What is the Samsung JU6400?
Enter the JU6400 which represents Samsung’s entry level model in this year’s Ultra HD 4K range and seeks to deliver a similar balance of price and performance as the H6400. So you get a largely plastic but still attractive design, an Ultra HD 4K flat panel, quad-core processing and Samsung’s latest smart platform powered by Tizen. The JU6400 also uses a direct LED back light but sadly doesn’t include Samsung’s excellent local dimming; nor is there any support for 3D, although that probably won’t matter to most consumers.
However, despite the absence of local dimming and 3D that’s still an impressive set of features and the JU6400 has a wide range of screen sizes and price points to gain the attention of consumers. At the time of writing (May 2015) you can pick up the UE40JU6400 for £699, the UE65JU6400 for £2,249 and the massive UE75JU6400 for £3,999. However the most popular screen size will probably be the 55-inch UE55JU6400 that we’re reviewing here and at just £1,299 it’s also got a tempting price tag. Let’s see just how tempting…
The panel sits on an attractive stand that uses a combination of black plastic and a silver brushed metal finish but it can’t be swivelled so, given the limited optimal viewing angles that we’ll discuss later, correct placement is important. The UE55JU6400 uses a direct LED backlight, meaning it’s a little wider with a depth of around 5 cm but that’s a small price to pay for a more uniform backlight. The overall build quality is reasonable but the plastic construction doesn’t feel as solid as some of Samsung’s more expensive models. However the JU6400 has been designed and constructed to meet a certain level of build quality and a specific price point, so based on that rationale it does exactly what it’s supposed to do.
Connections & Control
Features & Specs
The 55JU6400 also sports Samsung’s Ultra Clear Panel which minimises screen glare, reduces reflections and rejects ambient light spill on the screen. The JU6400 doesn’t include Smart LED local dimming but does utilise a global dimming system for its direct LED backlight. The Smart TV system for 2015 has had a major overhaul and is now powered by the Tizen operating system. It moves away from full screen smart TV app pages and resembles the WebOS layout used by LG.
There are also regular software updates which download automatically and run in the background when ready to update. Services available on the Smart platform include a full Samsung App store, all the UK catch up services (although some are still being added), 4K Netflix and Amazon Prime Video as well as Facebook, Twitter and other social media apps and games. We will have a full standalone review of the new smart TV system in the very near future, so stay tuned.
You can see our suggested picture settings for the sample of the UE55JU6400 we review in this video:
Pre-CalibrationAs we mentioned in the Picture Settings section, if you select the Movie picture mode, Warm2 colour tone and Auto colour space, you should get a very accurate out-of-the-box performance. We have been impressed with accuracy of Samsung’s TVs this year and that includes both review samples and retail samples that we’ve tested.
As we’d expect given the greyscale measurements, you can see the slight green push to white on the CIE chart below on the right. There’s also a slight over saturation of green, blue and yellow but otherwise this is an excellent colour performance. The majority of colours are close to their targets for Rec.709, the luminance measurements are good and the overall errors are all below three.
Post CalibrationGiven such an accurate starting point, it was a relatively easy task to calibrate the UE55JU6400. Although the Samsung includes both a two- and a ten-point white balance control, we only needed to use the two-point to get the three primary colours balanced. The gamma was still tracking around 2.4 and the overall greyscale errors were all below one.
The colour management system (CMS) included on Samsung TVs is excellent and allowed us to dial in all the primary and secondary colours to a reference level of accuracy. There was still a slight under-saturation of red that we couldn’t quite fix but it was still under three and the overall errors we well under one.
Samsung UE55JU6400 Video Review
Samsung JU6400 Picture Quality
Video ProcessingSamsung’s video processing is generally excellent and as a result we expected the JU6400 to perform well in all of our tests. It did and the results were impressive, with the TV deinterlacing and scaling content effectively without introducing any obvious artefacts. The 55JU6400 passed all of our usual video processing tests and the performance was good regardless of whether the source content was standard or high definition. This is important because when it comes to Ultra HD 4K TVs most of the content you watch, for the time being at least, will be upscaled to match the higher resolution panel.
Motion HandlingAs always we used our FPD Benchmark test disc to measure the motion resolution of the JU6400 at around 300 lines which is what we would expect from an LCD TV. What we didn’t expect was that turning on the Auto Motion Plus made no difference to the motion resolution. Normally we would expect a frame interpolation feature like Auto Motion Plus to deliver the full 1080 lines of resolution but in fact it appeared to have no affect at all, regardless of which option we chose. We can only assume this is due to a software bug and have reported our findings back to Samsung. As it happens we found the motion handling on the Samsung to be just fine without the need to resort to frame interpolation. When watching 24p Blu-rays with Auto Motion Plus off, the motion retained a suitably film-like quality and overall the motion handling on the 55JU6400 was perfectly acceptable.
