Samsung HU8550 Vs HU9000 | Which is the Best 4K UHD TV to Buy?
The 4K television craze has gripped the world and many people are rushing to acquire the monitors despite the fact that there are few 4K TV channels around at the moment showing 4K content.
Save for one online movie provider (Netflix), the major channels are yet to implement content for these high resolution television sets though they are expected to do so before the end of the year.
You may be asking why buy a 4K TV yet there is very little content available at the moment. One compelling reason to buy an Ultra HDTV is the amazing high image quality of Blu-ray devices.
Ardent TV lovers who are not so keen on the popular curved screens that have all the rage this year will be happy to learn that the new Samsung HU8550 UHD TV is now out. This flat screen model has features that are at par with the curved HU9000 UHDTV but without the hefty price-tag that it comes with.
In fact, the HU8550 costs around $1,200 less than the HU9000 and the only significant loss is the curved screen, the One Connect Box and the pop-up camera. This is not too much to lose given the fact that the performance in terms of picture quality and processing speed is at pat with the HU9000.
So if you have been contemplating switching to 4K UHDTV without spending too much money, the Samsung HU8550 is the TV for you. However, for those still not convinced, we take a closer look and compare the HU9000 versus the HU8550.
Samsung HU9000 vs HU8550 UHD 4K TV
For the purposes of this comparison, we look at the 65’’ version of both the HU9000 and the HU8550. While the HU9000 comes with in three screen sizes (78’’, 65’’ & 55’’), the HU8550 comes in five screen sizes (85’’, 75’’, 65’’,55’’ & 50’’). Though the screen sizes may differ, the features remain largely the same and we have chosen the 65’’ version because it is the most popular.
As mentioned earlier the most obvious difference between the two models is the price – a 65’’ HU9000 will set you back US$4,500 while a similar size HU8550 will cost you US$ 3,200. That $1,300 price difference is enough to convince anyone to go for the HU8550 without even comparing other features. If you are really looking to enjoy the full benefits of the 4K technology without breaking the bank, then the Samsung 8550 is the TV for you.
Another difference between the two models is one is curved (HU9000) and the other is well, flat. Each type of screen has its pros and cons and it is up to the user to decide for themselves which is best for them. For curved screens, the following are some of the benefits as compared to other screen types:
- Immersion of the viewer with whatever it is they are watching. This is because the curved screen brings more of the images into the viewer’s peripheral vision meaning they will be less distracted by the surrounding images.
- Depth of even 2D images is more enhanced on curved TV screens. Using state of the art technology, the Samsung HU9000 is able to read the contrast of the image and process it to enhance a sense of depth.
- Wider view of the screen than you would get on a flat screen TV
- Better contrast by focussing more light from the TV on the viewer – more like the way a satellite dish focusses waves to the centre.
- Uniform viewing distance from each point of the TV screen gives the viewer a sharper image
- Aesthetically pleasing- a curved screen is a novel idea that just looks good irrespective of the other technical features
The 65’’ screen of the HU8550 is basically a flat version of the HU9000 – it is like the screen has just been flattened. One distinct advantage that the HU8550 has over the HU9000 is that the screen is better suited for hanging on the wall. The curved screen does not hung well basically because of the protruding extremities.
Samsung has done well in the ability to future-proof their equipment in that the ‘brains’ of the TV sets are located separately. This One Connect Box allows one to upgrade the hardware and software of the TV set without having to replace the whole unit. The One Connect Box is available only in the HU9000 but one is still able to upgrade the HU8550 using a jack connecting to the One Connect Box.
The pop camera mentioned earlier comes only with the HU9000 model. While this feature is useful when making Skype calls and similar communications, it is not something that the users of the HU8550 will really feel like they are missing.
Calibrating the Samsung HU8550
The Samsung HU8550 4K TV is definitely a good device to own. However, there are a few things you will have to do if you want it to perform at its best settings. Most people feel calibrating a UHD TV is an onerous task and do not bother to do it. Why anyone would spend so much money on an Ultra High Definition TV and not invest some time to learn how to calibrate it to give the best picture quality.
