A Review of the Samsung UN78HU9000 Curved 78-Inch 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D LED TV
As one of the first 4K TVs from Samsung to come equipped with an HEVC decoder, the Samsung UN78HU9000 was way ahead of many UHD TV models in being a piece of technology that’s ready for the future.
And this is just part of its appeal. In addition to being a top of the line television, the HU9000 is an excellent 4K TV all around. It comes loaded with some of the latest features for the delivery of a truly superior entertainment experience which really makes the 4K resolution that the screen offers shine in the way it’s supposed to.
We’re talking here about specific benefits like spectacularly deep black levels, extremely accurate color delivery and screen illumination that’s good enough not to lose its vibrancy even when viewed under all sorts of varied conditions. Furthermore, with a diagonal screen size of 78 inches, the HU9000 is a beast that offers one truly immersive experience.
The good parts of the HU9000 are numerous enough to make this television really stand out in overall quality even by the high standards of Samsung’s famous 4K TVs. For starters, the HU9000 offers a picture quality that’s definitely good enough to make it flagship TV even by 4K TV standards. Yes, Samsung is now introducing better 4K TVs with even more interesting new display technologies but this set holds its own within its class when compared to comparable models from any other brand, including Sony’s X900B or LGs non-OLED 4K models.
Furthermore, the HU9000 gives you one of the best remote controls on the market for using a Smart TV, comes with an OS that’s loaded with useful apps, includes a built-in camera, vice recognition and gesture control systems and comes with an excellent set of connectivity features such as Screen Mirroring and Smart View that both allow users to stream content from the TV to other screens on household devices or to stream mobile device and PC content to the TV’s giant 4K screen.
Other display features such as the Ultra Clear Panel and screen curvature reduce glare remarkably and offer some truly brilliant images on the screen while local dimming technology create an exquisite overall contrast in the TV. Then there are the interactive qualities of the Smart TV Platform and the accompanying Smart Hub; both of these work together to create a smooth, highly intuitive user experience that works quickly and without freezing thanks to the internal quad core processor.
Overall, the UN78HU9000 is one of Samsung’s very best established 4K TVs and offers an extremely robust, comprehensive package of technologies for giving you an extraordinarily superior viewing experience.
4.3 - 93 Reviews
Despite its truly superb performance, the HU9000 isn’t without its defects, though they mostly don’t involve the TV’s technology itself.
Most glaring is the price. This is not a cheap 4K TV and at its retail price tag, you could get your hands on some even better 4K TVs with only slightly smaller screen sizes. And if you want to go for something like a Vizio 4K TV, you’d be paying thousands of dollars less for features and technology that are only moderately inferior in most ways but actually superior in some others such as the screen backlighting.
Furthermore, for such an expensive 4K TV, the HU9000 still uses edge-lit LED backlighting. This is a problem we’ve mentioned with a number of other high-end 4K TVs and its presence here is particularly unfortunate given the price of this TV. Again, much cheaper UHD sets are now managing to include full-array LED backlighting so there’s no reason why Samsung shouldn’t be able to do the same with the HU9000.
Finally, there is the matter of the screen curvature. This is promoted as a major benefit of this and other Samsung models but in practical reality, it adds very little to the “immersion” effect of the screen and only serves to reduce glare a bit. Despite this, we can’t help but feel that a hefty chunk of the TV’s price is being justified by this gimmicky feature.
The UN78HU9000 is a truly superb K4 ultra HD TV in almost every aspect of its specs and internal features. Because of this, you won’t at all be disappointed once you’ve got one sitting in your own living room. However, its price really does leave a lot to be desired and isn’t justified by what you’re getting, particularly when compared to newer 4K TV sets that are emerging with excellent features and much lower prices.
• Screen size: 78 diagonal inches
• Smart TV: Yes
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate
• Screen Lighting: Edge-lit LED backlighting with Local dimming
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes built-in WiFi, Bluetooth and WiFi Direct
• Remotes: stnadard Samsung button remote and Smart Touch remote with voice recognition controls/touchpad
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, 3 USB, Ethernet, Component, mini jack audio out, RF in, Component/composite, optical digital audio output
• Sound: 70W (10W x 2, Tweeter 10W x 2, Woofer 15W x 2) with DTS Studio Sound and Premium Sound
• Dynamic Contrast Ratio: over 1 million
• Other Display Features: One Connect external box, Connectshare, Smart Evolution Ready, motion control
• TV weight with/without stand: 101.2 lb lbs/115.7 lb lbs
• Dimensions: 69.1” x 40.3” x 5.7” inches; With stand: 69.1” x 42.1” x 14.6” inches
• Processor: Quad core
It’s hard to know where to start with the numerous highlights that can be pointed out in the HU9000. Here are some of its key benefits.
Starting off, we have the fact that, as a Samsung 4K TV, the HU9000 is part of a model range that is the most content compatible on the entire market. What we mean by this is that Samsung’s 4K TVs in general (particularly the late 2014 and 2015 models) give you access to the greatest range of 4K content services of all 4K TVs sold today --even if you might have to endure a few unusual advertising glitches here and there.
