Well, guys, I can now call myself an official owner of this AMAZING TV!!!
Took delivery this afternoon from Video & Audio Center in L.A. and everything went great. There were 2 guys that showed up with the set. They had called about 45 mins prior to getting here saying they were 45 to 60 minutes away and to make sure I was here...of course I was here. Where did they think I'd be? I've been waiting for 8 days, patiently for the set to get here...geez.
Anyway, the two guys got here 45 mins later and were at my door with this huge box at my door step...didn't even know they were out there til my doorbell rang. they brought the beast carefully inside to my den with no problems. I had just taken down the 60" set (with the help of a buddy) that it was going to be replacing just in time for them to unbox, unpack, remove the accessories and then mount the hardware from the other set onto the new one and finally set it up onto the elevated riser/rack. I was a little concerned that the old mounting hardware might not fit the larger set, but it did, no problem.
So the guys plugged in all the cables, then finally the power cable and fired it up. Instantly I new that this set was special, even before getting into the tv settings to do some rudimentary adjustments, i could tell that this set was gonna blow away the 60" LG (PX950) that was moving to the other room. Although the difference in sizes really isn't that much of a change, the picture quality between the two are night and day!
I've been playing with different settings and will continue to try to dial the picture into just the right feel, making sure not to have it on blast mode for the first couple hundred hours of use. I'll also try some of the settings that have been posted in these threads til I find one that works for me.
I've mostly just been watching college football since I turned the tv on while trying different picture settings and working my way thru the cool functions of the set.
I will tell you that I REALLY like the smart remote. I was a little concerned at first, reading that many people didn't really care for it too much because they couldn't operate their set top boxes properly. Well, I'll tell you, my cable box works like a charm with the remote. The cable guide is integrated right through the tv's UI and settings, in a more user friendly and more attractive UI than I was used to with the cable box's guide alone. Also, changing channels is a breeze...another area of concern I was worried about. I had heard that you couldn't input numbers directly with the remote, coz there's no number buttons on it, but what I didn't know is that you can actually, with the touch pad, draw the number sequence input right on the touch screen of the remote. That is so easy peasy, it's ridiculous. you don't even have to be looking at the remote to do this. just draw the number, then press the touch pad to input and the channel changes instantly. I don't know if this function is dependent on certain boxes or what, but it works on mine just great, didn't even need the IR extender connected either...it just works.
So now my biggest challenge was to see how Blu Ray movies (with an Oppo BDP93) would look on this screen. One word review. SHABAM!!! when I put in a disc, that I just watched last night, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, my jaw almost hit the floor! Compared to my other plasma that I watched on last night, there was no comparison. To be honest, when I watched it last night on my other set, I was a bit dissapointed in the lack of resolution and sharpness that many other movies have displayed on this same set. But when i put it on the Samsung, O! M! G! it was like watching a completely different high resolution movie. I was just blown away with how beautiful this picture can be.
Needless to say, I am more than pleased with this purchase. I feel like I really got a cutting edge display at a reasonable (though still expensive) price that should hopefully last me for several years to come.
I also feel fortunate that I have not heard any out of the ordinary buzzing, no dead pixels, everything seems to be working perfectly well...knocks on wood.
All of you guys who've received your new f8500 sets, congratulations! I now you must be in Resolution Heaven about right now. Those of you expecting delivery soon, expect to be WOW'D! And those of you still on the fence, DO NOT HESITATE! GET ONE NOW! YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT!