Samsung UE65JU7000 (JU7000) 4K Ultra HD TV Review
If HDR is of no interest, there are few better than this flat 4K TV
What is the Samsung UE65JU7000?This 65-inch Ultra HD TV sits in Samsung’s current mid-range of 4K televisions, with December 2015 online prices somewhere between £1750 and £1900, which is a significant saving on its release price of near £2,200. The UE65JU7000 might not pack in all the future-proofing measures as Samsung’s SUHDTV range, such as HDR or a wider colour gamut, but it does have some enticing features, nonetheless, including local dimming and 4K video streaming services from Netflix and Amazon. There’s a lot of competition in this sector and around this price-point, so let’s see if the JU7000 is up to the challenge.
Design, Connections & ControlFirst and foremost, this is a flat-screen TV, i.e. it’s not one of the ever-growing collection of curved Ultra HD televisions and we know that will be good news to many. It’s very sleek looking, from the front, with an elegant T-Shaped Stand propping up the chassis which has the screen surrounded by a narrow black bezel. It is however not the slimmest TV and that gives it a better chance of good screen uniformity, but those looking to wall-mount might want to take note that the maximum depth of the 65JU7000 is near 7cm.
The JU7000 comes with the Mini Connect box, which is a stripped down version of the One Connect box included with the JS9500 and JS9000. The Mini version doesn’t include all the processing, so it isn’t such an easy upgrade path but it also doesn’t generate any heat, so there’s no need for fans. Using our Murideo Fresco Six-G, we tested and verified that all four HDMI ports are HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 compliant, whilst there’s also support for ARC and MHL. You also get two USB 2.0 ports and a Toslink digital output plus the output port for the dedicated cable which connects the box to the TV itself.
The rest of the connections, bar the power supply, are at the rear right hand side and include aerial and satellite sockets, a LAN port, a USB 3.0 port, a headphone jack and some legacy video connections such as composite and component video. Along with the LAN port, the JU7500 also includes built-in Wi-Fi (802.11ac) and supports WiFi Direct. There's also Samsung's TV SoundConnect feature for wirelessly connecting the JU7000 to one of Samsung's soundbars.
As has become customary these last few years, this Samsung smart TV ships with a pair of remote controls in the box. One of them doesn’t really require any explanation – you’ve seen this sort of thing many times before – but the other is something far smarter. The smart controller is well made and fits comfortably in the hand and includes navigation buttons and a pointer for effective motion control of all the smart features, plus a range of genuinely useful voice controls that do actually work and save time. You just need to get over the fact your talking to a remote and you’ll be fine.
Features & SpecificationsThe UE65JU7000 incorporates all the latest picture features found on Samsung's 2015 UHD range of TVs and uses a flat screen with an LED backlight. It supports Ultra HD 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) and includes Quad-Core picture processing. The JU7000 also features Peak Illuminator, which is designed to boost the brightness of the image by taking energy not being used in dark parts of the image and using it to boost the brighter parts. The JU7000 also includes Precision Black local dimming and Contrast Enhancer. There’s also the Smart LED local dimming feature with settings for Low, Standard and High, along with the Auto Motion Plus feature that can be used to reduce motion blur. The Quad-Core processing includes numerous picture processing features to maximise the effect of the Ultra HD panel, even on non-4K content, as well as extensive calibration controls.
Samsung Smart TVAs we head in to 2016, Samsung has plugged all the holes in the Tizen Smart TV platform evident earlier in 2015. So we now have all the major UK catchup services, present and correct, excluding Demand 5 but we’ll live with that. The two big ones, as far as we’re concerned, are from Netflix and Amazon with both providing Ultra HD video through their services. We have to say that Tizen is extremely slick, very well presented and a massive compliment to LG’s webOS but that’s no bad thing.
