Colours are extremely potent too, reproducing the richly colourful cars and streets of Paradise City in Burnout Paradise with plenty of vigour. But the TV can also do subtle, making the skin tones on show during the dark Da Vinci Code scenes we mentioned earlier look unusually credible. The slightly green undertone that's plagued some previous Samsung plasma generations during dark scenes now hardly ever rears its ugly head.
The PS50Q97HDX does a good job of suppressing video noise too (provided you avoid the Movie Plus and Edge Enhancer features), with HD looking more or less pristine for the most part, and even standard definition bearing up better than is common on a 50in screen. There's hardly even any sign of plasma's traditional dithering noise as objects cross the screen.
The last feather in the PS50Q97HDX's picture cap concerns its fine detail response, as it renders all the lovely detailing in HD sources so well that at times it's easy to forget that it's only a 1,365 x 768 panel rather than a full HD one.
Happily the PS50Q97HDX also packs a solid audio punch to back up its video strengths. There's a nice, open mid-range that's able to expand at least a little during action scenes while retaining vocal clarity. Trebles are clear and well positioned too, with only a slight shortage of bass costing the TV a couple of sound quality marks.
Samsung's PS50Q97HDX doesn't quite manage to scale the same performance heights as models from current plasma champs Panasonic and, especially, Pioneer. But what it certainly does do is redefine the sort of size and quality you can expect to find for under £900.