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Samsung UE55C9000 - Features and First Picture Impressions

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Samsung UE55C9000


Our Score:


Heading into the UE55C9000’s extremely pretty onscreen menus, there are plenty of tools to help you calibrate the picture to suit your tastes - as you would expect on such a large, premium TV. You can adjust the black tone, the extremity of the dynamic contrast system, the extent to which the TV pushes shadow detail, the picture’s gamma level, Wide or Native colour space settings, a flesh tone adjustment, an edge enhancement tool, and last but certainly not least, Samsung’s LED Motion Plus system. This uses processing to reduce judder and blur from the picture, and helpfully features a series of preset 'strengths' (including our preferred Clear mode), as well as allowing you to tweak the relative strength it applies to its separate judder and blur components.

Other bits and bobs worth knowing about the UE55C9000 are that the technology driving the extraordinarily thin screen is, of course, edge LED, with a full HD resolution. And its 3D technology is, as you’d expect, the 'premium' active shutter, full HD system.

One rather key thing we’ve not mentioned about the UE55C9000 yet is that it also breaks new ground with its remote control. In fact, it comes with two remotes: one cute but simple pebble style one that just gives you access to volume and channel adjustments, and an anything-but-simple touchscreen remote, with full colour display and Wi-Fi connection to the TV.

This ability to 'talk' with the TV allows you to enjoy a rather cool trick, whereby you can watch pictures from the TV on the remote. In fact, you can watch one channel on the remote and another on the TV! The decently large, clean screen also 'does an iPhone', in that the picture rotates automatically if you turn the remote on its side.

The remote can even 'learn' the controls from your other remotes, and lets you set simple macros, where a single button press kicks off a series of pre-programmed control signals.

Sounds good, right? Pity, then, that it’s a real chore to use. It’s painfully easy to select the wrong onscreen 'button', as they’re often crammed very close together, and it’s often difficult to recall exactly where you’re supposed to go to find the option you want. We actually found ourselves turning fairly quickly to the remote control of a Samsung C7000 model we had lying around!

The 55C9000 gets back on track with its 2D picture quality, however. We’d been worried that the set’s extraordinary slimness must inevitably lead to picture quality compromises, but this really isn’t the case - or at least, not as much as we’d feared.

Colours, for a start, are impressive, combining excellent saturations and vividness with some natural tones. What’s particularly good about this is that you can get a surprisingly natural colour response without having to spend much time calibrating the TV; just avoid the dynamic preset, and make sure the colour temperature is set to Normal or Warm. Actually, this is just as well given that Samsung hasn’t pursued endorsements from either the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) or THX - something that might have been nice with a TV as high-end as this.

Also impressive about the UE55C9000’s 2D pictures is how sharp they look. The vast size of the screen lets you fully appreciate the extra detail, clarity, texture and sharpness of good quality HD sources - especially as there’s gratifyingly little trouble with LCD’s usual motion blur problem.

The blur is particularly reduced if you employ Samsung’s LED Motion Plus system, though this isn’t a feature we’d necessarily recommend using for much of the time. It tends to generate some obvious processing side effects, including the classic 'disappearing ball' phenomenon when watching tennis or cricket. The Clear setting is the only Motion Plus setting we’d personally use, as anything more potent also produces flickering and haloing artefacts.


September 9, 2010, 12:44 pm

Wait a min, So this has a decent Image quality of 8/10

and this sony bravia has a perfect Image quality of 10/10


and this Samsung cost 2300£ more than the KDL-52HX903 yet you gave a 7/10 for the value

and the KDL-52HX903 which has a way better image quality a 6/10

then you say this Samsung UE55C9000 is "Trustedreview Recommended"

and the KDL-52HX903 is not Recommended.

So much for "Trusted" reviews.


September 9, 2010, 2:54 pm

I saw this the other day and found Avatar running on it spellbinding. The 3D cross-talk is of concern with leds though, which points me in the direction of Samsung's large panel plasma 63C7000 - can we expect a review soon?


September 9, 2010, 4:10 pm

@Ahlan: You're not the first to point out discrepancies like this, so I'll just re-iterate the reasoning that TR give every time someone makes this particular observation.

The scores are just a pointer. There's more to a TV review than can be adequately expressed with a few numbers. If you don't understand the reasoning behind the scores, just read the review.


September 9, 2010, 4:22 pm


I wonder sometimes at TR's inconsistencies, perceived or otherwise, too. Having viewed the Samsung at the just finished IFA in Berlin, yes it is stunning to behold, but for that money, if it were my own, I would go for one of the new LGs (I have no connection with the company whatsoever, by the way: I was shopping for a new TV) or, as you say, the Sony. In Germany, one factor which is often taken into account in reviews is known as the Preis-Leistung Verhältnis. This translates as price-performance ratio, what Americans might call bang for your buck. It's notonly about how good a product is, but relates that amount of goodness to the price you have to pay to get it. At the same time, reviews are always subjective, although why the Sony does not get the TR Recommended label and the Samsung does, judged purely on their performance, is beyond me.


September 9, 2010, 4:30 pm

What's the backlight consistency like? A friend had the 8000 series for about a week before he took it back, the edge led's gave a very inconsistent backlight.

Geoff Richards

September 9, 2010, 5:49 pm

John is taking a well-earned break following the IFA show in Berlin. Your comments have been noted, and he'll respond next week when he's back at his desk. Hopefully all will be clear then.

