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on 10 June 2012
I've had this TV for about 2 weeks now, apologies for the length of the review, but this is the kind of info I would have liked to have had before splashing out this kind of money. First off we'll start with how it looks. Obviously it is huge, the thin bezel makes it look even bigger, it's around 1" around the top and sides and about 2" at the bottom, so it really doesn't distract you too much when you are watching. It is surprisingly light for it's size, around 35kg and also really thin at 57mm, in fact it is thinner and lighter than the 47" LCD TV it has replaced.

Next let's talk picture, being full HD it is as good as you would expect, sharp, bright and colourful. Standard definition viewing, as with nearly all large HD sets is somewhat poor, but as I watch very little non HD content this isn't a problem for me. 3D is good, I bought a few 3D blu-rays to try and they appear pretty much flicker & ghost free, although this varies greatly depending upon which film you are watching.

I have mixed feelings about the "smart" part of the TV, some bits are good, like the 3D app, where you can watch film trailers, or short films/documentaries, and the DLNA compatibility which allows you to stream content from your PC, smart phone or other compatible devices, other bits, like the web browser are kind of pointless, it's much easier to do it on a PC or even a smart phone. Maybe in the future it may come in to it's own as they add more features, but for now, to me at least, it just seems a bit gimmicky.

Now for the bad bits, it does tend to suffer from noticeable (to me anyway) brightness pops, where the picture seems to flicker up and down in brightness as you are watching. Hopefully this is something Samsung may address in a future firmware update, as I had the same problem with my Philips TV and that was sorted after an update. My TV also produces a buzzing noise, which is only noticeable at extremely low volumes, or when the screen is blank, like when a film is loading, I have read that this is only a problem with a small number of sets, if it gets any worse I can always send it back under warranty, but at the moment it doesn't bother me. Also the power lead is comically short, I mean pathetic, it's probably about 18", so if you wall mount it, like I have, you'll have to run an extension to it, unless you mysteriously have a power socket in the middle of the wall. Lastly, the anti reflective coating isn't as good as it could, or for the price, should be, it isn't bad enough to distract you whilst you are viewing, but for a high end TV it just doesn't seem good enough.
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on 27 January 2013
Before going in-depth with this review, I should probably point out that this is the cheapest TV I have ever bought and, as such, was more than hesitant about buying it in the first place. As avid gamers, we have two sets of consoles set up in the lounge - the left of the room has a 42" Samsung LCD which was £1600 and the previous set on the right hand side was a Samsung 46" LCD which cost £900 as far as I recall. The 46" was bought on a whim during one of those moments in Comet where you think "Oooh that's nice" but all other sets we've ever bought have been thoroughly researched beforehand. With the 46" being moved upstairs and replaced with a 3D set, it was decided after days of reading through reviews and AVForum threads that the PS51E550 was the one to get. I believe it was the CNET review which ultimately swayed us away from the LG to this model in the end.

Anyway. Details... as a gaming graphic-whore and videophile, the first thing I did was go through every input and turn off all the usual sort of nonsense that comes with the factory defaults - dynamic contrast, over-sharpening, burn-your-eyes-out backlight settings etc and basically reset everything back to zero. Ran a few test clips (Star Wars is particularly good, especially Millennium Falcon cockpit scenes as you have perfect blacks, skin tones, and bright neon colours from the "random flashing lights" which are mandatory for sci-fi movies) and displayed some calibration test-cards while adjusting the usual brightness, contrast and gamma settings. With everything set to "Movie" mode first, of course.

The results were stunning; simply stunning. I was even surprised by the quality of the audio through the speakers as Samsung models tend to sound like someone has placed a pair of headphones inside an open jam jar, but these were good enough that we didn't have to use the AV amp with regular TV shows and only switched over later in the evening for a movie experience. As good as they are, well I should say as DECENT as they are, I would still always opt for the AV amp as modern TVs are perhaps too thin to allow for high-quality speakers and so there are times when you'll find yourself reaching for the volume control to catch specific dialogue, unless you go for the speech option in the audio settings, but that obviously reduces the overall atmosphere.

