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Samsung F8500 (PS51F8500) 3D Plasma TV Review

A plasma for all seasons

by Mark Hodgkinson Jun 21, 2013


Home AV review

44


SRP: £1899.00

Introduction

Make no bones about, 2013 has been a vintage year for plasma TV even if its time as a technology is nearly up. If the demise is to be as imminent as some would believe, then it’s going out with a bang and truly laying the gauntlet down to its probable usurper - OLED. Panasonic set the ball rolling with the almost equally superb GT60, VT65 and ZT65 all providing masterful pictures but, not to be outdone, we were given the opportunity to get up close and personal with the 64-inch variant of the TV under review here today. Steve was bowled over by its combination of contrast, accuracy and style and whilst we’d expect largely similar performance between the two, Samsung traditionally manages to extract deeper black levels from its larger panels so perhaps the PS51F8500 might not run the Panasonic’s quite so close. There’s only one way to find out.

Design and Connections

We were surprised just how much the appearance of the F8500 polarised the opinions of our membership when it took its bow at CES 2013. The curved ‘Metal Flow’ base-stand has proven to be marmite-like (I can take it or leave it) in dividing taste sensibilities but we’re all of the firm opinion it’s absolutely gorgeous in the flesh. It even looks good before you pop on the display but we guess its major drawbacks are that you’re going to need a unit wider than its 120cm span – overhang is not cool – and it naturally doesn’t swivel. Assemblage was surprisingly simple as a solo project but before Elf and Safety have us – we would advise having someone else on hand when taking delivery.

At the top, and situated just behind the brushed ‘titanium’ bezel, sits a five mega pixel camera which can be retracted. Aside from the increased resolution, Samsung has made a number of other improvements to the camera, especially in terms of the light levels it needs but although Steve found it worked very well in his environment it proved useless further North in daylight – not that you’ll catch this reviewer routinely using gesture controls with a TV at this early stage of the technology’s evolution.

4 HDMI inputs should be a legal requirement for a Flagship TV and we’re pleased to report we don’t have cause to call the connectivity police in on Samsung as they’ve obliged by providing same; but they might be due a caution for placing them sideways facing, less than 8cm from the edge of the bezel. When a TV looks this good, you really don’t want to be spoiling those lines with unseemly cables poking out of the side so angled HDMI adapters and cable tie are likely to be a necessity for some. One of the HDMI inputs supports the Audio Return Channel (ARC) whilst another supports Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL). As well as the HDMI inputs along the side, you also get three USB ports and an optical digital audio out.

Facing downwards there is a LAN socket, legacy connections using breakout cables and aerial and satellite connectors for both FreeviewHD and FreesatHD. There are twin tuners for each, which means if you add a HDD you can create a fully functioning PVR. Finally, in the rear panel itself there is a CI (Common Interface) slot and a special port for adding any future Evolution Kit. It should be noted that the PS51F8500 doesn't include a headphone socket. Also among the connections is a jack for the IR blaster, which is thankfully much smaller than last year, and once you have paired it with the TV you can use it to convert the second remote into a universal controller, albeit with limited (or limiting) control options. For example, to get to the TiVO EPG necessitated calling up an onscreen menu and then navigating to a second page, which is a bit cumbersome.

As is the case with all of Samsung’s high-end models, the PS51F8500 comes with two remote controls, the first of which is a small black plastic version of Samsung’s standard controller. Whilst it includes all the usual controls, along with a Smart Hub button for accessing Samsung's internet platform, it’s diminutive and simplistic nature shows that Samsung would rather you used the other remote provided. This is the Touch Pad remote, which uses RF to connect to the F8500 and includes basic controls along with its eponymous touch pad. There is also a built-in microphone which is used for voice control and we certainly found the touch pad useful for effectively navigating the Smart TV System. However, despite offering a graphical representation of the full remote onscreen, we found that for basic control the simpler remote was a lot quicker and easier to use, especially when calibrating. As has been the case since last year, there is no P. Size button on either remote, so you either have to use the dedicated Picture Size page in the menu or the Tools button to change the aspect ratio.