Picture Settings Out-of-the-BoxGetting at least a reasonably accurate image out of the JU7000 is as simple a process as hitting the Menu button on the remote, moving across to the Viewing Mode and then selecting Movie. That will get you a long way but, unless you’re fans of soapy, over-processed motion handling, we’d also suggest delving in the Picture Options to switch off, or at least tone down, the Auto MotionPlus settings. The other one to have a look at is the Smart LED option, which controls the dimming system of the 65JU7000. It is set at Medium by default but if you start to see a haloing effect with bright objects on dark backgrounds, you might want to knock it down to Low. You could also set Backlight, Contrast and Brightness to match your viewing conditions by following the guides in our Picture Perfect section.
As we can see with the pre-calibrated results above, the Samsung UE65JU7000 is definitely not the most accurate TV we’ve looked at in 2015 in its out-of-box settings. There is a noticeable excess of green energy in the greyscale, creating a fairly easy to spot green tint to images, which was particularly evident on brighter scenes. It’s not catastrophic, by any means, but we’ve become accustomed to better accuracy in preset modes this year. The colour accuracy, however, was better with most errors only just about noticeable to the trained eye.
Picture Settings Video
Picture Settings CalibratedThe calibration controls inside Samsung TVs are really second to none, with both two and ten point white balance adjustments and a well featured colour management system at ones disposal. As it transpired, we barely needed to touch the 10pt controls as the two-point sliders pretty much did the trick with delta Errors reduced to below one, almost across the board. We would usually use them to fine tune the gamma response but simply by reducing the global gamma control, we got a near ruler flat result at our target of 2.35, chosen to suit both the viewing environment and the panel. The colours took even less tweaking, although we couldn’t quite get red to hit full saturation of the Rec.709 standard without introducing more noticeable errors elsewhere. Still, as we can see from the charts below, there are no causes for concern with the JU7000 which also hit its colour points accurately at lesser saturation levels.
Picture QualityThe Samsung UE65JU7000 has all the ingredients necessary to produce super pictures with the backbone to any good image, contrast performance, present and correct. From an ANSI chequerboard pattern, consisting of alternating black and white squares to give a better indication of real world performance than either an all-black or an all-white measurement would produce, we measured black at 0.041 cd/m2, which is actually a little better than the curved equivalent model managed. At the other end of the scale, we measured a theoretical peak light output of over 350cd/m2, which is more than bright enough for any environment and we actually calibrated to a white level of around 140 cd/m2, producing an ANSI contrast ratio of about 3,400:1, which is more than respectable. Dark screen uniformity was also much better than average with just one small patch of errant lighting visible on very black scenes. We did use the Smart LED feature, set at Low, which retained most of the detail in the shadows without producing obtrusive haloing effects.
As ever with Samsung TVs, the standard of video processing is very high and, believe it or not, even some of the standard definition material we watched on the JU7000 looked very presentable. Don’t expect it to perform miracles with some of the ultra-low bit rate material our broadcasters inflict upon us but a decent DVD passes mustard thanks to some top-notch scaling. The video deinterlacing of the Samsung JU7000 is also strong, which is of crucial importance with broadcast TV content although we still maintain that if you’re watching HD/1080i sports broadcasts, which is the best most people can watch unless they’re lucky enough to get BT Sport Ultra HD, the better 1080p TVs from years gone buy make a cleaner job of it. The necessity to scale and deinterlace simulatenously- with what is for UHD quite a low framerate - does take its toll although it remains perfectly watchable.
It might not be HDR but it's not lacking in dynamic range
Which brings us to the biggest picture issue we had with the UE65JU7000, namely some visible panel banding on fast panning shots most noticeable, as is typical, on brighter colours, especially when there is a large block of a single colour. This isn’t the best news for sports fans but, we have to say, we’ve seen much nastier examples in other TVs with similar tech. Whether you could live with that kind of uniformity problem is very much down to yourself but, be aware, this is a common trait of LCD/LED TVs so going for another brand or model is far from a guarantee you won’t get the same, or worse; even some OLED TVs have uniformity problems.
