here's how to make sense of Samsung's different TV model names and serial numbers
Samsung offers a wide range of televisions, which come in different sizes and offer unique features. Looking at the company’s website or popping into a shop can seem bewildering. After many years of reviewing Samsung TV sets at Expert Reviews, we have a vast amount of experience with the company’s TV range. Here, we’ll get you off the starting line when choosing a new Samsung TV.
A bit of background first. Every January, at CES in Las Vegas, Samsung announces all its new TV models for the year. It then takes a few months for these to actually be launched and to appear in UK shops, with April to May being the usual release window.
While you can’t accuse Samsung of not providing choice, the manufacturer’s television range can be confusing, with models spanning different technologies, sizes and designs that might not make any sense unless you can decipher the model names. So here’s the lowdown on how it all works.
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Breaking down a typical Samsung television model number
Let’s take the Samsung UE55KS9000 as an example and break the model number down into its component pieces to decipher what it means.
The first part, UE indicates that it’s a LED model (U) and it’s a European model (E), Samsung only sells LED models in the UK at present, so every model will have this UE prefix. The Korean panel manufacturer also produces other models too, Q is for its QLED line and K is for its OLED models. Older models include P for its Plasma line, L for LCD and H for DLP.
Samsung UE78KS9500 78inch Curved SUHD 4K LED SMART TV Quantum Dot
£4,046.01 Buy now
Samsung also uses other letters for different territories – N for North America and A for Asia, for instance.
Next, the two digits 55. This is the easiest one to decipher as it merely means this model is 55 inches in diagonal screen size. Most models are available in a range of sizes and if you need more help with TV sizes then head over to our What size TV should I buy? article.
Next up is the model year label, which can either be one or two alphabetical characters but always before a number. In this case, it is KS, looking that up on the table below we can see that the UE55KS9000 is a 2016 UHD model. UHD refers to Ultra High Definition, which is more commonly known as 4K and has four times the screen resolution of a typical Full HD TV. For more on this read our Ultra HD and 4K: The definitive guide & what you can watch.
|Q – 2017 QLED
KS – 2016 UHD
KU – 2016 UHD
L – 2015
JS – 2015 SUHD
JU – 2015 UHD
|J – 2015 HD
H – 2014
HU – 2014 UHD
F – 2013
E – 2012
|D – 2011
C – 2010
B – 2009
A – 2008
A – 2008
The next set of numerical digits will indicate the Television Series. In this case, the television in question is a 9 Series model, more specifically it’s the 9000 model range. We’ll explain what this actually means below.
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The final alphabetical character indicates a feature or design element. So, the same model might have a slightly different stand or bezel colour and will be given a unique final character to differentiate models. Often these styling tweaks are used to create ‘unique’ models for particular retailers, giving them an exclusive product. This provides more visual options for consumers or just makes it harder to shop around for the best price, depending on your point of view.
Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious and consistent way to tell if a television model is curved or flat based purely on its model name. For example, the JS9500 and JS9000 models are both curved, yet of the JS8500 and JS8000, the latter is flat. So, you’ll need to actually read the product description to know.
Samsung UE55KS7000 55in Series 7 SUHD 4K Flat Smart TV
£1,279.00 Buy now
Codes differ depending on country
It’s worth noting that the model codes explained above only refer to Samsung TV models sold in the UK. Samsung recommends that for TVs being sold outside of the UK, refer to your local website for information. Also, if you’re shopping online and come across a Samsung TV with a code different to those explained above – it’s likely it’s an import, and might not work here in the UK, so keep your eyes peeled.
Series differences explained
All of Samsung’s televisions, regardless of resolution (SUHD, UHD, HD) or technology (Quantum Dot, Nano Crystal, LED) are broken down into different ‘Series’.
The Series labels are the way Samsung ranks its different models. 9 Series televisions are the best models that Samsung offers, with the best picture quality and technology features, whereas 5 Series are the entry-level models. Different technologies will only feature in certain series, for example, Samsung’s high-end Quantum Dot display models only appear on Series 7, 8 and 9.
Samsung then applies a Picture Quality Index (PQI) rating to its televisions, which takes into account a number of factors that will affect overall image quality, such as resolution, colour and other image enhancement techniques. So a top of the range Series 9 model might have a PQI rating of 2,400, whereas an entry-level 5 Series model might have a PQI of 300. It’s a bit of an arbitrary figure but at least it gives you some rough idea of which sets are better than others.
You can consider 7 Series as the start of Samsung’s more ‘Premium’ range, which is why there’s slightly less disparity in terms of technology and image quality between 7 and 9 Series models. As with many things, there’s a law of diminishing gains as you spend more on a television.
Samsung UE55KS9000 Smart 4k Ultra HD HDR 55 Inch Curved LED TV
In previous years, Series 5 televisions might have lacked smart television features, such as integrated Netflix, but nowadays most of Samsung’s models include smart functionality as standard. None of Samsung’s UHD (4K) televisions are Series 5, so you’ll only find Full HD models categorised as Series 5, with UHD models starting at Series 6.
If you’re looking for the best Samsung TV available right now, have a gander at one of our favourites of the year, the Samsung UE55KS9000. It’s a fantastic TV, however, might we mention it has a curve. While this might not be for everyone. Still, if you’re after something to impress the family with, the KS9000 is the TV for you. Its Quantum Dot display has a 10-bit panel, so it’s able to display a wider variety of colours, and its HDR support means Ultra HD Blu-rays look fantastic.
It certainly is not cheap, but if does come with a whole host of smart TV apps, including Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, so you can stream content in 4K as well – provided you have a good enough internet connection, that is. It also works seamlessly with Samsung’s UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray player.
And if you’re wondering what the difference is between UHD and SUHD is: UHD stands for Ultra High Definition technology and provides a more sharp, crisp and immersive viewing experience by squeezing 3,840 x 2,160 pixels onto the screen compared to 1,920 x 1,080 pixels on an HD TV.
According to Samsung, SUHD refers to Super Ultra High Definition and combines UHD resolution with a Nano Crystal display so that SUHD creates an even greater spectrum and more accurate reproduction of colour.