Today’s review is all about two things that just don’t belong together. Namely, a flat TV screen size of 50in and a price tag of under £1750. With your average 50in plasma these days still costing in excess of £3k, it’s anyone’s guess as to how Samsung has managed to get the PS50Q7HD out for under two. Let’s just hope the reason it’s so cheap doesn’t turn out to be that it’s, well, crap…
First impressions suggest that any such worries are unfounded. We’ve seen some pretty attractive 50in plasmas in our time, but this one takes the biscuit. Everything about it reeks of quality, from its opulently glossy finish to its sumptuous deep black colour scheme and minimalist, elegantly sculpted lines.
Perhaps the PS50Q7HD’s budget price will make itself felt with the TV’s connections? Yes and no. In the yes column, the TV only has one HDMI socket and two Scarts when such a home cinema-friendly TV really ought to provide one extra of each. In the no column is the inclusion of a D-Sub PC input, and a couple of jacks which immediately prove the presence of a built-in digital tuner: a CI slot for subscription TV channels, and a digital audio output.
The latter of these lets you ship Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks – should the Freeview terrestrial digital platform broadcast any - to a suitable surround sound receiver.
Remarkably the digital tuner is far from the only eye-catching feature of this cut-price plasma. For starters it’s also HD Ready thanks to: the inclusion of component video jacks alongside the HDMI; a sufficiently high native resolution of 1,366 x 768; and full compatibility with the necessary 720p and 1080i HD formats. (There’s no 1080p support, though.)
Also startling is a claimed contrast ratio of 10000:1, an outlandish figure that promises black level talents that at least rival those of plasma superstars like the latest models from Panasonic and Pioneer.