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Samsung RU8000 UHD TV review

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Samsung RU8000 UHD TV review

Hey there! Welcome to the review of Samsung RU8000 Ultra HD TV in 55-inch screen size. This TV is a direct successor to NU8000 series from 2018 and it is actually the best performing Samsung UHD TV outside of their QLED line.

Since the unboxing video, I was testing this TV on a daily basis, watched different content, calibrated SDR and HDR picture, played some games, connected external devices and finally, got to know Bixby voice assistant.

How did it go and do I recommend this TV, find out right after the intro. Samsung RU8000 series is placed above RU7400 and below Q60R series. It is available in 49, 55, 65 and 82 inches. The panel is VA type with a native resolution of 2160p and edge LED backlight.

HDR10, HDR10 plus and HLG HDR formats are supported. Please note that RU8000 series in 49” has 60 Hz screen while 55” and larger ones 120 Hz. Tizen 5.0 is the operating system and for the first time, Apple AirPlay 2 and iTunes are supported.

Except for the high-end Q90R series, where completely different stand design is implemented, Samsung kept already seen design on its 2019 TVs. Most models have two separated feet, a trend that Samsung started back in 2013.

RU8000 is using such design, with two dark grey plastic flat feet separated at 93 centimeters. The bezel is 10 millimeters thick, also made of plastic but in a lighter shade of grey. Samsung’s logo without the illumination sits at the center of the bottom bezel on its own silver plate.

Plastic is also used on the backside, which has the same texture ever since the company introduced 360 degrees design. You can hang the TV on the wall using VESA 200 x 200 mount but you cannot hide connectors as there is no cover supplied in the packaging.

RU8000 has a typical set of connection options. Four HDMIs 2.0b, 2 USBs 2.0, antenna and satellite inputs, Toslink, Ethernet and CI+ slot. As far as wireless connections go, you get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Except for the CI slot and power connector, all other connectors are facing to the side. Basic cable management is implemented with slots on the backside and a clip for one of the feet. For the first time this year, Samsung has decided to add content provider buttons to its One remote control.

3 new buttons were added below the Volume and Channel controls. In my region, I have Netflix, Prime Video and Rakuten TV. Definitely a step in the right direction when we know how popular video on demand services are.

Still, what I would like to see is at least one customizable button that users could link to the service they want, as LG and Panasonic have done. It was interesting for me to find out that none of the new content provider buttons would bring the TV up from standby and load the app.

I was expecting this function, especially from the Netflix button as that’s how it works on every device I’ve tested so far. Instead, it was like the TV was turned on, but the screen would not display anything.

All I could see was the blank screen. Pressing the power button would turn off the TV. Maybe this was happening only on my unit so I’ll recheck this when I get some other 2019 Samsung TV for testing.

Tizen 5.0 looks and feels exactly the same as version 4.0 which is a bit disappointing when we see how LG’s webOS and Android TV are evolving with each new version. Tizen is still very fast and easy to use, but it lacks real customization options beyond just reordering icons on the main screen.

AirPlay 2 was working great and I was able to mirror the screen of my iPhone SE without any issue. Bixby assistant understands many commands and it can be useful when you get used to it. I was mainly using it to quickly open picture settings and to switch inputs.

It is not advanced in a way that you could have a more normal conversation like with Google Assistant and it is strange that it is not available for example when you are in the Netflix app. What about picture quality? Well, it is on the same level as what we were getting with NU8000 series.

Same picture processor is used, VA panel achieves the contrast of 4600:1, peak brightness in HDR is 350 nits and as there is no local dimming implemented, HDR picture lacks dynamics you get on higher end models.

I expected that RU8000 would be able to cover a bigger portion of P3 colorspace, but that was not the case – as you can see, NU7400 unit I tested last year covered a higher percentage. It is clear that if you want to see more colors in HDR, you need to invest more in Samsung’s QLED line that uses Quantum dot technology.

SDR picture quality was very good, with good upscaling, smooth playback of 24p content and correct cadence detection of interlaced signals. There was no Dirty Screen Effect and screen uniformity was very good.

Viewing angles are narrow and you need to sit directly in front of the screen or under small angle for the best result. The most accurate picture is in Movie mode, which is not active by default. You can switch to it quickly from Settings menu or by simply saying “Switch to Movie mode”.

I was surprised that Samsung brought back gamma 2.2 option which was removed since 2017 when BT.1886 was made the only choice for the electro-optical transfer function. Regardless of that, gamma was not very accurate on this unit in Movie mode and its shape reminded me of LCD TVs from 10 years ago.

Back then TV manufacturers had to rely on tricks with gamma in order to artificially boost picture’s contrast – instead of flat gamma represented by yellow line here, they would make it S-shape – so that dark aspects are darker and bright aspects are brighter.

Regardless of settings, I could not get a nice flat response on this unit which is a shame as SDR picture is well established by now and cheap tricks on the model which is part of Premium UHD line are not good, to say the least.

On the other hand, PQ curve in HDR mode was quite good when contrast enhancer was turned off. Turning it on to the low or high setting would make the image brighter and push the response further from the PQ curve, but it is handy for watching HDR content in a bright room.

Sound quality is on the same level as what I’ve heard on NU series last year. Two down-firing speakers are just OK for dialogues and for non-demanding users. You can get a much better result by connecting the TV to the A/V receiver and you can do that either with Toslink digital optical connection or HDMI Audio Return Channel.

If you don’t have space for an A/V receiver and speakers, you can add a soundbar or a Bluetooth speaker. For this test, I’ve used Marshall Stanmore speaker with Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5 mm and RCA connection options.

I really liked the speaker’s iconic design, bass and treble controls at my fingertips, great build quality and finally powerful and clear sound that was great for both music and movies. It doesn’t have as wide soundstage as a soundbar or a pair of speakers, but it does quite a good job if you are looking for a good audio solution that you can carry from room to room.

The connection was great throughout the test and the best quality was achieved with a wired connection. If you want to learn more about this speaker, check out the links in the description. Gaming was great due to a dedicated Game mode that now has more options than ever.

Lowest input lag was 16.3 ms in 1080p60 which is excellent, but if you want to use Blur reduction option for better motion resolution, input lag will jump all the way to 47.2 ms. You need to tweak game mode a bit to get the optimum picture, but once that is done expect great results.

To sum up, 55” RU8000 has good picture quality for mainstream series and thanks to its 120 Hz panel with good contrast, it is recommended to sports and movie fans who will most of the time be sitting directly in front of the screen.

As expected, HDR performance is not great and for all who want brighter highlights and wider color gamut, consider Samsung’s QLED series or competitor’s models in the same price category. Tizen 5.

0 brings few new features here and there, it is easy to use and for the first time this year it supports Apple’s services. Gamers will also be happy with this TV so considering all the pros and cons at this price point, I can recommend RU8000.

I would like to thank Samsung Croatia for sending me this TV for testing. Another thanks goes in direction of company Ronis for sending Marshall Stanmore speaker and to Club 3D for providing me Ultra High-Speed HDMI cable that I used for connection with different devices.

Finally, thank you all for watching this video and have a great day.

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