Samsung PN51F8500 HDTV
Samsung PN51F8500 User Reviews
Samsung PN51F8500 ReviewsUpdate 04-01-2013: Well, Samsung PN51F8500 is still beautiful. If you got the money and you want to try Plasma, this one is definitely on the short list. I have watched various content in every possible lighting scenario so far and everything is clear and as bright as I would hope Samsung PN51F8500 to be. Even content most would consider poor or from a poor source still looks better than on any other TV I have ever owned.
I am not fond of needing to worry about IR and burn-in, but for the beautiful PQ, I will learn to live with needing to do that. The smart apps do give issues now and then. I still think it is an update needed. In the long run, I doubt I use the smart apps since just about everything else I own has the same apps already.
We watched a few movies now in 3D. I am not a huge fan of 3D, but I can say that the movies i did watch on this TV were really good. I mean really good. Avatar was gorgeous.
The price to pay for really good PQ as this TV provides is that it changes what you see. Many times for the better, but sometimes not such as some movies you can so easily now see what is fake and what is real.
The only strange thing the TV is doing to me is every time I turn it on and select the source, in a couple of minutes, the screen goes completely black and then comes back. Sometimes it will display the info screen as if I just changed the input, which I did not. Hopefully just a firmware issue. It only does it once after turning it on and never again until the next time.
My first plasma. In the past, every time I would see a plasma TV in the store, I was never impressed. Hard to see in most cases and almost always more money.
As I was looking for a new TV this year, I saw that the new plasma TVs were just getting released. I admit that the marketing made me look twice, especially when it mentioned much better brightness. While waiting for any to come into stock, I started reading about as much as I could on plasma TVs in general and for this exact model. I liked it enough to give it a try. At least Amazon has a decent return policy in case this was a horrible decision.
The TV itself looks very nice. I rent, so I cannot mount on the wall. The stand is nice and different then others. I do not really care though. As long as it makes the TV stable.
The picture is beautiful via DirecTV hookups. Most channels and even older content look pretty good. Viewing a BRD is even better. The black levels are out of this world. Hardly any, if any, artifacts or distortions of any kind in the picture. The TV does get rather bright and you can see the picture just fine in daylight. I have it in a room with a bay window and so far, I can see okay.
There is a slight buzz that you can hear when you get close or with some content when further away. I have to mute the sound though to hear it. From what I read, this is common with plasma TVs with some much louder than others. With nothing that I can compare with, this noise has not been noticed by me until I purposefully listened for it.
There is also some flickering with certain cell brightness settings for me, namely value 16 and 17. Any other setting so far is fine. Not enough to dock anything yet, but I am keeping an eye on this.
The remote is different with few physical buttons, but I find it not too hard getting used to sliding the thumb around to move the cursor. Definitely slows you down though. The Smart Apps on the TV are like most competitor apps. Nothing too special, but not bad. I did play the Amazon app last night and it does not work properly. Anything I stream with it causes the video to blink on and off (completely black for a second then back on). It only does this in this app, so surely just an app issue.
I have a lot of things to try yet and many adjustments to make to perfect the picture, but so far I am excited and loving the PQ. Much better than anything I have ever owned yet. I never thought I would own a plasma, but I do believe this one may be it for me.
Samsung PN51F8500 HDTV ReviewsI just picked this TV up yesterday from Best Buy. In the store they had PN51F8500 sitting next to a Panasonic VT50 the (now former?) leader in plasma displays. You could immediately tell the picture quality on the 8500 was sharper. Colors pop, blacks are deep and dark, overall the picture quality really is amazing. You have to see PN51F8500 to believe it. After taking it home even before calibrating the blacks were so much darker and vibrant than my older TV. Even my wife who is indifferent to things like this remarked that the TV looked excellent.
I found the overall design of the TV including the stand, stylish and of high quality materials. It had been rumored that you couldn't hang the TV on the wall because of the base but that is not true. The base does not come attached and is a separate pice. I tried out the voice controls and to my surprise they work very well. I was easily able to navigate to Netflix using only my voice without issue. It has all the other apps that you would expect from a modern smart TV, netfilx, pandora, amazon video on demand, plus many more. Also I found the user interface to be much cleaner and and more performant than its panasonic competition.
