Simply stellar: hands-on with Samsung’s 2015 Series 9 TV

Every year, televisions get better, and this year, the important technology is quantum dot, also known as nano-crystals, but how does this actually look, and will it make your content shine? We’re going hands-on with Samsung’s cream of the crop to find out.

It seems that every week we talk to people who want to buy a new TV.

“What should I buy?” they ask us, and we in turn ask what they want.

The most common answer is “I want a TV that lasts for the next five or ten years”, and that’s a fair answer when you consider we hold onto our tellies for a long time, generally not giving them up until they’re either on their last legs or a family member wants them. In that last situation, if you’ve owned a TV for a few years, you’ll just end up buying something new and handing the current TV down, because you’ve earned yourself an upgrade, surely.

These days, though, the question of what TV will last you 5 or 10 years isn’t answered with a Full HD TV, but rather an Ultra HD TV, with these new tellies providing a larger resolution, and while the format isn’t quite catered for yet, it’s only a matter of time until we see Ultra HD movies provided to us on a Blu-ray disc, or better yet, some form of digital storage.

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Samsung is ready for that future, and this year has its strongest line-up of TVs yet, ending with the Series 9 SUHD, a TV that not only delivers Ultra HD resolution with upscaling for content that isn’t in 4K, but also a technology called “quantum dot” that will make the colours simultaneously vibrant and natural, delivering something previous Samsung TVs weren’t able to do.

This week, we’ve gone hands-on with one of these TVs, and after spending a few hours with the 65 inch Series 9 — a TV that grabs a price close to the $10K mark — we can tell you what your content at home will look like.

So what will my TV shows look like, and my Blu-rays, and can I watch Netflix?

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TV

In what will probably come as no shock to anyone, yes, you can watch TV broadcasts on your television.

There. We’ve said it.

That being said, you probably shouldn’t, not unless your broadcast is in digital, and your media has been converted into something higher than the low-resolution 480i/480p broadcasts old TVs received, and DVDs were recorded with.

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Simply put, traditional standard definition looks pretty shocking here, evident when we grabbed a DVD of Frasier and loaded it up.

The video is blocky, softness is easily noticed as the TV does what it can to bring a low resolution up to the requirements of an Ultra HD TV, and the video just doesn’t look good at all, telling us that this won’t only be awkward to watch, but so too will any DVD.

Stick to high definition content if you can.

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Digital TV broadcasts fare a little better, that being said, and SBS HD running at 1080i was much clearer on the eyes, thought softness in skin detail could be seen, as could the odd artefact here and there.

Other broadcasts might throw up a bit of a red flag, mind you, as ABC News 24 looked blockier and softer than what we were seeing on SBS HD in our test, but it’s nothing in comparison to the lack of quality being offered from standard definition TV on DVD.

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  1. Australia has a very long way to go and years to catch up with the rest of the world as far as broadband speeds, data allowances and cost are concerned, 40 Gigabytes for one movie as a download is ridiculous on a 100 Gb allowance plan running at 3.8 Mbps max over an ancient copper line 5 km from the nearest exchange ( us-typical suburban ADSL connection), take forever to download and use nearly half your monthly data, its just not going to work for most Australian people because our internet is inadequate and too costly to download or play UHD 4k files or videos on, at this point in time 4K TVs and the cost of them is not justified in Australia…it is way too early for this technology here…perhaps in 5 years or so this country may be ready to embrace and support this technology and when these Liberal d*ckheads running the country with there backward thinking on the NBN and the internet, exit government.

    1. I have over 2 thousand dvd’s. They’re about as useful as a screen door on a submarine now. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get full use out of my UHD TV. I just download 1080p rips of the movies I want to watch, and if any 4k movies are available, I purchase them. Just because you have a large dvd collection, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the benefits of new technology. A better picture, is a better picture. Besides, did you hold off buying a Plasma TV because your VHS collection didn’t look any better on it?

      1. You’re both right. This represents the next change so ultimately the old tech will be left behind. It’s different this time though. The hardware is here already and cheap but the content and delivery is lagging. I bought a cheap 39 inch 4k tv 18 months ago and I’ve used it exclusively as a computer monitor. In that role it’s been staggeringly good. 4k media obviously looks best but I’ve happily watched heaps of dvds, blue rays and internet vids. VLC does it’s best to up convert and I simply accept the results. I often run things in a window at their native resolution. Cheers

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