What is the Samsung PS51F5500?
Design and Connections
Further down 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. There’s 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. Again, we'll come back to the Black Optimiser in the Test Results section.
There was no need to rename an HDMI input with this particular Samsung, as we have to with certain others, as engaging the Game mode in the System Menu brought input latency to a very respectable range of 30-34 milliseconds reaction to controller input. This kind of performance should keep most console gamers happy, at least, but why Samsung continue to secrete the Game Mode in such an illogical place beats us.
- Standby: 0W
- Out-of-the-Box – Standard Mode: 359W
- Calibrated – Calibrated Movie Mode: 244W
- Calibrated - 3D Movie Mode: 398W
PS51F5500 Picture Quality 2D
If you like your sports, the F5500 is an excellent TV for that and is able to retain most of its detail, even when on-screen action is very rapid. Motion handling in plasma TVs is generally superior to that of LED/LCD TVs – at least to our eyes – and the F5500 keeps its end of the bargain and holds it own against the very best we’ve seen, in this regard, in 2013. Considering this is a vintage year for plasma TV, that’s some accolade. Our only real bugbears were with some ‘brightness pops’ where we could seem some strobing effects, with extremely bright on-screen action which is potentially as a result of some over-aggressive ABL (auto brightness limiting) circuitry kicking in. Irritable ABL syndrome may be a better term than brightness pops.
We can’t stress enough that the F5500 needs to be in the right environment but, when it is, it is capable of producing 2D images which make a mockery of the price-tag.
Samsung PS51F5500 Picture Quality 3D
Samsung PS51F5500 Video Review
- Impressive black Levels and dynamic range
- Accurate images - post calibration
- More than competent video processing
- Impressive 3D performance
- Motion handling is superb
- Excellent array of smart features
- 3D Glasses don't block out enough ambient light
- Irritable ABL syndrome
- Floating blacks (with optimiser engaged)
Samsung PS51F5500 Plasma TV Review
Pretty, it is not but Samsung probably knows that plasma fans value picture quality over aesthetics of design so we'll forgive its rather outdated chunkiness. Despite numerically ranking 3 levels below Samsung's F8500 flagship plasma, the F5500 still comes with two remotes - one standard, one Touch Pad - with voice control - and a couple of pairs of 3D specs in the box. Connectivity options are decent, with 3 HDMI ports and Wi-Fi built-in being the most noteworthy. As you would expect from a Samsung product, Smart features are bountiful with bazillions of apps and more Video-on-Demand services than you could respectably wave your stick at.
So does the F5500 deliver when it comes to producing pretty pictures from within its rather plain frame? Why, yes it does, with deep blacks, fabulous motion handling and a very believable colour palette. There is one major caveat to all the above, and that is the PS51F5500 is only really capable when placed in the right room. It has very little built-in protection against ambient light so images will wash away when lighting is high and, added to that, it is also highly reflective. As a TV for daytime watchers, it's not well suited; it's one for the discerning night time crew who like a touch of class, at a price that's right.
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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