- Freesat tuner built in
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Excellent out of the box picture quality
- User friendly Smart features
- No scart connection
- Viewing angles good, but not great
Full Review – Samsung UE40KU6400
Out of the box the stand requires connecting to the panel using the screws provided. Although not as simple as other models on the market it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to assemble, plug in and fire up. In the box you will also find two remotes and the batteries to go with them. As with all of the latest Samsung TVs one is your generic remote whilst the other smaller remote is for a better user experience for smart features which we will explore later in the review.
The most important aspect of any TV is the picture quality. All the other features are nice, but if it doesn’t look and perform great then what’s the point? So before we really dive into the picture quality I want to set the scene. I tested this model in my living room which has large bay windows providing a very bright environment. I also used it for a week in the evening when dark out giving a great comparison. With that in mind let’s look at the individual performance aspects.
So to begin, reflections. The UE40KU6400 has a glossy screen and the edge lit LEDs can provide a very bright backlit image if you push up the brightness. I could see reflections of my windows in the screen at certain angles but the same is true for my top of the range Sony, so I don’t think it can be escaped. It’s only the dark scenes where it becomes apparent if you look for it, otherwise the Samsung performed very well.
For upscaling I tested one of my old Alien dvds vurses a blue ray of the Dark Knight Returns. The picture quality on both was strong. You could see the difference between a natural 4K image and the upscaled standard def movie but to give the TV credit, the Samsung UHD upscaling engine does a stellar job. If you really look close to the image you can see some grain between light and dark objects, but in order to buff an image to that quality, there are doing to be some discrepancies. As for the native 4K image, the colour pallet looks good and the UHD dimming means you get a great contrast, especially for such a movie where a lot goes on in the shadows.
Viewing angles are reasonable. For the best image you need to be direct, or close to direct onto the TV. As you move around past a 35 degree angle you can notice the difference, especially in blacks, becoming a dark grey. Not bad for viewing at angles, but not the best on the market either. Motion is fluid and the TV handles the blur well. There is some blur in fast panning action scenes but nothing to be concerned with.
Next up, gaming capabilities. I like many others love a good console session when the wife allows it. There’s just no better use for a TV than a game of rocket league in the evening. The Samsung UE40KU6400 has a game mode that strips away a lot of the post image processing you would want for watching movies to provide the lowest possible input lag. With the game mode active it reduces the painful 129ms lag time down to just 19ms. Overall I had no issues with either lag or motion blur when panning the camera view around at a fast pace. Overall I would highly recommend this TV if you also intend to use it for gaming!
The Samsung is equipped with 2 x 10W speakers at each side behind the panel. An added bonus is the down firing bass reflex capabilities. In English it means you get a little extra kick from the speakers on the lower base tones that you would expect from a subwoofer. Overall the speakers do a good job in the living room, giving clear audio that’s more than adequate for casual viewing. If however you plan to use this TV as a main set in the living room, it goes without saying that regardless of the TV for a real immersive experience it’s highly advised to hook up a soundbar or external sound system.
If you do have bluetooth speakers then you will be pleased to know that the UE40KU6400 supports sound connect allowing you to pair with the TV. This also works for bluetooth headphones if you want a more personal experience. You also have a digital optical output for the more conventional wired sound solution.
The Samsung has a wireless receiver built in allowing you to connect to your home network with ease. During setup you will be prompted to select your network and provide the wireless pin to get the smart features up and running. In the box you will also find a smart hub remote making navigation of the smart features even easier; assuming you leave the second remote with reaching distance. The TV uses the Tizen operating system which has consistently proven itself to be one of the best on the market. The user interface is tidy and responsive. An added bonus is the voice control allowing you to search using a microphone on the smart remote. I found this to be a great feature when using the YouTube app; it’s far more user friendly than an onscreen keyboard.
Last but not least is the audio connectivity. I already mentioned this previously in the sound section but the Samsung has bluetooth pairing as well as the conventional wired digital audio output. It is worth noting however that there is no 3.5mm headphone jack. Although you can pair up bluetooth headphones, a wired alternative is a no go.
As for smart features the Tizen operating system can’t be faulted. Samsung have stuck with it for a few years now and it’s refined interface makes for a very low learning curve. Even grandma can load up an episode of the bake off on catch-up which is probably the best endorsement I could give for usability.
Talking of catch-up services the TVs smart interface is well equipped with all the major network apps you could ask for, including iplayer, ITV hub, Demand 4 and Netflix amongst others.
The Samsung UE40KU6400 is packed full of features. Some of the most notable we have discussed above include the bluetooth connectivity and freesat tuner. These often won’t be found as standard on other mid range brands. You do also get extended PVR functionality, allowing you to pause and rewind live TV if you hook up an external storage device though one of the USB connections. You can also use them directly for playback of pictures, video or audio. Finally you can use the bluetooth to pair a keyboard for web browsing if you plan on using that feature regularly.