Samsung UN65JS9000 SUHD TV Review


All video testing is done using CalMAN from SpectraCal. The standard targets are the HDTV Rec.709 colorspace with a gamma using the BT.1886 formula. The target for light output is between 35-40 foot-Lamberts which is ideal for a darker room. Measurements are performed using an i1Pro2 spectrometer and a C6 colorimeter. Patterns are APL 18% using a DVDO AVLabTPG. For the P3 color gamut we are using the P3 color points, the D65 white point, and a gamma using BT.1886. For this review I also have placed the P3 numbers in the Post-Cal fields since I didn’t find a calibration to enhance the displays in this review.

Don’t bother to calibrate the Samsung JS9000 if you buy one. The Movie preset is very accurate out of the box for almost anyone. The grayscale dE2000 average is below 1.0 while the Saturations and Color Checker dE2000 averages are below 3.0. You can look at the color comparators and notice the top and bottoms of the bars are virtually identical. There are a couple of blue shades that are under-saturated in the color checker and have an error above 3.0, but blue is what we are least sensitive to.

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The most impressive thing is the 30,500:1 contrast ratio. Since I used APL 18% test patterns, the Samsung cannot just black out the screen to get this number. It has to actually use local dimming with the LEDs, and use it well to get this result. The last 4K TV here wasn’t able to do this effectively and so we only saw a contrast ratio around 1,200:1. Since contrast ratio is the single most important aspect of image quality, this will give the image more pop than other LCDs with lower contrast ratios.

In the more advanced measurements, the screen uniformity shows that the left side of the display has issues with lighting. This is the edge-lit LED blooming issue I referred to in the review, and it affects that dE2000 error levels when compared to the center of the screen as well. Other parts of the screen have errors, but the left side has the larger errors.

Luminance errors are very low across the board, with an average dE2000 of only 1.5. There is also 96% coverage of the Rec.709 gamut. I did calibrate the JS9000 with all of the controls, but it didn’t manage to improve everything compared to the default settings. Just set brightness, contrast, and sharpness correctly and you should be fine.

Measuring it for the P3 gamut required putting the display into the Native Color mode. I didn’t measure the HDR mode as right now there is no way to trigger it over HDMI, only with custom USB content. Later this year you will be able to do it over HDMI but you will need HDMI 2.0a for that. When HDR is triggered, it automatically puts the display into the Native color gamut, Movie mode, and uses the SMPTE 2084 gamma. Because I couldn’t use HDR mode with test patterns, I used the BT.1886 gamma instead.

The overall results are good overall. Green manages to be oversaturated at the lower end of the saturations but undersaturated at the top end. Yellow and Red have similar issues, and have dE2000 levels above 3.0 for most of the gamut. I can’t tell you if a calibration will fix these until I’m able to trigger HDR mode and try, but attempting to correct them in a non-HDR setting didn’t work for me.

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The Native gamut covers 91.69% of the P3 colorspace which is good. It isn’t perfect coverage, but it’s still much larger than the current Rec.709 HDTV colorspace. I also wasn’t able to measure the maximum light output in HDR mode because of the reasons above. The Samsung JS9000 can do close to 1000 cd/m2 and the JS9000 is going to be less than that. It is still well beyond what a normal TV can do for highlights, but the exact number won’t be known until later this year.

For gamers, you need to enable Game Mode on the Samsung. Otherwise your lag will be 130ms instead of a very reasonable 23ms. Even a bad recreational gamer like me will notice lag at 130ms but at least you can fix it.

Overall the Samsung JS9000 measures very well. The P3 color gamut isn’t as accurate as the Rec.709 one, but it doesn’t have any gigantic errors. Hopefully later this year we will be able to calibrate one in HDR mode to see how well it performs there. TVs keep shipping better calibrated out of the box than ever before, which makes me happy as everyone can get a better picture without hiring a professional calibrator.

Calibration Summary
Measurement Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast Ratio: 30554:1 31676:1
White Level: 41.32 ftL 40.62 ftL
Black Level: 0.0014 ftL 0.0013 ftL
Gamma Point: 2.36 2.36
Average Grayscale dE2000: 0.928 1.064
Average Saturations dE2000: 1.82 2.97
Average Color Checker dE2000: 2.22 3.13
Summary: Pre-calibration the Samsung JS9000 looks fantastic. The contrast ratio of 30,500:1 using APL patterns is incredibly good for an LCD display. The Post-calibration numbers are the P3 gamut pre-calibration numbers, which aren't as good as the Rec.709 ones. Overall the Samsung looks great if you use the Movie mode preset and set the brightness and contrast correctly.