Menus

The F8500’s main menu offers a basic set of options including Picture, Sound, Broadcasting,Network, Smart Features, System and Support but within these main choices are a large number of sub-menus. When a menu option is selected it is highlighted with a light blue overlay and the various sub-menus are listed and can then be selected using the directional keys on the remote control. The transparency of the overlays can be adjusted and one useful feature is that when you select the various menu options a box appears to the right which briefly explains the purpose of that particular control.

The Picture menu offers a choice of four types of Viewing Mode - Dynamic, Standard, Relax and Movie. The latter is designed to approximate industry standards and thus it should offer the most accurate out-of-the-box setting. Both the Picture Mode and the Sound Mode can be accessed directly using the Tools button on the remote control. There are also all the usual basic controls that you would expect to find on any modern TV such as Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness, Colour and Tint. There’s also Samsung’s Cell Light control, which allows you to adjust the brightness of the panel. From the Picture menu, you can access sub menus for Picture Size, 3D, Advanced Settings and Picture Options. You can also apply your calibrated picture mode to other inputs, although it would appear you can’t copy the white balance or colour space settings, which is annoying.

Within the Advanced Settings sub-menu there is Dynamic Contrast which varies the Contrast on-the-fly and thus boosts the perceived dynamic range, Black Tone which is best left off as it crushes shadow detail, Flesh Tone does nothing we could see, an RGB Only Mode which allows you to see each of the three primary colours individually and is a useful for checking correct colour decoding, Expert Pattern provides a series of test patterns and Motion Lighting. In Movie mode most of these controls default to off which is good and we recommend you leave them that way.

Within Advanced Settings there are also all the key calibration controls, starting with Gamma which globally adjusts gamma across the entire image. Then there's a choice of a two-point or ten-point White Balance controls which will allow a professional to accurately calibrate the greyscale. Finally, there's an option called Colour Space which gives you a choice between Auto, Native and Custom; if you choose Custom you have access to a full Colour Management System (CMS). This allows for the accurate calibration of the colour gamut by adjusting the luminance, saturation and hue of the three primary colours (red, green and blue) and the three secondary colours (cyan, magenta and yellow).

In the Picture Options sub-menu, you can choose the Colour Tone (really colour temperature) which gives you a choice of Cool, Normal, Warm1 and Warm2. We found that Warm2 comes closest to the industry standards. There is also a Digital Clean View and MPEG Noise Filter, both of which we would recommend turning off. In this sub-menu, you will also find HDMI Black Level for choosing between PC and Video levels and the Film Mode option for cadence detection. Finally there is the Motion Judder Canceller, which you shouldn’t need and a Black Optimiser feature. This new feature promises deeper blacks using PDP waveform and signal compensation and offers a choice of Off, Auto, Bright Room and Dark Room. We'll come back to the Black Optimiser in the Test Results section.

Test Results

It was obvious from the outset that the PS51F8500 was showing a very high degree of image accuracy in the out-of-the-box Movie mode, which cuts both ways from a calibrator's viewpoint. On the positive side, it means the calibration should be quick and relatively trouble free but they’ll be left wondering quite how they can quite justify the fee. With greyscale errors all below the tolerable level of 3, any improvements will be fairly incremental. Depending on the lighting conditions for a given environment, gamma is tracking very well indeed at between 2.3 and 2.4, which is excellent for very low-light but we choose a steady 2.2 for reviews for a couple of reasons: a) it will work better in an average living room and b) it gives LED/LCD TVs a more level playing field as most don’t cope well in giving good shadow detail when pushed that dark. As we can see from the CIE to the right, at least there’s some work to do with the green primary which is too blue and surprisingly over-saturated.

Samsung’s calibration controls are an absolute pleasure to use and in no time at all we’d tweaked the greyscale to absolute perfection and gamma tracking true and flat. Flicking quickly as we could between a calibrated and non-calibrated input displaying the same content, we could just see that a very slight green cast was not evident on the calibrated version so at least there was some justification for the inclusion of a 10 pt White Balance option.

