Samsung 65? UA65F9000AR UHD TV Review [T-break Tech (Middle East)]
(T-break Tech (Middle East) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Remember that jaw-dropping moment when you first saw that stunning full-HD video on 40+ inch TV a few years back? Technology evolves so fast nowadays that we have the same kind of resolutions on our 5-inch smartphones such as the Galaxy S4. So it was just a matter of time when larger devices such as the TV got upgraded to higher resolutions. And that time is now with the heavy-weights in the industry releasing displays that are four times the resolution of full-HD. Today, we take a look at Samsung's offering who were kind enough to send us their 65-inch F9000 Ultra HD LED TV.
DesignSamsung has chosen an extremely minimalist design approach to the UA65F9000AR. The TV measures 146.2 x 83.7 cms and almost all of that is occupied by the display with the exception of very thin bezels measuring 15 cms on the sides and 11 cmd on the top/bottom. There are no buttons or connectors on the front or around the bezels, however, a retractable camera is present on the top of the unit. On the back you have a four-way rocker and two connectors- one for power and the other for the One Connect breakout box. For better cable management, it would have been nice to see both these connectors next to each other but the power one is on the right and the One Connect on the left.
Samsung has taken an interesting approach with the 9000 series by moving all the processing and connectivity to the One Connect box. This box has 4 HDMI ports that have labels for different sources such as your Cable box, your PC as well as MHL, optical audio output, inputs for composite and component video, a LAN port and two powered USB ports that can accept thumb drives or 2.5-inch external drives.
It's certainly an interesting approach that solves two issues- first, you can hide the breakout box inside a cabinet where your HDMI and USB cables can be hidden away and second, you can upgrade your TV when newer functionality such and connections as HDMI 2.0 are available by simply purchasing the latest version of the breakout box. I think this is a great approach and I do hope that Samsung also routes the power through this box so you only have one cable running to the TV.
Picture & SoundThe F9000 is the first TV we have received that showcases the next generation of content at four times the resolution of the current full HD standard and the results are stunning. There is so much additional detail that UHD brings to the picture that you almost feel as you're part of it. Picture quality is also very impressive and pretty much what you'd expect out of a high-end Samsung TV with superb black levels and incredibly accurate colour out of the box. Pictures modes such as Dynamic and Movie adjust the intensity and softness of the picture and you'll hopefully find a preset that suits your tastes.
It's a matter of time before great 4K content becomes available for you to enjoy on UHD but for now Samsung does an impressive job of upscaling current HD content into 4K using their processing engine. Don’t expect the picture to appear as clear as native UHD, but with a 200Hz panel, Samsung has managed to avoid pixelation and motion blurring that generally come with upscaling however I did notice softer colour reproduction on upscaled content.
Like Samsung's previous models, the F9000 displays 3D through the included pair of active 3D glasses. Considering the amount of pixels that 4K offers, I would have thought that Samsung, like some of their competitors, would have opted for a passive 3D picture but that is not the case. There were instances where I observed double ghosting issues that are caused due to active 3D crosstalk.
For audio, Samsung uses a pair of rear mounted speakers and considering the very thin design of the TV, I wasn't exactly expecting the UA65F9000AR to produce sound like one you'd get from a dedicated speaker setup or a soundbar. Although the TV hands trebles well, you do find the bass to be a bit underwhelming. That being said, anyone who like to enjoy movies at home will invest in a separate sound system and I see no reason why you shouldn't pair the UA65F9000AR with one especially since it comes with an ARC enabled HDMI connection that lets you pass sound through.
Remote & Smart FunctionalitySmart functionality has pretty much become a standard for high-end TVs and the UA65F9000AR is no different. The One Connect box has a LAN port that you can connect your network cable into use the built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. Once you're online, the Smart TV Panels are populated with media and information from your social networks to news streams and content providers.
The apps panel lets you select one of the pre-installed apps or download them directly on your TV though Samsung's app store. Local apps for OSN, Al Jazeera and icflix came installed on the TV and help populate content in panels. We were easily able to watch movies in icflix with just a few taps.
Remote controls also need a rethought with all the smart functionality built on new TVs and the one that was bundled with UA65F9000AR was simple, small and functional. You have the main buttons for controlling volume levels, TV Channels and source towards the top along with power while the centre part of the remote is made up of a large trackpad that makes it easy to scroll through the panels or web pages Samsung has also built a microphone in the remote and you can talk to it to navigate between panels and such. Alternatively, the camera on the top of the TV can also recognise gestures if that's your thing.
Moving from Full-HD to UHD is the natural and expected progression of technology but you can't help feeling awed when you first see content at four times the resolution of 1080p. Like the move from standard definition to high-definition, the move to 4K shows a clearly superior picture. It will take some time until 4k content is more widely available but until then Samsung does a good job of upscaling current content.
I also like the idea of the One Connect box that separates your display from the connectivity and processing engine. This will allow upgrading your TV to the latest technologies with minimal effort. Priced at AED 80,000, the Samsung UA65F9000AR is certainly on the higher side but the latest and greatest in technology always commands a premium.
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