The Samsung UN65MU8000 is a part of Samsung’s 2014 4K LED TV lineup series 8 and is also a successor of the UN65KS8000 that was released in 2016. Although somewhat unusual, there is no “S” lettering on Samsung’s 2017 Series 8 for the two previous versions, Samsung always used “S” lettering for its Series 8 for “Super” UHD. By being labeled MU (and not MS), the Samsung Series 8 has been downgraded to a mid-tier TV. Additionally when introduced, the UN65MU8000 (you can see the individual review of the Samsung UN65MU8000 here) was being sold for hundreds of dollars less than the UN65KS8000 (you can see the individual review of the Samsung UN65KS8000 here). We’ve seen the price of the UN65KS8000 lowered by hundreds less than the price of the UN65MU8000. So what are the differences between the two — and which is the better choice?
The Short Review of the Samsung UN65KS8000
The Samsung UN65KS8000 is part of the KS8000 series, the lowest priced model of Samsung’s 2016 4K SUHD Lineup. With HDR technology, it supports the HDR 10 format only — the open source HDR format developed by UHD Alliance. Nevertheless, its HDR performance is great on all display specs and meets the minimum recommended standards for fully displaying HDR 10.
There are a number of Samsung’s most advanced technologies incorporated. One of the major technologies is the quantum dot panel that makes the color of the picture displayed on its screen to look saturated. Black level and contrast of the UN65KS8000 is very deep and strong due to the great performance combination of Edge Lit LED backlighting, Local Dimming (Precision Black), Ultra Black Technology, UHD Dimming and other Samsung expertise. In contrast, peak brightness is also very bright due to the Peak Illuminator technology. This advanced combination of saturated color, deep black level, strong contrast, and bright peak brightness, make the picture quality displayed on its screen look very accurate, no matter the light condition of the room where it is viewed. Additionally, the great display specs of the UN65KS8000 make its HDR performance fantastic, and there are few HDR TVs released in 2016 with the certification of Ultra HD Premium that are able to display HDR 10 contents fully like this one.
In addition to an amazing picture quality and great HDR performance, the Samsung UN65KS8000 is also a good choice for watching sports programs and 24p movies due to its low pixel response time and its ability to remove shudder. The UHD Up-scaling engine is reliable and allows you to enjoy lower resolution contents bumping them up to near 4K quality. Additionally, the input lag is very low and makes it a good TV for playing any of your favorite games. And with Tizen OS as its smart TV platform, it also offers attractive and responsive smart TV function with a lot of useful and interesting apps. The downside, since it is a VA TV, there is poor side-viewing angle which is the major downside of the UN65KS8000. The other downside is that it is not equipped with 3D technology.
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The Short Review of the Samsung UN65MU8000
As the successor of the 2017 UN65KS800, the new Samsung UN65MU8000 is lacking some important technologies that make its picture performance not on par as what was offered by the predecessor, especially for picture quality. One of the major technologies lacking is the Quantum Dot panel — instead the UN65MU8000 is powered by 4K Color Drive Extreme Technology. As a result, the color of the picture produced by the UN65MU8000 might still look accurate and it does support a good range on the color gamut, but it’s not as wide of a color range as delivered by the UN65KS8000 series.
On its panel display, the Samsung UN65MU8000 still uses the Edge Lit backlight with local dimming technology. There is also UHD Dimming, Ultra Clear Panel, Triple Black, and other technologies to make the black level deep and the contrast is strong. For improving brightness, it is also powered by Peak Illuminator Pro that makes its peak brightness above average. With good display specs, this makes picture quality of the UN65MU8000 above average and its HDR performance is great, even including one of the best displays in its price range. Additionally, powered by UHD Remastering Engine and 4K HDR Extreme as its HDR processor, the Samsung UN65MU8000 already supports both HDR 10 and HLG format. Nevertheless, because the standardization of HLG is not yet confirmed, you’ll need a firmware update in future once the HLG standard is confirmed.
For handling motion blur and 24p movies, the Samsung UN65MU8000 is powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This makes the picture produced look very smooth when used for watching movies or sports programs. Additionally, it is also equipped with their great UHD Up-scaling engine that allows you to enjoy contents with any resolution with the appearance close to 4K resolution. The other strong point of the UN65MU8000 is about its low input lag that makes it comfortable to be used for playing any kinds of games.
And like its predecessor the UN65KS8000, a poor side viewing angle still becomes a major downside of the UN65MU8000. This means the picture will look degraded once you watch TV from any side viewing angle. The other downside is about 3D technology where there is no 3D technology behind it.