Colour performance improved more dramatically and was easy to spot the more natural hues in grass and foliage. Getting the colour luminances spot-on does wonders for a picture and with all components in place, the F8500 was now firmly in a reference calibrated state.
One of the reasons for measuring all the colours at different saturation levels is to look for any issues that might not be apparent when measuring at 100% saturation. After all we don’t watch 100% saturated images much of the time. Thanks to Samsung’s excellent processing, we were able to line up both primary and secondary colours almost perfectly in their targets coming out of white, save for a very mild over-saturation of red at 75% intensity.
As we said in the intro, Samsung’s larger plasma panels tend to have the edge of the smaller screen sizes and so it proved true again. We talk about the conundrum over using the Black Optimiser option in the Picture Quality section on the first page of the review but the short version is, we turned it off. Out of curiosity we took measures with it both Off and in Dark Room configuration and found that on an all-black screen the F8500 measured considerably darker with it on at 0.0061cd/m2, which is only a fraction off the Panasonic 60 and 65 Series. With the option disabled we got what is still a very impressive result at more or less dead on 0.02cd/m2 but this difference whilst small on paper, is certainly very easy to see in a dark – or near dark – room. That’s not the whole story, however, and a more representative test is measuring blacks whilst brighter content is on-screen. Using an ANSI checkerboard pattern we took identical black readings with the option turned on but it’s still not as simple as that, even, and the truth is somewhere in between for real world content but engaging black optimiser does cause floating blacks so you’ll need to decide if you can live with that. We can’t.

Much of the marketing blurb surrounding the F8500’s launch centred on its LED-like luminance levels and they certainly weren’t exaggerating those particular claims. Even in the most accurate Movie Mode, the F8500 was capable of hitting an eye-blistering 225 cd/m2 on a white window which should be more than ample in almost any environment, especially when the quality of the filter and anti-reflective coating is considered. No doubt some will have read through the last two paras looking for the numbers so here they are: With Optimiser set to ‘Dark Room’, On/Off Contrast = 20,164:1, going up to 36,885:1 if you max out the Cell Light. With Optimiser off, On/Off Contrast = 6,060:1, maxing out at 11,363:1 if you can stand it. ANSI contrast figures are identical at 5,447:1.

Screen uniformity of a plasma TV is generally not a great concern although we do see the odd bit of trouble along the way. The F8500 was a close to perfect as makes no difference but we could – just once or twice – notice a very faint horizontal line, about 1cm wide, running just below dead centre. We only saw it on a very pale background and, to be honest, had we not been forewarned by our forum members, we might not have spotted it so quickly. In all truthfulness this will be a non-issue for 99.9% of owners so please don’t let it put you off.

The performance of the PS51F8500 in the video processing tests were excellent, as we would expect from a Samsung and there’s no doubt it benefited from the added horsepower provided by the quad-core processing. The Samsung scored very highly in the jaggies tests on both our test discs as well as performing very well on the diagonal interpolation test, with two of the three moving bars appearing smooth and only the bottom most extreme bar showing very slight jaggies. The F8500 had no problems correctly detecting both 3:2 (NTSC - USA/Japan) and 2:2 (PAL - European) film cadence, as long as the Film Mode Auto2 was selected. When it came to 1080i material the 51F8500 correctly deinterlaced and displayed both the video and film resolution tests provided Screen Fit was selected. When it came to 1080p24 content, the PS51F8500 delivered superbly smooth movement and even on the torturous moving wedge tests on the Spears and Munsil disc were reproduced with little sign of moire or flicker.

