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A. BADDELEY "sawtooth12" (Cape Town, South Africa)
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Samsung PS43D450 43-inch Widescreen HD Ready Plasma TV with Freeview
Samsung PS43D450 43-inch Widescreen HD Ready Plasma TV with Freeview

76 of 84 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable product, 1 May 2011
This is a brilliant television for the price. I purchased it yesterday and have spent many hours with it, testing all sorts of content: both blu-ray, xvid / divx (std def) and MP4's - 720p (via a PS3 and Samsung D5500 blu-ray player)and the FPS game 'Crysis 2', also on the PS3. It has so far exceeded my expectations.

I can only compare it to previous purchases and experiences: first is a 4 year old LG LCD (720p), the second a Sony EX710 (EX712 in the UK) purchased in December '10 LED and swiftly returned due to severe back-light uneveness which lead to clouding / 'mura' effect and flash-lighting (clearly visible angular light beams protruding inwards all four edges), then a third - a Samsung C6500 LED in Jan '11, also returned for the same reasons. I am fanatical about watching television in an environment as dark as possible. As close to a cinema as I can get and the white patches / clouding on both displays just drove me nuts. The latter 2 were full HD displays and not cheap by any means - I expected far better. After reading a review of the D8000 LED and the awful clouding even in that unit, I've deducted it's more a by-product of the technology itself: edge lit / thin bevel.

The plasma has better black levels than all of these LCD/LED's. They're not pitch black but certainly acceptable and allow for the image to have plenty of contrast, detail and vivid colours (although I calibrated my display to look as natural as possible, dialing into 'movie' mode immediately - the default setting itself is actually fairly natural and accurate without tweaking required).

The +1" is certainly a benefit and cosmetically a large improvement. I found the C series plasmas (4 to 6 series) to have bevels far too thick which made them unattractive to look at. The increase in screen size with the same overall dimensions ensures the unit looks sleek wherever its placed.

Amazingly, I've not had to even select 'game' mode at all when playing Crysis 2, which requires a lot of fast movement and accuracy being an FPS shooter. So all the video processing leading to the same stellar picture quality is retained, without being forced (as was the case with all the LCD / LED's) to downgrade the PQ to ensure no lag. Hugely impressed with that!

Unfortunately plasma does tend to consume far more energy than LCD (and especially LED) - the reason I opted to go that route with my previous 2 purchases but I have managed to reduce it from the 240w maximum to possibly under 200w due to a huge reduction in the 'cell light' from a default of '13' for movie mode to 3-4 (at night with the lights off). The Sony EX710/712 46" will only consume 70w after calibration but the unacceptable backlight issues inherent in edge-lit (not local dimming) LED technology, it's something I'm afraid the planet will need to live with! The unit after many hours of use was still completely cool to the touch, I could feel no heat dissipation whatsoever. Comments by C series owners have stated that the units produced a lot of heat (and I can verify this after experiencing a 50" C6500 plasma) - not the case here at all.

Forum posts on AVSforum.com have mentioned the odd unit can have a directional buzz (also common in the C series): this is only audible when muting the volume and placing your ear right up to the rear of the unit. I presume due to a capacitor which handles power conversion. Nothing out of the ordinary and to be expected.

Another criticism I'd level at the C450 (and this review will effect the C490 too since they're the same panel with the former not 3d-ready) is the judder upon panning within scenes, which could be better. It's an improvement over the aged LCD, but not on a par with the LED's (which had 100Hz processing). At this price point however you cannot expect perfection.

The OSD menus and navigating the various options could be zippier. There is a noticeable lag there too, but it's a small issue.

Interestingly enough even though this unit is only HD-ready, my external devices consider it to be 1080p! My PS3 asked me at initial setup (via HDMI) if I could see the content displayed to which I could - that is now my resolution default. On the point of HD-ready vs full HD, the 450d still looks superb when viewing blu-ray and you'd be hard-pressed to spot the difference unless you have one placed right next to the other.

I will also add that the D450 / D490 only allows for HDMI connections to the rear which protrude outwards - not ideal for those wall-mounting the unit. The 5 series and up improves on this with side inputs.

The D450 has the same in-built media player as that of their blu-ray units, I'm sure most are aware of this by now. You can connect any type of USB hard-drive (whether 3.5" with own power supply or laptop sized drawing power from the TV) and you're able to watch movies in all popular CODEC types in use today (divx / xvid / h264) etc. It's a decent user interface: locating and accessing the media is user-friendly. The D450/D490 only has 1 USB connection but that's enough.

