Samsung BU8500 TV: A Top-Notch Midrange Performance

The Samsung BU8500 is a fantastic mid-range 4K HDR TV that, thanks to a robust smart platform, supports all the major streaming services and provides superb picture quality, a wealth of capabilities, a very low input latency, and a host of other benefits.

Review of the Samsung BU8500: Control, connectors, and design

With a degree of build quality that surpasses its low price, the Samsung BU8500 is the ideal illustration of economies of scale. With a sleek, stylish black chassis and a screen encircled by a thin bezel, it also doesn’t look cheap.

The 65-inch model has only 26mm of depth and rests on two feet that may be turned into a stand by covering them with plastic. However, the appearance is slightly devalued by this. The feet offer sturdy stability and make room for a soundbar installation underneath the screen. If you’d rather, the BU8500 has mounting points at the back for a 400 x 300 VESA bracket.

There are three HDMI inputs, all of which can handle 4K/60Hz, HDR10, HLG, HDR10+, and ALLM, and one of which (HDMI 2) supports eARC. Because it’s a Samsung TV, there isn’t Dolby Vision, but the BU8500’s 50Hz panel prevents it from supporting 4K/120Hz and VRR. A terrestrial tuner, CI slot, optical digital output, two USB 2.0 inputs, two USB 3.0 inputs, and an Ethernet connector for a wired connection are also included. There are two wireless connectivity options: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

In addition to basic navigation controls, volume and channel up/down, as well as direct access buttons for Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and TV Plus, SolarCell remotes offer solar-powered recharge. Standard Samsung controllers are also available.

Review of the Samsung BU8500, a smart TV platform

The fact that Samsung’s entry-level TVs include the entire Tizen smart system is one of their major advantages. The BU8500 is no different, as it has the processing power to enable the platform to be responsive, natural, and simple to use with a full-screen home page.

With Netflix, Prime Video, Now TV, Disney+, Apple TV+, Rakuten, YouTube, and all the UK TV catch-up services available, there is an outstanding array of TV apps available at this price point. Additionally, there is a Universal Guide that can be used to sort through the wide range of available material.
The SmartThings app, a web browser, and Samsung’s TV Plus functionality are additional features. The latter facilitates setup and even offers an extra level of control. There is an integrated smart assistant named Bixby, and the TV also supports Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.

Image quality of the Samsung BU8500 is good

Despite being a lower-end model, the Samsung BU8500 generates an outstanding image thanks to a VA screen that offers a respectable contrast ratio of about 3,200:1 for an LCD TV. There is also some good shadow detail, although there aren’t many angles that are ideal for watching. Additionally, the LED backlighting is largely efficient and results in good screen uniformity.

The BU8500 is shipped in the Standard setting, which is as per usual very bright, has oversaturated colors, and overdoes the blue in the grayscale. Fortunately, switching to the Filmmaker mode right away results in better accuracy, with a greyscale that measures an average Delta E (error) of 1.6, which is significantly lower than the visible threshold of three.

The color accuracy is particularly good, with average errors on a full saturation sweep hitting approximately 1.6, and the gamma is also superb, nearly reflecting our goal curve of 2.4. As a result, the SDR performance is excellent, with colors that appear natural and images that are clearly defined and free of artifacts or other distortions.

Bright highlights, good blacks despite the absence of dimmable zones, and subtle shadow gradation give the whole image a feeling of equilibrium. The BU8500 can render lower-resolution video in a clear and detailed way, allowing viewers to watch standard and high-definition entertainment in addition to native 4K. There is also some efficient image processing and upscaling.

The adoption of a 50Hz refresh rate makes sense in the UK, and the motion performance is generally good for an LCD TV. The BU8500 supports games at 60Hz or 24p without judder or other problems, which is important. While useful for fast-paced sports like football, Picture Clarity offers frame interpolation settings that should be avoided when watching movies and TV shows.

Review of the Samsung BU8500’s HDR performance

While the Samsung BU8500 may be a remarkable TV when handling SDR, its shortcomings become clear when handling HDR. This is particularly true in terms of peak brightness, which in Dynamic mode only reaches 330cd/m2 on both a 10% window and full-field pattern and decreases to roughly 285cd/m2 with the more precise Filmmaker mode.

You should utilize the Filmmaker mode despite the small brightness reduction because it produces photos that are more realistic and better reflect the intentions of the content producer. This is made possible by excellent tone mapping and greyscale conversion that closely follow the PQ curve despite brightness restrictions. Even while they only fully represent 90% of the DCI-P3 spectrum, the colors are also fairly accurate.

Review of the Samsung BU8500: Audio quality

The Samsung BU8500 may have a sleek and stylish appearance, but there isn’t much place for big speakers, which lowers the music quality. That’s not to say the sound is bad, but with only a pair of downward-firing speakers, the BU8500 struggles to produce the type of imposing auditory presence that a contemporary movie deserves on a screen this large.
Although the low-end is extended to some extent, there isn’t any of the deep bass that gives movie soundtrack additional impact, and the mid-range occasionally sounds a little flat. However, the dialogue is delivered in a concentrated and straightforward manner, and the overall delivery is quite even. The 20W of amplification struggles at greater volumes, and the treble can occasionally sound harsh and sibilant.

Review of the Samsung BU8500: Gaming

The 50Hz panel on the Samsung BU8500 prevents it from supporting 4K/120Hz high-frame-rate gaming, as well as VRR (variable refresh rate), Freesync, and the Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro technology present on other Samsung TVs. This makes it a less desirable option as a gaming TV.

The BU8500 does support 4K at 50Hz, HDR10, HDR10+, and HGiG, which is a plus. Additionally, it has ALLM (automatic low latency mode), which, like most Samsung TVs, recognizes a console and switches to the Game mode, producing an exceptionally low input lag of just 10ms.

The Samsung Game Bar, which assembles game-related data, controls, and functions in a handy spot, is also a feature of the BU8500. It appears when a gaming console is found automatically, but it can also be chosen by merely maintaining pressure on the play/pause button.

Verdict on the Samsung BU8500 review

The Samsung BU8500 is a skilled mid-range 4K HDR TV that successfully strikes a balance between reliable performance and a reasonable price. It has a ton of useful functions, looks more costly than it is, and is simple to set up and operate.

With Filmmaker mode, the SDR picture quality is superb, and the visuals are pleasingly accurate. The screen uniformity is good, the processing and upscaling are efficient, and the contrast ratios are respectable for an LCD TV. Due to its limited brightness and color range, HDR isn’t as striking, but accurate delivery and respectable tone mapping enable at least competent performance.

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