Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Conclusion
  3. Q&A
Reviewed on May 30, 2014

Samsung HU8550
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings
This tv has been discontinued.
It was replaced by the Samsung JS8500

The Samsung HU8550 LED TV is the best 2014 flat screen 4k UHD TV that we tested. It is a great 4k TV, with excellent picture quality. Its only flaw is the loss of color saturation when viewed at an angle.

Pros
  • Great overall picture quality, both in pitch black and very bright rooms.
Cons
  • Limited viewing angle. While the picture can still be seen, it losses color saturation.

Test Results

Check Price

50" UN50HU8550 SEE PRICE
55" UN55HU8550 SEE PRICE
60" UN60HU8550 SEE PRICE
65" UN65HU8550 SEE PRICE
75" UN75HU8550 SEE PRICE

Conclusion SEE PRICE

There is no doubt that the Samsung HU8550 LED TV is a great TV. It is currently the best 4k flat TV you can buy. If it is within your budget, go for it without thinking about it.

Usage Ratings
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Questions & Answers

23 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
305
For the HU8550, could you guys post your exact calibration settings? I know every TV could be different, but honestly, without any settings to go off of, someone who's looking for better picture quality other than presets has no idea where to look. Thanks
Our calibration settings are posted in a subpage of this review.
26
Why is it when I want a 4k TV I keep being told to spend my money on 1080p because lack of content? We will be keeping our sets for years. Content will be around.
Widespread 4k content is further away than you think. Most TV shows are still only recorded in 1080i, and a lot of them are only transmitted in 720p. Even if they are produced in 4k, transmission will still be a problem. A Blu-ray movie is 20Gb at a bitrate of 20 Mb/s. Keeping the same compression per pixel, a 4k movie will be 80Gb and have a bitrate of 80Mb/s. Currently, no consumer physical media can hold 80Gb. Streaming 4k will probably come first, but keep in mind that services like Youtube or Netflix compress their signals heavily, so while it might have a 4k resolution, there will be a lot of compression artifacts that negate the higher resolution. For example, Netflix 1080p content has a bit rate of a maximum of 6Mb/s, which is three times less than Blu-ray. By the time 4k content is available, you could buy a completely new TV with the money you saved by going with a 1080p today, because 4k TVs will have come down in price.
Even if you want to be future proof, don't forget also that you need to sit very close to your TV to actually see the higher resolution.
18
I'm trying to decide between the Samsung HU8550 and the F9000 with the upgraded 2014 One Connect box that just came out. Is the F9000 going to have the better picture, since it was the flagship model? Or will the HU8550, since it's a newer generation? Specifically, which has better blacks/dimming, and better 4K upscaling? Price is not an issue; I'm just looking for the best picture. Thank you for the great site, and for your help.
No, the picture quality is most likely the same. Samsung doesn't change the technology of their LCD panels and doesn't produce different panels every year. They wouldn't be profitable if they were doing so. They just keep producing the same panels for a few years to recoup the cost of their factories. They change the stuff around the panel, and then also the software. Therefore, blacks are the same. Local dimming isn't worth it in either case, because it is edge-lit (we disabled this setting in our test because it was useless).
18
Actually this is not a question. I think comparing a high-end Samsung TV with a very low-end LG offering is not fair. Please make a fair comparison.
Agreed. At the time of our video review, we hadn't tested any high end IPS-based TVs. We still wanted to compare it to an IPS to show the contrast difference, so we chose a lower-end LG. It isn't the best comparison, but better than nothing. Note that all IPS panels have pretty much the same contrast. For example, the high-end Sony W950B that we just finished testing has about the same blacks as a low-end LG, so the comparison is still a bit useful.
15
I just purchased the HU8550 65' last week. While watching an Amazon show it freezes, and at the same time the volume stops working. Is this a problem with the TV?
Unlikely. It is probably because of buffering (caused by either a slow connection or the Amazon app not being very efficient).
12
What's the best auto motion plus setting for watching sports on the Series 8 UHD 8550 TV?
It depends how much screen artifacts bother you. If you don't want any, turn it off completely. Alternatively, if you don't mind flickering or a darker screen, set it to Custom and activate LED motion. This has the lowest amount of blur. If you don't mind occasional visual inconsistencies, set it to smooth.
11