Various movie marathons over the Christmas break allowed us to test how it coped with a myriad of different situations - fast-moving action and incredibly-dark scenes from Expendables, Monsters Inc was as pristine as it was in the cinema (minus the kids using their mobile phones) and even the under-saturated Bourne movies looked great. A quick flick over to the "standard" and "dynamic" picture modes really showed the difference between using a TV out-of-the-box and taking time to get it set up properly. The default settings were pretty much what you'd expect from a modern TV, but there's no way we'd be able to live with them. The problem with plasma is that it's considerably darker than an LCD, so people used to LCDs will undoubtedly see plasma as being inferior but really it's because their eyes have become accustomed to the over-compensation of LCD so I would urge anyone with this TV, or any TV for that matter, to turn off all the bells and whistles and just allow the raw image to come through so you're viewing as the director intended. No image compensation whatsoever, no automatic-adjustments, no noise reduction... just the raw image with changes to brightness, colour and contrast to suit your own preferences.

As a gaming TV it is beyond compare. We're a very tech-savvy household and have both been gamers for nearly thirty years, so it was important to find a TV with 1:1 pixel mapping to ensure that images were being displayed exactly as intended with no size compensation as the last thing you want is to be looking at a mini-map in the corner of your screen and not be able to read a destination properly. Thankfully, this model has the 1:1 mapping and both the Xbox 360 and PCs are crisp, sharp and still retain a vivid image. I say "vivid" but, the truth is, the way our settings have been set up, there's more of a realistic feel to images rather than the typical over-saturated and ridiculously-bright that you'd have on display at a tech show or game store.

With games such as Skyrim or Fallout 3, where there are a lot of dark areas, the plasma really comes into its own. Caverns and sewers actually fade to black rather than the dark, washed-out grey that you'd get from most LCD screens and there are no sudden drop-offs... everything has a smooth gradient from one extreme to the other. Similarly, we both noticed more texture detail from the 51E550 than on any of the other Samsung TVs, although the difference is clearly not going to be very noticeable when you're running for your life, but when you stop to take a look around you'll notice very smooth gradients on sunsets rather than obvious bands of colour. In contrast with the photo-realism of the above games, the more stylised visuals of Borderlands 2 or Shoot Many Robots really pop off the screen.

Now we get to the 3D aspect. This model has TriDef built in, which means that it's able to take any 2D image and calculate depth on-the-fly to give you a 3D image. It's actually pretty good, considering it's being done in real-time and is using a completely flat feed, but it's obviously not ideal for a 3D enthusiast as really the built-in software is just guessing and will invariably get it wrong along the way. I watched all of the World's Strongest Man qualifiers, as well as the heats themselves, in the 2D-3D mode and actually enjoyed them more than I would have in 2D. The 3D conversion doesn't compare to watching a true 3D feed, however, and the PS51E550 actually does a great job for a set using 60Hz LCD glasses.

Watching a 3D movie such as Avengers allows you to see the extremes possible from the TV as the director did go a tad over the top in certain areas where the camera pans right and a metallic briefcase comes into view... right in your face, before it's picked up and carried off. Clearly done for the stereotypical 3D effect (such as the unnecessary yo-yo in the 1953 House Of Wax), but it does serve to show the 3D capabilities. To date, I haven't found any problems with cross-talk when watching 3D movies, or even 2D-3D, but perhaps I've just been lucky. The glasses themselves are flimsier than you'd get with other Samsung TVs but, believe it or not, I found that to be a bonus. As someone who wears glasses for watching TV or playing games, I can't abide having full glasses over my own, and so these are perfect. They're a little darker than I'd expected when activated, but that's something you quickly get used to and it's not noticeable if you're watching in darkness as the image appears brighter than it actually is. I've been tempted to switch to another image mode while using the 3D glasses but couldn't bear the thought of all that dynamic nonsense kicking in.

