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First Look: Samsung UNHU9000: Curved TV a flat-out gimmick

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First Look: Samsung UNHU9000: Curved TV a flat-out gimmick

3:07 /

Although it does help reduce reflections somewhat, the curved shape of Samsung's UNHU9000 4K TV does nothing else to improve image quality, and in some subtle ways actually impairs it. And it costs a whole lot more than a flat TV.

[MUSIC] Hello, I'm David Katzmaier with CNet, and next to me is the world's first 4K curved LZ LCD TV. This is Samsung's best TV for 2014, it's the HU9000 series. I happen to be next to a 65-inch member. There's also a 55 and a 79-incher in the series. This is a really, really nice looking television externally. It's got Samsung's patented all picture look around the edges, a really, really thin bezel. Nice silver finish, and of course, a silver stand beneath it. The stand is curved to kind of accentuate that radius. It's pretty much identical to the radius of the television. Samsung tells the idea seating distance is pretty much where you wanna sit, although, you know, ideally you do wanna be a little bit closer to this [UNKNOWN] TV to experience what Samsung calls that immersion. In my experience, that immersion really isn't that immersive. There's really no major difference in watching this TV versus watching a flat TV. So you do that a little bit of a distortion when you watch tv. You can see a little bit of a bow tie effect slightly with the edges a little bigger than the middle. There're some other distortions that you can move off angle. There again, relatively subtle, the curve is pretty cool looking in person and specially when you look at it from the side, you show to somebody, hey, look at my new cool curve TV. But in practice in terms of picture quality, we don't really have that big of a benefit. But one exception here that does reduce reflection somewhat if you have a really reflective room with a lot of light in the background, this TV will catch fewer of them than a flat TV, but aside from that the curve really isn't that big of a deal. This TV has all the features you could ask for. It's got a built-in camera, it's got Samsung's patented Smart TV suite, it's got this fancy remote control that's got motion control on its a little bit like a Nintendo Wiimote. Nice part about that remote, you don't need to aim it at the television. You go around back, the inputs are special on this TV as well. There's none in the back of the television. In fact, the inputs are all removed to a separate box Samsung calls One Connect. Which is this little silver box here. It's got four HDMI. A smattering of USB on it. Of course, all of those HDMI ports can handle 4K video at 50 frames per second. If something new comes down the road, Samsung promises to have future One Connect boxes that'll handles those different kinda activity types and smart TV suite. Another extra on this TV is this little 4K content pack. So, if only a few movies in here, including The Counselor and GI Joe, and World War Z. They're actually in 4K, though, so you can demo by plugging this little box into the One Connect USB's port. And get some 4K video right away. On the flip side, there really isn't much other 4K content available. There is Netflix available on 4K. You can stream House of Cards Season Two and Breaking Bad, but aside from that, there's really not that much 4K video out there. On the other hand, the Samsung TV looks great with pretty much any resolution source. Excellent black levels, thanks to the best local dimming I've tested on any Samsung TV. The set also has very good color and video processing, so all told you're going to get a great picture out of this set. So even with the curve the HD9000 is definitely one of the best performing 4K TVs I tested this year. Not quite the best. But extremely good. Course it'll cost you a lot of money. And once again, that curve isn't really gonna affect your image quality that much at all in either direction. That's a quick look at Samsung's HU9000 high-end 4K curved television for 2014. I'm David Katzmaier with CNET.

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