Samsung haven’t made it easy to get even a half decent input lag figure. Even with the Game Mode activated in the Setup Menu, latency was measuring over 100milliseconds, which is flat out unacceptable. Renaming one of the inputs to PC resulted in a dramatic reduction to around 55 milliseconds but that’s not going to satisfy a demanding online gamer, although for most single player games, it’s possible to adjust.
  • Standby: 0W
The following measurements were taken with a full screen 50% white pattern:
  • Out-of-the-Box – Standard Mode: 343W
  • Calibrated – Calibrated Movie Mode: 214W
  • Calibrated - 3D Movie Mode: 408W


Picture Quality - 2D

The immediate thing that strikes you when first turning on the F8500 is just how ‘real world’ bright this thing can go. We usually steer our readers more toward LED/LCD when bright room performance is an issue but we’ve rarely seen anything better than this in that situation. The inherent strong luminance is helped along by a superb filter - which keeps blacks pretty much black – and the anti-reflective coating is wholly noteworthy for simply acting as described. We’d stop short of saying it’s the least reflective TV we’ve tested – that honour goes to the Philips PFL9707 - but it is most certainly amongst them and truly a plasma for all seasons.

It’s not really all about how bright a display is capable of going, however, more contrast punch is dictated by just how black it can go and the Samsung PS51F8500 presents a conundrum here. One can achieve noticeably real world darker blacks by using the Back Optimiser in its ‘Dark Room’ setting but that’s at the expense of them being unstable and they’ll fairly frequently ‘float’ up to the level you get without the setting engaged. So you’re left with the choice of truly excellent blacks that will shift or very very good levels that remain as is. In the end - after a lot of experimentation – we set the Optimiser to ‘Off’ as it was just too frustrating seeing the levels alter and we watch lots of content with a many scenes therein. It’s certainly something we’d encourage readers to experiment with as tolerances and tastes vary, quite widely.

As we’d expect for plasma, and historically a Samsung model, motion handling really was extremely impressive with rapidly panning movement maintaining much of its detail and sport was a pleasure to watch throughout our time with the F85000. If we do have one criticism of the picture – and to some this will be a plus point – is that pictures sometimes appeared too clean and clinical. We’ve checked for backdoor noise reduction and can’t detect any so it’s simply manifest that this is the direction the Samsung engineers have chosen. Part of the reason we love plasma so much is that it can have a beautiful analogue look to it, where the F8500 looks altogether more digitised. Like we say, this cleanliness – for want of a better term – will no doubt appeal to lots of people, particularly those used to LED/LCD so, again, please go and see for yourself.

Of course what many of you reading want to know is, how does it fare in a head to head - with price and status considered – its biggest rival, the 50-inch Panasonic VT65? The first thing to say is that there no cut and dried winner, personal circumstances and tastes will go a long way in making the ultimate purchase decision and owners of each TV should be sitting pretty whilst basking in the glorious pictures presented to them. If we discount the rather niche (and expensive) ZT65, which only ships in a 60-inch screen size in any case, in our opinion the F8500 runs the VT65 incredibly close. For outright contrast performance, the most important element of an image as far as the brain is concerned, the 50-inch VT65 takes it over the 51-inch F8500 but if you’re not one that watches with the lights off, or at least very low, the difference is negligible and you might want to plump for extra brightness the Samsung has to offer. It’s a testament to both manufacturers that the choice is so difficult this year and only a demo can give you the answer. Speaking personally (hi!), I would take the VT for my near exclusively nocturnal viewing habits but I would absolutely delighted to count myself amongst the membership of the F8500 owners club.

Picture Quality - 3D

The PS51F8500 uses active shutter 3D and comes with a couple of pairs of RF glasses which are extremely light and there’s very little tint to the lenses which means that images in 3D appear more accurate and brighter but the lack of shielding at the sides is a major downer unless your room is very well light controlled. Other than the specs, the F8500’s 3D experience is superb. The inherent brightness of the panel allowed images to be punchy and colourful and plasma’s speedy panel response helped the F8500 deliver images that were almost totally bereft of distracting crosstalk. Our new copy of Life of Pi looked nothing short of sensational and has now been elevated to reference disc status, which is testament enough to the F8500’s abilities with 3D Blu-ray. The future of 3D as a broadcast TV medium isn’t looking too bright but should Sky and – to a lesser extent – the BBC carry on, this TV will not be found wanting with Side by Side content at 50Hz. Our test footage from Wimbledon and the Olympics has rarely looked better and, again, it was difficult to spot any hint of ghosting. Movement was smooth and natural and colours pretty much as they should be. In short, barring the glasses, we have no complaints here, only admiration for a job well done by Samsung.

