How do you choose a TV in today’s market? If you’re like many of us, you head to a big box electronics store, march over to the TV wall, and then your eyes glaze over while trying to discern the difference between the myriad models, all while a LOUD car chase scene assaults your senses.
Some of you might spend an evening or two pouring over online reviews, or just head to your favorite brand’s website and choose the best one you can afford. I’ve offered up advice on how to buy a television in the past, but when shopping for TV for our High Tech Guest Bedroom remodel, I had some specific criteria:
- I wanted it to look hotel-room luxurious (because I’m a good hostess like that),
- I wanted it to be future-proof (because I didn’t want to have to replace it for a while),
- It had to have some “smart” features (because high tech guest bedroom).
- It had to have a remote that didn’t need instructions to use (because good technology choices shouldn’t require a dissertation to explain).
I had narrowed down my choices to a few “reasonable” models and a few “wow” models I wasn’t sure if I could afford when Samsung offered up a killer one that had been on my “wow” list: The UNJS8500, their highest-end flat screen SUHD LCD TV (more on all those acronyms in a moment).
First, a little lingo lesson: UHD stands for “Ultra High Definition” which is the same as the term “4K”. A 4K television has a picture resolution of 2160p, which means it’s double the picture resolution of a 1080p HDTV (which was state of the art just a couple years ago), and three times the resolution of your 720p “standard definition” TV. A lot of this technology is ahead of its time (some streaming services offer content that takes advantage of all these pixels,), but over time more and more high resolution content will be available, and you’ll be glad you have a TV that lets you see everything in sharp focus, whether you’re watching Finding Nemo, Sunday Night Football, or The Tonight Show. The “S” in front of UHD simple denotes that it’s one of Samsung’s Flagship products (like the Samsung Galaxy S6 phone, for example).
Now, at around $1,900, the JS8500 doesn’t have a price tag that reads, “put me in your least-used room!”, but if you’re contemplating buying a TV for your media room, it’s a winner. I’ll offer up some more affordable options below, so stay tuned (see what I did there?)
Okay, let’s take a closer look at the design…
Most TVs these days have a black plastic bezel, which is nice… but the JS8500 has a stainless bezel which makes it looks like I gave it a jazzy picture frame. Love how it adds a bit of metallic detail to the wall that shines even when the TV is off. The TV is also VERY thin, and we were able to mount it on a VERY slim mount, which looks great from the bed, but also really nice from the side you see when you walk in the room. That was really important to me, because some mounts are thick and some TVs have depth and when you see them from the side it’s just a mess of wires and no one wants to see that when they retire to their luxurious guest quarters. Tech should disappear if it’s doing it’s job right.
If you aren’t mounting it on the wall, the TV comes with a futuristic-looking stand that makes the TV look like its floating. This would have been a great option for the dresser it’s currently mounted over, but the wall already had an outlet for the television that was there before, so we wall-mounted it and it looks fabulous. Also worth noting: This TV has the smallest Samsung logo on it that I’ve seen— a classy touch.
When I unpacked the TV I was surprised to see that there weren’t any ports on the back of it, except one that connects to something Samsung calls its OneConnect Mini box. This is a brilliant idea: the ports are on a box that you can replace in the future (instead of the whole TV), when ports are updated and processing speeds are improved. Future-proofing, check.
The remote also met my “easy to use” criteria, in addition to being beautiful to set down on the nightstand. It also has a fun feature— cursor control— that allows you to wave it at the TV like a Nintendo Wii remote and whip it around to select things. For the less adventurous, traditional arrows offer the same functionality, and along with the volume and channel controls, there’s not too much more to know about the remote. Simplicity is key.
If you’re looking a not-curved TV that’s a bit more affordable but the same 55” size, I’d check out the Samsung 4K UHD JU6500: It has all the Smart TV features, 4K resolution, a handsome stand, and the 55” screen is $999, about half the price of the JS8500.
Now that the TV is up on the wall, I’m a bit jealous of my guests. It’s the nicest TV in the house by a long shot— no one should be surprised if I’m up in the middle of the night catching up on Chef’s Table in the guest bedroom… when guests aren’t there, of course.
Thanks to Samsung for providing all products for review and sponsoring this post. Thank YOU for reading and supporting my sponsors: They allow me to create great content at Carley K!
Photos: Daniel Collopy