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To help you decide, here’s the comparison for the Samsung UN65KS8000 vs UN65MU8000 Key Specs
|Specs and Features||UN65KS8000||UN65MU8000|
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Panel Type||VA Panel||VA Panel|
|Backlighting||Edge Lit||Edge Lit|
|Dimming Technology||Local Dimming (Precision Black)||Local Dimming (Precision Black)|
|Picture Engine||Information not provided||UHD Remastering Engine|
|HDR Engine||HDR1000||4K HDR Extreme|
|HDR Support||HDR 10||HDR 10|
|Color Technology||Quantum Dot Panel||4K Color Drive Extreme|
|Support 10 Bit||Yes||Yes|
|Ultra Clear Panel||Ultimate||Yes|
|Blacks||Ultra Black||Triple Black|
|Depth Enhancing Technology||Contrast Enhancer||Information not provided|
|Motion Handling||Motion Rate 240||Motion Rate 240|
|Refresh rate||Native 120 Hz||Native 120 Hz|
|Sound Output||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)||40W (10W x 2, Woofer 10W x 2)|
|Price||See today’s price||See today’s price|
Comparing the Samsung UN65MU8000 vs UN65KS8000 Performance
There are some major and minor differences between the Samsung UN65MU8000 and UN5KS800 that has a big impact on the picture quality produced, and one is about quantum dot technology. Since Samsung released QLED TV as the top model of their 2017 lineup, they have removed quantum dot panel technology from Series 8 and Series 9 of their 2017 lineups, including for the UN65MU8000. The result is a color gamut delivered that’s not as wide as what’s delivered by the predecessor UN65KS8000 series. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean the color gamut of the UN65MU8000 is poor. With 4K Color Drive Extreme behind it, the UN65MU8000 is also able to deliver a wide color gamut. In other words, color gamut for the UN65MU8000 is above average, and can deliver more than 90% of DCI P3 color space as the minimum recommendation for displaying HDR 10 contents fully, but even so, the UN65KS8000 with the quantum dot panel can deliver a fuller and wider color gamut. The result is a color picture displayed on the screen of the UN65kS8000 that looks richer than the UN65MU8000 particularly when they are displaying HDR contents. For displaying SDR contents that require Rec.709 color space, both of them show performance that is not much different. Meanwhile, although both of them already support 10 bit depth of color (which makes the color gradient displayed on their screen look very smooth), compared between them, the UN65KS8000 offers slightly better color gradient than the UN65MU8000, especially on darker colors when displaying HDR content.
The differences in the level of black technology, auto depth enhancing, the level of Ultra Clear Panel makes black level and peak brightness reached by each of them to be different. The result, the UN65KS8000 as a lower model can reach slightly deeper black level and a slightly stronger native contrast ratio. But even so, this difference actually is significant enough to make an impact, even when viewed in a dark room. Essentially the black level and contrast ratio delivered by each is deep and strong for LCD / LED TV placing it around 0.02 nits. This certainly is great for HDR contents because it is far deeper than 0.05 nits — the recommendation for displaying HDR 10 contents fully. Black on images looks absolute black so that details of images on shadow or dark scenes looks clearer, even when viewed in a dark room. Additionally this makes the color look consistently accurate in a dark room.
On the other hand, the differences in these technologies also have an impact on peak brightness reached by them. For this case, the Samsung UN65KS8000 as the older model also can reach brighter peak brightness that makes it offer greater HDR performance than the successor UN65MU8000. The impact is only felt when displaying HDR contents in a very bright room where there is a lot of sunlight coming in directly through the windows. When displaying SDR or HDR content in a dark room or a room with normal light, the difference in peak brightness doesn’t have a big impact on the quality of the picture displayed on each of their screens. In other words, peak brightness of the UN65MU8000 is quite bright to fight the glare and makes its HDR performance great, However, the UN65KS8000 with brighter peak brightness has greater HDR performance.
Both are equipped with a great performance UHD Up-scaling engine that allows you to enjoy contents with any resolution with a quality close to 4K quality. This is very useful considering most of the contents available in the market still have 1080p or lower resolution. And a result, the final images in 4K resolution look very sharp and clear with small details preserved well, even when the source is 480p contents such as the older DVD movies. The higher the resolution of the source, of course the final image result will certainly look sharper and clearer.
Unfortunately, you can only enjoy amazing picture quality displayed on each screen if you are watching TV from the center and in front of the screen. As VA TV, poor side viewing angle is a major downside of both. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from side viewing angle, then this should not be a big problem for you.
