Samsung UN65MU8500 vs UN65KS8500 Review – Which is Superior?
Samsung UN65MU8500 is a part of Samsung’s 2017 Curved 4K HDR LED TV series 8 while UN65KS8500 is the predecessor, a part of Samsung’s 2016 curved 4K HDR SUHD TV Series 8. Although UN65MU8500 is a successor of UN65KS8500, but performance and picture quality that offered is not better than the predecessor due it is lacking the major technology like quantum dot panel. Nevertheless, refers to when they are first released, it is also sold hundreds dollar cheaper than the predecessor despite as time goes by, for this time when I was writing this comparison, UN65KS8500 is sold hundreds dollar cheaper than UN65MU8500. So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of UN65MU8500 as newer model compared to the predecessor UN65KS8500?
Short Review about Samsung UN65KS8500
Samsung UN65KS8500 is a part of Samsung’s KS8500 series, the curved model of Samsung’s SUHD TV lineup series 8. Come with HDR technology, it supports HDR 10 format and comes with Ultra HD Premium Certification that means it can display HDR 10 contents fully like what offered by HDR technology itself. Additionally, in addition to great HDR performance, Samsung UN65KS8500 also offers good picture quality and great performance of some features for mixed usage.
As a part of Samsung SUHD TV, quantum dot panel is the major technology behind it that allows it can deliver wide color gamut. This makes color of the picture looks very accurate no matter it is displaying SDR or HDR video. Additionally, black level and contrast of UN65KS8500 is also very deep and strong due great performance of some technologies that support it including Edge Lit backlight with local dimming, UHD Dimming, Ultra Black, and Auto Depth Enhancer. Peak brightness is also very bright even it is including the brightest TVs in 2016 due Peak Illuminator pro and Ultra Clear Panel behind it. Combination of wide color gamut, black level and bright peak brightness certainly makes its picture quality is good and HDR performance is great. Meanwhile, although not the best in class, Samsung UN65KS8500 is powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel that make it also offers good motion handling and 24p playback when it used for watching fast moving images or 24p movies. The other advantage that offered is about low input lag that makes play games on UN65KS8500 feels very responsive. And that is not less superior is about Smart TV platform where with Tizen OS that powered by a quad core processor, it offers fast and responsive smart TV platform with a lot of interesting apps provided.
But unfortunately, there is no 3D technology behind it that course would be disappointing for 3D fans. Additionally, poor side viewing angle also becomes its major downside so if you don’t want to lose picture quality, you should avoid watch TV from side viewing angle.
Short Review of Samsung UN65MU8500
As mentioned, Samsung UN65MU8500 is a part of MU8500, a curved model of Samsung’s 2017 4K HDR Premium LED TV Series 8 and also a successor of UN65KS8500. Still come with HDR technology, it is powered by HDR Extreme Engine and also support HDR 10 format only. It actually is also designed to support HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), a HDR format for broadcasting, but because Standardization of HLG is not yet confirmed, once it is confirmed, there will an update firmware of UN65MU8500 that already support HLG.
Come as the successor of UN65KS8500, it precisely is lacking quantum dot panel and as the instead, it is powered by color technology named “4K Color Drive Extreme”. The result, color performance of UN65MU8500 is not as great as the predecessor UN65KS8500. But even so, color of the picture displayed on the screen of UN65MU8500 still look accurate, even when displaying HDR contents that require wide color gamut. Like the predecessor, Samsung UN65MU8500 also uses VA panel with Edge Lit LED backlight. For improving black level and contrast, there are also some technologies that support it including UHD Dimming, precision black (local Dimming), Triple Black, and more. Additionally, it also comes with Peak Illuminator Pro and Ultra Clear Panel for improving peak brightness and minimizing reflection. The result, the picture looks very well in a room with any light condition, no matter it is displaying SDR or HDR videos. Additionally, for handling motion blur and 24p movies, UN5MU8500 is also powered by Motion rate 240 technology based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This makes the picture looks very smooth and clear when used for watching fast moving images likes sport program or 24p movies from any sources. Like the predecessor, the input lag ofUN65MU8500 is also very low that makes it is great for playing any kind of games. And as smart TV platform, Samsung UN65MU8500 features Tizen OS 2017 version and also powered by a quad core processor.
Like the predecessor UN65KS8500, UN65MU8500 is also not equipped with 3D technology. And because it is also a VA TV, poor side viewing angle certainly also becomes its major downside.
