart View 2 app, as it's officially known, provides all the necessary controls and uses a well designed user interface. There's also the option to watch content on your smartphone or tablet, effectively turning it into a second screen, which can be handy. Overall we found Samsung's remote app to be one of the better examples currently available.
What features does it have?Naturally the HU7500 supports 3D and whilst the format might not be as popular as it once was, there are still fans out there. Samsung includes two pairs of their active shutter 3D glasses and overall we rather like them. They are very light, can fit over prescription lenses and glasses and the lenses only have a slight tint. It would be better if there was more shielding at the sides but as long as you avoid any ambient light when watching 3D movies, that shouldn't be a problem. The TV uses quad-core processing, so it's very fast and highly responsive, whilst the menu system includes extensive calibration controls.
Samsung's Smart TV System remains one of the best available and it is certainly on of the most comprehensive - you can find a detailed review here. Quite simply, no other Smart System currently has as many video-on-demand, streaming and catch-up services as Samsung's, so you not only get Netflix 4K and Amazon Instant but also Wuaki TV and all the major catch-up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4OD and Demand 5). It isn't all video services though and you also get a surprisingly useful web browser and a highly effective media player.
The Smart TV is comprehensive, the calibration controls excellent and the audio quality very good.
What does it sound like?The HU7500 sounds surprisingly good and this is a testament to the advances Samsung has made this year in improving the audio on their slimline TVs. The reason for these improvements is in part because the speakers fire forward, which makes for a more effective front soundstage. In addition, the larger screen size means there is a greater sense of stereo separation and the inclusion of a subwoofer gives the lower end more impact.
In total the HU7500 uses six speakers, two tweeters, two mid-range drivers and two woofers, with a total power of 60W. As a result the TV can deliver a loud volume without sounding strained or distorted and the mid-range and high frequencies were nicely rendered, keeping dialogue clear and music and effects well produced. The Samsung proved effective for watching TV programmes and movies and even did a great job of handling music, never sounding tinny or fatiguing.
Samsung's Movie mode is always closest to the industry standards and the resulting greyscale was a extremely accurate for an out-of-the-box setting, although there was a slight excess of green and a minor deficit of blue at the brighter end of the scale. However the gamma was tracking our your target curve of 2.2 quite closely. The colour accuracy was also excellent out-of-the-box and in particular the luminance and hue of the colours, which were all measuring very close to their targets. There was a slight under-saturation of some of the colours but otherwise this was a superb performance and overall errors were all below the threshold of three.
Samsung include a highly effective two and ten-point white balance control on their TVs, so it was easy to correct the minor errors in the greyscale. We simply moved green down slightly and blue up a bit using the two-point control, which immediately gave us near perfect results. Then we just fine tuned the greyscale using the ten-point where necessary and the result was a reference performance. The gamma curve also remained very accurate, tracking around our 2.2 target.
After calibrating the greyscale the already accurate colour gamut improved still further and using the colour management system (CMS) on the HU7500, all we had to do was tweak the primary and secondary colours to get another reference performance. There were was still a slight error in the saturation red but, overall, any errors were well well below the perceivable threshold. The result was a reference performance from the HU7500 in terms of both greyscale and colour gamut.
The HU7500 delivered a very accurate picture out-of-the-box and a reference one after calibration.
HU7500 What's good?When it came to picture quality, the HU7500 was another stellar performer from Samsung, with a great performance and an image that made full use of the additional resolution of the panel. The image accuracy discussed in the technical section certainly plays an important part, resulting in a picture that looks natural. As did the impressive black levels and contrast ratio, allowing the HU7500 to produce a suitably wide dynamic range. We measured the native blacks at 0.06cd/m2, which is very good, and there was plenty of brightness, resulting in an ANSI contrast ratio of 2,000:1.
Are these numbers good?
For an LCD TV these numbers are very good and prove that Samsung's faith in MVA panels is certainly justified. The backlight uniformity was also very good, which is impressive on a screen this big, and there was no evidence of dirty screen effect or banding. As we would expect from Samsung, the video processing was excellent and the HU7500 passed all the usual tests. In fact it was amazing how good even standard definition content could look but it was with high definition material that the HU7500 came into its own, taking advantage of its Ultra HD panel to full effect. Of course if you can access any 4K content, then the results are spectacular with an incredible level of detail.
