When comparing Samsung MU9000 55" (UN55MU9000) vs TCL S517 55" (55S517), the Slant community recommends TCL S517 55" (55S517) for most people. In the question“What are the best TVs?” TCL S517 55" (55S517) is ranked 28th while Samsung MU9000 55" (UN55MU9000) is ranked 41st. The most important reason people chose TCL S517 55" (55S517) is:
In terms of picture quality the S517 is comparable to high-end TVs. It displays remarkably deep blacks due to its great contrast and reproduces details in color very well due to its good color gradient. The 6000:1 native contrast ratio allows the TV to reproduce dark scenes particularly well. It is easily one of the best in this price range – it’s often compared to high-end counterparts. The S517 has superb black uniformity and contrast that create pleasant, deep blacks. They are much better than those of the similarly-priced competitors. The maximum deviation sits at around 1.02% . The TV is good at capturing small differences in color such as skin tones, green colors in nature, details in shadows, etc. This is because of the color gradient, which is on par with other options of the same price. There is almost no banding and the standard deviation of color doesn't go past 0,11%.
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Pro Great picture quality
The MU9000 can produce really detailed pictures, especially in dark scenes thanks to its really deep black levels. It has a contrast ratio of about 6000:1, which enables it to produce blacks that are 6000 times darker than the brightest white.
The colors are lifelike and accurate even without any calibration by the user. They will look really vibrant even in bright scenes because of the panel’s high peak brightness levels of ~400 nits for SDR & ~450 nits for HDR.
Even in a decently-lit environment, the MU9000's picture quality can still hold up - the panel is excellent at handling reflections thanks to its glossy finish, and it can get bright enough to fight off glare.
Pro Good for HDR content
On top of its great picture quality, the MU9000 has a high HDR peak brightness level and wide color gamut that makes it good for HDR.
Shadows look pretty good with nice details, and highlights are quite vibrant thanks to the peak brightness level of ~450 nits.
The panel can reproduce the wide range of colors required for true HDR playback because of its wide color gamut, which covers ~60% of the standard colors required for HDR according to the Rec. 2020 color space. This is considered decent enough for reproducing HDR details, and it can display these colors accurately at different brightness levels.
It’s worth noting that while the MU9000 has local dimming that’s supposed to make HDR better, the local dimming is worthless and doesn’t do much. It increases the contrast ratio by a meager amount and does nothing else.
Pro Excellent at handling glare
The MU9000's panel has a glossy finish that reduce reflections significantly. This makes it excellent at fighting glare, along with its adequate brightness levels of ~400 nits for SDR & ~450 nits for HDR.
Pro Suitable for gaming and watching sports
The MU9000 is pretty versatile. On top of its great picture quality, it has features that makes it perform quite well for gaming and sports.
It offers a responsive and fluid gaming experience . Players will have no issues keeping their actions in sync with what’s on the display, and fast-moving objects won’t leave any trails on the screen. That is thanks to the low input lag of ~25ms and the panel’s quick response time of ~15ms, which virtually eliminates motion blur.
It’s also great for watching sports because of the almost non-existent motion blur that makes fast-moving objects look smooth. The panel is also pretty uniform meaning it has no issues with displaying large, same-color objects on screen, like football fields.
Pro Inputs are very accessible
The MU9000 comes with a OneConnect box which moves all the hard-to-access rear inputs away from the TV. Thanks to this, you’ll always have full access to all inputs and outputs of the TV even if it’s wall-mounted. The OneConnect box can also be used as a USB charging hub.
Pro Intuitive user interface
The MU9000 runs on the Tizen smart platform, known for its simplicity and intuitiveness.
It’s easy to navigate and access all the functions of features of the TV. The Tizen OS menus are organized around the “Smart Hub” which contains everything: apps, settings, input switching and others. It also has a section for quick access to frequently used items.
Pro Remote has a voice command feature
The MU9000's remote has a voice command feature that can perform actions as you physically would with the remote, and it can even be used to adjust settings directly.
Pro Great at upscaling low-res content
The MU9000 can upscale 480p, 720p, and 1080p content to 4K quite well. The upscaled content has almost no noticeable artifacts, and all the details are preserved.
Pro Capable of smooth 24p content playback
The MU9000 is great at dealing with 24p content, such as Blu-rays or media sourced from an cable or satellite box. It can detect and eliminate the judder effect present in these content, where images displayed can appear jittery.
Pro Great picture quality
In terms of picture quality the S517 is comparable to high-end TVs. It displays remarkably deep blacks due to its great contrast and reproduces details in color very well due to its good color gradient.
The 6000:1 native contrast ratio allows the TV to reproduce dark scenes particularly well. It is easily one of the best in this price range – it’s often compared to high-end counterparts.
The S517 has superb black uniformity and contrast that create pleasant, deep blacks. They are much better than those of the similarly-priced competitors. The maximum deviation sits at around 1.02% .
The TV is good at capturing small differences in color such as skin tones, green colors in nature, details in shadows, etc. This is because of the color gradient, which is on par with other options of the same price. There is almost no banding and the standard deviation of color doesn't go past 0,11%.
Pro Good for gaming
The S517 is fit for all gamers because it offers a clear, lag-free experience. The TV is very responsive - it has struck a good balance between decent refresh rate, solid input lag, and good response time.
The TV is an ideal choice for console gaming in terms of its native refresh rate. It caps at 60Hz, which is perfect since most games won't benefit from anything higher than this.
The S517 is fast. An action shows on the screen in around 18 miliseconds, which can make the difference between managing to get a frag or waiting for a respawn. The time doesn't substantially increase when gaming in HDR or 4K either - it goes up to roughly 20.5 ms. The only thing to remember is to keep "_Game_" mode enabled for the lowest possible input lag.
