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Out of the Box
The Samsung 65JU7500 is a curved TV - not a wrap-around hug, more an open-armed arc. If you have only owned a flat TV, you should visit a big box store and see how a curve fits your eye.
Some folks believe that the curved screen helps reduce glare. I'm in the opposite camp and believe the arch captures more reflections.
The difference becomes moot because when the TV is on, all but the brightest reflections disappear. If they distract you, the simple solution is to control the lighting in your room. The TV does not swivel on its stand.
On the middle of the back edge of the JU7500 is a joystick controller which replaces the traditional operational buttons.
As for audio and video connections, this particular model takes a hybrid approach by supplying both a separate connection box and a smaller connection panel on the back of the TV.
The JU7500's top of the line cousin, the JS9500 series has done away with a connection panel on the back of the unit and employs a One Connect box that supplies all the normal connections.
The box then attaches to the back of the TV with one cable that transmits audio and video signals as well as commands. The TV is plugged into a power outlet and sends power to the box through the cable.
The JU7500 series being reviewed here has a smaller box appropriately named the One Connect Mini which provides fewer A/V connections than the full-sized One Connect unit.
The Mini contains four HDMI inputs.
HDMI 3 is MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) friendly. With an MHL cable, you can connect the TV to MHL-compatible devices like tablets and smartphones and transmit photo/music/video to the TV.
HDMI 4 can be used to feed a digital audio signal to an AV receiver that is compatible with Audio Return Channel [ARC] technology. If you are streaming content on your JU7500 from a source like Netflix, ARC is a great way to bypass the overmatched built-in speakers and offload the audio to an AV receiver and a surround sound system.
Next to the HDMI ports is one Digital Audio (Optical) out, which is handy for feeding audio to a sound bar.
On the side of the Mini are two USB 2.0 ports.
On the back of the TV, a small connection panel supplies a LAN port for a wired network connection to your router. The TV does also have an integrated Wi-Fi adapter.
If your legacy source equipment requires Component connections, Samsung supplies a hybrid Component video and audio cable that plugs into the ports on the panel. In addition, an analog audio out minijack is included.
Also on the back is a USB 3.0 port, an ExLink connection and an RF input for an antenna or cable.
This hybrid solution to connections does not offer the same clean one stop convenience of the bigger One Connect box, but at least you can attach all of your HDMI cables without contorting to reach behind the TV.
Also, the One Connect Mini serves as Samsung's future proofing solution. UHD TV technology and standards are quickly evolving, some of the changes can be addressed by the software updates that can be downloaded. Others may require new hardware. With the One Connect system, you can buy a new box with up-to-date hardware and not have to replace the whole TV.
The JU7500 does not supply an integrated video camera. If you want to make Skype video calls, you would need to provide a separate camera.
I do find the Voice Recognition feature handy when I want to search for a program. The supplied Smart Remote Control includes an integrated microphone. Speak into it and the TV deciphers your request with surprising accuracy.
To take full advantage of this Samsung Smart TV, you need to connect it to your home network (via wired or wireless). Not only can you access the numerous apps and streaming content providers, you also expand your connectivity options with devices like computers, media servers, smartphones and tablets.
Samsung organizes all of the apps and content into what they call the Smart Hub, which in 2015, has been reduced to just occupy the bottom portion of the screen. You can personalize the Hub to show only your favorite content providers.
The Smart Hub might be more compact but Samsung still provides a tasty buffet of content providers in the Samsung Apps store, which is divided into multiple categories like Video, Games and Lifestyle.
If you click on the My Content tile in the Smart Hub, you can access photos, videos and music files that are stored in the cloud, your computer or a USB drive.
The menu for viewing photos does not offer as many transitions as earlier versions (10 vs 19) but you still can add music to your slideshow.
I'm surprised that the JS9500 does not automatically upscale my HD resolution photos to UHD size, though you can use the slideshow Options menu to Zoom and fill the screen with the HD image.
This 4K TV is 3D compatible, upscaling HD 3D movies to Ultra HD resolution. Samsung has adopted the active shutter system to view 3D content which employs shutter 3D glasses that require batteries.
One set of glasses comes in the box. I agree with others who have commented that only one set is mighty meager for a TV that costs this much, especially when Samsung used to include four sets in previous models.
You can purchase extra glasses on the Samsung site for $20 (standard battery model below) or $50 (rechargeable battery model on top).
I'll discuss 3D performance on the next page.
For this JU7500, Samsung supplies the same tiny remote control that accompanies the JS9500 TV. It's small (6 x 1.375"), too small for me.
More accurately, the buttons are too close together. The remote is not backlit and in the dark, it's way too easy to hit the Pointer button when you really want to click on the Up arrow key.
