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Samsung 65-inch KS9000 SUHD TV review: A premium 4K TV made for HDR

By Ng Chong Seng - 13 Nov 2016
Launch SRP: S$7199

Conclusion

 

Conclusion: A 4K TV made for HDR

The Samsung KS9000 SUHD TV is a great 4K TV. Last year’s JS9000 was already very good, but somehow, the KS9000 manages to go a step further in most of the important picture quality metrics. The panel handles reflections well; color gradients are smooth thanks to the 10-bit panel; the high contrast and deep native black level make all kinds of content look good; the wide color gamut and high brightness make HDR content shine; sharp images even during fast-action scenes thanks to a capable motion handling system; good gaming performance - I can go on and on.

Is the KS9000 without faults then? Of course not. While I believe Samsung has the best backlight/local dimming system for LCD TVs in the industry, I also believe the company can’t do magic and solve a problem (characteristic?) inherent of the tech. Blooming artifacts and backlight transition effects will always be there, because well, LCD needs the illumination to produce the image. The one thing Samsung can do, and which it did for the KS9000, is to minimize any visual problems the edge LEDs bring. The 1,000 nits requirement laid out by the UHD Alliance for Ultra HD Premium certification inevitably mandates a stronger backlight too, which could so easily lead to a disaster for less capable TV makers. So the fact that Samsung can pull it off without seriously impairing black level performance and overall picture quality says a lot about Samsung's strength in this field. In theory, a full-array local dimming model will perform better in this department, and Samsung has one in the 88-inch KS9800 that costs a staggering S$26,999.

The KS9000 and the rest of its SUHD siblings' VA-type 4K panel employs an RGB pixel matrix.

Additionally, I’ll assume that anyone considering the Samsung's SUHD TVs would have also cast a few glances at LG’s latest OLED TVs. I’ll have more to share regarding the LG E6 and G6 (both of which are considerably more expensive than the KS9000, by the way) at a later date, but briefly, because an OLED TV works without a backlight, it doesn’t have to deal with all the aforementioned backlight issues that LCD TVs face. But it's not perfect either: while OLED's blacks can go deeper than LCD’s, its peak brightness is limited (remember, no backlight!), and this could hamper HDR and bright room performances. It may sound cliché, but really, it still boils down to which aspect of the TV matters to you more.

To end, the stylish Samsung KS9000 SUHD TV is an easy recommendation. With a class-leading picture quality, the most refined and useful UI/remote combo Samsung has devised to date, and a competitive price, it's easily one of the top 4K LCD TVs money can buy today.

The Samsung KS9000 SUHD TV series is out in stores; the 55-inch model goes S$5,199, while the 65-inch model goes for S$7,199.

9.0
  • Design 9
  • HD Performance 9
  • SD Performance 9
  • Features 9
  • Value 9
The Good
Over 1,000 nits peak brightness benefits HDR
Wide color gamut enables more life-like pictures
Sensible Smart Hub design, useful universal remote
Good local dimming performance for an edge-lit TV
Black level, reflectance, viewing angles improved vs. predecessor
The Bad
Backlight transitions still visible at times
Off-axis viewing image quality can still get better
Doesn't support side-by-side content viewing
Doesn't support Dolby Vision HDR format
Doesn't support 3D (but who cares!?)