Features

Sometimes it’s no bad thing to be number 2 in the queue and so it proves here as Steve Withers was tasked with the huge undertaking that is investigating Samsung’s Smart TV platform and since the F8500 has flagship status, it gets everything they have to offer. You can read Steve’s in-depth review here.



Conclusion

9
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

Pros

  • Excellent dynamic range
  • Great shadow detail
  • Highly impressive in a bright room
  • Reference Colours after calibration
  • Almost reference greyscale prior to calibration, perfect following
  • Class leading smart features
  • Gorgeous design
  • Incredibly clean images
  • 3D performance is superb
  • Comprehensive calibration controls
  • Sublime motion handling
  • Superior video processing
  • Built-in WiFi, Freesat HD and Freeview HD
  • Reference Smart TV platform
  • Built-in camera

Cons

  • Minor buzz with brighter scenes
  • Mild floating blacks with Black Optimiser engaged
  • Sometimes images just look too clean and pristine
  • Input Lag is too high for gamers
  • HDMI inputs are too close to the edge
  • Base stand might be a sticking point in some set-ups and for those with no taste

I own this 0
I want this 0
I had this 0

Samsung F8500 (PS51F8500) 3D Plasma TV Review

Hello gorgeous, what’s your number? F8500 eh, nice! OK, perhaps we’re getting just a little carried away but we think it’s an absolute beauty, thanks to that ‘Metal Flow’ base-stand which has so divided opinions. To all that don’t like it – you’re wrong – so there! The obvious issues are that you’re going to need an AV unit that’s at least 120cm wide and it doesn’t swivel. The PS51F85000 is connected to the hilt with options including 4 HDMI, MHL, Screen Mirroring, Wi-FI and USB to name a few. As with all the top-tier Samsungs, the F8500 comes with two controllers; one that is very basic and rather cheap looking whilst the other is all touch-feely and sci-fi looking and allows for voice commands via the built-in mic. If that’s not enough for you, the F8500 also sports a camera which is concealed behind the top of the bezel for Skype calls and general larking about in front of.

Samsung’s suite of Smart features is almost ridiculously comprehensive so we wrote a dedicated in-depth review on it which you can read here. Almost as generous are the set of calibration controls that contain everything one needs to tune the F8500 to perfection. In actual fact, so accurate was it in the out-of-the-box Movie mode, we didn’t really have to utilise them to their full capacity but we still managed to make improvements and ended up with a reference set of results in all meaningful categories. Samsung’s video processing is also pretty nifty with both standard and high definition signals and motion handling is also crisp and detailed.

Samsung’s engineers clearly had their sights set on Panasonic’s ‘King of Plasma’ crown this year and, to that end, have been working hard on improving native black levels by including a new Black Optimiser feature that is semi-successful in its brief. With it set to its ‘Dark Room’ configuration blacks are indeed fantastic but unfortunately ‘float’, i.e. they fluctuate in luminance which can be quite distracting so we chose to disable it, which then puts the F8500 in the category of possessing excellent – rather than outstanding – levels. Other than in terms of dynamic range, it’s pretty much a wash between the two manufacturers and some will value the incredible (for plasma) levels of brightness the 51F8500 can produce over ultimate black performance. To be honest we’d be more than happy to have either gracing the living room as this is a superb year for plasma TV.

The Samsung PS51F8500 is big and beautiful as well as smart and supremely capable of producing stunning pictures. What’s not to like? Frankly, we can’t think of anything significant! Highly Recommended.

Highly Recommended

The Rundown

Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level

9

Screen Uniformity

9

Colour Accuracy

9

Greyscale Accuracy

9

Video Processing

9

2D Picture Quality

9

3D Picture Quality

9

Sound Quality

6

Smart Features

10

Build Quality

9

Ease Of Use

10

Value for Money

9

Verdict

9

Our Review Ethos

Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges here.