So I have a deposit down on an UN75HU8550, however the rating for lag has me a little concerned. I mostly play games like NHL, Forza, Halo, Titanfall, etc. I'm not huge into the competitive side of things and am more interested in single player/story stuff (with the exception of NHL). Presently, I'm on a Sony 55HX850 and have zero issues. Should I be concerned? Should I be switching to the 75" H7150?
The input lag is higher than with your current Sony. It is playable, and casual gamers won't mind it. It seems that you fall in between, though, so it is a tough call. What you could do is try increasing the lag on your Sony and seeing if it bothers you. To do that, put the TV into a mode other than "Game" and enable a bunch of settings like MotionFlow. This will probably increase the input lag to within the 80-100ms range, which should give you an idea.
11
Is the 75" Samsung HDCP 2.2 compliant?
Yes, but not on all HDMI ports.
9
Been struggling with what large TV to go with 70+ inch. I'm looking at this model, but my biggest concerns are juddering while watching football or other sports (I don't play video games), reflection its a fairly bright room, and the need for 4k. The viewing distance will likely be about 16 ft. Advice?
The HU8550 is great in your case, then. Judder rarely happens on TVs nowadays (especially high-end). It has a glossy screen, but it actually reflects less ambient light. At 16 feet, though, you are a bit far to benefit from 4k, so you might want to get the cheaper UN75H7150 instead.
7
Thanks for the review. Couple questions to clarify:
1. What is the delay on the HU8550 with no video processing? (i.e. a straight 4K signal from an HDMI cable to a computer running 4K resolution).
2. Sony is now entering the market with their own second-tier response to Samsung, namely the XBR-49X850b and larger variants. Have you had a chance to compare the X850b models with the HU8550 models? For example, XBR-49X850b and 50HU8550 are roughly comparable in price. Which is higher quality? Which has lower input lag for use as a monitor? If you haven't tested this, extrapolations using your experience with past Sony 4K models might also be helpful.
1) We haven't measured this because our current input lag tool only supports 1080p and we didn't do the two screens method.
2) Not yet. We plan on reviewing it later this summer. We expect the input lag to be lower on the Sony and for the picture quality to be in the same ballpark as the Samsung HU8550.
7
I bought the Samsung UN60HU8550. I noticed it has a place for the One Connect. Is it worth buying the One Connect for this TV, and what benefits would I get buying the One Connect for this TV?
You probably don't need one. It is basically just a HUB to provide more inputs. In a few years, you could buy one to support new standards specifications that aren't currently supported natively by the TV.
7
I have the UN55HU8550 and I noticed that the 3D function is not available when I access Netflix through the Smart Hub or the web. Is there any way I can watch Netflix in 3D on that TV?
The apps themselves determine if they want to allow 3D or not. Currently, both the web browser and the Netflix app don't support it. Your only hopes are to wait for an update, or stream Netflix via another device connected to your TV.
6
Is this TV good for gaming? I play a lot of games online and the input lag concerns me. Should I go for an h7150 model instead?
The input lag is really high and it is noticeable for most people. Go for the H7150 instead.
5
The Samsung UN85HU8550FXZA 85 inch is now available. When do you plan on reviewing this? It is under $10K, which breaks a significant barrier to obtaining a 4K of this size. Also, what is your recommendation for the closest distance I should plan on placing my theater seats to an 85 inch 4K TV?
I doubt we will review the 85", as we have reviewed the 65" already (we prefer to focus on covering more models vs multiple sizes of the same models). As for the distance, as long as it is closer than 12 feet (to see the 4k), you should be fine. The actual distance for 4k is more of a personal preference, because you need to sit very close to see its limit. You can follow the IMAX standard if you want. It varies a little bit, but most IMAX theaters have a field of view of 50 ° (back seat) to 110° (front seat). Most people opt for the 60° seats, which correspond to about six feet for an 85" (yes, it is very close, because the goal of IMAX is to be immersed).
5
I currently have a Sony KDS-60A3000 that has lost blue color (green blob issue). So I'm looking to upgrade, and I don't buy TVs very often. My sitting distance is in the 7.5 to 8.5 range. My first choice would be the HU8550 60". It has 4k, 3D, and good apps, but as you have said it has HDCP 2.2 chips that aren't full bandwidth, which is holding HDMI 2.0 back. Next year I understand new full bandwidth HDCP 2.2 chips are coming. My second choice is the H7150 65" or 60". Its only problem is its lack of 4k future proofing. How do you feel about the ability of the HU8550 to use One Connect? Would it contain the new chips, and would the TV be able to display the full bandwidth 4k? I'd like your thoughts on the One Connect. The way I see it, it would be cheaper in the long run to buy the HU8550 and get a One Connect in the future, versus buying the H7150 and another TV in the future so I can get 4k once the spec has settled out. It would depend on the One Connect, though. What do you think?
