Samsung NU8500 LED TV Calibration Settings
These are the settings we used to calibrate the Samsung 55" UN55NU8500. For the most part, we expect these settings to be valid for the 65" UN65NU8500 as well.
First turn off all of the 'Eco Solution' settings so that the backlight level does not change during calibration. It will also prevent the backlight changing depending on the ambient light in your room.
For movies and TV content, the 'Movie' picture mode gave us the most accurate results out of the box. The results are closest to our calibration targets and also to what the content creators intended.
To get to our target luminosity of 100cd/m² that we use for calibration, we set the 'Backlight' setting at 10. Changing this setting has no impact on picture quality so if you find this too dim, you should change it to your liking. Set the 'Brightness' to 1 and the 'Contrast' to 45. Set the 'Sharpness' to 0 to avoid adding any sharpening. Set "Color' to 25 and the 'Tint (G/R)' to their default values of '0'.
Turn the 'Digital Clean View' to ‘off’, unless you are watching some older low-resolution content, and you want to make the content smoother and with fewer compression artifacts, in which case set it to ‘on’. Set 'Contrast Enhancer' to ‘off’, so as not to add any additional picture processing.
Set 'Local Dimming' to 'Low' for the calibration (usually, we turn it off for the calibration, but like most Samsung TVs, it is not possible for the NU8500). We calibrate with the lowest setting possible for consistency, but we recommend setting the local dimming to 'High'.
Judder control and Motion Interpolation (Soap Opera Effect)
The 'Auto Motion Plus Settings' sub-menu controls the motion interpolation and how the TV deals with judder. It is also known as the 'Soap Opera Effect', and if turned ‘off’, the TV won't be able to remove judder from any sources (Blu-ray players, native apps or cable boxes). For the best judder-free movie experience, set the 'Auto Motion Plus' setting to 'Custom', set the 'Blur Reduction' to 0, set 'Judder Reduction' to 0 and leave the 'LED Clear Motion' unticked. This won't add any soap opera effect.
The 'Blur Reduction' and 'Judder Reduction' sliders control motion interpolation. The TV can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120Hz. The 'Judder Reduction' slider affects 30 fps or lower content, and the 'Blur Reduction' slider affects 60fps content. For both sliders, you can adjust the setting to your liking to add more or less soap opera effect.
We selected the 'Warm2' color tone since it was the closest to our calibration goal, but you can change it depending on your preferences.
The gamma setting adjustment was set to +2 since it was the closest to our calibration goal. The TV will automatically set the Gamma type depending on the content. You should only adjust the gamma curve with the slider (plus or minus) if you find the black in dark scenes not deep enough or if there is a black crush.
It is preferable to leave the 'Color space' setting to 'Auto'. When set to ‘Auto’, the color space changes automatically to match the type of content you are watching. Setting the Color Space to 'Custom' will allow calibrating the TV for SDR content. Normally we do not recommend doing this as the TV is already fairly accurate out of the box. If you set the Color Space to 'Custom' you will have to adjust the settings each time you change from SDR to HDR.
For watching HDR content via an HDMI connection, it is important to set the 'HDMI UHD Color' on for each HDMI input that will receive the HDR content. This will allow the HDMI port to receive all the bandwidth needed for HDR and instructs the TV to expect a 10-bit color signal on that input. If left ‘off’, some devices will not detect the NU8500 as being compatible with HDR. For HDR content, it is also preferable to set the 'Backlight' to maximum, set 'Local Dimming' to 'High' and set the 'Color Space Settings' to 'Auto'.
To enable chroma subsampling when playing from a PC, set the input icon to 'PC' under the 'Input Device Manager' submenu. This will automatically disable almost all image processing to ensure the best possible input lag. 'HDMI UHD Color' must also be enabled for the HDMI port the PC is connected to.
Within PC mode some settings will change, including 'Sharpness'. While in PC Mode sharpness defaults to 10, which is the neutral setting with no added sharpness. It is not possible to add sharpness. If you reduce the setting, the image will soften.
To enable Game Mode, select 'External Device Manager' from the 'General' menu. Then select 'Game Mode Settings'. Set 'Game Mode' to 'On'. If you have a supported game console (currently PS4 or Xbox One) the TV will have an 'Auto' option; when enabled, the NU8500 will automatically enter game mode when a game is detected.
Game Motion Settings
On the NU8500, there are new options for Game Mode including the ability to interpolate lower frame rate games up to 120Hz. To enable motion interpolation select 'Game Motion Plus Settings'. From there you can adjust the 'Blur Reduction' and 'Judder Reduction' sliders to whichever you prefer. To interpolate low frame rate games up to 60 Hz, set 'Judder Reduction' to 10, and 'Blur Reduction' to 0. To interpolate up to 120 Hz, set both sliders to 10. There is a small increase in input lag when using these options, but it is still low.
HDR Gaming Settings
For HDR gaming, set the same HDMI settings mentioned in the HDR settings and game settings above. Note that when in game mode, the TV won't change the backlight and the local dimming settings automatically. Therefore, it is preferable to set the 'Backlight' to maximum, and 'Local Dimming' to 'High'.
The following are the results of the white balance and colorspace calibration on our unit. They are provided for reference, and should not be copied as the calibration values vary per individual unit even for the same model and same size as the TV we reviewed due to manufacturing tolerances. If you want to try them you will need to enter all values shown, as all of them are active at the same time. If you end up with worse picture quality, simply reset them to the default values.