Samsung MU7000 4K UHD HDR TV Review (UN40MU7000, UN49MU7000, UN55MU7000, UN65MU7000)
- Excellent color delivery
- Superb black levels and contrast
- Beautiful design
- Great connectivity
- Superb input lag for console gamers
- Weak brightness levels
- Poor motion handling almost across the board
- No local dimming
- Better TVs exist at the same price
The Bottom Line
We really like the Samsung MU7000. It’s not quite as premium-level as the pricier MU8000 and it lacks some of the latter’s more robust features and superior capacity for brightness but this is one fine high mid-range 4K HDR TV with plenty to offer both fans of HDR movies and any lover of solid 4K and HD home entertainment.
Samsung’s 2017 4K TV lineup is a direct succession to the company’s 2016 4K HDR TVs in most ways, with the new QLED models being the direct successors to the 2016 SUHD lineup and the new MU-Series TVs being the replacements for the 2016 KU-Series televisions, but with some new and considerably better additions that weren’t the case in the 2016 KU TVs. The MU7000 is not one of these new additions. In fact, it’s very nearly the direct replacement for the 2016 KU7000 which we mostly liked from last year and it features almost all of the same specs and even a nearly identical design to its predecessor. In fact, the MU7000 is so similar to the KU7000 in all major performance metrics that we’d almost be tempted to call both the same TV but with a new model number for this year. Almost tempted, but not quite, we’d like to think that Samsung at last tried to improve some things in the 2017 model though our review testing doesn’t seem to indicate this except in a few crucial areas, most notably this TV’s gaming and display performance.
Thus, we can say the following: because the KU7000 was indeed one great mid-range HDR 4K TV with some truly excellent color performance, the MU7000 can safely be declared an excellent 4K HDR TV even if it is almost identical to its predecessor. Furthermore, if you don’t already own a KU7000, then this is probably the slightly better model to go for, particularly if you’re a fan of 4K gaming and console gaming of any kind.
There are a couple of exceptionally good and many very good aspects of the MU7000 that we definitely took note of. Most of these involve this model’s display performance but others include its gaming connectivity chops and smart features. Let’s get down to the specifics of each, starting with the most visible and important positive aspects:
Great Physical Design
First and foremost, the MU7000 is one wonderfully built 4K TV. Not only is it rather beautiful looking with its elegantly minimalist and sleek appearance, it’s also fairly sturdy, thinly bordered for maximum display roominess and comes with a support stand that’s not only solid but also narrow enough to fit on a wider array of counter or table tops (two support stand types available depending on where this TV is being sold). We particularly like the borders of the MU7000’S display surface since they’re only 0.5 inches wide and thus really help to reinforce the impression of a floating window into whatever you’re watching instead of an actual display, especially when the TV is being enjoyed in a darkened room. The entire body of the MU7000 has a burnished or shiny metallic finish and is largely surfaced in metal instead of plastic as it the case in the cheaper MU6300. Furthermore, all connectivity ports are easily accessible, being located vertically along one side of the back of the TV where they can be easily reached without having to do a lot of moving around behind this model. Quit basically, the MU7000 model delivers a highly ergonomic and stylish look with functionality baked into it and it would look great in pretty much any home entertainment space.
Superb Color delivery
The MU7000 is the cheapest of Samsung’s 2017 4K HDR TVs with true full high dynamic range color delivery, meaning that it offers up both wide color gamut with more than 90% DCI-P3 color gamut performance and 10-bit color. The combination of these two specs for this model’s display during playback of actual HDR10 high dynamic range video from streaming or hard media sources (4K Blu-rays for example) means a much richer, more vibrant and in many ways more realistic viewing experience that will make you actually appreciate some of the striking difference between HDR content and ordinary SDR content formats from before. Additionally, the inclusion of full HDR color does a lot to compensate for this 4K TV model’s lack of other key high dynamic range-friendly aspects like robust local dimming or high peak brightness levels. On the other hand, the lack of these latter aspects does slightly diminish the MU7000’S overall color volume delivery but not nearly as badly as is the case in the cheaper MU6300, though the pricier MU8000 delivers WCG for HDR movies even better still.
Awesome Black Levels
Where the MU7000 4K HDR TV models really excel is in their delivery of extremely deep rich black levels that anybody could love. This is a VA (Vertical Alignment) panel 4K HDR TV so deeper blacks are par for the course due to its screen’s internal design but the MU7000 manages to excel even by these standards and especially for an edge-lit 4K TV model, delivering an exceptional level of black uniformity and one of the higher levels of display contrast we’ve seen in a 4K TV from Samsung so far, with a native contrast ratio that’s well above 6,000:1. This level of contrast will make dark movie scenes look exceptionally good even in well-lit rooms and despite this model’s lack of local dimming. That’s actually quite an impressive achievement for a 4K TV with no local dimming, edge-lit LED backlights and the relatively weak peak brightness of this model (more on that shortly).