Neil Richardson

September 9, 2010, 11:01 pm

More info on the 'ingenious wall mount' would have been nice.


September 11, 2010, 4:08 am

@Ahlan et al TOTALLY agree with your VERY logical critique.

I had a look at one of Samsung's LED 3D 46" TVs today but can't recall the model. If the 3D TV broadcasts are anything like the specially produced 3D-BD demo trailers, which included shots of, Ussain Bolt at the Beijing Olympics, Black Eyed Peas concert, an Aquarium, Chelsea's footballers training etc. My first reaction was, yes 3D consumer TVs definitely work; BUT my second reaction was I WANT a 70" 3D TV for £2000 to get a proper immersive 3D experience. Otherwise its a case of Gulliver's world where he is a giant.

Otherwise I think 3D is for those the rich, on DWP benefits (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/... (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/... or the Creditholics!


September 11, 2010, 3:47 pm

One of the Berlin branches of Saturn (a very large chain of brown and white goods retailers) has really gone to town with 3D demos, featuring various areas for manufacturers such as LG, Panasonic and Samsung, including fixed glasses on stands and appropriate demo material. Thing is, this is still novelty stuff and in more than one case the material viewable still appeared greyed down and obviously 2D upped to 3D.

The Samsung UE55C9000 does 3D pretty much as well as others, although ghosting is a factor, but I have also read about this set having backlight inconsistencies. In any event, as TR points out, this set is aimed at the designer market who wish to make domestic statements, and it fulfills that role beautifully.

I remain unconvinced about 3Ds eventual success, especially given the cinema films that are supposed to drive it, are too often post-produced to create the effect and higher admission prices are putting audiences off. Everyone talks about Avatar. Fine: but how many times do you want to watch just the one flagship film?


September 11, 2010, 9:28 pm


Error 666 : Journalistic integrity not found.

Please try another news source.

John Archer

September 14, 2010, 3:21 pm

Howdy chaps.

Good to get back from holiday to find another shitstorm surrounding my work! ;-)

In this case, though, aside from wondering why GoldenGuy might question my integrity considering that Samsung doesn't pay me a penny (I just love all these sort of conspiracy theories), I have to wonder if the people complaining about my scoring on this TV have actually read the review at all, or just looked at the final marks and 'gone ape'?

In my conclusion, in particular, I believe I explain my reasoning behind the Samsung scores in what seems to me a pretty clear and straightforward way. With any product we review we have to look at it within the context of its target market - the sort of person who is likely to buy it. If you don't do this, in my opinion it makes the reviewing process next to impossible and actually quite pointless.

Clearly target markets can sometimes be hard to define, and it can lead to some blurred boundaries at times that can give me final score headaches - especially if a product is on the borderline between an 8 and a 9 final score. However, funnily enough, in this Samsung's case, while I pretty much expected to get some comments along the lines of the negative ones posted here, I actually felt it was quite easy to recommend it to the sort of money's-no-object, design-led. 'Grand Designs' crowd that Samsung is clearly aiming for.

I presume the people complaining about my marks for the TV are not infinitely flush with cash, and value performance quality above aesthetics and technological breakthroughs. Which is absolutely fine - in fact, that description could fit me too! But Samsung isn't targetting the likes of us with the C9000 series; the C8000 series is its 'mainstream' option. However, just because I personally wouldn't/couldn't buy a 55C9000 doesn't mean that I should get so bitter about it that I can't appreciate its unique appeal to the sort of buyer it's clearly meant for.

The 55C9000 isn't just expensive for the sake of it. It breaks genuinely new technological ground, and looks absolutely incredible in the process, to the point where it becomes pretty much one of a kind. If there was another TV around offering the same sort of design and technology for much less cash, then clearly this would cause the C9000 some problems - as was the case with the Sony 52HX903 review mentioned in one of the comments. But so long as the 55C9000 delivers something new and unique so successfully (have any of the strongest complainers actually seen a C9000 in the flesh?), I have no doubt that there will be people out there who consider it worth every solitary penny.

If that's not you, fine. Just go and buy a cheaper TV, spend any extra cash you might have on Blu-rays, and try and feel happy - maybe even smug, if you like!

Right, that'll do for now. Though I'm already looking forward to potentially doing all this again in a few weeks when I've looked at one of Loewe's new LED TVs...



September 14, 2010, 5:55 pm

@John Archer: I think GoldenGuy was quite rightly questioning the integrity of the Daily Mail, which Enigma referenced.

Rest assured that some of us take everything you just explained as a given. You really shouldn't have to explain it at all...


September 14, 2010, 8:04 pm

Welcome back, John. Hope you had a good holiday and the postcard and stick of rock are on their way to me, right?

I totally agree with you about the need to consider which market each TV is aimed at, and the C9000 series is very much about statement. I have seen it in the flesh, quite a few times in fact. (Just a personal opinion: even if I did have the cash, I wonder whether I could live with the design after a while. It stands out on first sight, but then it continued to stand out, sort of shouting 'Look at me! Look how wonderfully designer I am!').

It will be interesting to read your opinion on the new LG LEX8, if and when you get your mitts on one. I have no connection with that or any company, but this, for me, is the canine's testicles of TVs.

But going back to the scoring of the Sony 52HX903, that is also a superb set and, on this occasion, I feel it's been unfairly marked down and so appears less able than it actually is. Give me the 55C9000 and I'll love you, give me the Sony and I'd do the same, but if it were my money and I could afford the Samsung, I'd most likely still go for the Sony.

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