I have both these sets at home and I thought I would post my impression of the 2 models. Both are 2D non-Smart displays.
DirecTV HR24 DVR
APC H10blk (power conditioner)
HDMI pigtail splitter from Monoprice
HK 3490 stereo receiver
Prices: the Samsung 5050 model is equivalent to the 5000 model, but only sold in warehouse stores. I bought mine at CostCo for $529.00
The Toshiba MSRP is $599, I believe. It is going for about $515 on Amazon. I bought mine at BestBuy because of their 30 day return policy for $554.00
Oh, I have a version HS03 panel for the Samsung TV, which I guess, by reading the owners thread, is a Sharp made panel, for whatever that is worth.
Packaging: Similar and pretty well protected.
Stands: Similar. They both have 2 piece stands. You screw the neck to the base then the neck to the panel. The Toshiba maybe was a bit sturdier with heftier screws.
Manuals: Both come with the single page multiple fold out style manuals with full versions available online.
External features: Both look pretty similar from the front. Samsung is on the left:
The Toshiba is an edge lit model, so quite a bit thinner from the side. The major differences are that the Toshiba has 3 HDMI inputs vs. 2 for Samsung. Also, the power cord on the Samsung is detachable, while it is permanent on the Toshiba.
I also noticed that the Samsung makes a quiet hum when it turns on to let you know it is activating, the Toshiba does not. The Toshiba takes longer to turn on and display an image. Also, oddly, even though I am playing the exact same source on both displays via the splitter, the Toshiba is always a millisecond behind the Samsung, ie it has a tiny delay.
Speakers: Both are pretty bad. I only briefly listened to them b/c I will be using my stereo for all listening. The Samsung sounded maybe a bit better, but it is sitting out in the open while the Toshiba is in the cabinet, which may color the sound due to reflections.
Remotes: Both are pretty cheap and small, but the Samsung fits better in your hand, seems to have a better feel to the buttons, and, big difference, has a backlight button. For me, I will pretty much never use the TV remotes as I can power on and change inputs with the DirecTV remote.
Menus/adjustments: Similar menu interfaces. The Samsung has 2 advantages. 1, you can adjust setting on all the modes (Standard, Movie, etc.) while on the Toshiba, you can only adjust the Preference mode, the others are fixed. Also, the Samsung has more adjustments for the picture settings, especially under the White Balance option.
Picture: I have been messing with these guys for a week or so, trying to get the best picture for my room. I tend to watch with a low light on, not totally dark, but pretty low background light. I did the usual internet searching for settings, and I found a bunch for both sets, some from users and others from reviewers. I tried them all then tinkered myself. I also downloaded and ran the AVS HD calibration disc, the AVCHD version on a DVD, to set the brightness, contrast, and sharpness. I have a pair of the THX blue glasses on order to set the tint and color, but so far have just adjusted those settings by eye.
Here are the settings I have settled on so far:
Dynalight: On (although I sometimes turn this off)
Dynamic contrast: middle
Color temp: medium, B gain= -7, G gain = -3
Noise reduction: both off
Color space: native
White balance: R and G offset =25
G gain = 30
B gain =35
Dyn contrast: off
Black level: off
Flesh tone: 0
Size: screen fit
Noise filter: off
HDMI black level: well. this is odd. When I plug in the HDMI splitter to the Sony BDP, this is greyed out and says normal. When I play a show from the DVR, this is no longer grayed out and I set it to low, which makes a big difference. Not sure why I can't adjust this when playing a Blu-Ray or DVD.
LED motion: off
A few notes on the setting. Definitely, to me, lower the color setting on the Toshiba, at 50, the flesh tone are too glowing.
In general, I find the Toshiba to have "more" color. it seems like a warmer set. What I mean is, a blue sky looks bluer, and grass looks greener, etc. I was watching X-Men First class and the finale on the beach has lots of scenery and ocean/trees/sky etc. I prefer the look of nature on the Toshiba. On Avatar, the Na'vi look bluer too. The colors on the Samsung are always a bit more washed out, not as vibrant. Black also looks a bit blacker on the Toshiba, mostly noticeable on letterbox and credits etc. Low level detail is pretty similar. The other side of the coin is that the Samsung looks a bit sharper. For example, pick a scene with an actor that has a day or 2 of beard growth, and you can see the individual hairs clearer on the Samsung. The little glowing dots on the Na'vi were crisper (scene when Neytiri kills the dog after she saves Jake, for example). Also, flesh tones and tans/greys look a bit more natural on the Samsung. The neutral colors on the Toshiba always seem to have a bit of tint to them. What the tint is (red, green, or blue) and how much there is I can vary with adjustments, but I can never get it quite like the Samsung. The "cool" color mode on the Toshiba makes it closer to the Samsung, but is too blue. Also, if you are not careful with the Samsung sharpness setting, it can look a bit grainy real fast. I haven't noticed much motion blur or whatever, but have not viewed material specifically for that yet.
So, which am I keeping? Not sure yet. I still have 2+ weeks to decide which set, so I am hoping to get the blue glasses and adjust the color some more. I have a feeling the Toshiba color accuracy is off a bit. I like the Toshiba, and when watching it w/ the Samsung off, I am very happy. But, when they are on next to each other, I always notice the better flesh tones on the Samsung and hesitate. But then I notice the better natural colors on the Toshiba and prefer that!
Here are some more pics:
Oh, any advice on settings I could adjust would be welcome, or on the odd issue on the Samsung regarding the HDMI black level option being greyed out.