I recently purchased a new 60" Samsung F8500. Clearly a great picture and, for me, superior to anything else out there including the Panasonic VT60 and ZT60. This TV is replacing a professional series Panasonic (50phd8uk) that I loved but was 8 years old.
The problem I have is an annoying buzz that seems to exist throughout the TV, front/back/left/right. It is extremely noticable if there is no volume and even with the sound at 18 it continues to clearly buzz from 6 feet or so from the set. It's not really loud, just an annoying incesssant buzz that gets a little louder with lighter scenes. Since I still have my old set mounted and working, it was easy for me to confirm that the Panasonic does not make any such buzzing sound (except real close to the back panel) and therefore I do not agree that "all plasmas buzz," at least to the same degree as this set.
Here and elsewhere I have seen the same general statements, all plasmas buzz (at least since they became so thin) or all Samsungs buzz or something equivalent. It is believed that people that don't have the "buzz" issue just can't hear it or are luckily not that sensitive to it. Essentially, I think the advice is something along the lines of, 'dude, learn to live with it, or return it and go to a different brand.' I like the picture enough that I may have to learn to live with it, but if there's any chance to get a set that doesn't buzz I don't mind taking the inititive and time to make it happen.
After noticing the problem, from the very first time I turned it on, I called Samsung and scheduled a technician to come out. I received a call the next day. During the call to schedule the home visit I told them the problem and they were good enough to order (in advance) two internal boards that apparently often resolve the issue in so they could do more than just diagnose when they got out to my home. The parts took about 5 days to come in and they visited the day after that. The technician was very understanding, could hear it, and tried both of the boards, to no avail. He agreed to order a new panel, which is basically a new TV other than the frame.
He installed the new panel yesterday and it did not resolve the issue. It still buzzes, although there is little doubt that it buzzes less than the original panel. For that reason alone I am happy I went through the effort. But, if there really is the potential to obtain a set that doesn't buzz I would sure like to do so. I just came from BB/Magnolia where I tried my best to find a buzz in their display set so that I could satisfy myself that there really isn't a fix to this problem. I turned down the volume on as many sets as I could and put my ear right against the front of the panel and the rear of the panel. I honestly could not hear much, if any, buzz on the set in their store. Of course, there's a significant amount of ambiant noise so that certainly could be the reason. But I really tried to hear it, but didn't.
Long story short, would I be wasting my time pushing this issue further with Samsung or the retailer and try more panels or a new set altogether? I know some people don't hear the buzz but I think the annoyance of the buzz may very well be personal to the listener. In fact, the technician told me yesterday that he was in another home repairing the HDMI input on an F8500 and said he could hear the buzz but the customer wasn't complaining to him at all about it. I felt better that the technician could hear it but even he couldn't definitievely say whether the buzz was within normal levels or not.
I wonder if anyone had an F8500 and returned it because of the buzz and ultimately received one that didn't buzz. That would help determine if the buzz is on all of them or not. Wish I could just listen to five or six of them myself, but maybe finding out if anyone who hears the buzz was able to resolve it, is the next best thing.