With that out of the way - and we don’t want to overstate it, just inform of the issue - the rest of what the Samsung UE65JU7000 had to offer was excellent. The colours are really pleasing and they combine with those good black levels and competent dimming system to produce very punchy pictures, whilst remaining natural. The JU7000 might not be HDR capable but it still has plenty of dynamic range and when we were watching some of the Ultra HD streams via Netflix and Amazon, there were times when we thought how could home video get any better? Ultra HD Blu-ray will, of course, be superior and High Dynamic Range will be the icing on the top but, for most people, 4K streaming will be more than accurate and, in most cases, better than anything they’ve ever seen, so far.
Sound QualityIn contrast to some of the higher end Samsungs, the UE65JU7000 has a one-way one-speaker – rather than two-way two-speaker - downward-firing configuration and only 20W of amplification. The Samsung can decode both Dolby Digital Plus and DTS, whilst it also includes DTS Studio Sound, HD Audio and 3D Sound features. Thanks to the larger screen size there was a decent sense of stereo separation with music and effects, whilst dialogue remained focused on the screen but the lack of woofer, when compared to some on the market, is palpable with a much thinner sound emanating from the JU7000. In terms of television audio, it is by no means bad but if you want audio to match the quality of the pictures, you will be better served by an outboard solution.
Input Lag & Energy ConsumptionSamsung has really pulled out the stops with their 2015 range of Ultra HD TVs when it comes to gamers and the UE65JU7000 continues those fine performances with a measured lag of just 24.2 milliseconds, which is less than a one frame delay for a 30 frames per second title. For such a large TV, energy consumption figures are also very impressive with the 65-inch JU7000 consuming 135.4w on a 50% grey pattern and the calibrated movie mode used just 89.5w.
How future-proof is this TV?
4K Ultra HD Resolution HDR Support Colour Space (percentage of DCI - 100% best) 82.5% 10-bit Panel HDMI 2.0a Inputs HDCP 2.2 Support HEVC Decoding 4K Streaming Services Smart TV Platform Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10) 7 What do these mean?
- Good blacks & strong contrast
- Effective dimming
- Excellent Smart Features
- Cutting edge connectivity
- Nice stand
- Some banding on fast pans
- Not as future-proofed as some
Samsung UE65JU7000 (JU7000) 4K Ultra HD TV Review
Should I buy the Samsung UE65JU7000?At its current (December 2015) online price, the Samsung UE65JU7000 provides a compelling mixture of mostly great pictures, cutting edge smart TV features and the latest connectivity options. The design is clean and understated, too, and you get a swanky smart remote to bring you in to the next generation of control, with voice and cursor control making those smart features both easier to use and access.
The JU7000 provided a decent level of picture accuracy in the out-of-box Movie mode, although it could have been a little better, but thanks to the excellent calibration controls we could get this TV to a superb level of fidelity. Combine those natural colours with very good native contrast and an effective dimming system and you’re usually on to a winner, especially when the quality of video processing is as good as that Samsung provides; it’s also ultra-responsive for gamers with a very low input lag of 24 milliseconds.
The 65JU7000 wasn’t quite perfect, of course, and we were sometimes irked by a panel banding issue noticeable on some fast panning scenes so, for those that watch a large amount of sport, it might not be ‘the one’. One should also consider that if you really want to delve in to the next generation of home video, i.e. HDR and wider colour gamuts, then you need to be looking for something else. Overall, however, the Samsung UE65JU7000 delivers the goods on a scale grand enough to justify an AVForums Recommended Award.
What Else Could I Buy?There isn’t a better time to pick up a TV bargain, that’s for sure, so you have options, provided stock doesn’t run out. If you do want in on HDR - and all that stuff – you could check out the Hisense XT910. It has deeper blacks and a better dimming system, too, although we did feel the JU7000 produced better pictures overall but the prices are about level. If you’re quick, we’ve seen a Panasonic TX-65CR852B online for less than two grand, as well, and that boasts HDR support but no wider colour space. In both cases, the alternatives are curved but you can make your own mind up about that.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level8
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box7
Picture Quality Calibrated8
Ease Of Use8
Value for Money8
Our Review Ethos
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