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Samsung QLED TV review: Size and quality matters

Samsung's QLED television range features vivid colours and deep blacks.
Samsung's QLED television range features vivid colours and deep blacks.

THEY used to call it the silly season. Nothing, absolutely nothing, to watch on television, unless you love the cricket.

But the advent of new streaming devices, entertainment and gaming consoles and of course incredible 4K 65 inch television screens, has put an end to the holiday season drought.

I've been testing one of the more modestly priced offerings from Samsung, the 65 inch Q8 QLED curved screen model, and yes, size definitely matters.

I've had a 50 inch 1080 pixel Samsung TV for longer than I can remember. It has served our family very well.

But it doesn't come close to the 4K resolution offering I'm watching now. We have two other TVs in the house. Needless to say, they are getting little use.

To fully appreciate the quantum leap in technology, you really have to watch a 4K HDR Blu-ray movie on it - or play one of the Xbox X One X enhanced games like Forza 7 or Call of Duty: WW2.

When they were first launched at CES in Las Vegas, Samsung made much of the 1500 nit brightness and the 100% colour volume. When you have one in your loungeroom you can see why.

 

While LG's OLED might have a slight edge on black levels, most would struggle to find the difference.

The darkest scenes in a Netflix series come up superbly well, on the Q8C even when streaming at lower resolution.

The curved screen is something some people love and others don't so much. To be honest, I only notice the shape when the TV is off and I'm close to it. The rest of the time, it allows you to view content well from any part of the room.

What I liked most from the outset though, was the ease of setup - out of the box.

Samsung's Smarthub allows you to easily navigate through content from a wide variety of sources, including streaming, gaming and entertainment devices.
Samsung's Smarthub allows you to easily navigate through content from a wide variety of sources, including streaming, gaming and entertainment devices.

I did have my teenage daughter help me - she can read an instruction map better than me. But it was pretty simple - just attach the stand to the huge TV.

There is only one cord from that device to your TV which is hidden in the frame.

You can then plug multiple devices into Samsung's Smarthub.

The wife is happy that there is a lot less clutter.

You then just plug your myriad of devices (DVD or Blu-ray players, speakers, consoles, Foxtel Now, Telstra TV, or Apple TV) into the hub.

Setting up live TV stations is very easy, as is scrolling through multiple devices using Samsung's One Remote.

The Samsung One Remote.
The Samsung One Remote.

The remote could not be more simple with just volume and TV channel controls and a five-way navigational pad which allows you to pause and scroll through channels, content, and devices you have connected. Each device is named on the screen so they are easy to find.

You also have the option of voice control, but I've found it is not as good as the Siri-powered content on Apple 4K TV.

When it comes to sound, Samsung has some great options for home speakers, but the TV speakers themselves are more than adequate.

By most people's standards, this is not a cheap television with an online price tag of around $4500.

But if the latest Samsung TVs last as long as my one did, it's a pretty good long term investment to keep the family entertained.

Topics:  games and gadgets samsung television



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