Samsung UN65MU8500 vs UN65KS8500 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||UN65KS8500||UN65MU8500|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Panel Technology||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlighting||Edge Lit||Edge Lit|
|Dimming Technology||Local Dimming (Precision Black)||Local Dimming (Precision Black)|
|Picture Engine||Information not provided||UHD Remastering Engine|
|HDR Engine||HDR1000||4K HDR Extreme|
|HDR Support||HDR 10||HDR 10|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot Panel||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Ultimate||Yes|
|Blacks||Ultra Black||Triple Black|
|Depth Enhancing Technology||Auto Depth Enhancing||Information not provided|
|Motion Handling||Motion Rate 240||Motion Rate 240|
|Refresh rate||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Smart TV||Tizen 2016||Tizen 2017|
|Sound Output||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)|
|Price||See the price on Amazon||See the price on Amazon|
Samsung UN65MU8500 vs UN65KS8500 Key Specification
Although UN65MU8500 is a successor of UN65KS8500 but picture quality becomes the major difference between them. This is due the differences in technologies which support them. Once of the difference in technologies between them is about their color technology where Samsung UN65KS8500 comes with quantum dot panel and UN65MU8500 comes with 4K Color Drive Extreme technology. This course makes color performance of UN65MU8500 is not as great as UN65KS8500. As the note, UN65KS8500 with quantum dot panel can deliver about 95% of DCI P3 color space while what reached by UN65MU8500 is not as wide as that. And of course when displaying HDR contents that require wide color gamut, color of the picture displayed on the screen of UN65KS8500 looks far more accurate than UN65MU8500. But even so, although not as wide as what delivered by the predecessor UN65KS8500, color gamut that can be covered by UN65MU8500 is more than 90% of DCI P3 color space as the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR 10 contents fully. This means it still support wide color gamut and color still look accurate on the screen of UN65MU8500, even when displaying HDR. While for displaying SDR contents that require Rec.709 color space only, of course there will not a problem for them. Meanwhile about color gradient, both of Samsung UN65MU8500 and UN65MU8500 equally support 10 bit depth of color. This means they can deliver about 1.07 billion shades of color. Compare to 8 bit TV that can deliver about 16 million shades of color only. The result, color gradient looks very smooth without gradation. A bit color banding might still be slight noticeable in darker room, but even so, for most people, this should not be a big problem.
While color performance of UN65MU8500 is not as great as UN65KS8500, both of them equally offer deep black level and strong contrast. Nevertheless, black level and UN65KS8500 is still slight deeper and stronger than UN65MU8500. But because this difference is not too significant, we can ignore it. And separated from their difference in black level and contrast reached, both of them can reach lower than 0.05 nits of black level as the recommendation for displaying HDR10, even they can reach lower than 0.02 nits of black level. Although not as perfect as what reached by OLED TV, for LED TV, it is very deep. The result, blacks of images looks very black even in a dark room. This course makes detail images in dark scenes or shadow looks clearer, especially when displaying HDR contents. And since black level and contrast is one of the most important aspects of picture quality, this course makes the picture that displayed on their screen looks very well.
Meanwhile, peak brightness of UN65MU8500 is also not as bright as UN65KS8500. As the note, Samsung UN65KS8500 can reach about 1500 nits of peak brightness while peak brightness reached by UN65MU8500 is only a half, even this is below 1000 nits as the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR contents fully. The result, this makes HDR performance of UN65KS8500 is greater than UN65MU8500. This also makes UN65KS8500 offers better picture quality when used in a very bright room with sunlight coming in through the windows. Nevertheless, although its peak brightness is not as bright as UN65KS8500 and still below 1000 nits, peak brightness of UN65MU8500 is still above average. This means when used in a bright room with normal light, its peak brightness is quite bright to fight the glare and makes its HDR picture looks well.
While picture quality of UN65KS8500 is better than UN65MU8500, both of them are equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine. This is for anticipating the scarcity of 4K contents that available in the market and allowing you to enjoy every video with any resolution with the quality close to 4K quality. The result, no matter the source is 1080p video like movies from Blu-Ray Player, 720p video like movies from Cable TV, even low resolution 480p video like movies from DVD player, once they are up-scaled to 4K, the final images in 4K that produced look clearly and sharply with small details still preserved well. Even for low resolution 480p content, straight line on the picture don’t look choppy at all.