Calibrating the Samsung HU8550 is an easy process and users must not be afraid to tweak the TV settings. If you are too technically challenged to do it, you could hire someone for a small fee to do it for you.
You can use these settings to calibrate the TV for the best settings:
- Movie Mode – this is the best setting of which the defaults are recommended
- Backlight Settings – 12
- Contrast – set it to 95 which the standard across all modes
- Brightness – 45 is good enough and there is no need of fiddling with this setting
- Sharpness – 20 : Some people recommend 0 which is really low in my opinion
- Color – play around with settings between 50 and 53 to get that Plasma quality output
- Tint – 50/50 is the default setting which good enough therefore needs no further tweaking
Most of the advanced settings are better off when set at “off” or “zero” for you to get the best quality. When you go to the advanced settings sub-menu, use the following settings:
- Dynamic contrast - off
- Flesh tone - 0
- RGB - off
- Color space – if it better to keep it at the default rather than switch to the settings that are been recommended all over the place. However, if you feel that you need to make certain changes (such as changing the blue which I think is not the best) I would go with Blue: R2,G2,B45. This is a small change from the default R0,G0,B50 but it feels much warmer and easy on the eyes.
- Motion lighting, Expert pattern and Black enhancer – Off
- Gamma - +1, Should be handled with as it has a very serious effect on the overall quality of the picture you will be seeing
- White balance (HU8550) – the best settings so far are 0, -1, -3, -2, -1, +1.
Choosing the right TV
Choosing the right TV for domestic use can be a very challenging thing given the high proliferation of TV brands in the market today. This situation is not made any better by the salespersons trying to push their brands.
They tend to give too much technical information which leaves the potential customers very confused indeed.
Another problem that faces potential buyers is the compatibility concerns of the equipment you are trying to buy. This is especially true as the worldwide deadline for digital migration in 2015 fast approaches.
Features of the best TV
Many people, when they decide to buy a new TV, consider a number of factors to help them make the decision. These most important factors to someone buying a TV include:
- Screen size is important to many people it enhances the viewing experience for them. With the increase in the number of flat screen brands in the market, people are spoilt for choice as to the best ones to meet their need. While choosing the right screen size, the size of the room is also put into consideration as the distance between the TV and the viewer also affects the viewing quality.
- Brand name attracts people into buying a certain type of TV. There are brands that have built a strong reputation with a segment of the market and consumers will always choose these brands over the others. Some brands are known to be pacesetters when it comes to releasing new technologies.
- Price is a major consideration for a big section of the market that yearns for quality products that are affordable. Many of the technological features that were only available in the higher priced models has now trickled down to the lower models. This has made the TV more affordable to many people
Types of TV Screens
There are several types of TV in the market today which have varying qualities that deliver different output and whose price varies:
- LED LCD Screens are the most ubiquitous types of screens in the market today. The advantages of these types of screens is that they use less electricity and can be extremely thin. The disadvantage of the screens is that the fast moving images tend to be of poorer quality than other screen types.
- Plasma Screens produce very high quality images but there are indications that they may be phased out due to their unviability to use in smaller sizes and also the fact that they are heavier. In fact, most of the major manufacturers have stopped producing the plasma screens all together. This has resulted in a sharp decline in prices as the technology is losing favour with consumers and there is a glut in the market
- Ultra HD (4K) screens are LED LCD screens that have a higher concentration of pixels that results in a sharper image. The biggest disadvantage of this kind of screen is the high price and the fact that there is current little content that is made for the technology.
- OLED stands for organic light emitting diode screens. This is the newest and most promising screen technology that delivers a very sharp image with bright and life-like colours. Prices are currently the most limiting factor in the proliferation of this kind of technology in the future. There is also uncertainty over whether the screen will experience the picture burns that was common with the old cathode ray tubes (CRT).
Top Ten TV brands in the market
The following are some of the best 4K TV brands in the market at the moment
- Samsung UE65HU8500
- LG 65LA970W
- Samsung UE55F9000
- Sony KD55X9000A
- Philips 65PFL9708
- Panasonic TX-L65WT600
- Sony KD-65X9005A
- LG 84LM960V
- Sony KD-84X9005
- Toshiba 58L9363