As the first truly second-generation UHD TV there's a lot of pressure on the UE65HU8500 to deliver a genuine step forward from last year's UHD debutantes – impressive though they were.
It makes a mark right away with its curved screen, immediately standing out from last year's uniformly flat UHD crowd. Its connections are much more up to UHD speed than those of most of last year's UHD sets, including HDMI 2.0 ports and support for the new H.265 UHD video codec that's going to be used by Netflix (and likely others) for their delivery of UHD content.
There's been a wide-ranging set of improvements to the UE65HU8500's smart features and operating system too. Best of all the set delivers a marked picture quality improvement thanks to improved colour, contrast and upscaling. Even the curve contributes more positives than negatives to the viewing experience.
Add to all this what looks like an aggressive price and Samsung has again set a scarily high standard for its inbound rivals to aim for.
The UE65HU8500's picture quality is spectacular, with both native UHD and upscaled HD content. It also sounds a million miles better than most flat TVs. Its online system is both impressively presented and unusually well stocked with genuinely useful apps – including all of the UK's main terrestrial broadcast catch-up services. Its upgradable connections and processors remain a potent attraction too.
The wealth of control options and smart features the TV carries can feel a bit overwhelming at first. Also, the curve of the screen can exaggerate light reflections, and 3D can look rather noisy if you stick with the provided picture preset values. Finally, input lag is a little high at around 60ms, which could slightly impact your video game performance.
Samsung has kicked off the new UHD TV season in breathtaking style. UE65HU8500 is a set that combines new standards of UHD picture quality with an immensely sophisticated smart system and easily the best sound quality Samsung has ever delivered from a 'mainstream' TV. Even the curve makes a persuasive case for itself.