This is the case at least for now because there are at least two new lines of ultra HD content, from M-Go and Comcast’s Xfinity, that are only available to Samsung models like the HU9000. Sure, Sony’s 4K TVs are compatible with that company’s own 4K VoD service, which is the largest of its kind anywhere but Samsung’s HU9000 and its cousins are more versatile.
Furthermore, the HEVC decoding and HDCP 2.2 compatibility of the 9000 make it fully ready for accessing online streaming ultra HD content from Netflix and Amazon.com’s Prime Instant Video services. This is a great benefit if you happen to also have an internet connection with more than 20Mbps of velocity running to your home.
Moving beyond content itself, the viewing technologies packed into the HU9000 are diverse and highly advanced, giving the TV a display quality that fares well against even more modern (but much more expensive) technologies like OLED and Quantum dots. In this area, the TV offers features like Ultra Clear Panel which is designed to minimize glare and greatly enhance visual vibrancy.
Then we also have the UHD upscaling engine, which is possibly the best in the industry and after that, there are other display features like the Auto Depth Enhancer, UHD Dimming, PurColor, Precision Black Local Dimming and the Wide Color Enhancer Plus, all of which work together to deliver an astonishingly high quality of vibrancy, contrast, clarity and color realism to a TV that comes close to competing with LG’s OLED TVs in terms of visual realism on the screen.
Finally, the innovative interface design of the HU9000 is made to keep content and web browsing as intuitive and accessible as possible. The Smart TV platform of the TV comes with the innovative Samsung Smart Hub design and its five screens that pack all of your favorite apps, content, programming and suggested entertainment into an easily browsable menu of options.
To make these browsing systems even more effective at their job, there is also the S-Recommendation engine that learns from your previous selections and offers new ones based on your preferences and on top of this, we can add in browsing controls like gesture (motion) control, voice recognition browsing and a superb one-click remote control. All of these systems work together to make your TV browsing experience both flexible and very clean.
The UN78HU9000 includes all the standard visual specs that are to be expected for its class: It offers a 4K ultra HD resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (as opposed to “True” 4K at 4096 x 2160 pixels), offers a 120 Hz native refresh rate, a clear motion rate of 1440 and gives users the benefit of its UHD Upscaling engine.
The upscaling engine merits special mention because it’s known to be particularly powerful on Samsung TVs and HD or Full HD content is improved until it really does look like it could almost have native 4K resolution while even non-HD video gets a significant boost in its color vibrancy and clarity.
Other visual technologies that make watching movies and shows on this TV a real pleasure also abound.
First of all, there is the Auto Depth Enhancer, a feature that analyzes different regions of the screen imagery in a movie or show to automatically adjust contrast for a much deeper perception of dimensionality. The intended effect is a more natural looking video sequence.
Then there’s the UHD Dimming and Local Dimming features that work together to create the sharpest possible contrast while at the same time eliminating any “halo”-like effects at the edges of bright areas that touch against dark regions of the screen visuals.
Next up is the PurColor engine, which is built into the TV for improving the overall expression of colors to the point where they resemble as much as possible what was originally intended during filming. The resulting effect creates a much more natural looking color palette by focusing on optimizing not just the primary colors of red, green and blue but by also working to improve the expression of secondaries like Magenta, Cyan and Yellow.
Finally, we have the Ultra Clear Panel, which has been described by various users as being a total winner on the HU9000. This technology really improves visual vibrancy by absorbing reflective light and displaying much deeper colors across the spectrum. It also does an excellent job of brightening clear areas for maximum display of details without hindering the darker areas at the same time. The added touch of realism that this creates is genuinely impressive.
Connectivity in the HU9000 comes as a very complete package of specs and features that ensures full functionality for all sorts of web-based and broadcast content in all its forms.
For starters, the TV comes with all the usual connections such as WiFi, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth, Ethernet connections, HDMI 2.0 and USB. Furthermore, it’s also HDCP 2.2 compatible so that the copy protected content you do receive from online and broadcast sources will be playable on your screen.
In terms of connected apps and other entertainment technologies, you get access to a full library of video and content apps, a fully functional web browser and the option of subscribing to Samsung’s own 4K movie and programming content service.
The price of the UN78HU9000 is probably its single biggest negative point. This TV is fantastic but it’s also quite a bit more expensive than it needs to be in the current market. Currently, it’s retailing for about $6,997.99 on Amazon.com and although we are talking about a 78 inch 4K TV from none other than Samsung, a price cut of at least $1000 would look a lot more reasonable. This particular model starts at $2,997.99 for the 55-inch.
4.3 - 93 Reviews
As we’d already covered in some detail above, the HU9000 is one fantastic TV and there really is very, very little to fault in its design and internal technology. If you’re looking for a 4K television that will make you proud to own it, this TV has got you covered.
The problems with it revolve almost entirely around the price. Considering that it doesn’t even include full-array LED backlighting, the HU9000 could easily retail for $1000 less and the curved screen that’s part of the reason for its steeper cost doesn’t offer any of the display benefits that have been hyped by Samsung itself.
• One excellent viewing experience
• Packed with display enhancement technologies
• Future-proofed design
• Full connectivity
• Excellent built-in speakers
• Great Smart TV UI with Smart Hub and remote control
• Beautifully large screen
• Too expensive
• Side-angle viewing isn’t as great as it could be
• Lacks full-array LED backlighting