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Samsung UE65HU8500 review

John Archer



  • Editors choice
Samsung UE65HU8500


Our Score


User Score


  • Stunning 2D and 3D picture quality
  • Extremely sophisticated smart TV system
  • Future proof thanks to HDMI 2.0
  • Sets a new bar for TVs
  • £1,000 less than last year's model
  • Curve really works at this size


  • Presets for 3D not ideal
  • Curve can cause reflection issues
  • Input lag a smidgen higher than we'd like

Review Price £4,000.00

Key Features: 65-inch LCD TV with edge LED lighting; Curved Screen Design; Native UHD resolution; Active 3D playback (2 prs of glasses included); Football mode

Manufacturer: Samsung

What is the Samsung UE65HU8500?

The Samsung UE65HU8500 is where 2014 gets interesting. Not only is this 65-inch model the first TV from Samsung’s 2014 TV range, it’s also the brand’s flagship 2014 TV. Which means two key next-generation things: it carries a native 4K / UHD resolution, and it’s curved. The question is, is it also brilliant? Or has the introduction of the curve sent Samsung round the bend?

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Samsung UE65HU8500

Samsung UE65HU8500: Design and Features

Any discussion of the Samsung UE65HU8500’s design has to kick off with its curve. As with the only other curved TV we’ve seen to date, the LG 55EA980W, the screen curves gently back at its centre, creating an instant and potent aesthetic impact through its sheer difference from the flat TVs we’re all used to.

We suspect that many people will feel highly attracted to the UE65HU8500’s subtle curve as a design feature, but it remains to be seen if it’s going to have any appeal from a performance point of view.

One potential negative thing about the curve, of course, is that if you want to wall hang it it’s going to stick out much more than most flat TVs – though Samsung has at least come up with a simple wall mount that makes hanging the UE65HU8500 easier than you might imagine.

Another distinctive point about the UE65HU8500’s design is the narrowness of its bezel, which is barely 1cm across. This stands in stark contrast, of course, to the huge, speaker-sporting bezels around Sony’s upcoming 2014 UHD TVs – and it’s a contrast we think may work in Samsung’s favour with the public given what a chunk of living room space a 65-inch screen takes up even with minimal bezel around it.

We did feel, though, that the bezel looks a little plasticky and uninspired versus the panache and style of some previous high-end Samsung TVs.

As with last year’s UHD Samsung TVs, the UE65HU8500’s connections are predominantly provided by an external connections box, which hooks up to the TV by just one cable. As well as making it easier to keep the space around the TV looking tidy, this external connections box carries many of the TV’s ‘brains’, so that 65HU8500 owners could if they wish pay for upgrade boxes in the years ahead so that their TV is always enjoys the latest Samsung features and operating systems. Like a more extensive version of the Evolution Kits available for the last couple of generations of Samsung’s non-UHD TVs.

Connection Box

Another benefit of this upgradable connections suite is that it means you don’t have to worry about changing connection standards – eg, new HDMI formats – or new UHD broadcasting formats should these suddenly appear.

As a perfect example of what we’re talking about, the connections box with the UE65HU8500 carries four HDMI 2.0 inputs supporting 50/60Hz UHD playback - as well as compatibility with the MHL 3.0 spec (which supports 4k formats up to 2160p30) and support for both the HEVC UHD delivery system being used by Netflix and the HDCP 2.2 anti-piracy standard. None of these connection options were available on last year’s Samsung UHD TVs, but owners of those TVs will soon be able to buy the new connections box and thus instantly enjoy the upgraded connectivity.

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Samsung UE65HU8500

With so much confusion surrounding the UHD HDMI situation last year we always felt that the upgradable connections box was a massive attraction, and even though the HDMI situation is more established now, it’s still early enough in UHD’s life for us to still find Samsung’s unique upgradability hugely reassuring.

The UE65HU8500’s more advanced connectivity is far from the only advance its new connections box carries versus last year’s though. It also houses a considerably more powerful ‘brain’: a Quad Core Plus 1.8GHz system that apparently runs twice as fast as last year’s 1.3GHz engine. This is used to drive a more powerful video processing engine – including local dimming of the edge LED lighting array that’s delivered over more separately controlled zones than Samsung has attempted on a ‘mainstream’ TV before.

The extra power is also put to use with improving the upscaling of HD and standard definition content to the screen’s UHD pixel count, and, intriguingly, it powers a new PureColour technology that simplifies the colour processing system while also providing more than seven times as many colour adjustment points as any previous Samsung TV. Resulting, hopefully, in a much more defined and rich colour palette.

Smart TV

The UE65HU8500’s new brains also, of course, include Samsung’s latest smart TV system. At first glance this seems surprisingly similar to last year’s system, flying in the face of the wholesale annual changes we’ve become accustomed to from the Korean brand. But dig a little deeper and there are actually plenty of significant new developments to explore.