Gaming in 3D should also be split into two separate areas - those converted by the TV and those converted beforehand. With the Xbox 360 converted to 3D, Borderlands 2 was enjoyable and certainly added an additional degree of immersion but playing Borderlands 2 through a gaming laptop with TriDef installed on the laptop (rather than using the TV's own built-in TriDef software) gave so much more depth and flexibility. Instead of playing a game where you could easily tell it was in 3D, you were being pulled straight into the action and the depth was incredible. With the ability to adjust settings on TriDef, cross-talk became noticeable but only once the 3D depth was turned up to eye-straining levels. Sure, it made the scenes look ridiculously deep, but it was also too much to handle and so the depth was quickly turned down. That was the only point at which cross-talk was noticeable though, which was a pleasant surprise.

Crysis. Not Crysis 2, where it's all city based and somewhat toned down in terms of graphic requirements, but the original Crysis... this was incredible in 3D on the laptop. The realism was insane; the depth of field in jungle scenes was just ridiculous and when you wade into the water you can actually see where the water level is in relation to you. I'd played Crysis in 3D before, using Nvidia 3D Vision on a regular monitor, but it didn't have anywhere near the depth it had on this TV. I now find it difficult to play games in 2D, because I crave that added depth.

Many other reviewers, and owners from AVForums, have talked about the brightness pops and buzzing coming from the speakers, so I wanted to address this as it was perhaps the only other issues that were putting me off buying this TV when I first saw it listed. I hate brightness pops. I also hate superfluous noise. Why spend a lot of money on equipment if you're going to get something sub par? These reports had me constantly watching for drastic increases in brightness, or even the gradual increases from the newer firmware, but I've only actually noticed anything on four separate occasions. Never while gaming, never while watching movies, and never while watching Sky... but four times while watching BBC1. Whether it's something embedded in their signal, or perhaps they over-compensate with brightness on certain scenes, I have no idea. All I know is that this TV is being used heavily, and I was dreading that moment where I couldn't take anymore pops and wanted a new TV, but it's honestly not been an issue.

Same goes for the speakers buzzing. When the Xbox is on, you're barely going to hear a freight train going through your room thanks to the noise of the Xbox fan and DVD drive, so I can't comment on there ever being noise during Xbox gaming. Never noticed any during PC gaming either, and I sit right in front of the TV on a Pyramat with my legs touching the TV stand so I'm not even 4ft away from the speakers. The only time we use the TV speakers is for gaming and watching streamed media through Plex, but we've certainly never noticed any. That's not to say that it doesn't occur, but we certainly can't hear it if it's there.

I'll quickly touch on the SmartTV side of things. I wasn't bothered about any of this, as I believe a games console should be for playing games, a mobile phone should be for making calls and sending texts, and a TV should be used for plugging things in so you can see what's going on with them. Why the hell would I ever want to install an app on my TV or browse the internet? Why would I ever want to use BBC iPlayer, ITVplayer or YouTube when I can watch the shows on Sky+ and use my laptop or PC for YouTube?

How wrong I was. The first time I plugged the ethernet cable into the back (I hate wireless, sorry!) I just HAD to see what iPlayer was like. It streamed full HD perfectly and actually looked much better than it did watching the show live through the Sky box (regular BBC, we got rid of SkyHD years ago as there was never anything on!), so I was impressed. I went through, added some stuff to favourites and moved on to YouTube. Again, very easy to use and looked great. Could it be that this SmartTV nonsense is actually pretty good? Well, browsing the app store had me rolling my eyes at many things (the fireplace app, for example) but then I saw something called Plex Media and installed it. I was told to install Plex Media Server on my PC to allow it to connect, and so I did. What we've now ended up with is similar to the DViCO TViX HD M-5100SH - Digital player - unit we had plugged in to the TV where we were able to browse media files... except this was all being done on the TV itself.

Having missed several episodes of Big Bang Theory, and not having 4OD in the app store, we downloaded some of the episodes to see what it would be like on the TV and were blown away. Not only did it download information about the show itself, it also carried individual episode details, including a synopsis and snapshot from that particular episode, and placed everything into categories by series. So you'd have The Big Bang Theory as an all-encompassing show category, then click through and see the individual series to select from, and then the episodes. When you watch one, it registers this and it can be omitted from the list so you know which episode to start from next time.