What about the picture quality?
We watched our usual selection of standard and high definition TV programmes and all the strengths that we have already listed came into play, creating a very pleasing picture. The colours were natural, the blacks and contrast ratio very good and the video processing was excellent. The local dimming was especially effective, enhancing the blacks and only occasionally suffering from halos. When we watched our latest Blu-rays like Godzilla and Edge of Tomorrow and the HU7500 did a wonderful job of creating a film-like experience. What little 4K content we had also looked very impressive and, if you have a fast enough broadband connection, you can watch 4K on Netflix.
What about 3D?
When it came to 3D, the HU7500 proved itself to be an equally adept performer and with 3D Blu-rays in particular, the results were excellent. The Samsung had sufficient brightness to counteract any dimming from glasses, although the lenses weren't actually that dark. Our copy of X-Men: Days of Future Past arrived just in time to watch on the HU7500 and this native 3D production looked fantastic, with images that had plenty of depth. There was a well composed and nicely layered appearance to the 3D and a pleasing lack of any distracting artefacts like crosstalk, whilst the big screen size created a suitably immersive 3D experience.
What about the input lag?
Previously Ultra HD 4K TVs have delivered quite high input lags, presumably due to the additional processing involved with the higher resolution panel, but the HU7500 surprised us, measuring just 40ms in Game Mode. Whilst this might be a bit high for the more serious gamers out there, it's very low for an Ultra HD 4K TV and comparable to Samsung's Full HD models. The usual trick of renaming the input as PC didn't get the measurement any lower but we'll take 40ms and we certainly found gaming on the HU7500 to be a responsive and enjoyable experience..
What's not so good?There really is very little to complain about when it comes to the HU7500 and what issues there are relate to the LCD technology it uses rather than any shortcomings with the TV itself. Although motion handling has never been a strong point of LCD technology, the HU7500 was one of the better examples and we didn't experience any of the minor stuttering that had been reported on previous review samples. There were instances of blurring with fast moving objects but we never found it especially distracting and, if you watch a lot of sports, you can always resort to frame interpolation; although as always you should avoid this with film-based content.
Don't sit too far to the side
Probably the main point to make clear is that the use of an MVA panel means that the HU7500 doesn't have as wide a viewing angle as you'll get with a TV that uses an IPS panel. So you need to be aware of that if you plan on watching off to one side, although we would always recommend watching TV from directly in front of the screen where possible. Since the HU7500 can't be swivelled, it's best to ensure that it is properly positioned for the optimum viewing angle but frankly, we'd take the black levels of an MVA panel over the wider viewing angle of an IPS panel any day.
The HU7500 hardly put a foot wrong and maintains Samsung's winning streak with another great TV.
- Excellent screen uniformity
- Accurate greyscale and colours
- Impressive black levels
- Great dynamic range
- Effective local dimming
- Superb video processing
- Extensive smart features
- Narrow field of view
- Very occasional haloing
Samsung UE65HU7500 (HU7500) Ultra HD 4K TV Review
Should I buy one?
Samsung have been on something of a roll this year and the UE65HU7500 is another great example of this winning streak. It's a well designed, solidly built Ultra HD 4K TV with an accurate picture, great blacks and excellent video processing. There are features galore, great sound and an incredibly comprehensive Smart TV platform. The panel uniformity was excellent and the local dimming very effective, leaving little to complain about aside from the viewing angle of the MVA panel and the general motion handling of LCD. It's also a flat screen TV, so if the curve isn't to your tastes, the HU7500 is one of the best Ultra HD 4K TVs on the market.
What other options do I have?
As far alternatives go Samsung have two other Ultra HD 4K models, the UE65HU8500 and the UE65HU8200, both of which are excellent but use curved screens and cost more. As far as the competition is concerned, of the TVs we've seen to date you could consider LG's UB950 and Panasonic's AX802, both of which also use flat screens but they are more expensive. There's also Panasonic's AX630, which is cheaper but doesn't have Netflix 4K. Ultimately in terms of overall features, performance and price, the Samsung HU7500 is the superior model, making it a TV that should definitely be at the top of your wish list.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £3,299.00
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
3D Picture Quality9
Ease Of Use9
Value for Money8
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