My only complaint on the TV's is that the sound quality on these newer TV's seems to be sacrificed for thinness. The sound was tinny and lacking depth. I am by no means an audiophile but the sound was definitely not as good as my 6 year old panasonic plasma it was replacing. I would normally mark my review down for this except all TV's across brands seem to be doing this. So in that respect it is on par with its competition.
Overall I am very very pleased with TV and would recommend it to anybody who is serious about getting top notch picture quality.
PN51F8500 HDTV[Edit: 4-7-13 Major problem discovered. The set has a faint horozontal band across the screen about 2" from the top. The band is only about a 1mm thick and Samsung PN51F8500's more apparent in scenes with orange and ble than darker colors. Samsung PN51F8500's completely absent if the top of the screen is black but Samsung PN51F8500 enough that Samsung PN51F8500 got to be fixed or this bad boy is going back pronto! I'll update as things progress.]
I've had this fine set for three days now and I thought I'd share some provisional impressions. Just as you'd imagine, the picture quality (PQ) is just stunning with deeply saturated colors and inky blacks. I've never seen whites that are so white (a pet peeve of mine so this is a very nice finding). The unit itself is quite pretty aesthetically and is beautifully constructed, coming very well packed in it's rather large box. For those of you considering ordering it on the internet and having it shipped, have no fear. Setup is quite easy and connection is a snap with an HDMI cable. Be aware, though, that the HDMI inputs are along the left side of the TV (as you face the set) and are very close to the edge so it will be wise to buy and HDMI cable that has an angled, pivoting head. Otherwise the cable itself is likely to stick out from behind the unit once it's connected. The supplied remote is a thing of beauty. Small, brushed metal and easy to use. The set even comes with something they call an "IR blaster" that plugs into the back of the set and runs to another component you may want to control with the TV's remote. You place the little box at the end of the IR blaster in front of that other component and program the TV to recognize that component and, voila, your supplied remote now controls that box too. Pretty neat. The set comes with four pairs of active 3D glasses which is very nice in view of the fact that the competing Panasonics come with none. Each pair of glasses would probably cost you about $30-50 each so there's a 'savings' these of at least $120. Again, nice touch Samsung. The glasses use a supplied button battery and have a tiny on-off button on the top of them. Sadly, there's no LED or other way to confirm that they're on or off so if you use them I'd suggest you take the battery out after each use and put them back in their plastic case or else you're likely to burn out the battery. I tried the glasses with the preinstalled app called "Discovering 3D" and the 3D feature works nicely. I'm not a huge fan of 3D so I doubt I'll be using it much in the future but it's nice to know it's there.
There are features galore on this set. Sadly, most of them are what I'd call 'gee whiz' features that you'll probably play with for a while after getting the set, show off to friends and family and then rarely, if ever use again. Hand gestures and voice control are two that come to mind. Very cool but really of limited real world, day-to-day use IMO. I was surprised (and not too happy) to note that this set has a shocking degree of vertical axis dimming. I thought all plasmas had virtually unlimited viewing angles, both vertically and horozontally. Not so this set. Please understand that there is no dimming when trasitioning from left to right, which is far more relevant in real world use as people are going to be seated across the horozontal plane while watching. However, when you walk up to the set (if it's on a TV stand or table) you'll notice a shocking amont of dimming as you get close to the set. From a seated position, with your head at virtually the same height as the TV, this is not a problem at all but for those of you who like to mount your TV to the wall high up you may want to be aware of this before you determine how high up on the wall you plan on mounting it.
You'll want to play around with the picture settings to get it just the way you like and be sure to turn off the awful "Eco Pro" circuit immediately if you keep the picture in "standard mode" (this is the best mode for overall viewing) as the default for this mode is Eco Pro 'on.' This circuit will adjust the picture brightness to the room's ambient light. It's much like the circuit almost all smart phones have to conserve battery power but it's calibrated too agressively and cuts brightness too much in almost all environments in this TV. The sound quality from the built in speakers is actually decent and the set can be used without a HT set-up. If you listen to a lot of music or movies with a large dynamic range you'll probably want to invest in a good HT set-up but for general viewing the built-in speakers are actually at least acceptable.
Anyway, these are some fairly initial imresssions/observations. If I learn anything more I'll update this as necessary. Hope this helps.
Samsung PN51F8500 Specs
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