    1. The News Bot

      The News Bot News Supplying Robot Staff Member

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      Reviewed by Mark Hodgkinson, 21st June 2013. The Samsung PS51F8500 is big and beautiful as well as smart and supremely capable of producing stunning pictures. What’s not to like? Frankly, we can’t think of anything significant! Highly Recommended.
      Read the full review...
    2. cooknl

      cooknl Member

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      Mark,

      Thanx for a super review, I looked thru the whole review but could not find
      the Firmware version number of the unit you tested.

      Reason I ask is the floating black seem to have been fixed with the US firmware 1103 which fixed the poping briteness in the hockey whites.

      Beings that you noticed the floating blacks as the US reviewers did, most people did not mention floating blacks after the 1103 firmware update, is why I am wondering which firmware the unit had.
      BTW it seems like France and a few other country's now have the 1103 firmware update available for OTA installation.
      When it comes out for the UK will you be able to reevaluate the floating blacks with the newer firmware??

      Thx
      Rob
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
    3. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson Reviewer & News Writer Staff Member

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      Hi Rob

      F/W version is 1102 which is the latest available here at the moment.

      If Samsung release 1103 before it has to go back, I will of course re-evaluate the floating blacks but the TV wont be here with me much longer.

      I've not seen a hint of brightness pops with this TV and it's been used as my main one for about two weeks.

      All the best

      Mark
    4. cooknl

      cooknl Member

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      Thx Mark,
      Great stuff I hope that within a few days the 1103 software will be online so u can still give it a quick look.
      Thanks for the quick reply.

      Rob
    5. mattmeer

      mattmeer Member

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      When you described the Samsung as having a cleaner look compared to the Panasonic 50VT60 delivering a more analog look, does that mean the Panasonic VT60 has a bit more "texture" in the images?
    6. Soopermario

      Soopermario Member

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      Do I understand right, that ANSI Black with BO at dark room measured 0,006cd ?
    7. pioneer 1985

      pioneer 1985 Member

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      do you know if the brightness pop fix is being applied to the rest of the plasma range like the f5500 ?
    8. pioneer 1985

      pioneer 1985 Member

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      apparently firmware 1103 is available over the air.
    9. Nick74

      Nick74 Member

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      I'm guessing this reading wouldn't be reliable, since MLL is unstable using the Black Optimiser feature. (At least that's my understanding.) Obviously that's not a criticism of the review; rather a reflection of how the TV behaves with Black Optimiser engaged.
    10. Nick74

      Nick74 Member

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      ^^^^
      Reading the review again, 0.0061 wasn't an ANSI reading anyway.
    11. Soopermario

      Soopermario Member

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      Normaly MLL rises on Samsung Plasmas at a specific APL. It's about double the blacklevel when it happens. Every other review of the F8500 show a blacklevel of 0,012cd - 0,018cd on ANSI with BO at darkroom. My question was for clarification. I'm trying to understand the behaviour of the BO in relation to APL and through firmware changes.

      The rise in blacklevel is because of the subfield driving algorithm. On the F-series we should have 3 different blacklevels.
      ANSI black readings are mostly higher because of light that travels from the white squares through the glass into the black squares. Only on the ZT60/65 there is no light that shines into the black squares.

      From the text of the review here it sounds like that with BO at darkroom the fullfield black of 0,006cd stays at ANSI. That would be strange.
    12. mattmeer

      mattmeer Member

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      Is the input lag for games that bad? Plasma tv's with higher input lag are usually still easier to play with then LCDs, despite the input lag. The review sounds like it is quite unplayable with games, though it is only 55ms, which should be about 2 frames of lag? Is there any hope of future firmware versions decreasing this lag?
    13. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson Reviewer & News Writer Staff Member

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      Yes, that's a good interpretation.

      No, ANSI measured the same with BO on and off.

      I don't seem to be able to get it.

