Samsung KU7000 Review – 4K Ultra HD TV
55″ UN55KU7000 60Hz Smart LED TV
The price of 4K Ultra HDTVs have been steadily dropping since their introduction a few years ago. Even models with the latest HDR (High Dynamic Range) technology can be had at an affordable price, including the model under review here – Samsung’s 55″ KU7000 and is currently available for only $899.99.
This display is part of Samsung’s mid-level 7-Series and is just under the premium SUHD 8-Series. The 7-Series is also available in 40″, 43″, 49″ and 65″ screen sizes. This review applies to these model sizes as well.
The KU7000 features Samsung’s “slim design” panel giving this display a thin and sleek profile when viewed from the side. The bezel is also very thin and measures approximately 0.40″. The display uses LED edge-lit technology to illuminate the TV’s screen. The surface of the screen contains a semi gloss finish.
The stand on this TV is a “Y” shape design with a Titan Silver color finish, and provides good stability for the panel. So the chance of a TV tip-over is greatly reduced.
Samsung’s latest Smart Touch remote is a design I have grown accustomed to using during my view processes. Although the remote contains a minimal button layout, accessing the TV’s features and menu functions is fairly simple. Furthermore, the fit and feel of the remote was very comfortable in my hand. However, some users may be unhappy with the lack of a numerical keypad for direct TV channel input access.
The remote features voice control using its built-in microphone, and allows your voice to control certain functions of the TV such as turning the TV on and off, navigating menus and to access your favorite smart TV content.
I’d also like to point out that 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.
Other 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.
- Active Crystal Color – This TV utilizes a crystal-like pure color technology, called “Active Crystal Color”, to create a wider color gamut for color reproduction that is more vibrant and life-like.
- UHD Dimming technology provides optimized contrast, color and sharpness for true-to-life image quality
- 4K upscaling upconverts high-definition and standard-definition video content to appear near 4K quality
- 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’s built-in web browser.
- Fast 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi to connect to your wireless network
- Wi-Fi Direct
- Bluetooth wireless audio streaming to a compatible speaker or set of headphones
- 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
The picture quality of the KU7000 was very appealing overall, and delivered an image that should satisfy most viewers. Furthermore, I found very little to gripe about where performance was concerned.
4K and 1080p images on this display were sharp and crisp, and delivered very good detail, clarity and image transparency. However, 4K images did appear slightly better in all the areas mentioned above; this observation was at a viewing distance of about 5 feet away from the TV screen when comparing the two resolutions.
Upconversion of 1080p sources to 4K quality was fine on this TV, and rendered good detail, clarity and sharpness.
HDR images were also good, displaying decent increases in peak brightness highlights and image illumination, while adding more clarity, detail and visibility to the image, as well as punchier color reproduction. Although the KU7000 had decent HDR performance, it still fell short of what Samsung’s KS8000 could achieve. Part of the KU7000’s short comings in this area were due to its limited screen brightness ability with 4K content when compared to the KS8000.
In general, color reproduction on this display appeared natural and accurate, with good tonal balance and vibrancy.
The KU7000 delivered deep black levels and a good contrast ratio. One of my go-to test scenes to assess black level performance is from the movie – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This particular scene shows Dark Vader’s melted helmet, which reveals very dark and inky blacks within the eye sockets of the helmet, while the rest of the helmet is rendered with deep rich blacks.
Shadow detail was good on this set and showed distinct features on objects in dimly lit scenes
Black screen uniformity was very good on this display. For example, viewing a screen that was uniformly black in all areas, I could not see any clouding or light bleed coming from any areas of the TV’s display.
Side angle viewing showed the typical amounts of contrast and color saturation loss I normally experience with LED TVs. So always consider your seating positions when setting up this and most other LED TVs.
Motion blur control was good with regular TV content including movies and sporting events with lots of fast action as viewed with my demo content. These results were achieved whether Auto Motion Plus was “on” or “off”.
I did detect motion judder, which was very apparent in my “panning” test footage; this was with Auto Motion Plus turned off. However, with Auto Motion Plus turned on, motion judder was still visible but to a much lesser degree.
Sound quality from the TV’s two 10- watt down-firing speakers wasn’t all that bad. Vocals were delivered with full bodied sound and were very intelligible and natural sounding. Mid and high frequencies were also decent; however, bass output was lean and lacking in punch.
Picture settings: I used the Movie mode picture and Warm 2 color temperature settings to achieve the most accurate picture image. Some viewers may find the picture image in this mode a bit soft and life-less. In this case, try using the Natural picture mode setting which livens up the picture with more dynamic punch, color saturation and vibrancy.
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.
The KU7000 is a good 4K UHD TV. It offers pleasing image quality and will satisfy consumers who are not looking for the high-end performance found in Samsung’s SUHD top models.
The 55″ KU7000 model reviewed here will take you to the next level of home entertainment with the latest must have features such as 4K resolution, HDR technology and a robust smart TV platform, all at a very affordable price.
With that said, Samsung’s UN55KU7000 is definitely worth taking a look at.