I'm converted. With more than a dozen apps installed, including RightMove for armchair house-surfing, this whole SmartTV malarky has really impressed both of us. We're now hoping that 4OD will end up being included to make life a little easier, rather than having to download missed Channel 4 shows.

Overall, this is by far the best TV I have bought. It's the cheapest, in terms of full-size TVs, and it's the first time I've trusted plasma with gaming, but it's also a great set. I can't fault the image quality at all, could very easily live with the sound quality from the built-in speakers (were I not an audiophile, I wouldn't even give it a second thought but I love my AV amps), adore the SmartTV functionality (including immediate firmware updates over the internet) and, until I can afford to take out a mortgage for Toshiba's glasses-free 3D TV, I'm absolutely loving the immersion that you get from gaming in 3D on this TV.

I would easily recommend this, BUT... don't settle for the out-of-the-box settings. Seriously. No TV should ever be used with the default settings anyway, but this one doesn't even need an engineer's menu to get the best from it. Please feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer them.
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on 21 November 2012
Very pleased with this purchase, particularly when considering the price in comparison to its rivals, in fact better than it's dearer brother the Samsung UE60ES6300. Watching movies whether its Standard/High definition, 3D ect is a joy. No complaints here. Looks the part hung on the wall.

In regards to the negative reviews:

@Mahone: Won't play Prometheus ffs rubbish
- A TV is a TV, it displays what is being fed to it. Your Blu Ray player is at fault, not the TV....

@TEL: the screen is too reflective & has brightness pops
- I would strongly suggest avoiding ALL LCD/LED TV's if you find this plasma TV reflective... the brightness pops that you refer to, if they are indeed what you state, then you obviously have a Faulty TV, this is not a unique Samsung selling point..

@J.Robinson: the black levels were very poor, It didn't come close to a two year old Series6 LCD
- Plasma's are renowned to be considerably better in picture quality, particularly the 'blacks' in comparison to LCD TV's..

@Michael: First TV ordered arrived late and damaged, replacement also late and damaged. 'Unfortunately unable to give review of actual product!'
- Perhaps you misunderstood the concept of the reviewing function... Review the 'product' so other fellow potential buyers can make somewhat of an educated/more informed decision, whether to go ahead with the purchase or not.

It's a real shame people such as the above have reviewed this product 'incorrectly' and negatively, there is nothing that comes close to this TV in this price bracket with all it's features. So what was initially an attractively priced/affordable 60" Smart TV, a steal, now looks like it's priced low for negative reasons.. well that sucks...

I highly recommend this TV.

Excellent :)
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on 7 December 2012
I was apprehensive about buying such an expensive item online and one that could easily be damaged in transit. I need not have worried as the TV arrived in perfect condition and within 2 days of ordering it.

The TV did develop a fault with a few dead pixels which would not shift so I contacted Amazon asap. They dispatched a brand new TV and told me as soon as it arrived and I was happy with it I could send the faulty unit back. This was a breath of fresh air as more retailers insist on getting the faulty goods back 1st and inspecting them, obviously leaving the customer with no product.

As for the TV itself it is great. One feature that I haven't had before is the ability to play from a USB Drive, this is a great feature as I can and saves the hassle of having to burn to DVD's and so on. The screen quality on this set is amazing, shows such as avengers really come to life with the 3D enabled.

I would highly recommend this set and Amazon :)
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on 12 March 2013
After spending what seemed like hours reading conflicting reviews about which 3D TV to buy on sites and getting frustrated at the number of time I read recommendations that always ended up comparing it to the crazy priced top of the range models for black levels I probably wont know the difference between and options that only the truly technologically retentive minded would want, I decided to stick with a company I've had nothing but success with and bought this TV.
Totally glad I did too - the HD is super awesome compared to my previous Samsung model (which previously was more than adequate in all honesty), the 3D is superb for a home system and there was the pleasant surprise that it actually has smart TV stuff available if you connect an ethernet cable to the port in the back.

Setup is a breeze and you'll be up and running in no time at all, with plenty of options to tinker with if that's your thing.

