I just got a UN65HU8550 delivered, and returned the Sharp 80" UQ series I had been evaluating. The UN65HU8550 is just a place holder until the UN75HU8550 is delivered next month, and that will ultimately be "the final" TV I am settling on.
Been through a lot of sets lately, and each one had it's issues. Loved the Panny 65" plasma that has been hanging on the wall for years, but it was never good during daytime parties in a brighter room. Sucking down 650 watts per hour was not helping the case for keeping it, and I was itching for something new in the livingroom.
Wanted to get a UHD set, but did not want to tread water on size, so I tried the Sharp 70" UD1 set. Real UHD, but lousy software from last year (or before that), no h.265, not ability to play any 4K stuff at all except through he HDMI. The set I got also had the worst flash-lighting in all 4 corners I've ever seen (all my other Samsungs are edge-lit too, so my expectations are not unreasonable). No amount of adjustments including turn backlight all the way down would minimize it to not bother me. Just awful, and I consider that set to be defective, but the hump of death on the back of it (preventing from decent looking wall-mounting) ensured I was not going to try another one to see if it looked better.
I had a 70" TQ/SQ series sharp before that (as a placeholder until the UD1 came in). This is their 1080p set that can "play" 4K, but that resolution enhancement stuff never made the picture look any better than a normal 1080p set (a bit worse actually). I liked the set, but the UD1 came in, that set went, and upon returning the UD1, I was convinced to give the 80" Sharp UQ set a try. Decent set, but dark uniformity was a problem and clouding was still evident un the upper-left quadrant of the set in a darker environment. Also, the pseudo 4k upscaling "resolution enhancement" stuff just make the picture look slightly worse than with it turned off. Also, even though this set (and the TQ before it) are 2014 models, neither would play 4k videos from anything but the HDMI ports, so no awesome demos on my thumb-drive would play. Had to rig up a HTPC, and in the end, the pseudo 4K playback was meh. I know, I really just wanted to use these for 1080p, but had to see what 4k looked like on them and how close they got....
...Compared to a true 4K set, not very close. The Samsung UN65HU8550 that is hanging there now is just awesome, and has vastly exceeded expectations on all fronts. Of course, I have to sit closer to notice 4K at a measly 65", so I cannot wait for the 75" to get here in July. If my 75" set is as good of a panel as this 65" panel, it will be a keeper for sure. There was so little I had to change for an initial unmetered rough calibration (black-clipping, white-clipping, color-temp, tweaking some other features). My god, this thing pops, is bright, AND I can see no clouding as all whatsoever with lighting-sensing on, and minimum backlight level of 7 for when my room goes into dark night-mode (still some indirect lighting). Night and day compared to all three Sharps (when it comes to minimizing clouding on an edge-lit unit), and better than my other 4 Samsung panels (1 6-series, 2 7s, and an 8). So, this may be no 9000, but whatever they have done to improve the lighting on it over previous years sets, it's woking from my perspective. Blacks and contrast are an easy match for my plasma in a dark room, and I've never been able to say that until this set (C8000 got close, but no cigar).
All my 4k demos work just fine from my USB3 thumb-drive (one of the USB ports is USB3, so I was pleased with that), and they all look amazing except there is still compression evident in most of them (DL'd from youtube using utility), but I'll take what I can get, and it's not the TV's fault. Elysium trailer was just shocking good on this set, with the black space absolutely matching the letterbox blacks, colors just popping, and so clean and clear right up close on the TV.
The software and smart-TV stuff just blows the 2014 Sharps Smart Central stuff away, to the point of embarrassment. Even it's use of DNLA servers is FAR better, and it could play any of my content (from Plax via DNLA, XBMC via DNLA, etc.) (sorry, no it did not play copy-once SD Homerun Prime stuff, but had no hopes for that anyway). The Sharp would only play the h.264 encoded rips via DLNA, and ignored all the other mkv videos on my Synology DS1812. Now, this is kind of moot since I use the actual Plex app, and XBMC htpc to actually play the movies and don't generally use the DNLA route, but it's interesting to see different smart TV compatibility with these ways of streaming. The Sharps were not good at DNLA, and the Samsung was, if that matters to anyone. the Sharp UD1 (full-UHD) software was laughable, and it's obviously a generation behind the 2014 Sharp sets.
Netflix... Sharp's client was okay (not the full-UHD UD1 set, as that was a joke with an old client), but of course it did not steam the 4K Netflix stuff as 4K (c'mon, if you're going to sell it on the pseudo-4k, at least steam the Netflix stuff as 4k and not 2k). The Samsung set absolutely does, and it is a slightly overall better Netflix client as well.
My one gripe with the Samsung... ARC HDMI port is not recessed like all the other HDMI ports, and just facing straight out the back... really Samsung?! The one port I would use on this set, and it alone prevents flush wall-mounting?! Their engineers should be lined up publicly and all slapped in the face for that. Good thing their wifi is working so darn well on my 5-ghz radio side of router, because the ethernet faces straight out the back too. Anyway, compared to the hump of death (duobass subwoofer) built in the back of the Sharp UD1, I can live with this and have a low-profile 90 adapter on the way (because the 75" set I have on the way is the same in this regards).
I'll do a full metered cal on the 75" when it get's here and do a more comprehensive assessment of that one. However, Samsung's 2014 flat panel lineup is looking good so far.