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Many television companies have been emerging on the market lately. The past couple of years saw a huge spark in new names entering the competition to create the best TV sets the market has ever seen. It has reached the point where the big guns like Samsung and Sony are no longer the only worthwhile brands in the business. But they’re still arguably at the top of the ladder.
To show this, we’re going to take a look at a very nice release from 2017, Samsung’s UN49MU8000.
This model is similar to the UN50MU6300 that we covered in our “best 50 inch TV” rundown at the end of 2017. Samsung releases models of varying sizes that are each a part of different “series”. The MU6300 is a part of the “6-series” and the MU8000 is part of the “8-series”. While the MU6300 made our top 15 list for being a reliable bestseller that has satisfied countless people, one would logically assume that the 8-series is superior to the 6-series. We’ll find out if those assumptions hold true.
So what are the similarities and differences between the MU6300 and the MU8000?
What they have in common is simple, yet important: ultra high definition at 4K, flat LED screen, compatible with Smart TV functionality and voice interaction.
But the MU8000 has a leg up in several areas, and is more than just a newer and more expensive MU6300 with a different frame and color. It comes with four HDMI ports instead of only three. It has HDR, high dynamic range, functionality with greater quality. The 8-series has what is called “HDR Extreme” while the 6-series has “HDR Pro” only. HDR essentially increases the ratio or range of lighting that can be displayed on a screen. This means that Samsung has increased their televisions’ capabilities to display even more vivid colors, darker blacks and brighter whites.
This is made even more apparent by the difference in the measured “black level”. Black level refers to the ability to display darker scenes without loss of quality or definition, so that as much detail as possible can be retained even in shadowy or nighttime moments. The MU6300’s level is listed as “Essential Black Pro”, while the MU8000’s is “Triple Black”, and it’s a name worthy of what this screen can do.
Playing a horror game or watching a horror movie on this television and soaking up all the detail that lies in the darkness is an unforgettable experience. The color ratio is superior as well, though it is not as impressive as its black contrast. You know Samsung is doing something right when they can make total blackness go from boring to utterly immersive.
Another big difference between these two sets is the frame and the stand, to which we’ve got to give it to the MU8000. The frame of the screen is much sleeker and thinner, and a television with a thinner frame will always be the better option. It generally makes it easier and more appealing to the eye, especially when wall mounting. It will better blend into your wall to make it seem like it is a part of the very foundation of your home. Plus the color on the MU8000 is a nice silver, which will better fit in with most painted wall colors rather than the black that comes on Samsung’s other models.
If you’re not going for wall mounting then you will like the way it looks standing as well. The MU8000 has some of the best television stand legs we have come across for any TV set, ever. They’re easily removable but more importantly they are as stylish and sturdy as TV stands can get. Crafted as cylindrical tubes that have the form of high fashion high heels, these will make sure your flat screen remains totally still on a large and flat surface. Samsung even added in the extra bonus of being able to route your cables through a hallowed out inner space on the left hand side stand. Now that’s style and innovation where you least expect it.
The not so great differences include the fact that it’s only 49 inches instead of 50, though some may argue that this creates slightly superior pixel density. It’s also slightly heavier, weighing 32 pounds instead of 30, though that difference is quite negligible as well. The sound quality will be perfectly suitable for anyone not picky about their audio quality, but audiophiles will already know that a dedicated soundbar will provide superior sound fidelity. Samsung is great at what they do, but audio simply is not one of their specialties.
Many have also noted that unfortunately the viewing angles and the reflections of this screen are not very great, so keep that in mind when positioning your model around your windows, lights and seating area.
With all of this detail on what the MU8000 offers, you might be wondering what kind of person should buy this kind of model, and who would benefit from it the most. Seeing as how the MU8000 is a recent model that’s been on the market for only a relatively short time, it is state of the art and features just about everything that any real TV geek would want. 4K, streaming functionality, HDR and an extremely high refresh rate (240hz) to reduce motion blur makes this model top of the line in many people’s eyes.
If you have a 4K library from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Hulu or Youtube, and have a 4K gaming platform, then the MU8000 will serve you well. If you want some of the best and most authentic color and lighting reproduction in a ~50 inch TV, then this model will easily satisfy your sky high expectations. Samsung’s upscaling technology is generally very good, so even viewing 1080p on this screen will still look accurate and well defined (720p and 480p are not as compatible).
If you plan on doing a lot of streaming then our recommendation would be to use an ethernet cable. The Wi-Fi capability of the MU8000 is solid, but wired connections are always faster, more reliable, and less likely to drop connections. This is even more important if you plan on streaming 4K content as that requires four times as much data to be downloaded.
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