What is the Samsung JU7500?
Connections & Control
Features & Specs
Picture Settings Out-of-the-Box
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Picture Settings Calibrated
Samsung UE55JU7500 Picture Settings
Out-of-the-box PerformanceAs you will have gathered from the picture settings section, the JU7500 is capable of an incredibly accurate and natural looking image if you simply optimise the out-of-the-box settings - which anyone can do. However as important as they are, the greyscale and colour gamut are only part of the picture, if you'll excuse the pun. First of all the direct LED backlight means that the 55JU7500 has a very even backlight, that is free of any noticeable clouding or bright edges and corners. There was also no visible banding which is sometimes a problem on TVs that use direct LED backlights, so in this aspect we were really impressed by the JU7500.
As you would expect from Samsung, the JU7500 uses a VA panel, so the native blacks are very good for an LCD TV. They aren't quite as impressive as the recent Panasonics we've reviewed but a native black measurement of 0.05cd/m2 is certainly good. This immediately drops off to nearly zero once you engage the local dimming. As with the JS8500, the local dimming isn't quite as impressive as we have seen on Samsung's flagship models but it's still the match of any of its competitors. We found that we got an excellent image using the Smart LED low settings, which delivered deep blacks and a punchy dynamic range with minimal artefacts. For those that follow these things, with the local dimming off, the on/off contrast ratio was 2,400:1 and the ANSI contrast ratio was 1,886:1.
As always we used a target level of 120cd/m2 for the peak white (backlight set to 10), which represents a comfortable level of brightness for watching TV in the evening. The JU7500 can go as bright as 257cd/m2 for those looking to create a brighter day time setting for use when there's a lot of ambient light in the room. However the JU7500 isn't bright enough to support high dynamic range (HDR) but then some things had to be dropped to hit a certain price point. How important the lack of HDR support is will undoubtedly be a matter of personal preference but even without it, the JU7500 can still deliver a picture that has plenty of dynamic range, so if you're on a budget it isn't the end of the world.
Samsung's video processing has generally proved to be excellent over the years and so it proved again with the JU7500. We often point out that with Ultra HD TVs the quality of video processing is more important than ever because for the foreseeable future the majority of your viewing material will be upscaled to match the native 4K panel. Thanks to quad-core processor and Samsung's upscaling engine, high definition content looked superb on the JU7500 and even standard definition content was watchable. As always the better the quality of the source the better the resulting image, video processing can't work miracles after all, but even with poorer quality content the JU7500 could deliver a decent looking image with the minimum of artefacts
The JU7500 uses an LCD panel of course, so the motion handling is always going to be its weak spot and the native motion resolution was about 300 lines, which is what we would expect. You can improve this and get the full 1080 lines if you use the Auto Motion Plus feature but in doing so you will add a degree of unnatural smoothness to the image. This is caused by the frame interpolation that is adding additional frames to reduce judder and make motion appear smoother. Whilst this does work it ends up making film-based content look like video and so we would always recommend turning Auto Motion Plus off when watching films or TV dramas. You could experiment with Auto Motion Plus when watching fast-paced sports such as football, but overall we found the native motion handling to be very good and free of any of the artefacts that have manifested on other Samsung TVs in the past.
When it came to actually watching content on the JU7500, it's inherent image accuracy was apparent almost immediately. After a very quick setup we could see that the Samsung was delivering a great picture already and this was confirmed in our measurements. When watching high definition broadcast TV the JU7500 did a wonderful job of delivering natural-looking and detailed images that made full use of the native 4K panel. Although you can't add what isn't there, the excellent video processing means that the high definition images are being shown to their full potential.
Nature documentaries in particular looked spectacular, thanks to the detail and the image accuracy but the local dimming also made dramas look good, deepening the blacks and giving images plenty of punch. Once we switched to Blu-ray we could see what a great image the JU7500 could deliver, making us realise that even in the absence of much native 4K content, upscaled pictures could also look very impressive. Of course if you do have access to native 4K content then you can see just what the Samsung is capable of when allowed to take full advantage of its native resolution. The levels of detail were incredible but as always the image remained accurate and the local dimming helped boost the dynamic range.