But as mentioned, since both of them use VA panel as their panel technology, their side viewing angle is very poor. Contrast will look tend to grey while color will be faded started at 20 degrees off center and front. The wider angle you are watching from, the quality of the picture will be more reduced. But even so, as long as you don’t often watch TV from side viewing angle, this should not be a problem for you.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
While about picture quality Samsung UN65KS8500 is better, Samsung UN65MU8500 offers better performance when handling motion blur. Both of them might be powered by similar technology that is Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, but even so, the pixel response time of UN65MU8500 is lower than UN65KS8500. This make the picture displayed on the screen of UN65MU8500 looks slight smoother than UN65KS8500 where they are used for watching fast moving images like sports. On the screen of UN65MU8500, there is only a short trail following fast moving objects while on the screen of UN65KS8500, the trail is slight longer. But even so, for most people, this should not be a noticeable so the picture displayed still looks very smooth and clear. Meanwhile, both of them also offer good performance when handling 24p movies. No matter the source is 24p movies like Blu-Ray Movies, 24p via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV or 24p via 60p signal like movies from streaming media, both of them are displayed clearly and smoothly on each of their screen with judder-free. Additionally, since both of them have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, they can interpolate any content with lower frame rate.
About inputs or outputs, Samsung UN65MU8500 and UN65KS8500 are similar. There are 4 HDMI ver. 2.0a, 3 USB, 1 RF In (Terrestrial), Ethernet, Built In Wi-Fi, Digital Audio Out (Optical), and more. Additionally, most of their ports are also equally housed on separated box named “One Connect Box Mini”. This is very practice especially when there is an update of these inputs/outputs on future where you just need change or your upgrade your box without change your TV. Additionally, their HDMI ports are also already support most of formats what required for HDMI connection like HDCP 2.2, CEC, Audio Return Channel, and many more. Meanwhile, talking about input lag, both of them also have very low input lag at any source once game mode is activated. This means both of them are very comfortable to use for playing any kind of games, even for fast paced games that require fast reflexes. Nevertheless, under PC mode, the input lag of UN65MU8500 is far lower than UN65KS8500.
Essentially, both of them feature similar smart TV platform that is Tizen OS. Both of them are also powered by the same quad core processor. A bit difference between them is about their version where UN65MU8500 features 2017 version while UN65KS8500 features 2016 version. There is a difference about their layout where Tizen 2017 looks more attractive with white theme and nicer animation. Nevertheless, about performance, they are similar where their performance is very fast and responsive. The loading time of an app is very fast once it is launched. Additionally, selecting between apps and multitasking also feel very responsive. Navigating between different menus is also equally simple and straightforward. Meanwhile, talking about app provided, they are very complete and diverse. There are most popular VoD services like YouTube, Netflix, HuluPlus, Amazon Videos, and more, Web Browser, Cloud Games Service like Game Fly and Play Station Now, and many more. Additionally, there is also Samsung apps store where you can download directly tons of apps, games, contents from your TV.
Additionally, Samsung UN65KS8500 and UN65MU8500 are also equipped with similar remote controller called “Samsung Smart Controller. This remote is very simple with few buttons only and very comfortable to use. It is also equipped with built-in microphone that allows you to control TV functions or searching in the internet with your voice. That is not less interesting is it can be functioned as universal remote where it allows you to control other devices connected on your TV via HDMI ports.
As we have discussed a lot above, the major difference between them is about their picture quality. Despite Samsung UN65MU8500 is a newer model, but essentially its picture quality is not as good as the predecessor UN65KS8500. Since UN65MU8500 didn’t come with Quantum Dot panel, its color performance is not as good as the predecessor UN65KS8500. Additionally, peak brightness of UN65MU8500 is also not as bright as UN65KS8500 that makes its HDR performance is not as great as the predecessor. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean picture quality of Samsung UN65MU8500 is poor. For its class, picture quality of UN65MU8500 can be said amazing, even better of most of TVs in its class. Meanwhile, about other features like motion handling, UHD Up-scaling engine, input lag, and smart TV, essentially both of them offer similar performance. If there is a difference, their difference is not too significant. But even so, refers to their price when they are first released where UN65MU8500 is sold far cheaper than UN65JKS8500, this is understandable if UN65KS8500 offer greater performance than a successor UN65MU8500.
Which is a better choice between them? At this time when I was writing this comparison, the price of UN65KS8500 certainly has gone down, even at this time it is sold hundreds dollar cheaper than UN65MU8500. Considering performance that offered, of course UN65KS8500 is a better choice despite it is an older model. But of course, if your choice is UN65KS8500, you should buy it immediately considering it certainly will be discontinued by its manufacturer. But even so, if you want a newer model, UN65MU8500 is not a bad choice. Its performance and picture quality is above average. Although for this time its price is still expensive, with the passage of the time, this price usually will tend to go down. Now, the decision comes back to you according to your preferences. However, before you decide to choose one of them, there are a lot of opinions from each of their real customers where you can make as your further consideration.