What is the Samsung UE55HU8200?
There might not be much in the way of native 4K content at the moment but that certainly hasn't stopped manufacturers like Samsung from releasing a wide range of Ultra HD TVs.
Design and Connections
There's an indicator light at the centre bottom, that can thankfully be turned off. At the right rear is a small control joystick, whilst in the middle is the two-pin power cable connector and on the left are the connections. There's no built-in camera but the HU8200 can be wall mounted using the included spacers.
The HU8200 uses active shutter 3D and comes with two pairs of RF glasses that are very light and have very little tint to the lenses, which means that images appear more accurate and brighter. The lenses are reasonably large and fit over regular glasses but the arms can't be folded in and the lack of any sides means they can't block out ambient light, making them susceptible to flicker.
As is aways the case with Samsung TVs, the best out-of-the-box choice is the Movie mode, which will deliver a performance that matches the industry standards as closely as possible for a factory setting. A list of suggested settings based on the measurements taken during the review can be found here.
The HU8200 includes both a two- and a ten-point white balance control, so it was a simple task to get all three primary colours to measure in equal amounts. This resulted in errors that were well below the acuity of the human eye, delivering a smooth transition from black to white that was free of discolouration. The gamma was still tracking precisely at our target of 2.2 and overall this is a reference performance. The CMS employed by Samsung on their TVs is extremely effective and they were also able to deliver a reference performance when measured at 100% saturation.
All the colours were hitting their respective coordinates for Rec.709 precisely, whilst white was also measuring exactly at its target of D65. There was a tiny amount of under-saturation in red but this certainly wasn't visible and, just like the greyscale, this is a reference colour performance overall. This impressive level of colour accuracy continued when we measured at lower saturation points and most of the colours were at or very near their targets.
The HU8200 delivered a nicely uniform backlight, as evidenced by the ANSI graphic below, which shows measurements for each of the black and white squares. Samsung are definitely getting better at generating a backlight from LEDs along the edge and the results speak for themselves. The HU8200 was also pleasingly free of the two other common issues often found on LED LCD TVs - dirty screen effect and banding - which is just as well given all the football that's on TV at the moment. Samsung use an SPVA panel on the HU8200 and in our testing we measured the native black level at 0.08cd/m2 which is very good for a LCD TV. The Samsung includes their Smart LED feature and when activated the measured black levels reduced to 0.01cd/m2 in the low, which is the best option in terms of maintaining image accuracy.
The HU8200 is also bright, hitting our target of 120cd/m2 for white easily, which resulted in a very good on/off contrast ratio of 1,500:1 and a suitably wide dynamic range. The ANSI contrast ratio was also quite reasonable, coming in at 1,123:1. The use of a SPVA panel may deliver better blacks than an IPS panel but it also results in a narrower optimum viewing angle with anything outside a 90 degree radius looking a bit washed out, so correct placement will be critical, especially since the panel can't be swivelled. However the curved nature of the screen does actually help in this aspect because when viewing at an angle the far edge of the screen is curved towards the viewer and thus isn't as washed out. Unlike the more expensive HU8500, the HU8200 doesn't include Samsung's Auto Depth Enhancer feature.
The video processing on the HU8200 was absolutely superb, with all the content we watched being deinterlaced and scaled perfectly to match the 4K panel. It deinterlaced and scaled standard definition content, with clear and crisp reproduction of fine details and no unwanted ringing. It also no problems detecting both 3:2 and 2:2 cadence correctly and, as long as the Auto2 Film Mode was selected, scrolling video text over film was also delivered perfectly. The quality of the video deinterlacing at 1080i50 was just as good as it was for standard definition and there were no apparent issues with 24p content. All this content was perfectly scaled to match the panel and the motion handling also proved to be quite impressive for a LCD TV.
