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Samsung PS64F8500 review

John Archer



  • Editors choice
Samsung PS64F8500


Our Score


User Score


  • Spectacularly bright yet also contrast-rich pictures
  • Outstanding suite of online video services
  • Potent audio system


  • Some dithering noise in dark scenes
  • Occasional brightness 'jumps'
  • Smart interface can be inscrutable

Review Price £3,000.00

Key Features: 64in full HD plasma TV; Active 3D playback; multimedia playback via USB or wi-fi network; extensive online features; New high contrast panel design

Manufacturer: Samsung

What is the Samsung PS64F8500?

There have been times in Samsung’s TV past where we couldn’t help but think that the brand only did plasma TVs because it had to, and that its heart was very much with LCD technology. The Samsung PS64F8500, though, makes a total mockery of these previous thoughts. This 64-inch behemoth is not only the best plasma TV Samsung has ever made, it’s also one of the best plasma TVs we’ve seen from anyone. So much so that it even deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the recently tested and utterly outstanding Panasonic P42GT60.

Samsung PS64F8500

Samsung PS64F8500 - Design

Externally, the Samsung PS64F8500 hints at its inner specialness via its bold elliptical frame-style tabletop stand and distinctive deep grey colour scheme. However, there’s no denying that the frame around the huge 64-inch screen looks large and bulky versus the unfeasible slenderness of the frames around Samsung’s latest top-end LCD TVs.

Samsung PS64F8500 - Connections

The Samsung PS64F8500 doesn’t lose out to its glamorous LCD siblings when it comes to connections, though. Four HDMIs, three USBs, and built-in Wi-Fi is every bit as extensive and handy a selection as those of Samsung’s top-end LCD TVs. As on the LCD sets, the HDMIs can handle 3D, the USBs can can record from the TV’s HD tuners and play back a wide range of multimedia from USB storage devices, while the built-in Wi-Fi (or LAN, if you prefer) is there for streaming multimedia from networked PCs or going online with Samsung’s latest Smart TV platform.

The tuners we referred to in the previous paragraph include both Freeview and Freesat HD options. In fact, like it's Panasonic rival, the Samsung PS64F8500 provides two of each tuner, so you can record one programme while watching another regardless of whether you’re using the satellite or terrestrial tuners.

Samsung PS64F8500 - Smart Features

We’ve already written at length about Samsung’s latest online platform and smart interface in a dedicated Samsung Smart TV 2013 review, so we’ll try and keep things as brief as we can - a hard task considering how much Samsung’s Smart TV system has got going on this year.

Samsung PS64F8500

In terms of online content, Samsung is currently out in front, chiefly because it’s the only platform we’ve seen to date that supports all four of the UK’s key catchup TV services, along with all the key subscription/Pay-Per-View video services (including Netflix, LoveFilm, Blinkbox and Acetrax) plus loads more niche, but in many cases still worthy, small subscription or PPV platforms.

Samsung’s latest interface is fascinating, too. It’s built on five different ‘smart hub’ pages devoted to different types of content, with its really clever touch being that it can analyse your viewing habits and then populate the TV and streamed video home pages with stuff it thinks you'll want to watch based on your past viewing habits.

A lack of onscreen guidance, tutorials and general information makes Samsung’s ultra-clever interface a bit hard to follow at times, at least for the first few weeks of use. But for sheer cleverness Samsung is once again at the top of the Smart TV pile.

Samsung PS64F8500

It’s good to find, too, that the PS64F8500 ships with both a standard remote and Samsung’s latest, genuinely helpful touchpad remote control option.

Samsung PS64F8500 - Voice Control

In our previous article about Samsung’s Smart interface we weren’t particularly complementary about Samsung’s gesture and voice controls, or its confusing and poorly explained iOS/Android smart apps. Our feelings on these broadly remain the same, except when it comes to the voice recognition system. Following some recent improvements in the systems’ cognitive abilities, and having had longer to familiarise ourselves with the systems’ possibilities, we’re slowly but surely starting to warm to voice recognition as a genuine content-finding shortcut.

As with pretty much all aspects of Samsung’s latest Smart interface, though, it would have been hugely helpful if Samsung had provided users with a bit more assistance on how to use the voice recognition system, rather than just expecting consumers to be bothered to figure it out for themselves.

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April 29, 2013, 4:39 pm

What is the power consumption? Do you need to install air-con in the room?
Sorry, probably not a AVophile question :)

Prem Desai

May 3, 2013, 5:55 pm

Are these the only questions you have about this magnificent piece?

The power consumption WILL be higher than an LCD but over a year, this will equate to just a few pounds. A small price to pay.

No, you do not need air-con and you know it.

It has long been established that plasmas are far superior than LCDs for picture quality. It is refreshing to note that Samsung now acknowledge this and are pushing the right technology forward.


May 16, 2013, 10:20 pm

336 kWh/year


July 31, 2013, 12:46 pm

Just returned my LG LA8600 for the 64 inch version of this beast. I love the magic remote - but man once you notice light bleeding - I just cant stop noticing it. Solution? Get a plasma. So I walk into the store and I saw this TV and Im thinking to myself "what a nice LED TV - but those blacks are amazing". Then I found out more about it. Its bright, clear has real blacks - Im sold. Love this TV. for the next couple of years till OLED comes out, this is a real beast for pure picture quality. PS my ones quad core, and has the updated control box on the back.
I wonder sometimes if LCDs are cheaper to manufacture than PLASMA, cause if so, my business side is telling me why Manufacturers are pushing for LCD sales - bottom line. For quality? I think Plasma is hard to beat.. especially when going for a big TV like this you probably dim the lights occasionally and watch "movie style".. so Plasma has to be the way for me.


August 17, 2013, 11:45 pm

Good set, too bad about the motion blur which makes computer games unplayable


August 29, 2014, 10:52 pm

Samsung PN64F8500 Plasma Crowned King of HDTV by VE Shootout 2014...again?

That's right the Samsung F8500 has now became the very first HDTV to win the infamous VE Shootout back to back. In 2013
it was the battle of the Plasma's, between the Panasonic VT & ZT
series which are no longer available today as they quit production at
the end of 2013. Now the F8500 has won again in 2014 with the Highest Overall Average Score despite being pitted against the latest OLED & UHD 4K panels that cost as much as $120,000.00 !

This is quite a feat considering the placement of the HDTV during the
Shootout, because it was mounted high above the current 2014 lineup of
OLED & UHD 4K sets. This poor location gave the F8500 a clear
disadvantage, because it has an Anti-Glare Louvered Filter called the Real Black Pro Filter
which blocks out Ambient Light from Above and Below to allow for better
Contrast in Bright-Room situations. Because of it's high placement on
the wall, this Louvered Panel actually made the screen appear darker to
the rest of the voting audience.

Despite the poor placement the Audience and Experts both cast their Votes for their favorite HDTV in several categories including: Black Level, Contrast Ratio, Color Accuracy, Motion Resolution (Sharpness), Day Mode and General Content (Video Quality) and the Samsung F8500 came out as the Overall Winner!

Since the Samsung F8500 had the Highest Overall Score it wasn't a tie
just a marketing stunt to keep you interested in OLED tv's like the LG
55EC9300, because PLASMA tv's are on their way out thanks to the E.U
Energy Standards in a large part, but Plasma still remains King of
Picture Quality:

Score Tally from VE SHOOTOUT 2014:

#1) Samsung F8500: 52.01

#2) LG 55EC9300: 51.54

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