Yet the UN65HU9000 looks best in its simplest form—as a sleek, silver entity displaying a very impressive 4K image.
The HU9000 series is available in 55-, 65-, and 78-inch sizes, likely making it much more affordable (relatively speaking) option than the 85- and 110-inch S9 TVs.
While no pricing has been confirmed, we expect to see the HU9000 series on the market soon.
High-tech ingredients make for one delicious picture.
The 65-inch HU9000 is fitted with a bevy of hardware-level features meant to vastly improve its picture quality within the scope of a traditional LCD—but we'll address those in a moment. Let's just start by saying that from a purely subjective point-of-view, the HU9000 looks really good. Last year, we reviewed more than a few UHD televisions from both Samsung and LG, and none of them looked quite this stunning.
One of this TV's major advantages over a traditional HD TV is Samsung's PurColor engine, which improves upon the Rec. 709 color space by adding an alleged seven magnitudes of color adjustment and coverage—up from a 27-point CMS (Color Management System) to 192 points.
While we haven't been able to confirm what amount of the Rec. 2020 (UHD) color gamut any of Samsung's 2014 UHD TVs are capable of, it'd be fair to assume that the company's engineers have managed around 70 or 80 percent coverage—maybe more.
Like almost all high-end UHD TVs, the UN65HU9000 is built around a proprietary upscaling engine, one meant to enhance sub-UHD content (like a 1080p Blu-ray disc) so that it looks even better. Samsung's upscaling engine follows a four-step process, consisting of signal analysis, noise reduction, up-scaling, and detail enhancement. At a pixel level, this requires a series of "smart" algorithms to analyze source content and improve it in real time.
Another necessary improvement to standard LCD picture quality is within the realms of local- or micro-dimming. Samsung's HU9000 series TVs will employ "thousands" of zones of dimming to dynamically enhance contrast. This means hardware-level control over the LEDs behind the panel, shutting them off and turning them on to improve shadows and highlights on-screen as required.
While this process is usually most effective with a full-array LED backlight, one of Samsung's reps on the floor informed me that the HU9000 will employ edge-lit LED backlighting—a bizarre choice, though it's one that shaves quite a bit off of a TV's list price.
We couldn't get any sort of estimate on the actual number of local-dimming zones that the HU9000 series will employ, but one demo image of the zone layout claimed 1,509 (take that with a grain of salt).
While a native 4K image is almost always stunning compared to 720p and 1080p resolutions, the HU9000 could be a very valuable series for early adopters looking to get both the best possible image and future-proof for the onset of readily-available 4K content.
Price is, of course, always important—and we can't say anything for sure until we get one of these TVs into the lab for testing. On the other hand, Samsung's track record of success in manufacturing high-quality televisions is plenty of reason for cautious optimism.
Curved TVs are here to stay, and for good reason.
It may just be a case of over-saturation, but curved TVs are starting to grow on me. A real-time demonstration of the difference in picture quality and atmospheric intuition between a curved and flat TV has me believing. Quite honestly, the curved UN65HU9000 is straight-up sexy.
Samsung calls this design "Aero Arena." I don't know what that means, but I like it. The silver, minimal stand follows the same degree of curvature as the screen, which is also wrapped in metallic-gray trim and features bezels that are only seven millimeters thick. The 1.2-inch panel, though curved, still allows for wall-mounting if that's what you want.
Like last year's awe-inducing curved OLED TV, all of the HU9000 TVs port and connectivity options will live on an outboard box that Samsung calls "One Connect."
The box connects to the TV via a single cable, and all source and video connections connect to the box directly. We can probably expect four HDMI inputs, three USB inputs, and backwards-compatible jacks like component/composite, but that's still conjecture at this point.
As a UHD TV, the UN65HU9000 is equipped to handle new formats for HDMI, video compression, and 4K streaming. Each of the HU9000 TVs is HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding) compliant, meaning they will operate with incoming content over either the H.265 or VP9 compression codecs. Expect HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 functionality, as well.
What do we want? An MSRP! When do we want it? Now!
The only thing standing between the HU9000 series and UHDomination is its pricing: Early adopters may have deeper pockets than the rest of us, but no one wants to shell out an exorbitant amount of money for a product that's still, by many accounts, from the future.
That said, Samsung's edge-lit HU9000 series promises to be marginally more affordable than the company's own S9 series, Sony's X950B flagship, and Vizio's Reference series. Assuming a high degree of picture quality, we're very excited to see how these TVs test once we get them into the lab later this year.
Meet the tester
Lee has been Reviewed's point person for most television and home theater products since 2012. Lee received Level II certification in TV calibration from the Imaging Science Foundation in 2013. As Editor of the Home Theater vertical, Lee oversees reviews of TVs, monitors, soundbars, and Bluetooth speakers. He also reviews headphones, and has a background in music performance.
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