If you buy some RF active shutter glasses, you'll be able to take advantage of the fact that the JU7500 also supports 3D. Overall the 3D performance was very good, with the Samsung delivering detailed and natural looking 3D images that had plenty of brightness and depth. The picture was pleasingly free of artefacts like crosstalk and overall it was a very good performance. However as has been the case with all of Samsung's 3D TVs this year, and last year, there is some back door frame interpolation going on to smooth the motion. We ensured we had turned off Auto Motion Plus but even so there was clearly some smoothing going on. We doubt most people wouldn't even notice but it was there and it shouldn't be. We would prefer it that when watching 3D, turning off the Auto Motion Plus feature actually did just that.
Calibrated PerformanceSince much of what we discussed in the previous section (black levels, dynamic range, local dimming, backlight uniformity, video processing and motion handling) is applicable regardless of whether we're looking at the out-of-the-box or the calibrated image, all we're really comparing here is the greyscale and colour accuracy. As we mentioned in the Picture Settings the out-of-the-box performance was so accurate that you would be unlikely to even notice the difference if the TV was calibrated. So it proved in our testing and whilst all the great things about the picture quality on the JU7500 still applied after calibration, the reality is that the subtle improvements in accuracy would only be apparent to a trained professional with test material they were familiar with. Ultimately, regardless of the source content and whether you're using an optimised out-of-the-box picture or even a calibrated one, the Samsung UE55JU7500 can deliver a fantastic all-round performance.
Samsung UE55JU7500 Video Review
How future-proof is this TV?
|4K Ultra HD Resolution|
|Colour Space (percentage of DCI - 100% best)||80%|
|HDMI 2.0a Inputs|
|HDCP 2.2 Support|
|4K Streaming Services|
|Smart TV Platform|
|Picture Accuracy Out-of-the-Box (score out of 10)||9|
|What do these mean?|
- Superb out-of-the-box accuracy
- Very good local dimming
- Direct LED backlight
- Impressive screen uniformity
- Reference performance after calibration
- Excellent video processing
- Attractive design and good build quality
- Incredibly low input lag
- Decent sound quality
- Plenty of features
- Great price
- Limited future-proofing
- Undefeatable frame interpolation in 3D
Samsung UE55JU7500 (JU7500) Review
Should I buy one?Samsung's latest Ultra HD TV brings a lot to the party in terms of features and performance but manages to do so at a very tempting price. The UE55JU7500 includes a direct backlight which results in excellent screen uniformity that was free of bright corners or edges but also managed to avoid visible banding as well. The out-of-the-box accuracy was also excellent, which is good news because the reality is that most people won't get their JU7500 calibrated. Although if you do pay for a calibration, the 55JU7500 is capable of a reference performance in terms of grayscale, gamma and colour gamut. The video processing is also excellent and all these factors combined to deliver an impressive performance regardless of whether the source content was standard, high or ultra high definition. Although the JU7500 doesn't come with any active shutter glasses it does support 3D and overall the performance was very good aside from some annoying back-door frame interpolation.
In terms of looks the JU7500 actually mirrors the flagship JS9500 with a brushed metal finish and a chamfered bezel. The curved panel sits on a matching curved stand and the overall build quality is very good. The 55JU7500 comes with the Mini Connect box and two remotes, one of which is a handy motion controller. There are features galore including Samsung's new Tizen powered smart platform and the input lag was one of the lowest we've measured. So given all this, what has been sacrificed to reach the lower price point? Well the Mini Connect box does limit the upgrade path but more importantly, unlike the higher end models, the JU7500 doesn't support a wider colour gamut or high dynamic range (HDR). It also only uses an 8-bit panel, so it won't be able to take full advantage of some of the improved features promised by the new Ultra HD standards. However if you're on a budget and looking for an Ultra HD 4K TV that can deliver a great performance right now, then the Samsung UE55JU7500 could be the one for you.
What are my alternatives?The obvious alternatives to the UE55JU7500 are LG's 55UF950V and Panasonic's TX-55CX802B both of which offer similar levels of performance and features. They also use more traditional flat screens making them appealing to those not convinced by the Samsung's curves. However both models are quite a bit more expensive than the 55JU7500, which demonstrates what great value the Samsung actually offers. The LG struggles to justify its additional cost when you consider that it also uses an 8-bit panel and doesn't support DCI or HDR. In addition it uses an ultra-thin panel and so can't deliver the same kind of screen uniformity found on the Samsung. The 55CX802B includes a direct backlight and delivers great blacks and colour accuracy, although the JU7500 has the edge in terms of local dimming. Whilst the Panasonic also uses an 8-bit panel, it does have a wider colour gamut and it will support HDR, making it more future-proof and thus perhaps justifying the additional cost.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Picture Quality Out-Of-The-Box
Picture Quality Calibrated
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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