The HU8200 has a Clear Motion Rate (CMR) of 1000Hz, as opposed to the 1200Hz CMR found on the HU8500, and overall we found the motion handling to be very good for an LCD TV. We didn't feel the need to employ Motion Plus frame interpolation whilst watching World Cup matches but that feature is available for fast-paced sports action. The only issue we experienced with the HU8200 was that occasionally, whilst watching World Cup games, there was a momentary pause when the action cut from a close up to a wide shot of the pitch. We only noticed this on the football and it was only very occasionally. However we have informed Samsung, who are looking into it and once they've established what's causing it they will address the issue with a firmware update.
All the Ultra HD TVs we have tested to date seem to be using a lot of processing, resulting in higher input lag measurements and the HU8200 was no exception. In its calibrated Movie mode there was a delay of 135ms, although this be could reduced to 72ms by selecting the Game mode. Whilst this is still too high for serious gamers, renaming the input 'PC' managed to get the lag down to 40ms which is much better performance. This is about average for most TVs we've reviewed this year and certainly won't bother casual gamers, although it might be noticed by the more hardcore amongst you. We didn't experience any problems playing Killzone on our PS4 and overall we found it to be an enjoyable and responsive gaming experience, whilst the upscaled high definition graphics looked wonderful.
- Standby: 0W
- Out-of-the-Box – Normal Mode: 141W
- Calibrated – Professional Mode: 174W
- Calibrated - 3D Mode: 197W
Samsung UE55HU8200 Video Review
Samsung UE55HU8200 Picture Quality
The upshot of all these factors is that when watching content on the HU8200, it always looked excellent. The bright, detailed and accurate images looked great during the day but, unlike previous generations of Samsung TVs, they also looked impressive at night. We were surprised at how good standard definition DVDs and broadcasts looked, especially when you consider how much of the image is being guessed by the TV itself, and obviously high definition broadcasts looked fantastic. A fair amount of football has been watched recently and, aside from the minor motion hiccup mentioned earlier, it looked great with bags of detailed and natural colours. The last few episodes of season four of Game of Thrones also looked excellent, with the siege of Castle Black - a tough test for any TV - looking suitably dark without losing shadow detail.
When it came to Blu-ray the results were so good that at times you needed to remind yourself that the images weren't actually 4K. Our recently arrived copy of The Lego Movie was a great test of the TV's ability to deliver every last pixel of detail from the Blu-ray, and the film is a riot of colour and action that the HU8200 captured perfectly. When moving onto live action material like 3 Days to Kill the results were just as impressive, with natural colours and the 24p signal handled with no absolutely no issues. The 3D Blu-ray of the Russian film Stalingrad gave us a chance to put the HU8200 through its paces and the resulting 3D performance was excellent. The active shutter system employed by Samsung delivered a bright and detailed 3D image, with plenty of depth, great motion handling and no crosstalk. Our 4K test material remains limited but what little we had looked incredible on the HU8200, although 55 inches is probably the lower limit in terms of optimum screen size for Ultra HD. Sadly we couldn't take advantage of Netflix 4K due to the limitations of our current broadband connection.
- Great native contrast performance
- Nicely uniform backlight
- Superb colour palette
- Good 3D performance
- Excellent scaling and processing
- A highly effective dimming system
- Decent sound
- Comprehensive smart features
- Gorgeous looks
- 4K Netflix
- Very occasional motion artefacts
- Give the football mode a miss
Samsung UE55HU8200 (HU8200) 4K Curved TV Review
In terms of other features, the HU8200 uses a curved design and has an excellent level of build quality. There are two remote controls and two pairs of active shutter 3D glasses included, although it doesn't have the built-in camera found on the more expensive HU8500. The HU8200 includes Samsung's comprehensive Smart TV platform, which includes all the catch-up and most of the streaming services, although it has Quad Core rather than the faster Quad Core Plus processing found on the HU8500. Other differences include 1000Hz CMR instead of 1200Hz, no Auto Depth Enhancer feature and no One Connect box.
Whether you feel these missing features are worth the £200 premium for the HU8500 is a matter of personal opinion, although we feel the more flexible upgrade path provided by the One Connect box justifies the extra cost. However if you do decide to go for the UE55HU8200 you certainly won't be disappointed, it's an excellent Ultra HD 4K TV that combines a solid performance with Samsung's usual flair.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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