Among the two 4K/UHD resolution LED LCD TVs we reviewed in 2013, the Samsung UNF9000 series was our favorite. The UNHU8500 is its closest match in the company's 2014 lineup.
It's available in a massive range of five sizes: 75, 65, 60, 55, and 50 inches. It arrives this April, and pricing has not been announced.
Among exotic sets like the curved HU9000 and exorbitant S9, the HU8500 is a sort of everyman's 4K resolution Samsung. Samsung says it has improved the upscaling to make 1080p and other non-4K content look better, and it also touts a color-improving thingy called "PurColor."
More important from a picture quality perspective in my book is the presence of the same kind of actual, hardware-based local dimming that helped make the UNF9000 one of the best-performing LED LCDs of last year. It's also worth noting that you can't get that kind of local dimming in a flat 1080p TV from Samsung this year; the only 1080p model to have it, the UNH8000 series, is curved.
Of course the HU8500 gets all the Smart TV bells and whistles, including a "Multi-Link Screen" that can divide the screen into two separate windows, each showing different content (live TV and YouTube, for example). It lacks the gesture control found on the step-up HU9000, but otherwise its Smart features are very similar. There's also the same promise of upgradability. While the HU8500 has a standard input array -- in contrast to the external One Connect box used on the F9000 and HU9000 -- it does include a port that can accept a future One Connect box to enable whatever upgrades, including, potentially, new input schemes, Samsung devises. For 2014 the set supports HEVC, HDMI 2.0, and HDCP 2.2.
Check out the Samsung TV roundup for more on the company's CES 2014 releases.