Samsung UN78HU9000 Review (UN78HU9000F)
78 inch Curved 4K 240Hz Smart 3D LED TV
by Jack Burden, Reviewer
The UN78HU9000 is Samsung's entry into the curved 4K LED TV realm. It is as good as it gets without stepping into OLED territory for 2014 Samsung LED TVs. It sports all of the features a top tier TV should have. Smart Touch remote, Active 3D with dual view tech, 4K upscaling, quad core plus processor, and plenty of HDMI 2.0 inputs for all of your 4K enabled devices. The curve of the screen is supposed to help with viewing angles and creating an overall more immersive experience. This one retails for about $8,000. Prices for this picture technology are falling quickly but remain high for large format curved screens.
- Ultra Clear Panel reduces glare and provides brilliant images
- Hardware local dimming makes a positive difference to the overall contrast
- Best picture quality technologies Samsung has to offer are in this one
- Samsung Smart Hub provides plenty of apps and ways to access streaming content
- Smart Touch remote has been improved to feature point-and-click functionality this year
- Pop-up camera is built-in
- Quad screen multi-tasking
- Quad core plus processor pushes the limits even more
- Sleek and attractive design
- High price to pay for early adopters of 4K and curved screen designs
- Side angle viewing is marginally improved from the screen shape
- Active 3D glasses require batteries and are more costly for extras
Picture Quality Rating: 94/100
Strong LED Lighting
As far as 4K LED TVs go, we have seen the typical problems present in most LED displays. This TV is no different, but it is one of the strongest in the market when it comes to LED edge-lighting. The powerful LEDs really give the HU9000 a step up in terms of black levels and peak whites. The 78HU9000 has best in class color and contrast that create superior images with excellent light flow through. Images on screen are crisp, and refined compared to some of the other LED TVs out there.
Sharpness of detail in 4K content is really impressive on the curved screen
Colors can really pop on the 78HU9000. More important though is the source content since the picture quality depends upon the resolution the content was filmed in. Displaying true 4K content is going to get the best picture out of this TV hands down. HD looks great especially in broadcast and the colors pop accordingly. For lesser signals like a cable HD signal or a BluRay the picture is still very crisp with the inbuilt up-conversion however does not compare to even broadcast HD. You'll want to keep the backlight at a reasonable level. From up-converted content color flow is much better than other TVs on the market – one of the reasons this is a premium model. Overall color is very well balanced and saturated and the Movie mode is set very close to D6500K right out of the box. OLEDs are really the only competition here with some of the best plasma TVs not on the market this year.
Ultra Clear Panel is a Home Run
The Ultra Clear Panel does a lot to improve the picture quality on the 78HU9000. The most noticable improvement is the reduction of reflection and absorbsion of ambient lighting. LED TVs really shine in bright rooms, but relfection tends to be an issue. These Ultra Clear Panels take care of that problem without creating a soft and shallow picture like we see on many matte screens. Light flow through is another adavantage of the clear panel. This really highlights brightly lit areas of the screen without hindering dark areas. The resulting image looks very realistic and remains the way it was intended to look.
Contrast between light and dark areas of the screen is strong, providing plenty of detail
Side Angle Viewing – Still Room for Improvement
Color and contrast do fade when viewing from off center though much more subtly than I expected. The curve of the screen is supposed to make the ideal viewing angle wider. We only saw minimale improvements thanks to the shape of the screen. Early models of the 4K TVs from Samsung did not look this good from the side and were more in line with standard HD LED TVs. Dont get me wrong, it's still a drawback, but not a pronounced one. This was probably the single biggest drawback compared to OLED aside from the deeper blacks on OLEDs.
4K Standard and Future Proofing
With every big tech purchase we ask ourselves, "will something better come out next week or next month." That is especially the case with televisions. Samsung has addressed this issue in their other smart TVs with the evolution kit. This kit upgrades the internal hardware to bring the TV up to speed with the latest software and performance upgrades. The HU9000 is no different, especially since the widespread distribution of 4K content is still on the horizon. The One Connect box is basically the same as the Evolution Kit, but with a focus on 4K distribution and playback standards. The box will be available in 2014 and will also add features, content, and provide performance updates to the HU9000.