The TCL S517 also handles motion and fast-paced content quite well, it has a good response time. This makes sure you can keep up with fast-moving objects and a lot of action without it all appearing blurry. A full pixel color transition takes only 15.8 ms.
Pro Functional mobile app
The mobile remote app for both iOS or Android can fully and comfortably substitute the real remote – launch apps, input text in apps, control most TV settings, etc.
Also, colors can easily be adjusted close to perfection thanks to the app’s calibration menu.
Pro Great smart features
The S517 comes with the Roku TV smart platform, which provides a comfortable interface and a big app selection.
The interface is quite basic and easy to overlook. It’s smooth and simple to swap to your favorite apps.
Roku TV offers a huge app store with all the most popular apps – Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, HBO Go, Vudu and much more. Some apps are even absent from other TV manufacturers Smart TV platforms and unique to Roku.
Pro Well calibrated out-of-the-box
The picture quality when you first open the TV up is quite decent. The only settings that could potentially require tweaking are grey inaccuracy and color inaccuracy. Either way, these are things that most people won't even notice.
Pro Decent for use as a PC monitor
The S517 offers a pleasant PC monitor experience not only due to the good responsiveness, but also because of the video signal's compression.
The TV won't make text appear blurry while connected to a PC because the signal has no compression and transports color data and luminance fully. This is also known as chroma 4:4:4, and the “_Computer_” and “_Game_” modes display it properly at 60Hz.
Pro Accessible inputs
All of the inputs are conveniently placed on the side of the S517, so you won't have to worry about leaving space between a wall and the TV.
Pro Optional video smoothing feature
The S517 offers the possibility to make movement in videos smoother, also known as the "soap opera effect". This is done by making the TV take two frames and try to guess what would a frame in between of those look like, also known as motion interpolation. The frame rate can interpolate up to 60 frames per second.
Pro Handles 4K scaling well
The S517 does a reasonably good job with upscaling most content to 4K quality, be it 480p DVDs, HDTV or full HD Blu-rays.
Pro A well-rounded option
The TCL S517 is a decent option for pretty much everything, be it gaming, movies, sports, or HDR content. It has noteworthy picture quality, good all-around responsiveness, decent smart features, nice motion handling, and, most importantly, a great price.
Pro HDR playback
The S517 is a much better fit for HDR content and HDR gaming than its competitors due to the wide color gamut, decent color depth, and high contrast.
The TV can display a lot more colors than its similarly-priced counterparts. The coverage of the Digital Cinema P3 color space is very good - 90%.
The color depth is on par with competing options. The S517 has 10-bit color depth, which means that it can display approximately 1.07 billion colors in total. This is important for HDR content because HDR media takes advantage of 10-bit.
The S517 can display deep blacks in the HDR mode because of it's high native contrast ratio of 6000:1, which is easily one of the best in the given price range.
The TV can also play all HDR content, because it supports both standard formats of HDR - HDR10 and Dolby Vision. They enhance the viewing experience by editing the metadata, that is, the extra information that tells the TV how to display HDR. The formats differ in the way they deal with it however - Dolby Vision edits the picture on a per scene basis, whereas HDR10 edits everything at the start of the video.
Con Mediocre sound quality
The sound quality of MU9000's built-in speakers is mediocre. It sounds quite bassy and the clarity is reduced at higher volumes - you might have a hard time following dialogues at higher volumes because of this. There’s also distortion at higher volumes.
Con Not suitable for group watching
The MU9000 has a narrow viewing angle that makes it unsuitable for watching with groups.
Audience sitting away from the center of the screen will not experience the same picture as those sitting in the center, because the picture quality starts to deteriorate significantly when viewing from just ≥20° away from the screen's center - the colors will start looking dull and blacks will look like greys.
Con Lacks support for Dolby Vision
The MU9000 currently only supports the HDR10 format for HDR content.
Con Interface has ads
There are ads that can't be removed on the MU9000's interface.
Con Not a good value for money
The MU9000 is a great TV, but the retail price can be off-putting for some because the picture quality and features it offers are present in other similarly-priced models, e.g. the Sony X900E. This TV can be really worth it when on sale, or if Samsung offers better after-sales service in your region.
Con Can't overcome glare
The S517 is better fit for dim environments or dark room viewing, since the brightness can’t peak very high, only at 277 nits. This is common for TVs in this price range.
Con Runs ads
The main interface page contains big advertisements that can’t be disabled.
There’s also a “Featured” tab that promotes all kinds of apps and channels.
Con Some dirty screen effect is present
This might cause some discomfort to sports fans because the playing surface might look darker at points. The S517's gray uniformity is decent at best, which, unfortunately, is often the case for lower-end TVs. The image is a little darker around the edges and the middle of the TV. The standard deviation of sits at around 3.1%.
Con Inconvenient calibration access
The only way to access the calibration menu is via the mobile app. This might be uncomfortable for people without smartphones or for people who prefer all control on the real remote.
Con HDR content lacks brightness
Small bright details in dark scenes won’t stand out. Unfortunately, this is usually the case with TVs in this price range. The TV's brightness for HDR media peaks at only 273 nits. Moreover, the TV doesn't support local dimming, which is also a big drawback for HDR content.
Con Struggles with reflections
While the S517 is okay for dimmer environments, the weakness shows in bright rooms and especially rooms with the light source facing the TV. The reflection handling of the TV is a bit worse than that of its competitors. It reflects approximately 6% of light off the screen.
Con Bad viewing angle
The S517 is a bad choice for a wide room because colors and blacks shift when viewed even slightly off center.
Basically, leaning sideward just a little bit will drastically alter what you see. Colors shift at 18 degrees, brightness shifts at 28 degrees, but the blacks shift at the extremely tiny angle of 9 degrees.