The curvature of the screen was not enough to degrade the picture, except at the most extreme angles. The colour and brightness was first class. And the black levels were excellent. The localised backlighting was fairly accurate.
On a full black screen with just small elements of brightness, there was a very slight glow around those elements, while the rest of the screen was deep, deep, full black. And that’s watching with the room lights off.
The only slight weakness was that sometimes in a dark room there was a soft reflection of light from the chamfered aluminium bezel, producing the appearance of a ghostly frame around the picture.
I tried it out with UHD content – videos up to 100Mbps from USB and network, plus videos supplied via HDMI – with glorious, sharp and detailed results and perfect performance.
In addition, high resolution photos were properly displayed at the maximum resolution available from the eight megapixel display.
The TV packs several speakers which fire more or less forwards and are provided with a total of sixty watts of power. As far as TV sound goes, this is a good one. But it is a TV, so using any dedicated audio system (or better yet a home theatre system) provides a marked improvement. Samsung has a matching curved sound bar available which could be worth looking into.
But the single best thing is about this TV was its fast start. Hit the power key and within two seconds the last viewed TV station or input was up on the screen.
There are several dimensions to the smart features offered by this TV. First, there’s the interface. In fact there are two of them.
When accessing content on your local network or attached storage – movies, photos or music – you go via the ‘Source’ selection bar which comes up at the top of the screen. However when using apps (eg. ABC iView, YouTube, the web browser and so on) you go via the ‘Smart Hub’ pop-up bar at the bottom of the screen. It took me a while to work out how to invoke the Smart Hub because I mistook the dedicated key on the remote for a logo.
That’s not the only way, though. Every time you touch the ‘pointer’ key on the remote, in addition to the pointer appearing, the four edges of the screens show functions: the top has a button for summoning the main menu, the left provides audio adjustments, the right allows channel selection, and the bottom has a button to invoke the Smart Hub.
After playing around for five minutes the whole thing became really quite intuitive. The smart features of a ‘Smart’ TV really aren’t very useful unless they are easily accessible. These ones are. Two bars floating over the bottom of the screen are available: featured apps and recently used ones.
Some of the apps are loaded by default but plenty more are available through an app called, appropriately, ‘Apps’, which was an online app store. The TV has four gigabytes of memory in which it can store apps. The apps were a few megabytes apiece so you can install plenty. Skype, for example, was shown as 16.1MB. The few I downloaded installed quickly. There are streaming video apps aplenty, things for the kids, vTuner and Pandora and Facebook and Twitter, but not Spotify.
But more things can be added at any time. And probably will be.
The network streaming worked well. YouTube clips ran nicely on my crappy 6Mbps ADSL connection. You are entitled to six months free on Netflix if you buy this (and one of a few other Samsung models) in the qualifying period, and the quality (up to UHD) will depend entirely upon your Internet connection.
Video, music and photo playback worked extremely well on my local network, with the TV identifying all my resources and loading their menus very quickly. Thanks Octa-Core processor. Seeing as how TVs are now acting much like general purpose computers, it’s great to have a processor in up to the task.
The TV’s Screen Mirroring feature, which works with a lot of Android devices, was also much snappier than usual.
A mild weakness was that the pointer remote was not always thoroughly integrated into the unit. It worked in normal TV use and on many apps (for example, it made selecting things in the YouTube app very efficient). But not on some other apps, such as SportsFlow, which required the use of the arrow keys instead, nor on the FreeView+ EPG. This last was a pity because the power of the processor allowed this EPG to work significantly faster than I am used to, thus making it quite useful.
Obviously the Samsung UA65JS9500W is not the TV for those on a tight budget, but if you’re after a large TV with first class picture and excellent smart features, do check it out.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Brilliant picture quality; Fast start; Excellent pointer remote control; Fast and usable OS; An abundance of smart features;
No 3D glasses included; No swivel stand; Default sharpness setting up too high;