What is the Samsung PS60F5500?
We have to reflect that this may well be the last plasma TV AVForums ever reviews.
Design & Connections
Connectivity options are serviceable, if not best placed. There are 3 HDMI ports, typically too close to the edge of the bezel, a couple of USB’s, some legacy inputs for Scart and composite equipment and a digital audio out. There’s also a LAN port but there’s built-in WiFi if you’re internet connection isn’t close enough to your TV cabinet.
It was immediately apparent that the Movie Picture Mode, as ever, provided the best bet for accurate images from out-of-the-box. There was an excess of red in the greyscale, particularly near white and red was considerably under-saturated using the Auto Colour Space. The alternative, Native, is usually a bit ‘wild’ but since we’re so far out in the first instance, it’s something we’ll look at below.
There’s only a 2 point white balance control aboard the F5500 but after a few calibration runs we were able to achieve an absolutely excellent greyscale with a just a bit of a surfeit of blue dotted here and there. Without 10 point controls, it’s very difficult to get a ruler flat gamma response but the results are certainly good enough with no visible errors noticeable.
The interesting thing about the 2013 Samsung plasma line-up this year has been the inclusion of a new Black Optimiser setting. When we tested the 51-inch model we found that whilst a setting of ‘Dark Room’ would induce blacks to float – i.e. fluctuate in luminance dependent on what’s on-screen. It was a shame as, when it worked, it was very effective in providing deep and satisfying black levels. The good news is that Samsung appears to have fixed the issue so in our typical viewing conditions of just some backlighting behind the display, we were more than happy to have it engaged, giving the 60F5500 dynamic range well above its status. For those interested in the numbers, average black levels measured 0.026cd/m2.
That is an excellent result and surpasses the performance of all the 4K LED TVs we’ve tested recently, for some perspective. For further perspective, those TVs will cost you between 4 or 5 times the entry price of the F5500. Screen uniformity was typically excellent for plasma but we did note some fairly lengthy image retention from on-screen logos and our test patterns. In ‘normal’ use these could take anything between 2 and 4 hours to fully clear although, it has to be said, it was rarely visible in typical use.
The PS60F5500 is blessed with very capable video processing. Scaling of standard definition content was very competent and, considering the screen size, non HD content was far more watchable than expected. It proved reasonably good at video deinterlacing although we could see some jaggies on our rotating bars tests. With the Film Mode set to Auto 2 the F5500 also had no issues locking on to both 3:2 and 2:2 film cadences correctly. The quality of the video deinterlacing at 1080i50 was also very good and there were no apparent issues with 24p content.
There’s no requirement to change any input labels, as you have to with some Samsungs, to extract the most responsive gaming performance out of the F5500. It’s still a bit of a phaff as you are required to enter the System Menu and then find the Game Mode under General Settings but it’s worth the bother as it slashes input lag down to 38 milliseconds from somewhere over 80. You will probably want to alter the Picture controls a little – knocking down the Sharpness to 0 and changing the Colour Temperature to Warm 2 is a good start – and you will be then rewarded with a superb big–screen gaming display. Perfect for your new PS4 or Xbox One!
The following measurements were taken with a full screen 50% white pattern:
Out-of-the-Box – Standard Mode: 156W
Calibrated – Calibrated Movie Mode: 129W
Calibrated 3D - 3D Movie Mode: 203W
Samsung PS60F5500 Picture Quality - 2D
Samsung PS60F5500 Picture Quality - 3D
- Excellent black levels
- Impressive contrast performance
- Mostly accurate colours
- Plenty of smart TV features
- Unbelievably low price
- Lovely motion handlng
- Not the best looking
- Highly reflective screen
- Filter is ineffective at blocking ambient light
Samsung PS60F5500 (F5500) Plasma TV Review
It may not be blessed with good looks but it’s not short of features, including the bundled Smart Touch Control which features both voice and gesture based control methods. In truth, we generally used the standard handset for convenience but it’s good to see Samsung servicing the budget end with such luxurious goodies. Additionally, the F5500 is packed with just about every feature Samsung’s superb Smart TV platform affords, including loads of VoD services, games, a viewing recommendation engine and a web browser.
If you can get past the less than designer looks and you don’t intend to stick this TV in a bright room, then it does represent a veritable bargain. The F5500 is very reflective and the filter does little to stop ambient light washing out the impressive contrast levels but, in just about every other situation, it’s glorious. Colours, though not as accurate as some, are perfectly believable, video processing is such that even lowly SD content can look palatable and motion handling is simply sublime and, of course, HD images are simply outstanding.
If this is to be the last plasma we ever review, then at least the technology is going out in fitting style. It’s a steal at under a grand and a sure-fire Best Buy.
Can someone remind us why nobody is interested in Plasma again, please?
Contrast/Dynamic Range/Black Level
3D Picture Quality
Ease Of Use
Value for Money
Our Review Ethos
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