Here are the measurements for the Samsung UN65JS8500. Click on each photo to view the graph in a larger window.
The top charts show the TV's color balance, gamma, and total gray-scale Delta Error, below and after calibration. Ideally, the red, green, and blue lines will be as close together as possible to reflect an even color balance. We currently use a gamma target of 2.2 for HDTVs and 2.4 for projectors. The bottom charts show where the six color points fall on the Rec 709 triangle, as well as the luminance error and total Delta Error for each color point.
For both gray scale and color, a Delta Error under 10 is considered tolerable, under five is considered good, and under three is considered imperceptible to the human eye. For more information on our measurement process, check out How We Evaluate and Measure HDTVs.
I feel a bit like a broken record when I review any edge-lit LED/LCD display, as the main downside is almost always the same. Despite its inclusion of local-dimming technology, the UN65JS8500's brightness uniformity is not as good as I'd like it to be for a higher-end display. In darker scenes, the edges of the screen were often lighter than the center; the Cinema Black control does correct for this at the top and bottom, but it doesn't help along the sides...and I sometimes saw some brightness fluctuations in those top/bottom black bars.
Also, this year's local-dimming control seems less precise than last year's, creating more glow (or halo effect) around bright objects that are set against a dark background. This hinders the overall black-level performance compared with the HU8550, which keeps glow to a minimum.
Overall, while the UN65JS8500's black level is good, I expected it to be a little better for an HDR-capable display. This is likely the biggest difference between the UN65JS8500 and the top-shelf UN65JS9500, which has a full-array LED backlighting system with a more advanced and (presumably) more precise local-dimming control. The result will be a TV that is capable of higher peak brightness for HDR content and better black-level performance and brightness uniformity.
Comparison & Competition
A number of new Ultra HD TVs are hitting the market that promise support for a wider color gamut and/or "extended" dynamic range. Panasonic's 65-inch TC-65CX800U also uses an edge-lit panel with local dimming and carries the same $2,999.99 price tag. I'm about to review the 60-inch version of this TV and will have more direct comparisons in that write-up.
LG's 65UF7700 is also priced at $2,999.99; it's an edge-lit model with local dimming and LG's "ULTRA Luminance" extended dynamic range, but it lacks the wide-color gamut of LG's higher-priced Prime Series.
The lowest priced 65-inch Ultra HD TV model in Sony's 2015 lineup is the X850C at $3,499.99, which is purported to offer a wider color gamut, but you have to move up even further in price to the X930C model at $4,499.99 to get support for HDR.
Vizio's Dolby Vision-enabled 65-inch Reference Series LED/LCD with a full-array LED backlight is coming soon, but we don't yet have pricing information. If Vizio follows its usual MO, the price will be lower than similarly featured models.
There's a lot to like about Samsung's UN65JS8500 UHD TV. It offers very good performance for all types of viewing environments, with a highly accurate Movie picture mode that doesn't demand advanced calibration. The new Tizen OS smart TV platform is easy to use, and the TV has an attractively flat, non-curved form factor. Plus, this Ultra HD TV gives you access to both HDR and quantum-dot technology at a lower price point than some of the competitors. That being said, the UN65JS8500 doesn't quite deliver the pristine, videophile-worthy black-level performance of a full-array LED or OLED TV, so those who want to experience the best that HDR can offer should probably look at those types of panels. And, for those who don't care much about HDR and nano crystals, you can find similar- or better-performing non-HDR-capable UHD TVs for less money. That leaves a middle ground of people who want a forward-looking TV with HDR and better color but are prepared to sacrifice a little black-level performance to save a lot of money compared with JS9500. For you, the UN65JS8500 is certainly worth a look.
• Visit our Flat HDTVs category page to read more TV reviews.
• Samsung Adds DTS Headphone:X Technology to New TVs at HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Where Have All the Really Big 1080p TVs Gone? at HomeTheaterReview.com.