Serious Gaming Chops
The MU7000’s single most powerful feature is in our view this model’s superb level of performance as a console gaming 4K TV. Not only does it offer exceptionally low input lag while in its Game Mode or PC mode, it also does this across a very broad range of resolution, color support and even HDR levels. This is characteristic of most Samsung 4K TVs we’ve reviewed for at least a couple of years now but some models score particularly well on this front over their rivals. The MU7000 is a good example of this. For 1080p content at 60Hz, 1080p content with 4:4:4 color, 4K resolution in all color formats and 4K resolution with HDR and 8 bit HDR activated, the MU7000 delivers excellent input lag levels of 21 milliseconds or less very consistently. It’s generally great display chops and HDR color further serve to make playing console games and particularly 4K (or upscaled 4K) console games on this TV in HDR a particularly beautiful experience. In other words, the MU7000 would make a fantastic 4K TV for owners of consoles like the PlayStation 4 Pro, Microsoft Xbox One X and Microsoft Xbox One S.
Smart TV Platform and Other Details
Finally, we love Samsung’s fantastic Tizen smart TV platform. We’ve liked it a lot since it first came out for 4K TVs from this brand in 2015 but in the 2017 editions of the company’s 4K TV’s Tizen is better than ever, with a very user-friendly smart apps handling experience, little freezing up and some great, very easy access to a wide range of 4K and other entertainment media apps. Furthermore, Tizen is advertisement free in this particular TV. Samsung has also improved the smart platforms overall usability while also giving neat features like voice control to the MU7000’s exceptionally user-friendly smart remote.
A final detail that we love about the MU7000 is the quality of Samsung’s upscaling engine for this and all of the company’s other 4K HDR TVs. This particular spec seems to be universally good among all name brand 4K TVs we’ve reviewed to sate but it’s worth mentioning for the sake of all that majority of native non-4K content you’re likely to watch in this television model. Quite simply, HD and even 720p and SD content sources will indeed look better on the MU7000’s screen than they would in any ordinary HDTV in our view and the 4K resolution of this model is a valuable benefit for more than just full native 4K video sources.
4.7 – 4 Reviews
The MU7000, as one of Samsung’s lower priced midrange 4K TVs from the 2017 lineup is definitely not without a couple of major flaws and some minor ones. We don’t consider any of this 4K TV model’s deficiencies to be deal breakers for anyone who wants a robust 4K TV at a decent price but they do definitely take some of the potential value this model could have away from it considering the level of display performance competition among other 4K TVs from other brands at the same or even cheaper prices in this range. Here are the main weaknesses of this particular model.
Most of all, the MU7000 suffers from a seriously underwhelming level of peak and sustained brightness. This is definitely not what we expected for a 2017 model that’s priced higher than its 2016 KU7000 counterpart. In fact, not only does this particular model not perform better than the 2016 model in any real way, it even underperforms compared to its predecessor in some measurements of display luminosity. Again, this is the single biggest disappointment of the MU7000. That said, the overall brightness of the TV is decent and for viewing in a darkened room it will work just fine for most content but if you’re expecting some serious HDR brilliance on this front, forget about it with this model. The MU8000 outperforms the MU7000 with double this model’s brightness and if we compare the MU7000 to any of Vizio’s or TCL’s absolutely stunning 2017 HDR mid-range 4K TVs, we get the same sort of disappointment. The low peak brightness is particularly notable when you use this model in a bright room.
Moving along, we come down to the second major weak spot in the MU7000’s overall performance. This is its motion handling. While the motion blur control of this 4K TV is decent with a response time of 19.5ms, even this spec, which most newer 4K TVs manage to deliver well, underperforms that of almost any other comparable competitor or even Samsung 4K TV from 2016 or 2017. If we move onto other motion handling specs like motion interpolation (the TV’s ability to fit lower frame rate content to its native 60Hz display panel) and judder handling for 24p movie content sources, the MU7000 disappoints quite badly under test conditions. Viewers who aren’t sensitive to judder might not even notice these latter problems but they’re there and create a notably less smooth flow of motion during fast-paced action in movies, sportscasts and even TV programming. Overall, the MU7000 is possibly the worst motion handling performer we’ve yet reviewed out of all of Samsung’s 2017 4K TVs.
