The KU6000 series of Samsung televisions is toward the bottom of their premium line, but for £500 the Samsung UE50KU6000 includes all the mod cons of higher end televisions, a great picture and a premium brand name for a rock bottom price.
However, there are a couple of little niggles with this TV. The motion blurring might annoy the most perfectionist of gamers and sports fans. It also doesn’t come with 3D, but 2016 has killed off that fad across lots of model ranges.
At this price though, you really won’t get a better deal.
UPDATE: We’ve updated this piece to tell you about a new model on the market- namely the Samsung UE50MU6100. It’s not exactly a revolution on the old KU6000 series, but more of a graduation evolution. They’ve refined the design, added in a really smart remote (that includes voice commands) and given the picture a bit of a tune. It’s a hundred quid more, but if you have that to spare then we reckon it should be your choice.
The TV has Samsung’s classic black shiny plastic look. However, the company has been doing a lot to refine this aesthetic over the last few years so that while it might not have a brushed metal frame, the super thin black bezel does still look fairly nifty. The Y-shaped frame looks quite modern and is a nice compliment to the TV (and it’s a doddle to attach).
The TV features HDR technology, which stands for”high dynamic range”. Essentially this means there is a much wider color palette for the TV to use. So blacks are blacker, whites are whiter and your TV gets much better contrast ratio. The picture below demonstrates the bump in quality you can expect.Samsung is claiming this TV will let you “see the world as it really is”, and HDR goes a long way to supporting this claim. Basically, the screen’s 4k resolution gives you exceptional detail, packing in twice as many pixels as a standard HDTV, while HDR gives you incredible colour depth, allowing you see shadow and light much more closely to how you would in real life. If you’re upgrading from an older model you will definitely notice a big difference.
There have been some questions about whether HDR could be fully displayed on the 8-Bit screen that this model has (as opposed to the higher end 10-Bit models). To get around this issue, Samsung uses a process called “dithering”. We think it does it a pretty good job. It might not get you quite to the level of the 10-bitit monitors, but then again it won’t cost you over a grand as those models tend to.
The TV also employs Samsung’s ‘PurColour’ technology. Most manufacturers focus on creating colour by adjusting from the three primary colours (red, green and blue for those who can’t immediately recall primary school lessons), but Samsung also focusses on the secondary colours magenta, cyan and yellow. When we put the UE50KU6000 next to one of Samsung’s 2013 models we could really see the difference in the intensity of colour produced. The below picture gives you an idea of how it stacks up against a conventional display.
However, motion is this TV’s Achilles’ heel. It’s only got 50Hz resolution, which Samsung says it can boost to 100Hz via its Auto Motion Plus technology. This is still too slow though if you are an avid gamer and when watching a football match we did encounter some noticeable blurring.
You are also not getting 3D. This could be a problem if you have children who demand it, but the 3D gimmickry of 2014 is long over and you are unlikely to be missing any major shows that make it a feature.
All of that aside you are getting an incredibly rich picture that really impresses on clarity.
Note: Here we’ve reviewed the 50-inch version of the KU6000 series. However, the comments made equally apply to the other screen sizes in this range. The full model range is: UE40KU6000, UE43KU6000, UE50KU6000, UE55KU6000, UE60KU6000, UE65KU6000 And UE70KU6000.
The midrange and highs are perfectly solid. As with most TVs in this price bracket, it lacks a little on the bass. If you’re hoping to watch an action movie and be rocked by explosions and gunfire then you will have have to get an external device. The crowd in sports matches might also come across a little flat. We have yet to come across a reasonably priced TV that handless bass really well. It’s almost as though manufacturers want you to go out and buy a soundbar.
Smart TV Features
Samsung’s latest Tizen-based Smart TV system is a real leap forward. On calling it up you get a single row of all your most used installed apps across the bottom of the TV. Netflix, Amazon and YouTube will be there by default. You also have the option to call up your less used apps and access Samsung’s app store. This has iPlayer and most other popular apps you would expect. Surprisingly, it is currently missing All4 and My5, a problem that will no doubt be resolved sharpish!
When you however over each app in gives you a contextual second-row menu:
It’s a fairly intuitive set-up. We explained the system to one of the team’s mums – despite her mild fear of technology, she was using the system like a pro within 2 minutes
You can also access the internet via Samsung’s web browser, but the cursor is controlled by the TV’s remote, making for quite a juddery and frustrating experience. We wouldn’t recommend chucking out your home PC just yet.
It also offers Cloud gaming through Gamefly and Playstation Now apps. These are still not at a stage to be called the “Netflix of gaming”. The processing speed of the TV and how much gaming companies are prepared to release through such services is still a hot topic that is holding back this area of expansion and limiting the number of titles available. You will also have to shell out for a controller. So this is a nice feature for a casual gamer, but don’t think that you will be getting a fully built-in Playstation or Xbox.