This platform has gone from a good, Widgets-exclusive start through a bit of a lull, back to being one of the best around again. In its latest form, it offers an impressive array of ring-fenced content, including streaming from LoveFilm, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and perhaps best of all, the BBC iPlayer.
The interface for all this content - plus a range of games and less interesting mini ‘apps’ - is a bit cumbersome, and we personally would like Samsung to add open Internet access to proceedings. But it’s still probably the second-best online system around right now, running a close second to Sony’s Bravia Internet Video platform.
Investigating the PS50C6900’s spec sheet more closely, meanwhile, reveals that it’s got the increasingly de rigueur ‘600Hz’ sub-field drive system (actually a system that pulses each plasma cell 10-12 times per second) for reducing judder and boosting colour intensity. It’s also a full HD resolution screen, as we would expect, and boasts one of those marvellously vague ‘Mega’ contrast performances Samsung likes to talk about these days.
This screen lacks the extra black filter sported by its step-up C7000 sibling (which costs around £250 more). But hopefully we won’t feel the loss of this reflection-reducing, contrast-boosting filter too keenly.
The last thing to discuss before finding out if our hopes for the PS50C6900’s 3D pictures are justified is the impressive suite of picture fine tuning adjustments contained within its onscreen menus. There’s an extensive amount of colour management, for instance, including being able to manipulate the gain and offset levels of the red, green and blue picture elements, and 10-point white balance adjustments.
As well as a standard brightness adjustment, moreover, you can adjust the screen’s Cell Light output for extra gamma control beyond the series of gamma presets the TV carries.
There are far more features too, from contrast boosters to edge enhancers, making us wonder why Samsung hasn’t followed the lead of its LG and Panasonic rivals in seeking endorsement from the ISF and, perhaps, THX.
The testing stage for the PS50C6900 has to begin with its 3D talents. And happily they don’t let us down. For it’s immediately clear that the PS50C6900 suffers far less with crosstalk noise than any other Samsung 3D TV seen to date - including the vastly more expensive C8000 and C9000 edge LED models.
Not seeing the edges of sharply defined 3D objects blighted by double ghosting as often or as badly as with any LCD 3D TV reaffirms plasma’s apparent advantage in this key area,. Plus, of course, it makes 3D much more engaging and credible, and much less tiring during long-term viewing. In other words, the PS50C6900’s lack of crosstalk merely underlines our impression of how damaging the problem is to other screens.
It should be added here that the PS50C6900 is actually slightly less immune to crosstalk noise than Panasonic’s 3D plasma TVs, making us suspect that it doesn’t use an equivalent of the fast-decay technology Panasonic has developed for its 3D screens. But the still-low levels of crosstalk it shows seem to us entirely tolerable given the TV’s extraordinarily low price.