Black Levels & Contrast RatioThe JU6400 uses a VA panel but doesn’t have Samsung’s Smart LED local dimming. Instead it uses a form of global dimming, which meant that if we pulled up a 0IRE full screen raster the backlight went out and we measured 0.001cd/m2. Of course this isn’t representative of a normal image and using a 0IRE window we measured black at at 0.06cd/m2, which is the same as all the other Samsung TVs we have reviewed so far this year. The JU6400 also has plenty of brightness, easily hitting our target of 120cd/m2 and going as high 325cd/m2 with the backlight and contrast at their maximum settings. Although it should be stressed that the JU6400 doesn’t support High Dynamic Range (HDR). Using a brightness of 120cd/m2 and a black measurement of 0.06cd/m2, the JU6400 delivered an on/off contrast ratio of 2,000:1 and an ANSI contrast ratio of 1,655:1, which is actually pretty good for an LCD TV.
Despite the absence of any local dimming, the black levels on the JU6400 were acceptable and there good detail in the highlights, although at the expense of some of the finer shadow detail. The big drawback for all the Samsung TVs that we have seen so far this year is their viewing angles. As long as you’re sat dead centre then the image looks great but as soon as you begin to move off-axis by even as little as 10 degrees, there is a deterioration in performance. Once you begin to move even further off-axis then the luminance, colour balance and black levels will deteriorate further. It’s a limitation of the technology but essentially with LCD you have two choices, either good blacks and limited viewing angles or poor blacks and wider viewing angles. Which is best will undoubtedly depending on where you plan on positioning the TV in your room but remember that the JU6400 can’t be swivelled on its stand, so take that into account.
Ultra HD 4K PerformanceUsing our Ultra HD 4K test material we put the JU6400 through its paces and were impressed at the quality of images that even this lower tier UHD TV was capable of producing. The level of detail was astonishing and when viewing from the optimal position the decent blacks, even backlight, levels of gradations and accurate picture all played a part in making the experience as enjoyable as possible. The amount of 4K content might currently be limited but there’s no doubt that once it becomes more common place the 55JU6400 will be able to take advantage of the higher resolution format, even if it doesn’t support other aspects such as a wider colour space or higher dynamic range (HDR).
Full HD PerformanceWhile you wait for more 4K content, whether that's via streaming, broadcast or Blu-ray, the JU6400 is still capable of delivering a great picture from current sources. All the factors that made 4K content look so good still apply but the superb video processing also comes into play, deinterlacing where appropriate and scaling the image to match the native resolution of the panel. The result is that streaming content from Amazon, Netflix and Now TV all looked great and high definition broadcasts could really impress. The JU6400 was even able to produce a reasonable image with standard definition content, which is remarkable when you consider it’s interpolating most of the picture.
However it’s with Blu-rays that the 55JU6400 really gets to show what it’s capable of and recent releases such as Interstellar and Inherent Vice looked suitably film-like. In fact the images produced by the Samsung were often so good that you almost forgot that they weren’t native 4K. The lack of local dimming is a shame and the viewing angles are limited but from the right position the picture was excellent with natural colours, plenty of detail and reasonable motion handling. Ultimately you can’t expect everything at this price point but, all things considered, the UE55JU6400 delivers a great picture for the money.
How future-proof is this TV?
|4K Ultra HD Resolution|
|Colour Space (percentage of DCI - 100% best)||75%|
|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?|
- Excellent out-of-the-box accuracy
- Great colours & contrast performance
- Impressive video processing
- Low input lag
- Decent set of features
- Narrow viewing angles
- Minor banding
- No local dimming
- No wider colour space or HDR support
- No 3D support
- Bug in Auto Motion Plus
Samsung UE55JU6400 (JU6400) Ultra HD 4K TV Review
The 55JU6400 also includes Samsung’s latest smart platform which is powered by the Tizen operating system and although some features are still being added it certainly shows potential. Obviously to hit a specific price some features are missing, which means there’s no local dimming and no 3D, so bear that in mind if the latter is still important to you. The JU6400 also doesn’t support a wider colour space or higher dynamic range (HDR) but then this is an entry level model. Perhaps the biggest downside that the 55JU6400 has is that, due to the panel used, the optimal viewing angles are limited; this means that correct positioning is more important than ever. Otherwise the Samsung UE55JU6400 delivers a great package for its asking price, making it ideal for anyone looking to take their first steps in the world of Ultra HD 4K.
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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