What is the Samsung KS8000?
Connections & Control
The Smart Controller is also a universal remote which works in conjunction with the KS8000's auto device detection feature. When the TV detects a new device being connected via HDMI, it automatically sets that device up in the Smart Hub and adds the remote control codes. You can then use the Smart Controller to control that connected device, as well as the TV itself.
Features & Specs
Samsung UE55KS8000 Recommended Picture Settings
Picture Settings – Out-of-the-Box
Picture Settings – Calibrated
Picture Settings – High Dynamic Range
The uniformity was also impressive, with our review sample delivering an even backlight that was free of any obvious clouding or bright edges and corners. We also didn't notice any dirty screen effect and overall this was an excellent performance from the Samsung. The off-axis viewing angles weren't bad either, although the KS8000 uses a VA panel so they are never going to be ideal. However they did appear better than many other TVs that we have seen this year.
The local dimming was excellent and even in the low setting the KS8000 could deliver deep blacks and bright whites, without crushing shadow detail or clipping highlights. There was a pleasing lack of haloing, especially when sat directly in front of the TV but there was more haloing as you moved off axis, especially in the vertical plane. However for standard dynamic range content we generally found the local dimming to be impressive, despite the fact that the KS8000 uses edge lighting with LEDs along the bottom. This limitation was more obvious with high dynamic range content, where the increased brightness and the local dimming on the high setting could sometimes reveal haloing or brighter edges. This was especially true of letterboxed films, where on occasion we could see brighter edges due to a specific image on screen.
The motion handling on the KS8000 was good for an LCD panel, with none of the stuttering or frame dropping that we have seen on Samsung TVs in the past and it handled all of our motion tests very well. We measured the motion resolution round 300 with Auto Motion Plus off and the full 1080 lines with it on, which is what we'd expect. However using the Auto Motion Plus features does introduce smoothing that can rob images of their film-like quality, so we generally left it off. However for sport-based content, which is shot on video, there is certainly room to experiment and choose a setting that suits you.
When it came to watching standard definition content the KS8000 did a superb job of deinterlacing and upscaling the image. The video processing on the Samsung was excellent and, thanks to the accurate greyscale and colour space, the results were very watchable despite the obvious drop in resolution. Once we moved to Full HD things picked up a gear, with nature programmes looking wonderful and certain scenes in Stranger Things looking particularly impressive. Naturally once we moved to Blu-ray we saw another pick-up in performance with our usual test discs all looking wonderful on the KS8000.
As we have mentioned the local dimming did an excellent job of delivering great blacks and dynamic range, without introducing halos or overtly crushing shadow detail. A regular test Blu-ray such as Gravity looked marvellous and despite the frequent sight of bright objects against black backgrounds, the backlighting was rarely visible unless we plunged the room into total darkness and even then they weren't that obvious. As a result of this impressive performance, the KS8000 could deliver a great picture, regardless of whether we were watching standard or high definition content.
Finally we ran through various HDR content and once again the KS8000 delivered the goods with images that took full advantage of the increased resolution available. When watching films like The Revenant and Deadpool that actually used a 4K digital intermediate, the level of detail was impressive. The use of 10-bit video depth helped eliminate banding in the image and the wider colour gamut revealed more saturated and realistic colours. The KS8000 also took advantage of the HDR grading to deliver images that had great impact.
The high peak brightness meant the highlights could really pop, whilst the blacks remained deep but there was still plenty of detail in the shadows. The KS8000 managed to properly tone-map a favourite scene from Pan and overall it performed very well with HDR content. However, as we mentioned earlier, edge lighting isn't ideal for HDR and on occasion the Samsung struggled with certain scenes and the limitations of the technology were revealed through bright edges. That being said, the KS8000 was still capable of one of the better HDR performances that we've seen this year and when combined with its SDR performance it makes for an ideal all-round TV.
Samsung UE55KS8000 Video Review
Input Lag & Energy Consumption
We measured the energy consumption using a 50% full screen raster and in the Standard mode that the KS8000 ships in, the TV was using 112W and in our calibrated Movie mode it used 72W. We also measured the HDR mode and, whilst that obviously used more energy, it still measured at a respectable 145W. So if energy efficiency is an important factor to you, then the KS8000 would certainly suit your needs in terms of power consumption.
How future-proof is this TV?
|4K Ultra HD Resolution|
|Colour Space (percentage of Rec.2020 - 100% best)||70%|
|HDMI 2.0a Inputs|
|HDCP 2.2 Support|
|4K Streaming Services|
|Smart TV Platform|
|Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10)||8|
|What do these mean?|
- Great blacks and contrast ratios
- Impressive colour accuracy
- Effective local dimming
- Excellent video processing
- Good backlight uniformity
- HDR content looks stunning
- Incredibly low input lag
- Attractive design
- State-of-the-art smart features
- Disappointing out-of-the-box greyscale
- Occasional bright edges
- No 3D support
Samsung UE55KS8000 UHD 4K TV Review
Should I buy one?
That very much depends on your priorities but if you're looking for a high performance Ultra HD TV with a flat screen, then the Samsung KS8000 should definitely be on your short list. The TV is attractively designed and well built, with a great set of features including an effective smart platform, auto device detection and a handy remote. The One Connect box is a clever idea that has plenty of connections including four HDMI 2.0a inputs. The KS8000 is energy efficient, it sounds good and the input lag is just 21ms, making it ideal for gamers.
Of course the most important aspect of any TV is its picture quality and the KS8000 doesn't disappoint in this area either. It is certified Ultra HD Premium by the UHD Alliance and supports both wider colour gamuts and high dynamic range. The out-of-the-box greyscale accuracy was a bit disappointing, with an excess of blue, but this was easily fixed using the white balance controls and the accuracy after calibration was excellent. The colour gamut and gamma were also impressive, regardless of whether the source was standard or high dynamic range.
The KS8000 had excellent black levels and contrast ratios for an LCD TV and despite using a VA panel the viewing angles weren't too bad. The colours were natural, the motion handling was good and the video processing was excellent. Local dimming is an area where Samsung have traditionally been strong and aside from some bright edges with HDR content, the local dimming on the KS8000 was generally impressive. There is no 3D, so if that's a priority then this isn't the TV for you, but otherwise the Samsung UE55KS8000 is an excellent all-round performer.
What are my alternatives?
If you prefer a curved screen then Samsung's UE55KS9000 would be an obvious alternative because it is essentially identical to the KS8000, although you will pay an extra £200 more for the privilege of having a bent panel. As far as edge-lit HDR TVs from other manufacturers are concerned, the Sony KD-55XD9305 is a strong contender with a gorgeous design, great build quality and a fantastic performance. It's the same price as the KS8000 but the Sony supports 3D if that remains important to you, although we still find their Android TV system annoyingly buggy.
However, as we mentioned in the review, edge-lit TVs aren't necessary ideal for HDR even though both the KS8000 and XD93 still delivered great performances. So if you have a bit more budget you could get the Panasonic TX-58DX902B which uses a full array backlight with 512 local dimming zones and only costs £1,999. That's a great price for a screen that's three inches bigger than the Samsung and you also get 3D support, along with Panasonic's Firefox OS – which we really like. Ultimately the £1,500-2,000 price bracket is especially strong this year with plenty of choices for anyone looking to buy a new TV.
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Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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