Samsung UE65HU8500

We’ll cover the system in detail in a dedicated feature in the next week or so, but briefly the main changes look like this.

Last year’s Social Hub has been replaced by a Game one. Social features are now included with the smart content menu window devoted to your personal streamed content rather than having their own screen, and include a trending on Twitter content-finding option. Gesture controls have been replaced by finger controls, the idea being that you can adjust the screen with really small movements of your fingers now, rather than needing to move your whole hands in the fatiguing way you had to with last year’s Samsung sets.

Also a big step in the right direction is the introduction of a new single content-sharing and control app for smart devices that replaces the over-complicated two apps of last year. Then there’s the ‘multi-screen’ function, which on the Samsung UE65HU8500 lets you display up to four different full HD 'subscreens' of content simultaneously. So you could, say, have live TV showing to top left, YouTube clips to top right, a list of related video clips to navigate to at bottom right, and the 'On TV' hub menu to bottom left. The system works smoothly and quickly, and is a handy visual trick for Samsung to have in its shop-floor arsenal.


Samsung UE65HU8500

Another key new element to the UE65HU8500 is a football mode introduced in recognition of the fact that this is a World Cup year. This switches to a footie-friendly picture preset, lets you highlight footage of a particular player from the tournament, and rather niftily gives you the option to have your TV automatically record a game’s highlights to USB, with the TV deciding what’s a ‘highlight’ by analysing crowd noise.

What about the curve?

We can’t, of course, leave off a discussion of the UE65HU8500’s features without looking in more depth at the curved screen. There are so many issues surrounding this controversial development in TV tech, in fact, that we’ll be doing a dedicated feature on the subject soon. Ahead of that, though, here are a few initial thoughts from living with the UE65HU8500.

The first thing to say is that the curve makes more sense on the UE65HU8500’s 65-inch screen than it did on the smaller 55-inch screen of the LG 55EA980W. We’ve always felt that curved screens are more likely to have positive effects at larger screen sizes, and this is borne out by the way the extra sense of depth and immersion the curve gives with both 2D and 3D footage feels more convincing from a wider range of viewing distances than it does with the 55-inch model.

It’s worth adding here that Samsung has introduced a new depth enhancement processing system designed to make our 'flat' source images better suited to the curved screen environment.

Another benefit of the larger screen is that the area within which you can sit before the curve starts to seriously upset the image’s geometry is expanded, making it easier to accommodate more viewers in the enlarged ‘sweet spot’.

That said, it remains the case that if your viewing angle gets beyond around 35 degrees off axis then the image starts to look uncomfortable, with the image near you looking compressed compared with the far side. And of course, the problem grows the wider your viewing angle gets. Stay within the 35 degree viewing angle though and interestingly you actually suffer less contrast and colour loss off axis than you do with flat TVs.

Samsung UE65HU8500

The biggest issue we have with the curve is that if you have any bright light sources opposite the screen, the curvature can cause either double or stretched reflections on the screen – something which might require a little thought with how you place the TV in your living space.

Overall, though, while the curve might not suit everyone, it does have some benefits, and the size of the 65HU8500’s screen makes those benefits easier for multiple users to enjoy thanks to the larger viewing sweet spot. So watching a curved TV needn’t be a solitary activity after all!

To be honest, it’s kind of handy that the curve doesn’t strike us as an unmitigated disaster, since Samsung is so behind its curved technology that it’s only fitted its curved screens with its top-line panel and processing technology. If you’d rather go flat you’ll have to do without local dimming, as well as having pictures created via a less accurate micro dimming system – by which we mean that the image will be broken down into fewer ‘blocks’ for processing purposes than the picture of the 8000/8500 curved models, resulting in less accurate colour and contrast delivery.

Next page


March 21, 2014, 1:13 pm

Just out if interest, and for when I inevitably pull the trigger on one of these or similar, what were you using for an UHD source?

Noel Grundy

March 21, 2014, 1:44 pm

How do you work your scoring out? 10,9,9,9,8,8 So basically averaging 9. Overall score 10?

Prem Desai

March 21, 2014, 4:25 pm

Losing all faith in your scoring system. At best, it is inconsistent.

Looks at the cons. Look at the price. Rubbish viewing angle. On what planet does this score 10/10?????

Utter nonsense.


March 21, 2014, 6:22 pm

An input lag of 62 ms is way, way too high. It's just another UHD tv is that no good for gaming.
Very disappointing of Samsung.

John Archer

March 21, 2014, 6:54 pm

Hi Prem

Fraid there's been a gremlin here. The scores for value and sound should both have read 9; the sound one was left at 8 until we got a new sample today without the fizzing flaw noted on the original sample (even though we always suspected the fizzing was a 'one-off' problem). And the value score was a mistaken throwback to a point only a couple of days ago where we thought the TV was going to be priced at £5,000, not £4,000.

