What Hi-Fi? Awards 2016 winner: Samsung UE49KS8000 TV


Samsung‘s high-end UHD televisions for this year are here, and we are excited! As to be expected there’s a lot of curved models, which can leave a nasty taste in a few people’s mouths from an aesthetic point of view, myself included. But fear not! The flat panel alternative is incredible.

After unboxing the unit, it’s clear to see that Samsung have put some serious thought into the overall design of the unit and have not cut any corners. The huge chrome arm attached to the base of the TV looks less than fitting as you’re assembling the unit, but once it’s all clipped into place, it’s beautiful. Samsung have introduced their bezel-less 360° design, which basically means it’s a good looking piece of kit from any angle. At the end of the day, it’s as much a piece of furniture as anything else in your living room, so why not opt for something as aesthetically pleasing when it’s in standby as when it’s on?

The KS8000 is available in 49″, 50″, 55″ and 65″ and is an Ultra HD Premium certified screen using edge-lit LED backlighting with a VA 10-bit panel and full HDR10 support. The set also features Quantum dot technology for a wider colour gamut. The set features a whole host of Samsung’s latest and greatest tech. To help this incredible panel deliver such a stunning picture, we have Samsung’s ultra black moth eye filter, precision black local dimming, and a peak brightness over 1000nits, leaving much of its competition in the dust.

Samsung have introduced a new Smart platform which is easier to navigate and still features all our favourite apps; Netflix, Amazon, all catch-up services, plus hundreds more. The new platform is far easier to use than previous years, which is a nice refreshing change.

These high-end TVs can seem daunting to get up and running for the not so tech-savvy customer, but fear not, set-up is a breeze. Pop in Samsung’s One Connect Box, which features 4 HDMI 2.0 inputs, 3 USB ports and optical as well as Bluetooth support for a keyboard, and you’re away. As usual, Samsung’s interface will guide you through and help you along the way.

Samsung KS8000

Lucky me, I got my hands on the Samsung UBDK8500 UHD Blu-ray player to really push the KS8000’s limits, and I was not let down. The player itself comes with a copy of The Martian, an incredibly well-made film featuring Matt Damon stranded on Mars with some potatoes… I’ll say no more, but it’s worth the watch.

As the television is fully HDR compatible, it recognises the disc and switches to HDR mode. Rather than watch the entire film, I skipped to some of the landscape shots of the red planet to see how well the KS8000 dealt with such a dominant colour. I was a little doubtful as its a big ask of this TV, and I tried to trip it over at the first hurdle… this was, however, my first ever viewing of UHD Blu-ray, and it is AMAZING. I was finding detail I had no idea was even there; I’ve seen this film at home in 1080p and loved it, but this is something different, something special. I spent most of my afternoon pointing at rocks and bits of dirt with a passion that only Alan Titchmarsh could rival.

I took a step back and had a good look at the upscaling capabilities with various Blu-rays and Sky HD channels. Whether or not my eyes have become numb to 4k after so long, or televisions genuinely are getting better, the latest Star Wars in 1080p had me in awe. I didn’t feel like I was missing out not watching the UHD version. I was happy, I was excited, and the same goes for any other well made 1080p Blu-ray – don’t be disheartened if you haven’t got the latest tech! the KS8000 looks after your existing collection, and will restore your faith in physical media once more.

Still on the fence? Bring a movie down to any one of our stores, we’ll make you a brew and let the KS8000 do the talking.

To find out more about the KS8000 range, click here.

Author: Garrett, Plymouth store