Yes, One Connect should be a good way to ensure a little bit of future proofing of the HU8550. The question is whether the One Connect will really support all future specifications. It will probably support the first batch, but not the ones that come after that. In Samsung's own words: "Future proof pertains to UHD 4K standards only; it does not apply to TV panel technology or other future high-resolution standards.". Samsung will probably do the minimum, but it might be enough. Being an early adopter always poses certain risks, so it depends on whether you are willing to take that risk.
4
If the Samsung HU8550 75" and the Samsung h7150 75" were the same price, which would you recommend? Right now they are very close in price.
Assuming the same price, get the UN75HU8550. Aside from 4k they are basically the same, so there is no reason not to get the higher resolution if they are the same price.
3
Which size did you review?
65".
3
My case falls in between a couple of your answered questions. I really need to upgrade my TV, and I thought I should get a 4k set while doing so. My viewing distance is about 9-20 feet. I'd prefer a 75" screen, but if I'm reading your previous answers correctly, it seems that while I'm too close for the Samsung h7150's 1080p resolution, the hu8550 showing 1080p content won't be much better, if it is at all. Do you think 9-10' is too close for the 75" h7150? Should I buy the 65" h7150 as a placeholder and come back for a 75" 4k TV in a few years, when both tech and content availability have improved? The current price on a 75" hu8550 is $2,500 more than the 65" version, and $3,500 more than the 65" h7150. Thanks for the great site, and thanks also for any advice you can provide me.
You will be indeed very close to it. That is not bad in itself, but at that distance, 4k native content would look better. But I would do what you suggested: buy the 75" H7150. In a few years, upgrade to 4k. Current 4k TVs don't fully support the HDMI 2 specs anyway (they can claim HDMI 2 even if they only partially support it). So upgrading your TV in a few years will ensure better 4k compatibility, and the price will have dropped.
3
I got a Samsung HU8550. 4k is good, but somehow I am not really happy with all the HD channels. CNN, FOX, HG, and a few other channels are good, but others are not. Do you think up-scaling is the culprit? Can I turn off up-scaling on the 8550? At this point, I really don't care about 4k content. I want to make sure regular channels are decent enough. I don't mind exchanging this for a H7150 or Sony W850b. Which one do you suggest? Do you have any initial impression of the Vizio P series? Appreciate your time and help.
Upscaling is not the culprit (and you can't turn it off, by the way). The problem is the HD channels are just too low quality. Getting a 1080p TV will make the picture less soft, but the overall quality is still limited by the low quality source. The 1080p TV will just look more pixelated (assuming you are sitting close to your TV). Some people like this, others don't. Check out our article on upscaling to see what I am referring to. So if you do decide to go for a 1080p TV instead, don't expect a huge difference. So, in that case, the W850B is great. We haven't tested the Vizio P Series yet.
2
Since the TV does its own upconversion, what Blu-ray would you recommend matching up with the HU8550 to maximize video and sound quality without introducing unnecessary features?
Unfortunately, we don't test Blu-ray players yet, so we can't recommend one.
2
Has the hu8550 been optimized to perform as well as possible in game mode/any mode in regards to the input lag? I game competitively and have adapted quite well to the 55c8000, which I believe is 30-50ms, and 70+ would be almost double the input lag. I am just curious about whether these TVs have been optimized to post the BEST possible MS numbers.
Yes, we always try a bunch of settings combinations, especially when we get a high number like this one. With Samsung TVs, it always ends with the TV in either Game mode or PC mode.
2
Any issues with 1080i motion blur or artifacts on the HU8550? Some 2013 Samsung UHD TV reviews noted that those TVs were much better at displaying native UHD than HD. They had noted blurring and artifacts when viewing 1080i on those TVs. With so much material still broadcast in 720p/1080i, this seems to be the priority. Did your review material include significant 1080i, or was it mostly targeting Blu-ray and UHD sources? Trying to decide between H7150 and HU8550, where the priority is avoiding blur and motion artifacts. This site is amazing. Thanks
We didn't test 1080i content; most of our testing was done in 1080p. Native 4k will of course look better than 1080i, and even 1080p.
1
Do I need to upgrade to HDMI 2.0 cables in order for the TV to upscale?
No.
Q&A for this section is now closed.