Local Dimming and Color Defects
There is no local dimming in the MU7000. On the one hand, this isn’t a major problem because this particular TV really does a remarkably good job of delivering rich, deep black levels with little blooming or clouding but on the other hand, it does prevent certain aspects of dimming which would otherwise allow the TV to really kick the contrast up a further notch and even deliver richer dark color variations. This of course brings us to a related factor, which is that the MU7000, despite being a TV with 10-bit color delivery, doesn’t quite manage to avoid banding and incomplete rendering of darker colors and even some particularly bright ones.
The Samsung MU7000 is a very good piece of home theater technology. Users who aren’t used to watching their movies and programming on truly premium 4K TVs like Samsung’s own Q7F or maybe Sony X940E model will probably like the MU7000 very much while even seasoned 4K HDR TV owners will at least like this model’s performance to a reasonable degree.
Key TV Specs
- Screen sizes: 40 inch UN40MU7000, 49 inch UN49MU7000, 55 inch UN55MU7000, 65 inch UN65MU7000 Model being reviewed is 55 inches.
- Smart TV: Tizen Smart TV platform with
- HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
- VP9 Included. Yes
- HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
- HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
- HDR Support: Yes, HDR10, Hybrid Log Gamma
- Refresh Rate: 60Hz native refresh rate
- Screen Lighting: edge-lit LED backlighting (top and bottom) with local dimming
- Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
- Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
- Remotes: Samsung Smart Remote
- Connectivity: 4 HDMI (all of them 2.0a and HDCP 2.2) ports, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Digital Audio Out
- Sound: 20W (10W x 2) with Dolby™ Digital Plus, DTS Premium Sound 5.1
- Contrast Ratio: 6,350 : 1 (native, real contrast)
- Black Level maximum: 0.019 cd/m2
- 3D Technology: N/A
- TV dimensions (55 inch model): 48.6″ x 28.2″ x 2.2″ inches w/o stand, 48.6″ x 30.9″ x 13.2″ w stand
- TV weight (55 inch model): 37.3 lbs w/ Stand, 41.9 lbs without stand
- Processor: Quad-Core Processor
4.7 – 4 Reviews
Key Display Metrics
The MU7000 is a better 4K HDR TV than its similar but considerably cheaper cousin the MU6300 while being not quite as good as the next-up model MU8000 in many other crucial ways. This pretty much corresponds with the different pricing structures of these TVs. More specifically and as we’ve already indicated above, this model offers similar levels of black performance and peak brightness but compensates for this with far superior color performance thanks to the inclusion of wide color gamut and 90%+ DCI-P3 color space coverage. On the other hand, while the MU7000 performers superbly on some things like color, black performance and as a gaming 4K TV, its underperformance on brightness and motion handling weakens this models quality and especially so when you compare it to similarly price competitor models in this level of the 4K HDR TV market. That said, users who aren’t used to using high-end premium 4K TVs will probably consider the MU7000’s performance to be a lot better than any they’ve ever seen in any non-4K TV or really cheap 4K TVs and many older models from before 2015. Let’s get down to some detailed display specs.
Black Level, Local Dimming and Contrast:
Samsung has given the MU7000 some truly spectacular black performance. The black uniformity of this TV’s screen is superb and shows only barely visible, minimal clouding, which is all the more impressive to see in an edge-lit model such as this one. Furthermore, the MU7000 delivers a superb contrast ratio of 6,355:1 and despite having no local dimming, does a remarkably good job of delivering sharp, bloom-free borders between bright content and dark shaded areas in the movies or whatnot that you’re likely to watch on it. This is especially the case when the MU7000 is used to show off 4K HDR content. This model’s black level maximum of 0.019 nits is also well within HDR10 standards parameters and it really shows. It’s basically a great model for showing off just how good Samsung’s VA TV display panels are at blocking backlight shine through their pixel filters.
By far the weakest overall display specs of the MU7000 are found in its measurements for display brightness, with virtually no difference between how much brightness this model can deliver in either HDR or SDR modes. In fact, bizarrely enough, the MU7000 outputs WEAKER brightness readings in its HDR mode than it dos when used for SDR content viewing. In other words, at least as far as requirements for dynamic range between bright and dark go for HDR content, the MU7000 sort of sucks at rendering them and is saved only by its awesome black levels and excellent HDR color performance. However, what peak and sustained brightness it does produce isn’t terrible, it’s just low by HDR TV standards. This means that users who are used to non-HDR 4K TVs or just watching regular content in a nicely dimmed room should still be happy with the brightness performance of this model even though putting it side-by-side with almost any other brand’s premium HDR TVs and even some mid-range models that shine a lot brighter would quickly show how much worse the MU7000 performs, especially during high contrast scenes. A television like any of Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs would totally blow this model out of the water and even mid-range Vizio P-Series TVs or TCL’s new P-Series models (which both cost roughly the same as this Samsung TV model) seriously outperform the MU7000.