3D Dual View
This feature actually works great now and the picture is stunning. You can watch two different programs on the same screen with two people (or more) wearing active 3D glasses. It even works with 1 HDMI input.You can toggle back and forth between the two programs on as well by pressing a small button on the ear-handle of the glasses.
These are the 3D glasses for 2014 model Samsung LED TVs. The button to engage Dual View is located on one of the arms
Features Rating: 90/100
Samsung Smart Hub
The Smart Hub keeps the same basic design as last year with subtle improvements. Samsung hit the mark with their user interface and intuitive nagivation. This time around you will see a Game tab as one of the major smart TV pages. The Smart Hub also allows for logins so each member of the family can have recommendations tailored to their viewing history.
Touch Pad Controller and Quad Screen Multitasking
This year's touch remote features an egg shape with a smaller touch pad, but more buttons
Surfing the web and the Smart TV features is a breeze with the new touchpad remote. It's much faster and easier than a traditional 5-way controller. The actual touch pad is a bit smaller this year, but that's okay because it now supports motion control. This brings it closer to LG's Magic Remote. The smaller touch pad also leaves room for more useful buttons on the remote instead of the on-screen menus. The voice recognition only works for inputting searches if the soft keyboard for the search field is open. The new split screen feature is another addition that we think is a move in the right direction by Samsung. This makes it easy to view live TV and browse the web or use social media at the same time. This is made possible by the quad-core plus processor.
Here you can see the newest and extremely useful faeture of the Samsung Smart Hub, split screen multitasking
Many people decide to wall mount their new super thin LED TVs. And why not? These almost frameless displays look great hanging in the living room or home theater. One of our big questions about these curved TVs was: How will they wall mount? Well, the HU9000 does fit the 400 x 400 VESA wall mounting standards. That's a relief since 3rd party (i.e. less expensive) products can be used. Samsung however, does provide some low profile proprietary hardware as well. The Samsung WMN450 Mini Wall Mount will do the trick for this TV too.
Samsung really embellishes the curve of the HU9000 series through the design. Though the curve of the screen is slight, the curve of the silver T-shaped stand really grabs attention. The screen looks like it's floating from a front on view, so the stand isn't too intrusive in terms of the overall appearance. It features the clean back design that we have seen in the past. The 0.3" thin bezels, silver finished frame, and the hidden away pop out camera top really make for one stellar looking TV.
Value Rating: 80/100
The HU9000 is a little hard to swallow when it comes to value. It starts at five grand for 65 inches of screen space. You do get every single picture quality upgrade that Samsung has to offer this year. That's the best part. The downside is that we don't see a significant enough side angle viewing improvement from the curve of the screen. Check out the Samsung UN77HU8550 if you are interested in a flat 4K LED TV.
Overall Rating: 88/100
- 78.0" Diagonal Screen Measurement
- 3840 x 2160
- 1440 Clear Motion Rate
- Purcolor Color Accuracy
- Auto Depth Enhancer Geometric CE
- Active 3D, 4 Glasses included
- Pop-up camera
- Quadmatic Picture Engine for upscaling
- Speakers: 15W x 2 / Woofer 15W x 2
- Quad Core Plus Processor
- 4 HDMI 2.0 inputs, 3 USB ports
- Without Stand: 57.1" x 33.4" x 4.4"
- With Stand: 57.1" x 35.1" x 12.9"
- Weight without stand: 59.1 lbs.
- Weight with stand: 68.3 lbs.
|Jack Burden has been reviewing and writing reviews in the consumer electronics category for 7 years with CEAG. He considers grayscale gradation, film patterned retarders, and focus field drives to be fun topics. Read more about Jack|
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