The Winner: UN65KS8000
Motion Handling and 24p Playbacks
For handling motion blur, 24p movies, and motion interpolation, both of them are equally powered by Motion Rate 240 based on native 120 HZ refresh rate panel. Essentially, their performance in handling motion blur is great and above average. Nevertheless, compared between them, the Samsung UN65MU8000 offers better performance due to its lower pixel response time than the UN65KS8000. On the screen of the UN65MU8000, there is only a short trail following the fast moving object when they are displaying fast moving objects like sports or fast movies while on the screen of the UN65KS8000, a faint trail behind fast moving objects is more noticeable. Meanwhile, talking about their ability when they are playing 24p movies, both of them offer smooth picture quality and are judder-free. Whether the source is native 24p like movies from Blu-Ray Player, or 24p via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, or even 24p via 60p signals like movies from streaming media, judder can be removed without adding “soap opera effect”. Additionally, since both of them have native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, they also already support 30fps / 60 fps motion interpolation. This means that both of them can interpolate lower frame rate contents.
The Winner: UN5MU8000
Inputs / Outputs
Inputs/outputs are identical. As their major connectivity, there are 4 HDMI ports that already support HDCP 2.2, CEC, Audi Return Channel and more. Additionally, they are also equipped with 3 USB Ports as their other major connectivity. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, there are also RF In (Terrestrial), Ethernet, Built In Wi-Fi, Digital Audio Out (optical), and RS 232. Most of their ports are equally not located in the rear or side panel, but they are located on separated box called “One Connect Box Mini”. Meanwhile, talking about their input lag, essentially, both of them have low input lags for any sources under “Game Mode”. This means both of them are great TVs when used for any kind of games with any resolution, even for fast paced games. Nevertheless, under “PC Mode”, the input lag of the UN65MU8000 is lower than the UN65KS8000.
Samsung One Connect Box
The Winner: UN65MU8000
Essentially, the Samsung UN65MU8000 and the UN65KS8000 feature the same smart TV platform with the Tizen OS. Both of them are also supported by the same quad core processor. The difference is about their version where the UN65KS8000 comes with Tizen 2016 and the UN65MU8000 comes with Tizen 2017. In the new version, Tizen OS comes with a more attractive user interface. The performance and ease of navigation, of both of them is equally fast, responsive, and simple. Additionally, apps which are provided by each, are also not very different as those are very complete and diverse. There are VoD Services like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, and many more, including Web Browser. Cloud Games, Screen Mirroring apps, and many more.
Samsung Smart Controller
As the controller, both of them are also equipped with an identical remote control called “Samsung Smart Controller”. It is designed to be comfortable to use with minimalist buttons. This remote is equipped with a built-in microphone for voice navigation and Google Voice Search functionality. Additionally, it can function as a universal remote with tons of IR commands embedded, allowing you to control your other devices connected on your Samsung TV via HDMI ports with the single “Samsung Smart Controller.
The Winner: It’s a Tie!
>> Please click here to see today’s price for the UN65KS8000 <<
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Overall the picture quality of the Samsung UN65KS8000 and the UN65MU8000 is each good for their class. Dark room performance is respectively good due their deep black level, good black uniformity, and ability to have a strong contrast. The color for both also looks very saturated when displaying HDR and SDR contents. Peak brightness is also quite bright for displaying HDR contents stunningly. Combining good picture quality, great performance for handling motion blur, 24p movies, and lower resolution contents, and a low input lag, this makes both the Samsung UN65MU8000 and the UN65KS8000 to be good TVs for mixed usage, whether you’re watching TV Shows, Movies, Sports, or playing games — no matter the light condition of the room where they are used. The only downside is the poor side viewing angle — if you don’t often watch TV from a side viewing angle, then this is not a big issue.
So which is the better choice? We know that you want to know, so here we go… The Samsung UN65KS8000 is usually less expensive than the UN65MU8000. Considering picture quality that is offered by each, I think the UN65KS8000 is a better choice than the UN65MU8000. In addition to its price being cheaper, it also offers better picture quality even though its inferior to the UN65MU8000 in terms of motion handling and input lag under PC mode. But of course, because it is 2016 model, if you choose UN65KS8000, you should buy it immediately considering it will be discontinued by the manufacturer. But even so, this doesn’t mean UN65MU8000 is a bad choice. In addition to it being a newer model and offering good picture quality, it also offers better motion handling and lower input lag in PC mode. Now the decision yours to make and should be based according to your preferences.
>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Samsung UN65KS8000 <<
>> Please click here to see today’s price for the Samsung UN65MU8000 <<
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