Also, to clarify, peak brightness is the maximum possible spot HDR or SDR luminosity of the display or a section of it measured in nits (or cd/m2, which is the same thing) under different conditions. Sustained brightness is the highest possible sustained HDR or SDR brightness that the TV screen can manage over different conditions or areas of illuminated display. Here’s a rundown of key measurements for both below:
- Overall SDR peak brightness for normal content: 341 nits
- Peak 2% display area display SDR brightness: 207 nits
- Peak 10% display area SDR brightness: 372 nits
- Peak 100% display area SDR brightness: 364 nits
- Sustained 10% SDR Brightness: 362 nits
- Sustained 100% SDR brightness: 359 nits
- Overall HDR peak brightness for normal content: 339 nits
- Peak 2% display area display HDR brightness: 202 nits
- Peak 10% display area HDR brightness: 373 nits
- Peak 100% display area HDR brightness: 362 nits
- Sustained 10% HDR Brightness: 359 nits
- Sustained 100% HDR brightness: 356 nits
The MU7000 is a very good, maybe even excellent model at color delivery. We’ve seen better color and especially HDR wide color gamut performance from other major mid-range Samsung and Sony 4K TVs but this model comes very close to delivering ideal metrics in this area of its display specs. DCI-P3 wide color gamut space is represented to 92% of its total area and the MU7000 manages excellent Wide balance delta E, Color delta E and Gamma after a bit of picture settings calibration. The readings for all of these are, respectively: 0.20, 1.29 and 2.18.These are very good readings and allow for some great color accuracy in how content is shown. The MU7000 is also a 10-bit color TV, meaning that it can faithfully represent 1.07 billion RGB color variations. This it does very well and with only minimal banding between color tone differences. Only with some darker colors did we notice a bit of banding but it’s hardly anything to get worried about.
Motion Handling & Upscaling:
After brightness output, the second major weakness of the MU7000 lies in how well it handles motion. Before we break down a bit better why this is the case, we have to explain that the following criticism apply mostly to test conditions and won’t really be heavily noticeable to most viewers under normal household conditions. Only a seasoned or particularly sensitive eye is going to really get bothered by some of the following little defects in how well the MU7000 handles motion. Comparing this TV’s performance side-by-side with that of a much more premium model with far better motion interpolation and blur control would also let you see the difference in how the MU7000 underperforms.
Moving down to the details. The 7000 delivers good but not great motion blur control, with a response time of 19.5ms, which is notably worse than what we’re used to in many 4K TVs but which isn’t that bad overall. This model also can’t interpolate motion from lower frame rate content sources very well at all. Any non-60Hz movie or other source of video will show some judder if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing. On the other hand, as we stated above, most users might not even notice the small details that these measurements really represent during ordinary home use.
Finally, like all Samsung 4K TVs we’ve reviewed to-date, the MU7000 upscales non-4K content sources wonderfully. This applies especially to 1080p video from well-mastered streaming media sources or Blu-ray discs.
The following are the connectivity options of all models of the Samsung MU7000. All major advanced content connectivity specs are included and this TV is fully capable of console gaming and PC monitor use in all major resolution formats, frame rates and color subsampling modes. Average input lag for 4K content and 4K HDR content in Game Mode sits at between 19 and 21 ms, with support for 4:4:4 subsampling and 60Hz at the same input lag. 4K at 60Hz with 4:4:4 color sampling and 8-bit HDR is also supported at 21.5ms. 1080p game content from consoles also comes with an excellent input lag of 20.4ms.
- HDMI : 4 (All come with HDCP 2.2 and full HDMI 2.0a capacity)
- USB : 3 (USB 3.0)
- Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
- Analog Audio Out RCA : 1
- Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
- Ethernet : 1
The MU7000 TV models also offer audio connectivity in the following types
- 5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
- 5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
- 5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
- 5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
4.7 – 4 Reviews
Samsung is selling the MU7000 for the following prices at the time of this writing. Bear in mind that these are subject to sometimes frequent downward change and it’s a good idea to click the following Amazon link(s) for real-time pricing and all available discounts on this excellent 4K HDR television model.