*UPDATE*

A fault I've found after weeks of ownership is that the D450 is doing what I have read is fairly common on the AVSforums.com site: black levels change during the same scene. In other words, scene isn't changing at all but the black levels adjust - get lighter for some reason and depending on the duration of the scene, seem to either stay lighter or darken again. I'm fairly sure it's an image processing fault and one not particular to my unit, so I'm not going to replace it. It is noticeable to me and happens quite often, but I've not tested in all circumstances, only at present via HDMI PS3 on xvid / divx material (not sure if a change of variables would fix this, seems unlikely). I've applied the most recent firmware update via Samsung's website, for this particular product, but it didn't fix this issue.

Also black levels at times will be deep and dark but in other scenes where I'd expect them to be the same, they're simply not and certainly lighter than I consider they should be.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 6, 2012 5:11 PM BST


1st Magic
1st Magic
Price: £16.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blinding, 14 Jun. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1st Magic (Audio CD)
Not great at reviews generally, but had to jump into this. I think D 'Nell are doing some of the most outstanding British Soul at the moment... great vocals alongside (mostly) gritty, stripped-down hip-hop instrumentals (with some bumpin' up-beat riddims too) allow for those divine vocals to cut right through to where one feels it most. Lyrics are meaningful, many relating to personal introspection on relationships and the like.

D 'Nell deserve your support so that more of this can make it's way through... absolutely superb.

Another great British example of hybridisation: file under soul / funk / r&b / hip-hop!


Personal Golf Instructions From Driver Thru Putter
Personal Golf Instructions From Driver Thru Putter
Offered by iPodMeister
Price: £59.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the JIGGA!!!!!!!!, 25 Jan. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great mix of all things funky from Hip Hop to Drum 'n' Bass (the genre tag 'urban' I feel is appropropriately helpful to some and confusing no doubt to others!) and highly recommended to give you an energy boost should it be required. However, it must be mentioned that my copy of this release contains no track listing. Tracklistings help the artists whose brilliant work is featured. Were royalties paid? This seems like a bootleg release. I hope on following compilations from The Nextmen of this sort (of which all I'll buy) I hope they address this issue and do the release right.


Danny The Dog
Danny The Dog
Offered by westworld-
Price: £15.23

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chihuahua? Doberman!, 2 Oct. 2005
This review is from: Danny The Dog (Audio CD)
This is the soundtrack Massive Attack have produced for 'Danny The Dog' (pre-release title) / 'Unleashed' (final release title in more 'suitable' American marketing speak).
It is not a traditional album release. As a soundtrack, it has a different format in its aural presentation: it is meant to support the film's visual and spoken narrative, whilst not taking precedence. However, it is far more than just 'background music', and is typically engaging, challenging and intensely creative in its own right.
I did find, however, that somewhat of a prequisite was to watch the film beforehand. This allowed for more of a personal connection to be established, and lent much more perspective.
As to the music: although consisting of, at times, a different sound, fans of Massive Attack will appreciate this I'm sure. It contains the same level of consistency that MA seem to put into all they do, while always pushing new ideas, keeping things fresh. If you're looking for a 'Blue Lines' duplication, you won't find it here. But then, we've all had 'Blue Lines' already. This is something uniquely different!
Another interesting point is that, at this time, this release on Wild Bunch Records (MA's own indie label) is half the price of that offered by Virgin Records (based on the 'Unleashed' title). Higher costs due to less efficiency? More greed? More grease for this somewhat inefficient machine? I'll leave it to you to decide!


Shapes And Colours
Shapes And Colours
Offered by SellerHit UK
Price: £16.71

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free La Funk, 9 Jan. 2005
This review is from: Shapes And Colours (Audio CD)
I agree wholeheartedly with the previous (and only at the time of writing this!) reviewer... he has put it much more eloquently than I am able to myself. Suffice to say I own the entire Sonar Kollektiv catalogue and do consider this to be up there with the best of them. The female vocalists from 'Amraah 8' are stunning and have got me seeking for more of their magical touch. The album itself does range across many musical styles: folk, acoustic jazz, offbeat house and jazz / broken beat - all containing a deep and deft infusion of modern soul. 'Held Him First' is most certainly one of the anthems of 2004 and if you love this, you can't go far wrong by purchasing this release. I am extremely pleased I did - I've not given something so solid a 'rewind' for ages :)


Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up
Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up
Price: £10.15

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gabalicious!, 15 Nov. 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Superb album by Gift of the Gab. Out of all I've yet heard (I own all Blackalicious and Quannum Projects albums) I think this is Gift of the Gab in his best form. Downtempo beats, concious lyrics - unique styles - highly recommended!


