The Samsung 65-inch JS8500 is the kissing cousin of 65JS9500 that I reviewed last year. On paper, the JS9500 has a couple of extra features (like full array backlighting), which make it the flagship.
Both UHD (Ultra High Definition) TVs deliver remarkable picture quality. The major difference is their shape. The JS9500 is curved while this JS8500 series is flat.
The "J" Series TVs are officially part of Samsung's 2015 lineup, but the product cycle pushes them into this new year, with the 2016 "K" Series TVs just rolling out this spring. As this changeover is occurring, you may find some great closeout deals on these J Series models. You will be well rewarded with a package of high-end features and performance with either of these top of the line JS8500 or JS9500 series.
If you have been holding off purchasing a 4K UHD TV because of the lack of native 4K material, 2016 should be the tipping point as far as 4K content. Streaming providers like Netflix and Amazon are expanding their 4K selections. And movie studios are ramping up their 4K mastered output that can be streamed or played in new Ultra HD Blu-ray players like the new Samsung UBD-K8500.
(Editor's Note: Samsung makes three sizes of the JS8500 series of SUHD TVs, this 65-inch and its 55 and 48-inch smaller siblings. Since the three models possess similar specifications, this review can apply to all of them.
When it comes to these 4K TVs, I prefer the larger size screens that luxuriate my eyes in UHD splendor. But currently Samsung is offering the 55 and 48-inch models at bank account easing discounted prices. Decisions, decisions.)
The video performance of the Samsung 65JS8500 is about as good as it gets for 2015 TVs. Playback of native 4K content is remarkable. The integrated audio - even with the added pair of built-in 10W woofers - is O.K. but not up to the quality of the video.
This Wi-Fi equipped TV comes with a store full of apps, along with voice recognition, 3D, Bluetooth, screen mirroring, smart view, MHL and ARC support. About the only thing missing is an integrated video camera for Skyping and controlling the TV by hand motions.
Even without motion control, the bevy of features makes the learning curve for 65JS8500 a little steeper to conquer. That shouldn't necessarily deter you. The initial setup is simple and because the default picture settings are fine, you can be enjoying a great looking picture quickly. When you are ready to explore all of the extras like voice control, expect to set aside study time.
On the Samsung website, their 65-inch JS8500 4K TV lists at a suggested retail price of $4999.99, which in this marketplace is a huge premium for even a top of the line UHD TV. At the time of this writing, Samsung was not selling this sized model on their site. With a quick perusal of online sites, I found it for almost half that (your search may vary). In that price range, this feature rich 65" Smart UHD TV with great picture quality is a good value and nearing bargain territory.
Ratings are relative to when the review was written. The obvious example is Value, what you could purchase for $2000 two years ago or even two months ago would seem like a bad value for that price now. We give very few 5 Star ratings, which we reserve for truly outstanding accomplishment.