What is the Samsung UE49NU8000?
"QLED" televisions equipped with Samsung's Quantum-Dot can be amazing, look at the new Samsung Q9FN, but they're also expensive. For most people looking to buy a 4K TV, the falling NU series of LED LCD TVs is more within reach, such as the UE49NU8000, theirs for £ 1199 in the UK.
Four larger screen sizes are also available: the 55-inch UE55NU8000, the 65-inch UE65NU8000, the 75-inch UE75NU8000 and the gigantic 82-inch UE82NU8000.
You can expect good sharpness and color, but inevitably for an LCD TV, there are compromises on dark performance. Sizes of 55 inches or more are the best versions of this TV: the 49-inch version uses a 60Hz panel, which has some movement problems, hence the score 7/10. Larger sizes do not have that problem and would mark 8/10.
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Samsung UE49NU8000 – Design and features
Its build quality may feel a little stiff in some places, but the Samsung UE49NU8000 has an attractive profile. The thin black bezel becomes dark silver along the bottom edge. The central open support creates that desired "floating" appearance. The plastic finish of the support is well concealed by brushed metal along the T-bar.
The bezel and chassis are thicker than those found on Samsung's LED TVs last year. This is presumably because now the ports are located on the television, instead of being sent to an external box.
There are two USB sockets and four HDMI inputs, all of which are compatible with HDMI 2.0b (to support 4K HDR at a higher frame rate, chroma or bit depth) and the HDCP 2.2 copy protection protocol. Cables can be routed through the pedestal stem on the back of the TV for a more orderly appearance.
Two remote controls are supplied with the Samsung 49NU8000. One is a traditional remote control with too many elastic buttons squeezed into a small wand. The other is an elegant intelligent remote control with minimal buttons and built-in microphone for voice commands assisted by Bixby.
The smart TV interface is quite intuitive, in our review unit was slightly slower than the previous efforts of Samsung. Also, at the time of the review, the pre-installed Amazon Prime Video application was not compatible with UHD HDR (although Netflix and YouTube did), while the UK's main updating TV applications – BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and others – not available for download from the app store. Samsung tells us that this will change with a future update.
Supported HDR formats include the HDR10 standard, the HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) and the new HDR10 +. Those last two are not particularly exciting at this time due to the lack of content, but they are considered as a kind of future.
Samsung UE49NU8000 – Performance
The Samsung NU8000 is a mixed game, but we'll start with the good.
Although not as explosively vibrant as its brothers QLED, the color reproduction of the Samsung UE49NU8000 seems very natural. Infuses an immersive sense of realism with skin tones, foliage and other memory colors.
Clarity and definition are also excellent, taking full advantage of Ultra HD resolution. The TV also improves standard definition and high definition material to fit on your UHD screen, causing very little noise and retaining the details in a relatively clear manner. That's a big problem considering that the vast majority of the content is not yet in 4K. We would say that the upward conversion algorithm of Samsung is possibly the most indulgent of the market, providing pleasant results.
The Samsung UE49NU8000 stands out for the responsiveness of the games: we measure the entry delay to a minimum of 14ms in Game mode, regardless of whether the incoming video signal was 1080p SDR or 2160p HDR. This will make the games based on reflexes, like the recreational and the runners, a joy to play on television.
Another advantage is that you can play the content of your heart as long as you want without fear of causing a permanent screen burn. The jury is still deliberating on the problem of the screens, but the consensus is that OLED TVs are more likely to suffer. If you are the type of person who leaves a static image on your TV for hours at a time, Samsung has it covered.
It also gets deep blacks according to the LED LCD standards. This is because Samsung generally employs VA-type LCD panels, which prioritize contrast over viewing angles. The VA LCD panel is illuminated through a single strip of LED modules along the bottom of the TV, whose light is distributed across the entire screen by light guide plates. This approach allows for a slimmer design and lower production costs than full-matrix direct-illumination LED TVs.
However, there are compromises with that approach. To begin with, the upper and lower black bars in movies with a wider aspect ratio can never be completely obscured when light is needed to represent the content on the screen. It's fine in a bright room, but it will look a bit gray in black-hued rooms, especially in HDR mode.
There is also a remarkable halo, which goes from the top to the bottom of the screen when bright objects overlap a black background. Implementing a small dose of ambient light in the room can mask these problems, although HDR amplifies lighting problems.
First, since the backlighting must be maximized to meet the high peak brightness requirements of HDR, sequences in low light may acquire a hazy and grayish appearance, and black uniformity problems, such as opacity, will they become more evident. In addition, bright objects on a black background can exhibit a significant bloom that spans the entire height of the screen. The details of the shadows may also seem indistinct in the UE49NU8000 because Samsung's tone mapping philosophy favors the retention of all the spectral details on the overall brightness or APL (Average Image Level).
That said, bright performance is not a problem. The maximum brightness reached 800 nits in a 10% window and 535 full field nits in our review sample. It is excellent for lighter images that do not need to juggle dark areas, such as live sports.
The performance of the movement is disappointing in the 49-inch NU8000, mainly due to the use of a 60Hz LCD panel instead of a 120Hz one found in the largest screen sizes. The interpolation of frames on board does not affect the 50Hz or 60Hz content, so it can not be used to reduce motion blur in fast-action sports. The use of Clear Motion LEDs can increase the resolution of movement, but it results in duplicate ghost images.
In addition, in 50Hz content, such as football on BBC or Sky Q in the United Kingdom, the vibration reduction is forced to maximum value of & # 39; 10 & # 39; if you enable Clear Motion LED. This introduces visible interpolation artifacts, so we prefer not to turn on the Clear Motion LED at all.
Regarding the sound, the descending stereo speakers produce a decent sound (the TV works quite loud before distorting and the dialogue is clear) for the display of run-of-the-mill. However, as is almost always the case with flat screen televisions, an external sound bar or home theater system will provide a better audio experience if you take your movies seriously.
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Why buy the Samsung UE49NU8000?
There are many things you like about the Samsung NU8000. It is a clear TV with good colors, excellent video processing and a super low entry delay and friendly for players. It is still an LCD model with edge lighting, and if the uniformity and contrast of the lighting are important to you, you will want to see the Sony XF90.
Then there is the problem of movement with the 49-inch version of the NU8000: it is disappointed by its native 60Hz LCD panel, which severely impairs the performance of television motion in a couple of key areas. If you still want to fill in for a Samsung NU8000, then at least 55 inches. Larger models will have at least one native 120Hz panel for greater clarity of movement and a smoother 24 fps playback.
Despite sleek design, high quality video processing and very low input delay, the Samsung UE49NU8000 is hampered by suboptimal movement and HDR performance.