Samsung UN65MU7000FXZA TV Review

Samsung UN65MU7000FXZA
“Samsung’s Semi clear coat screen on the MU7000 allows rich, accurate color”

Strengths

  • Screen Reflection is not severe
  • Aesthetic Appeal – Good looking TV and stand
  • Upscaling and conversion of lower HD and standard def to 4K is solid for the price point
  • Contrast and Color from front and center of screen
  • Great light flow through from LED edge lights
  • Web browser included
  • On-screen menu system is easy
  • Low input lag in game mode
  • Black Uniformity is solid
  • Price/Value
  • Gaming Mode input lag (good TV for Gaming)
  • HDR Premium with Active Crystal Color for future proofing

Weaknesses

  • 60Hz TV, judder can be apparent with Automotion turned off especially with lower end resolutions
  • Automotion Plus “Telenovela” effect
  • Side Angle Viewing contrast and color saturation degrades
  • Slow starting time on some Apps 6-12 seconds for some Apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant
  • Small selection of preset picture modes

Neutral

  • Screen Uniformity (Grayscale) out of the box is good (but it often does not last as the TV ages)
  • We noted no motion blur from high end signals 1080p, 720p, but some with standard def resolution

The MU7000FXZA 4K LED TV from Samsung is one of the best priced 4K offerings in the marketplace. It has ample features like Smart TV and remote control, UHD Picture Dimming, 4K HDR Pro, 4K Color Drive, HEVC 4K streaming decoding, and a contrast enhancer. Though the 7000 has 4K UHD resolution, it rivals 1080p TVs of the same size from a year or two ago in price, one of its best features.

Picture Quality Rating: 88/100

As we’ve mentioned many times before, edge lit LED backlit LCDs are not the ideal picture technology (even in 4K), however Samsung’s semi clear coat screen is a big plus. Images are clear and color information is accurate. Over time, some light bleed is likely to occur – noticeable during very dark or black background scenes. Colors pop very well for an LED TV and Samsung has some of the brightest LEDs (peak Whites) in the industry if you need a very bright screen. The clear panel technology in this screen which helps to absorb ambient light is an excellent feature.

HD to UHD Upscaling and Conversion

“The panel is only 60Hz, so judder may be apparent is some programming”

Generally, with scaling you get what you pay for. This is an area of great differentiation among 4K TVs. Some of the more expensive ones will have much better scalers. But, the 7-series does a reasonably good job for the price point. Scaling is exceptionally important since most of the TV we watch these days is streaming from Amazon, Netflix, HBO…or 720p cable. A TV’s upscaling will never be able to make as much difference as the original signal source, but it can create cleaner, sharper image edges in the best case. The MU7000 does a good job presenting streaming and 720p signals. The scaler is not of the cheaper variety. This 4K TV will not look better than a very good 1080p TV with standard and HD signals, but wait!, there are no more very good 1080p TVs. The manufacturers stopped making them. While not the most robust scaler, the MU7000 gets a good score for the price of the TV.

LED Edge Backlight – A Standout Feature

The light flow through created by the Samsung LED backlights has been a major positive for the last couple of years and continues with this UHD offering. It’s one of the TVs best characteristics. Some complain that it can cause screen uniformity issues. To tone down the LED backlight from causing some uneven screen uniformity issues turn the backlight setting (found in the picture settings menu) down to a more reasonable level – around 80% is what we recommend. This will keep screen uniformity issues from arising and you still have plenty of brightness from this bright LED TV. Having powerful LED backlighting in case you need it for super bright room conditions is a plus.

Side Angle Viewing – Much Room for Improvement

Color saturation and contrast do fade when viewing from off center though much more subtly than I expected. In fact, the untrained eye will likely not see much difference in contrast saturation until around 15 degrees off center. Early models of the 4K TVs from Samsung did not look this good from the side and were more in line with standard HD LED TVs. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a drawback, but not as pronounced as it once was. This was probably the single biggest drawback compared to OLED aside from the deeper blacks and richer colors on OLED TVs.

Color Drive Pro/Calibration

The WU7000 employs Samsung’s new Color Drive Pro which is still a step down from the QLED models with Quantum Dot. But it’s a step above the MU6300 with a wider color gamut for potentially capturing more HDR color information. The MU7000 is has an average performance when viewing HDR material, it’s certainly a step behind some of the better models. One thing we like about this TV though is color accuracy and ease of calibration to get a very passable picture.

Refresh Rate Concerns/Motion Blur

The native panel refresh rate is only 60Hz for the MU7000, so you will see some judder on those movie scenes with side to side panning. The backlight manipulated Motion Rate is 120. This is another compromise for a lower priced TV. This is not to be confused with fast action sports performance. Motion blur from sports is actually negligible if non-existent. It’s 24fps material, movies where you will notice the judder the most. You can always add the Telenovela effect by using the Auto Motion Plus feature and get rid of some or all of the judder.

Quick Picture Calibration Settings

Quick Calibration: The following settings are for a medium to dark room light. Since calibrations can vary among different TVs even from the same model number, we no longer post the advanced 10 point White balance calibration settings. However, TV manufacturers have improved at providing a preset picture setting that is pretty close to D65 out of the box. The settings below will get you close. Try the Warm 2 setting for a couple days to get used to it. If after a couple days picture images still seems to warm (reddish tones), change it to the Warm 1 mode. Also, if you are viewing in a brighter room environment, you may prefer the Warm 1 mode.

