UN50KU6300 60Hz HDR Smart LED TV
Samsung’s KU6300 series is very popular among consumers and has received very favorable customer reviews at a prominent online retailer. The current 6-Series lineup is available in a whopping seven screen sizes (40″, 43″, 50″, 55″, 60″, 65″ and 70″) with pricing starting at just under $550.00. The 6-Series also consists of the KU6500, KU6290 and KU6270 4K UHD TVs.
The KU6300 is basic in appearance with a design that doesn’t necessarily stand out from the already crowded 4K TV landscape. Its bezel trim is a dark gray that Samsung refers to as Dark Titian. In addition, the TV’s bezel is reasonably slim at just over a 1/2″ thick; furthermore, the panel depth which measures just under 2.5 inches, isn’t as thin as Samsung’s premium 4K SUHD models, yet is still slim enough to where I would not consider it bulky.
The “V” shape stand design adds an attractive element to the TV’s overall appearance and provides decent stability when placed on an A/V cabinet.
Most LED TVs produced today use the edge-lit LED backlighting design to illuminate the display panel. The KU6300, however, uses direct-lit LED backlighting for panel illumination. This technique places zones of LEDs directly behind the TV’s screen. The advantages of this lighting scheme vs. edge-lit are more uniform screen lighting and a brighter picture image. It can also improve contrast and black level performance.
Note: Direct-lit LED designs are different from full-array LED backlighting with local dimming; the full-array design offers more LED zones and control of the light output of the LEDs. This provides much better contrast and black-level performance.
The screen contains a semi-gloss finish.
The Smart Touch Remote control’s compact design contains a minimal button array and makes for simplified use while operating the TV. The remote has a voice control function that allows you to control certain TV functions. Furthermore, the remote uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with the TV. This means the remote will have to be initially paired with the TV before it can be used.
Additional features include:
- Samsung’s Premium HDR or High Dynamic Range provides increased contrast with a greater range of peak brightness (highlights) and black levels, in addition to better picture detail and more vibrant colors.
- Motion Rate 120 for motion blur reduction – native refresh rate is 60Hz
- HEVC/VP9 decoding for watching streamed 4K video sources like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and YouTube.
- DIRECTV 4K Ready – DIRECTV subscribers with the Genie Whole-Home HD DVR can enjoy 4K service and full DVR features without an additional receiver.
- Quad-Core processor for seamless web browsing capability while surfing the internet from the TV
- PlayStation Now allows for PS3 game streaming
- 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi to connect to your wireless network
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Smart Hub: Samsung has improved its smart TV Tizen OS with a new Smart Hub designed to provide users with simple access to their favorite content all in one place. Live TV, over-the-top (OTT), games and even the menu that appears on the home screen of Samsung Smart TVs have all been revamped to allow users to access their favorite programs as soon as they turn on the TV.
- 3 HDMI 2.0a inputs (HDCP 2.2 compliant)
- 1 Component/composite video input (shared)
- 2 USB 2.0 inputs
- 1 Ethernet input
- 1 RF input for antenna/cable/satellite
- 1 Digital optical audio output
So how does the KU6300 perform? In two words – very good. It produced a very solid color palette while viewing the 4K and 1080p content I used for this evaluation, and the results were quite pleasing to my eyes, and the area that stood out the most was the accuracy of the colors, which were distinct and natural in appearance.
However, one area where colors weren’t at their best, in my opinion, was their lack of rich vividness and brilliance. Although still vibrant, the colors just didn’t have the extra pop and robustness I normally like to see in a high def TV.
The Movie picture mode will give you the most accurate looking picture image with the color temperature set to Warm 2. I also liked the Natural picture mode setting for the increase in contrast and black levels it added to the overall image.
For optimal picture quality, the Movie picture mode, and especially the Natural picture mode setting should be calibrated using a DIY calibration disc, and for even better results, have the TV professionally calibrated. These are just my recommendations – but what matters most in your end results is a picture image that is pleasing to your own eyes.
Note: If doing the calibration yourself, be sure to turn off any picture enhancement modes, such as dynamic contrast, which may be set to “on” by default and can be deactivated in the TV’s Picture menu under Expert Settings. All other picture settings can also be found in this menu.
Picture detail and clarity were very good on the KU6300, revealing a sharp and crisp image with very good transparency and satisfying image depth. 4K upscaling of 1080p content was also very good and was rendered with decent amounts of more perceived picture detail and image texture, resulting in an image that was very similar to native 4K content.
The KU6300 delivered deep blacks and a good contrast ratio. One of my favorite scenes to assess black-level performance is from the movie – Star Wars: The Force Awakens which shows Darth Vader’s melted helmet, and reveals very dark and inky blacks within the eye sockets of the helmet, while the rest of the helmet was rendered with deep rich blacks.
Black screen uniformity was very good on this direct-lit LED display. I could not see any clouding or light bleed coming from any areas of the TV’s screen.
Side angle viewing – As with most LED TVs, the KU6300 loses a notable amount of picture contrast and color saturation at around 25 to 35-degree angles and wider. So always consider your seating positions when setting up this and most other LED TVs.
HDR viewing – High Dynamic Range was decent on this TV, but not close to being the best I’ve seen to date from the likes of Sony’s XBR930D. Two key reasons for this performance is the KU6300’s lack of a 10-bit display panel and a wide color gamut color space. The TV’s peak brightness is about average but could be a bit brighter, which would also improve HDR performance.
Motion blur and judder – Motion blur wasn’t an issue on sporting events or movie content with lots of fast action content. This was the case with the TV’s Auto Motion Plus feature set to “Auto”.
Motion blur and judder were the only problems in my evaluation when I was using my test footage which consists of a panning shot of a musical instrument. These motion artifacts only happened with the Auto Motion Plus turned off. With it turned on, the image was rendered much better with virtually no motion artifacts.
Be mindful that Auto Motion Plus can add the soap opera effect when turned on, which can make film-based movies look like a video as seen in a soap opera program. So if you are not experiencing any motion blur or judder, and/or not sensitive to these motion artifacts, I suggest you leave it turned off.
The KU6300 doesn’t deliver high-end performance, nor was it designed to. It does, however, present a very solid and satisfying picture image. Colors are accurate with a decent amount of richness and vibrancy. It also delivers very good contrast and black-level performance.
In addition, this budget-friendly and value-priced model will get you to the next level in home entertainment with the latest must-have features such as 4K UHD and HDR picture enhancing technologies, not to mention a robust smart TV platform driven by a Tizen operating system.
So, if you’re in the shopping mode for a new 4K Ultra HD TV that delivers the basic essentials in performance and features, all at a reasonable price, then check out Samsung’s KU6300.
My Rating, Summary & Specs
• Very good black level, contrast and shadow detail performance
• Accurate color reproduction
• Smart Hub smart TV platform with Tizen OS
• Good 4K upscaling of non-native 4K content
• Low input lag – great for video gaming
• Side angle viewing contrast and color saturation loss – typical of most LED TVs
• Mediocre sound quality from built-in speakers
• Motion judder can be an issue on some video content
• HDR performance could be better
Screen size reviewed: 50″
Note: This review applies to all screen sizes
• With stand: (W x H x D) 44.4″ x 28.5″ x 12.2″
• Without stand: (W x H x D) 44.4″ x 25.8″ x 2.5″
• With stand: 29.1 lbs.
• Without stand: 26.9 lbs.
Warranty: One year parts and labor
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Also, check out Samsung’s new KU6270 4K Ultra HD TV