Sound is decent, although I hooked mine up to a Samsung home theater system so that's not really a factor I needed to take in to account anyway.

Only thing to look our for is there seems to have been a few bad apples released in to the wilds, but even if you're unlucky enough to get one of those, just give samsung a ring and they get it sorted super quick under the warranty.

So, if you're still as baffled as to which TV to get and want something that looks the business then you really cant do any wrong with this model.
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on 24 February 2013
Although I have only had this TV less than a day, I have to rate it a full 5 star.

The sound is amazing I couldn't get over just how good it actually was, and I am not easily impressed these days.

With my PC being 3D enabled due to its graphics card, I was able to fully test out just how good the 3D was on the TV and I have to admit I was blown away and I have never experienced anything like it, it was amazing to see the NVIDEA logo come flying out of the screen and actually float in front of me totally stunning and the Gaming experience is also pretty good and on PS3. Crysis 3 (pc) looks great in HD and 3D on this TV

Yea pretty good not had chance to take full advantage of this yet but looks great and is very easy to work through/navigate.

They look to be flimsy and cheap looking but once on and synced with the TV you feel a lot differently about them and also they are very light and very comfortable and throughout long use too.

Would I recommend this TV you bet I would. Sound - Quality - Style - Performance

My next purchase is so going to be a bigger samsung 3D TV.

If I have any problems I will post back...
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on 8 August 2013
This TV is fantastic for the money. Delivered in good time by Amazon but was a bit concerned as the box the TV came in had obviously been slightly squashed or knocked at one end. It was a surprise to see such a low quality thin box considering the premium product it contained. Perhaps something to do with weight during transportation.
Having read some of the previous reviews I kept a close eye on some of the issues customers had but luckily I found none. I also managed to upgrade the firmware on the TV without any problems but that may have been because I have the TV connected by cable for internet connection immediately. I use a plugin internet adaptor much like this one TP-LINK TL-PA211KIT(UK) AV200 TL-PA211 200Mbps Mini Powerline Ethernet Adaptor Starter Kit (Twin Pack). This should give you almost maximum speed without the potential wireless dongle issues.
You will have to adjust the colours using the white balance setting to get the best results and turn off all the unnecessary colour enhancers. You don't need these if you have a good panel on your TV such as this one!
Amazing blacks and whites and the colours are really vivid without looking too over the top.
Sound quality is perfectly acceptable but I'm still going to purchase a soundbar but probably be going for one in the LG range and not necessarily a Samsung one, just because it matches the brand.
HD is fantastic too. Don't forget the normal Freeview channels are less than 720p so don't expect a brilliant picture on any set. I get around this by setting the sharpness to around 30 to eliminate visual pixilation.
3D is awesome too!
I bought the TV when it was selling for £575 but even at the current price it's still worth the purchase in my opinion.
The only negative is the reflection you get on the screen. It could be a problem for some users depending on location, but overall, Well done Samsung!
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on 30 September 2013
This tv is fantastic, really great clear pictures, 3D works perfectly.

Has quite a few good apps like, netflix and all the bbc iplayer etc all that work very well on the tv

Only downside was that i had to get a replacement the day it arrived because it was delivered with a cracked screen, very dissapointing when ive had the same problem again with the newer model i just ordered not happy, its not really a good idea to buy items like these online i would suggest if you can find the tv in your home city/town then its best to go to the store and pick it up.

Other then that, this tv has served me well and i wouldnt fault it really but yes it doesn suffer from a few brightness pops but you dont really notice it after a while.
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on 31 January 2013
Having replaced a DLP rear projection , the set has a good picture and quick start up, my only dislikes are a slight constant buzz when the TV is on , and the fact you have to use a specific Samsung WiFi dongle to connect up to my wireless network.
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on 6 April 2015
don't buy this product most of the reviews were probably written just after purchase if you want a product to last more than 9 months this is not for you, screen pixel line's after 9 months repaired under warranty but returned 9 months later same fault part not covered under warranty Samsung not interested ill never buy another Samsung product again cheap screen poor support.
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