      I'm not sure if I'm reading you right here but the text says:

      "With Optimiser set to ‘Dark Room’, On/Off Contrast = 20,164:1, going up to 36,885:1 if you max out the Cell Light. With Optimiser off, On/Off Contrast = 6,060:1, maxing out at 11,363:1 if you can stand it. ANSI contrast figures are identical at 5,447:1.

      Steve found the same with the 64 - i.e. ANSI black level is the same regardless of BO settings and they're a bit higher on the 51 than the 64".

      Above that I did say neither full field nor ASNI was the complete story when BO was engaged too.
    14. johnegpf

      johnegpf Member

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      Hi

      Nice review, just curious how power hungry this set is?

      I have a Pioneer 428XD still has a stunning picture( especially in SD ) but fancy a bigger screen.


      John
    15. Soopermario

      Soopermario Member

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      Thank's Mark for the clarification. So the 51 behave like the 64, that's I want to hear.

      Now after reading the part you quoted again it's clear to me. The part that confused me about BO was earlier in the text, right before this part with the contrast numbers.
    16. johnegpf

      johnegpf Member

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      Many thanks for updating the review with regard to power consumption.

      will check out the set in JL later in the week

      John
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    17. Scooby2000

      Scooby2000 Well-Known Member

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      Great review sir!:smashin:

      the faint line you and others mention, same/similar to the Panasonic VBI last year?

      Comparing the bigger F8500 to a VT65 though a great set the extra top end seemed to be at the loss of some mid level contrast and richness compared to the VT, did you find the same? A little hard to describe what I was noticing, just a slight lack of depth.
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
    18. stucarblne

      stucarblne Active Member

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      What i heard is that the VT/ZT looks well, just a bit - flat - in comparison to the F8500 :confused:

      Certainly can't comment on it lacking depth as it wasn't the impression i got when i saw one.

      Not Kuro depth impression, but not bad at all.

      Seeing a "new gen" Pana nearer the end of the week
    19. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson Reviewer & News Writer Staff Member

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      Yes Gary but running horizontally instead of vertically. It's so small an issue I contemplated not mentioning it all but you're a demanding lot.

      I think it's entirely dependent on room lighting.

      In an ideal world, at this time of year, I would have the 8500 up until 9.30pm whereupon the Butler would perform a quick changeover to one of the 2013 Panasonic's.
      • Thanks Thanks x 2
    20. stucarblne

      stucarblne Active Member

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      Looking forward to seeing this new Panasonic.

      But tbh i am not expecting it to be as good as last years VT50 in anything, except for tiny black tweak.

      :smashin:
    21. mattmeer

      mattmeer Member

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      ANSI black levels is what you are seeing most of the time, right?

      During "mixed" scenes... The 51 inch samsung f8500 has black levels during an ANSI chart comparable to last year's VT50 range (also during the ansi chart). The 64 inch samsung has ANSI black levels somewhere in between the VT50 and VT60. Last year the VT50 was the reference and had very good black levels, so the black levels of the samsung are certainly quite good, but not reference.

      I compared the numbers in an excel sheet for this lol
      Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
    22. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson Reviewer & News Writer Staff Member

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      No, they're not really. The ANSI pattern we (and most) use is 50 per cent apl. It's thought that most films average just below 30 but then you start t running in to difficulties with gamma if you use a pattern where white isn't 100 per cent.

      The real thing to remember here is that with BO on dark room, the blacks float, meaning they lose some impact.
    23. Soopermario

      Soopermario Member

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      • Thanks Thanks x 2
    24. Mark Hodgkinson

