Samsung UN55HU8550F 3D LCD/LED Ultra HDTV Test Bench

Test Bench

Measurements were made using CalMAN measurement software from SpectraCal, together with Photo Research PR-650 and Klein K-10A color meters, and the VideoForge pattern generator from AVFoundry.

Full-on/Full-Off Contrast Ratio: Unmeasurable

With a full black test pattern on the screen, the LED edge lighting shuts down completely at any setting of the Smart LED (edge-lit local dimming). But this is meaningless with normal images. Displaying a small, white pause bug in the corner of a full black screen, however, triggers the black level on the entire screen to rise to a higher level. In this situation, with Smart LED on High, the black level was 0.0043 ft-L at a white level of 36.7 ft-L (both measured on the Klein K-10A), for a full-on/full-off contrast ratio of 8,535:1. With Smart LED off, these measured values were 0.026 ft-L, 35.6 ft-L, and 1,369:1. Keeping Smart LED engaged is the obvious choice, and I found no downside to using it on High.

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The set was calibrated for this review in 2D only, and the Movie Picture mode was used exclusively. In the Movie Picture mode and Warm2 Color Tone (Samsung’s name for color temperature), the set’s pre-calibration Delta E values averaged 2.8 at a peak white level of about 35 ft-L. Although it measured over 3 starting at 70% (rising to a peak of 6.27 at 100%), the image was highly watchable. After calibration, using only the 2-point White Balance controls (the 10-point controls weren’t needed), the gray-scale Delta E averaged 0.56 with a maximum of 1.12 at 70%. Post-calibration color was hard to criticize.

Delta E indicates how closely a display adheres to the Rec. 709 HD color standard. Experts generally agree that at levels below 3 to 4, the result is indistinguishable from perfect color tracking. A Delta E is used to characterize both white balance (gray scale) or color. In the Auto Color Space setting, the color gamut’s pre-calibration color Delta E averaged a respectable 1.27. After calibration in the Custom setting, it averaged an exceptional 0.40.

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With the Gamma control on 0, the gamma averaged 2.19, with a low of 2.13 at 20% brightness and a high of 2.23 at 50% and 60%. Changing the Gamma setting to –1 (the only other setting I sometimes found useful in 2D) produced an average gamma of 2.29. To check the maximum light output capability of the set, I used the Dynamic Picture mode in its default settings (no calibration controls are offered in this mode). I measured a peak white level of 94.15 ft-L.—TJN

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COMMENTS
tlathbury's picture

Thanks for the review. How does this set compare to a regular HD set when viewing typical HD cable box material, like network tv, sports etc I.e. 1080i or 720 ?

jjanosik's picture

Thomas thank you for great reviews on both TVs. I want to ask you for your opinion on the matter of buying a new TV in upcoming months...

I have to buy TV this year because I don't have one (I'm still living with my parents) so I can't wait for 4k OLEDs to come down to a reasonable price (maybe late 2016?).

But I can't really decide whether these perfect blacks and contrast are more important for 'immersion' than more inches of diagonal.... I'm thinking about something like 65" HU7500 samsung... I know its blacks are worse then OLED, but I don't think they are really bad or something are they? Because I have a feeling that 55 inches is not that large (my viewing distance will be about 2.8m) and I don't know whether these super blacks will compensate enough for that smaller diagonal. This cannot be decided in a shop, because there is bright environment so I just have to believe others who have more experience with these sets.

What is your opinion, is the OLED that much better experience that it is OK to sacrifice quite significantly larger picture frame for that? I want this TV to last 5+ years (so maybe 4k ready for HFR can be usefull?)...

Thank you very much in advance.

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