Considering that the Samsung designers have pared down the number of buttons (like no Mute or Fast Forward or Fast Reverse keys), you could only hope that they could space out the controls that are still there.
From what I can tell, the only way to access the missing controls is from an on-screen menu. I think this interface design relies too heavily on transferring common remote control functions to an on-screen menu.
The remote provides a Pointer button. Press it and a pointer pops up on the screen which you can navigate around by moving the remote.
The remote also contains a little microphone for voice recognition, which you access by pushing and holding the MENU/123 button.
Voice recognition is extremely helpful when you need to enter search information.
This Samsung 65JS9500 packs in so many features that may be unfamiliar to you, plan on study time. Fortunately, the interactive onscreen E-Manual is well written and informative.
The EPA publishes a searchable list of ENERGY STAR Certified Televisions. (You can find it here.) The Samsung UN65JU7500 is on the list.
As you can see from its Energy Guide label, it fares well when compared to models its size.
Based on the formula that the TV is on five hours a day and in Standby for the other 19, the TV will chew up about 155 kWh.
At 11 cents per kW hour, the Estimated Yearly Energy Cost is $19 (When you consider this is a 65-inch Ultra HD TV, $22 is remarkable.
If you want to wring a little more energy saving, Samsung provides an Eco Solutions sub menu that you can locate in the System menu.
In the review for the Samsung JS9500, I suggested that you pay an installer to come in and calibrate your expensive, high-end TV to match your viewing environment.
This JU7500 may not be as costly or as high tech as the JS9500, but if you want to squeeze the best performance from it, a trained calibrator is a reasonable investment.
If you want to go it alone, the initial setup of this 65-inch Samsung JU7500 fairly quick and easy.
For example, the One Connect Mini box makes the task of plugging in cables much less painful. Of course if you are planning on wall mounting your TV, that is a whole other task requiring tools, carpentry skills and at least two or three strong backs.
Once you are all plugged in, the initial setup should only take you a few minutes.
If you just want to watch the football game or futbol match, you should be good to go.
Though I recommend that you at least take one more step before you settle into the Barcalounger with a bag of chips and salsa. Test and select your favorite Picture Mode.
Click on the MENU/123 button on the remote and at the top of the TV screen, select the Menu option and then the Picture menu which offers four default Picture Modes, Dynamic, Standard, Natural, and Movie.
(Samsung provides two other Picture options. One of them, Entertain, is only available if the TV is attached to a PC. The other is called Stadium/Sports/Soccer mode. The manual states, "When you set Sports Mode [MENU, System, Sports Mode or Soccer Mode, Sports Mode or Soccer Mode] to On, both Picture Mode and Sound Mode are automatically set to Stadium. The TV changes the picture and sound settings so that they are suitable for soccer events." That's the extent of the description, but it's worth trying.)
You can sample each mode with your favorite content. When switching from one mode to another, give yourself a minute or two to adjust.
With the Samsung TVs that I have reviewed over the years, I tend toward the subtler, more cinematic look of the Movie mode. Samsung says, "The Movie mode provides the most accurate image possible and is factory-calibrated to be closest to D6500 Kelvin with Rec 709 (HD) color space and 2.2 gamma."
But I can see the appeal of the default mode of Standard. Standard adds a punch to the picture. In a brightly lit room, Standard might be preferable over Movie, which is more appropriate for a dimly lit home theater environment.
If you are a Movie mode fan and want a true cinematic/non-video look, go into the Picture menu and open up the Picture Options submenu.
Click on Auto Motion Plus and in that submenu, turn it Off. This is the quick and easy method of minimizing the clean "video look" caused by interpolation algorithms applied when Auto Motion Plus is turned On.
Of course, you can fiddle with the Auto Motion Plus options to fine tune its effect. Samsung recommends, "Adjust Auto Motion Plus to the desired setting. The 'Custom' setting allows you to set 'Blur' to 10 to improve motion resolution for video sources, but lets the 24-frame sequence for film sources. Also turn on LED Clear Motion to improve black level and motion resolution without using interpolation or smoothing."
Let's leave the more serious noodling around the Picture Menu to an ISF technician.
Once you have decided on your Picture mode, you should be ready to enjoy your favorite programs, unless you are streaming content providers like Netflix, Amazon Instant Video or MGo. Then you will need to attach your TV to your home network and register those apps and all the others that you want to use.
When you are ready to explore the other features, don't be shy about consulting the on-screen E-Manual.
If all this seems a bit daunting, don't worry. You can ignore all of the extra features and still appreciate the great looking JU7500 Ultra HD curved display.