      Mark Hodgkinson Reviewer & News Writer Staff Member

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      Yeah, it's pretty dynamic and more so this year.
    25. frankly

      frankly Member

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      Hi, I read on most fora that the F8500 is the one to beat in bright rooms.
      The most seen comparison is with the VT60/65, but how does the 51F8500 compare on overall image (not features etc) to the P50GT60. If it is as close as the VT60/65 at 1250 euro less (in The Netherlands they sell for 2699,00 and the GT for 1350 euros), it would be an even closer call. So ca anybody comment on this?
    26. tomhd

      tomhd Member

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      50GT60 is a fantastic screen in excellent price at the moment. PQ is awesome and it is very very bright. For me it's a best buy in 50". I'd even say that there is very little between this and VT60 if we talk about pure PQ.
    27. frankly

      frankly Member

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      I've had it on my wall for 3 weeks and was 100% happy. But a week or so ago, when watching for more than 3 hours I noticed what I can best describe as a gradually fluctuation in red. In talkshows skin tone of the faces looked like they were changing. Ever so slightly (approx. 3 min.) the face would turn to a healthier suntan and then back to a slightly pale face. Quit akward. I returned it for a check up. They installed sw 1112.6 and it should be back this weekend. Next week I'm having it checked and calibrated (Charles van Spaendonck ISF II certified ). I'll post my findings in a review both here and on the Dutch HT Forum.
    28. frankly

      frankly Member

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      And here are the results, first off, the TV was great out of the box. I was quite impressed but most it had to offer.
      But then came charles and he did his calibration things;
      Now my kids no longer ned to close he curtains to have a stunningly bright image (standard settings) with enough black and contrast to shut them up;) And daddy has an superb image after dark (movie ISF settings)
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
    29. arenaman

      arenaman Moderator

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      Thanks, what's your 10 point white balance and black optimiser set at?

      EDIT just tried your settings, blacks are massively crushed for me, don't think I've seen brightness as low as that ever. I'm glad it works for you though :)
      Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
    30. frankly

      frankly Member

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      It works for me but at low light settings. During the day I use the standard settings .
  • Screen

    Display Plasma
    Display Format 1080p Full HD
    Screen Size 51 In
    Resolution 1920 x 1080 Pixels
    1080p24 Support Yes
    Claimed Contrast Ratio Mega DCR
    3D Technology Active
    Refresh Rate 600 Hz
    Aspect Ratio 16:9
    Picture-in-Picture PiP
    Image Enhancement Engine 3D HyperReal Engine

    Digital-TV

    Tuner Freeview
    Freeview HD
    Freesat
    Freesat HD
    EPG Yes

    Features

    3D Accessories Active Glasses
    PVR Features Twin Tuners
    HDD Recording
    External PVR Ready
    Smart TV Yes
    Smart TV Features WiDi
    Miracast
    DLNA
    Skype Ready
    Built-in Camera
    Video on Demand Access
    Media Player
    Web Browser
    App Store Access
    Remote App
    Voice Control
    File Formats XViD
    WMV9
    MPEG1
    MPEG2
    MPEG4
    MKV
    AVCHD
    DivX
    DivX HD
    AVI
    MP4
    M4V
    WAV
    FLV
    FLAC
    WMA
    MP3
    AAC
    JPEG
    MPO

    Sound

    Speakers Stereo
    Speaker Output 20 Watts
    Supported Sound Formats Dolby Digital
    Dolby Digital Plus
    DTS

    Product Properties

    Energy Efficiency Class C
    Power Consumption 190 watts
    Power Consumption (Standby) 0.4 watts
    Release Year 2013
    Warranty Yes
    Screen Size 130 cm
    Width (With Stand) 1191 mm
    Height (With Stand) 744 mm
    Depth (With Stand) 270 mm
    Weight 23.4 Kg
    Width (Without Stand) 1191 mm
    Height (Without Stand) 708 mm
    Depth (Without Stand) 55 mm

    Connections

    HDMI Type HDMI
    HDMI with ARC
    HDMI with MHL
    HDMI 1.4
    HDMI Inputs 4
    Scart Connections 1
    Component Inputs 1
    Composite Inputs 1
    USB Ports 3
    Common Interface Slot Yes
    Ethernet Port Yes
    Digital Audio Out Yes
    Wi-Fi Built-in
  • 2013: Plasma's Last Stand?

    by Mark Hodgkinson

    Fall back or fight on?

    Feb 23, 2013

    Home AV Article

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