The marks have been changed now and this hopefully means the overall mark makes more sense to you.

One other point to add here is that we always consider 2D picture quality as the single most important aspect of any TV.

Hope this clears things up for you, and apologies for the confusion!

John Archer

March 21, 2014, 6:55 pm

Hi Noel

Please see my reply to Prem above.



March 21, 2014, 9:47 pm

Where is this available for £4k? I've only seen it advertised for £5k!,


March 21, 2014, 10:00 pm

Not clear anything

Where laboratory tests?

3D is very important and is not clear anything!

The screen has a 4:4:4 color ?

What true contras ?

Motion resolution (max) ?

resolution (dejudder off) ?


March 22, 2014, 6:20 am

Just want to confirm that. John told me to change them an I forgot. My bad!


March 22, 2014, 9:40 am

Currys are advertising this set as £1000 more than the competition.My local Hughes in Norwich has these sets on their system at £4000 and on line companies like Simply Electricals,AV Lounge,Spatial etc all have them for within £5 of £4000.


March 23, 2014, 9:40 pm

Still as clear as mud how this TV got a 10/10 overall. It's clearly not perfect, not even close to perfect. It's poor value, how it rates a 9 is a joke, maybe a 6 would be generous, it's lag is woeful, the reflections caused by the curve are terrible and let's face this is jts a high priced gimmick to extract even more money from suckers, the remote looks like something off a $200 cheap Chinese knockoff. It's your typical Samsung, that always seems to have quality issues and come to Australia and see how they handle warranty issues. This a company that had a class action taken against them in the USA and despite making changes to policy their, made no changes in Australia.


March 24, 2014, 12:07 pm

Lets face it you are prepared to spend £2000 or more on a TV then why do you care about the sound on it?
Why don't they just make the sets without speakers just have Audio return on the connections!


March 24, 2014, 2:54 pm

There is another review which has very poor performance measured in ANSI contrast. What could you say about it? Thank you very much and best regards.


March 24, 2014, 3:35 pm

Because many people don't like the idea of cluttering up their living space with soundbars or surround sound systems. Sony's take on actually providing decent sound on the likes of the KDL-55X9005A is interesting, works well and looks pretty good too in my opinion. It's a toss up between having lovely slim bezels like the Samsung or better sound without a separate set of speakers. It will depend on personal preference.


March 25, 2014, 10:51 pm

the only reason for buying a bent tv is to sort out keystone issues in an adsa carpark bought camcorder pirate, thou if you got 4k you could buy the bluray


March 26, 2014, 8:18 am

It is confirmed that the ANSI contrast is not as good: 1,036:1. Much poorer than in the lower range models. Inexplicable.


March 29, 2014, 9:01 pm

Clouding here ...clouding there... No thanx ....

simon sazdov

March 31, 2014, 2:23 pm

Wasn`t this model supposed to be a flat uhd tv? And if not, what is the model for that one?

Andrew Nicholson

April 2, 2014, 7:57 am

May I ask if you tested the TV with a PS4 and how the games looked upscaled (regardless of the input lag)?

Patrik Gårdewall

April 4, 2014, 2:12 pm

Clouding? Im not supprised :)
Samsung had it already in 2009 with its LED TVs.
The Amateur Techs at Samsung must be idiots.
They should have solved it by now

As for the ANSI contrast haha
What a joke!
My Pioneer Kuro from 2008 has 41000:1 in ANSI contrast.
Thats what im talking about.

Patrik Gårdewall

April 4, 2014, 2:13 pm

Compare it to my modified Kuro at 41000:1 ANSI Contrast and you can see that time is standing still for the LED LCD tvs

Patrik Gårdewall

April 4, 2014, 2:23 pm

And what about rec2020 Gamut that all 4K tvs should have as it is the new standard.
Is it still the washed out low color SRGB Gamut here?


April 8, 2014, 2:33 pm

Just further to the points above, our scores are not based on averages. From our scores guide: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

"10 - ExceptionalA score of 10 indicates that the product sets the benchmark, or reference, from which to judge other products. Only the very best products need apply and TrustedReviews evaluates every 10/10 very carefully. Any product that scores 10/10 overall must be approved by the Editor and is awarded the TrustedReviews Editor's Choice award.

The key thing to remember about a 10/10 product is that it doesn't mean it's perfect. There's no such thing as a perfect product. What a 10/10 will do, however, is reset our expectations of other products in that category. For example, the Motorola Moto G is the only phone we gave a 10/10 to in 2013 because it was head and shoulders above any other 'cheap' phone.


April 18, 2014, 2:08 pm

thats the 7500 model, quite a bit cheaper, but with most of this ones features

simon sazdov

April 18, 2014, 3:58 pm

Thanks for the info.

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