Norman Jay Presents Giant 45
Norman Jay Presents Giant 45
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £63.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Giant 45, 30 Oct. 2004
The CD starts with Norms giving an introduction - I think it's cool. It gives the CD a personal touch which many lack nowadays. If I'm also not mistaken, he has opened with 'Disco Lucy' for years so this is keeping true to that. A nice touch I think, rather than annoying. The personal theme runs through these tracks, mostly sharing a theme of social awareness aiming toward the positive, which I respect. Nearing the end, it all gets more instrumental and gives a very different vibe to some of the earlier tracks, which are very strong in their vocal content. This release really helped to turn me onto Rare Groove, Soul and Funk from the 70's. Some of these can sound pretty naive to an extent, but this to me is the beauty of it all, you can't help but put a smile on your face due to its innocence. The best part of this CD is not the older tracks, but rather the insanely talented releases by UK artists over recent years, which Norms has also included. D'Nell, Low Budget Soul, Jon Kennedy & Karen Wilson (besides others) are making incredibly deep and heavy Soul music!!! All in all, I think this CD superb - it does go a little astray at times with the Tom Clay track - I mean, meaningful at first, but not much shelf life when most of it is actually vocal commentary! However, I own quite a few Normal Jay releases and think this the best. Worth checking out for sure! And by the way, some of the older Soul music on this compilation you are able to pick up on Amazon etc, but my personal favourites you can't. Therefore, largely true to the name with many available on 10/12" only.


100th Window
100th Window
Offered by Bridge_Records
Price: £3.88

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Brilliant, 10 Aug. 2004
This review is from: 100th Window (Audio CD)
Granted, not all tracks are perfect - I personally find some of the Sinead O Conner (sp?) tracks to be the weakest with somewhat sentimental lyrics to the cynic. However, this album contains some of the most incredibly heavy atmosphere I've yet heard created by anyone - both instrumentally and lyrically. After 18 months or so a track as spellbinding as 'Butterfly Caught' has me on this page ranting as if it was recently purchased. This release is less compromising (it goes deeper and darker) than any by MA before and although some won't relate, those whom do will discover timeless worth. Superb.


SIGNALS
SIGNALS
Price: £13.13

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heavyweight!, 29 July 2004
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: SIGNALS (Audio CD)
Ok, now Breakbeat or 'Nu-Skool Breaks' (although I hate the latter term) is often, in my opinion, far too light on the sound. Well, the intro on 'Bubblewrap' sums it up nicely where it's stated they are 'to bring you the noise'. This album has oozes grit, urban soul and attitude alongside a powerful, heavy and accomplished sound. At times Silencer create a strong wall of sound that takes no prisoners and let's you know where it's coming from with no compromise. No synth noodling going on here, rather it's straight in for the kill with analogue synths that have enough grain in them to leave quite some graze. This is no mean feat, most analogue sounds I laugh at with utter scorn and come accross sounding like a pop contribution.
I am surprised 'Rollin' 'n Controllin' got the most exposure. A good track, but very simplistic with a straightforward approach. Hardly the best. 'Wired', 'Taking Hold' and 'Bubblewrap' and extremely good. The vocalist, Nikita, has a deep and soulful voice (whilst still being upbeat enough to aim it firmly at the dancefloor).
The release tends to be over too quickly, at just under 50 minutes, but this is probably because I'm not counting the minutes and am rather engrossed in the sound. Time passes quickly when you're inspired!
Overall, a superb album and one of the best ever in the 'Breaks' scene. I eagerly await any further releases.
A last mention, it's two blokes that form 'Silencer', not one as incorrectly mentioned by a reviewer. They are 'Dylan Rhymes' and 'Force Mass Motion'. Peace!


WAKE
WAKE
Price: £9.91

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 29 July 2004
This review is from: WAKE (Audio CD)
I must initially state that I disagree entirely with one reviewers opinion of Brendan Perry's voice. I am normally not inclined to favour male singers over female's, but I think his voice incredible. A deep and powerful delivery which is preferred over the higher pitch of Gerrard's (which could be delivered a few octaves lower at times, in my opinion). He really makes DCD stand out personally for me. When singing along to his delivery, I get the same resonance as my deep vocal exhalations in yoga! Heavy.
Anyway, I think the band incredible and normally would shy away entirely from a genre such as this. One reviewer commented that the sound 'deeply resonates with humaness, is enigmatic and powerful'. I cannot agree more. I listen to electronic music primarily but find this has a timeless and very human sound that defies any contemporary and narrowminded categorisation. The feel transcends intellectualism, which, for me, is a sign of good music!


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