Despite being a glorious home cinema TV we’d install in our own movie rooms in a heartbeat, the Samsung PS64F8500 isn’t wholly flawless. The push for extra brightness, for starters, has caused a couple of minor distractions. The worst of these is some greenish dither noise when the image is both dark and full of subtle detail – though this noise reduces considerably if you’re sat a sensible distance from the screen, and are running the panel less aggressively (as in, with reduced contrast and brightness) than Samsung’s default picture settings seem to want you to.
The other issue we presume is associated with the PS64F8500’s phenomenal brightness is a minor image retention issue, whereby some very bright, richly coloured elements of the picture can leave ghostly echoes of themselves behind for a few frames after they are supposed to have disappeared. Past plasma experience would suggest, though, that this issue should fade away once you’ve used the panel for 100 hours or more.
The next issue crops up during 3D viewing. Amid all the Samsung PS64F8500’s irresistible 3D glories you can occasionally see a little crosstalk ghosting noise over contrasting objects in the mid to far distance.
The final niggle is that some dark scenes reveal some minor, sporadic brightness fluctuations, presumably caused by the TV varying its subfield driving slightly to eke out every last drop of contrast from the panel. While admirable in its intent and for most of the time laudable in its results, we’d still have liked to have at least the option to turn this gentle ‘dynamic contrast’ feature off.
While we’re duty bound to report these flaws, though, our overall experience of the PS64F8500’s pictures really was overwhelmingly positive.
As, we’re pleased to report, was our experience of its audio. For while that hefty frame might not make the Samsung PS64F8500 necessarily the most fashionable TV in town, it provides a brilliantly robust home for a set of speakers capable of delivering a soundstage potent and large enough to keep even 64-inch pictures company without sounding muddy, distorted or thin even under pretty severe duress.
It’s possible – just possible - that Panasonic’s upcoming P65VT65 and P60ZT65 TVs might offer a little more all-round picture refinement than the upstart Samsung PS64F8500. But there should be no doubt that Samsung’s revolutionary work in delivering a plasma TV that combines groundbreaking brightness with truly inky black levels deserves to win the heart of many serious AV fans – especially those whose rooms tend to have a bit of ambient light to contend with.
Now read Trusted Reviews Best TVs 2013