Samsung UE48JU7000T – Picture Quality
Following Samsung’s firmware fix of an initial motion blur issue, the UE48HU7000T’s pictures are for the most part a resounding success.
Heading up the good news is the UE48HU7000T’s black level response. The use of direct LED lighting helps it produce gorgeously inky, natural black colours during dark and mixed-luminance images alike. Even better, it achieves this black level without a) suffering clouding problems such as those commonly associated with edge LED TVs and b) having to limit the brightness injected into the bright parts of predominantly dark images, again as inevitably happens with edge LED systems.
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This latter ability means the UE48HU7000T’s contrast performance is exceptional. Samsung’s HDR TVs have, it must be said, rather spoiled us this year where contrast is concerned, but while the UE48JU7000T’s contrast falls well short of the enormous range of the JS9000 and, especially, JS9500 models, it’s still outstanding by the standards of any non-HDR TV.
A potential problem with direct LED lighting is a light blooming effect around bright objects when they appear against dark backdrops. But we didn’t feel this was a big deal at all on the UE48JU7000T – so long as you’re watching it from a reasonably direct position rather than far down its sides.
Blacks as deep and natural as those delivered by the UE48JU7000T generally provide a great foundation for colours, and so it proves here. Bright colours enjoy real pop and punch while – unusually for LCD technology – colours during dark scenes look rich and natural, ensuring images are strikingly dynamic no matter what your source. There’s plenty of subtlety in the colour handling too, meaning there’s no striping over colour blends and potentially tricky tones always look totally credible.
The only negative that can be levelled at the UE48JU7000T’s colours is that they again are no match in terms of their intensity and dynamic range for those of Samsung’s JS9500 and JS9000 HDR TVs – even when they’re not running native HDR content. But of course, there’s a very good chance you won’t be able to afford the thousands of pounds more required to secure one of those HDR models.
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In most ways the UE48JU7000T is a highly capable UHD performer – good enough, in fact, to reveal the extra detail, clarity and, especially, depth the UHD format has to offer despite the TV’s relatively small 48-inch screen size. You’d certainly get more impact from the 4K resolution on a larger screen (unless you happen to be sat unusually close to the UE48JU7000T), but Samsung’s relatively small effort still gives the lie to those who continue to claim that 4K UHD is a waste of time on anything smaller than 60 inches or so.
The tiny pixels also play their part in the UE48JU7000T’s excellent colour rendering and subtlety, and while its impact isn’t as obvious as it is on the larger Samsung SUHD TVs we’ve tested recently you can nonetheless still appreciate how clever Samsung’s upscaling processing is this year. HD sources are remapped to the screen’s native UHD resolution with a strong sense of clarity and pixel density without exaggerating noise.
As noted earlier, the first UE48JU7000Ts we tested suffered with some quite striking motion blur issues. But this has been greatly improved by a new firmware update. There’s still a little resolution loss and judder to contend with (or work around via Samsung’s motion processing system if you don’t mind the occasional flicker and halo artefact this processing can cause), but overall the UE48JU7000T is now a more than respectable motion handler by LCD standards. Which means its 4K UHD impact remains largely intact during motion-packed action scenes.
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Our main issue with the UE48JU7000T is that its screen seems unusually glossy and reflective by modern standards, leading to some pretty distracting reflections unless you’re very careful about controlling the lighting in your room.
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