Picture Mode: Movie
Backlight15Sharpness10
Contrast94Color50
Brightness45TintG50/R50
Expert Settings
Digital Clean ViewOffGamma0
AutoMotion PlusOffRGB OnlyOff
Film ModeOffColor SpaceAuter
HDMI ColorMPEG Noise FilterOff
HDMI Black LevelAutoFilm ModeOff
Dynamic ContrastOffWhite Balance
Color ToneWarm 2

 

Notes: The Backlight setting is the easiest and quickest way to adjust for room light conditions. For brighter rooms move the setting up and darker rooms down. Game Mode may be enabled under Special Viewing Mode. The Digital Clean View mode may be utilized for lower quality and lower resolution content like 480p DVDs, non-HD cable, and streaming TV that is not HD quality.

Auto Motion Plus – Know When to Use this Feature

The Auto Motion Plus feature is something that comes as a blessing and a curse. By default it is set to On in all of the preset picture setting modes. You will likely want to turn it off for streaming content, DVDs, Blu-rays, and TV shows. The feature gives you a dreadful “Telenovela Effect”, making images look unrealistic by eliminating too much natural background blur. Turn it off in the Expert Settings menu and everything will be fine again. You’ll immediately see judder when you disable it, but your eyes will adjust momentarily. The features does not hurt good quality live sports programming so you may want to use it there. Another experiment you may want to try is using it with poor quality DVDs. It can help the viewing experience there, bringing these old movies to life. Just be familiar with how to s and it won’t be a problem.

Another possibly acceptable setting is enabling the feature using the Custom setting and using a low value on the De-Blur portion of the setting.

(Note: to get to the setting click on Menu, swipe across to Picture, Scroll down to Expert Settings and scroll down to AutoMotion Plus.)

Features Rating: 88/100

Samsung Smart Hub

The Smart TV system works fast and efficiently with all the normal Smart TV options. The MU6300 does not get the top Samsung Tizen OS Smart Hub of the top models, but instead gets a similar Smart Hub suite to last year with the same basic design. Samsung hit the mark with their user interface and intuitive navigation. This time around you will see the Game tab as one of the major smart TV pages. The On TV page allows for individual logins. This means different members of the family can have different recommendation settings. This is a big plus for a home with multiple TV users. The Smart Hub for the MU6300 includes a full web browser.

Quad-core Processor

The quad-core processor greatly increases the speed of the Smart TV function and browsing. It is a welcome addition since processing speed and multitasking were slow before the upgrade to the quad-core.

Appearance and Design

The MU6300 has a nice design with a half inch border, but has a glossier finish and inexpensive look and feel to the bezel itself. This is one of the downgrades from the MU7000 above it in the lineup. It has just a bit more depth than the MU7000 at 2.5” and it does not taper from bottom to top like that unit. It has uniform depth. It’s no knockout design, but I like thee lines of the new stand. It’s also very sturdy while looking updated and modern.

Smart Remote

The MU6500 comes with a standard Smart Remote (TM1750A) which works well, but does not voice control.

Sound Quality

There is plenty of volume from the inbuilt 10w down-firing speakers. It’s not what I would call high quality defined audio, but it gets the job done. A sound bar would be a marked improvement.

Other Features

The MU6300 has built in Wifi, and plenty of HDMI inputs (3) and 2 USB inputs. It also has mobile to TV mirroring and a Game Picture Mode for gamers. Though we were not able to test the HDR Premium picture, it’s nice to have some future proofing HDR compatibility included. This just means that it will be able to display some types of HDR content on the screen, even though the TV does not have a wide enough color gamut to capture all the nuances of HDR. This is a good gaming TV with around 28ms input lag when Game Mode is enabled.

Features it Lacks

The UHD Dimming feature really does not quality as local dimming and does little to enhance contrast in various areas of the screen. 3D is not included. 120Hz panel is not included. Even though the MU6300 has HDR compatibility, it does not have a very wide color gamut for enjoying the best benefits of HDR. Even though the MU6300 does a good job of up-conversion, it does not have a high end scaler. The MU6300 includes a scaled down version of Samsung’s Smart Hub rather than the top of the line Tizen OS.

Value Rating 94/100

UN55MU6300 – $789. A smoking deal!

UN65MU6300 – $1169. A great deal, but I might prefer the MU7000 in this size due to appearance and glare.

UN50MU6300 – No price posted yet. Expect $689.

UN43MU6300 – $597. Has a lot of good features for this size TV at a very compelling price.

UN40MU6300 – $449. Same comment as the 43” size above.

Overall Rating 87/100

Quick Specs

  • 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)
  • Contrast Enhancer
  • 4k color drive pro
  • 4K HDR Pro
  • Motion Rate 120 (60Hz native panel with backlight scanning)
  • Speaker output power: 10W x 2
  • Quad Core Processor
  • Samsung Smart View (Mirroring)
  • MHL-compatible HDMI input for viewing photos/videos from a compatible smartphone on the TV’s screen
  • 3 HDMI, 2 USB Connections
  • Wi-Fi Built-in (802.11ac)
  • HEVC decoder included (for watching streamed 4K content)
  • Mobile to TV Mirroring; DLNA
  • Free downloadable apps for iOS and Android™ enable you use a compatible smartphone or tablet as a remote control