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post #1 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Samsung PN60F5300 - A & B Differences?

Hello All,

I am researching which Samsung plasma I will hopefully be purchasing soon and am very interested in the PN60F5300. I have read amazing feedback and the value seems equally amazing. However, I am also a bit confused regarding A and B models. The following is my understanding so far and would appreciate clarification:

  1. A is 2013 and B is 2014
  2. B supposedly has some PQ improvements?? ( not sure if this is true or of any details)
  3. B has exhibited a pinkish hue along the bottom of the screen on some sets

As I said, this is just my understanding based on reading this and other forums ...not based on any official literature I have read. So I could be wrong with any of the above items.

Also, I keep reading people stating there are no A models left yet when I spoke to people at Best Buy (both at a couple local stores and through their national support line), they confirm that the sets they are selling are in fact A models. I don't actually plan on buying from Best Buy because their price currently is too high but am curious if anyone else has noticed if this.

Another thing is whether anyone knows if there are any production differences (other than aesthetic) between the 5300 and the Costco 5350?

And last but not least, the infamous question, is one model considered "better" over the other (A or B)?

Last edited by karnog; 10-16-2014 at 08:15 AM.
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post #2 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 09:28 AM
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1. Correct. A is 2013 and B is 2014.
2. B has improved panels with better blacks.
3. Both A and B have various degrees of pinkish hue on some but not all sets.

Best Buy never changed their listing from A to B after 2013 models were replaced by 2014 models. Drones working at Best Buy would likely not be aware of this. They're just trusting their company's erroneous listing. Go to a Best Buy store that has one in stock and it's 99.99% likely to be a B model.

Costco's 5350 is identical to 5300 in all respects including aesthetic. You can't tell them apart. Costco's website currently reports the 5350 is now out of stock for shipping, and various people on this forum have reported that their local Costco stores are sold out.

The B is better than the A due to better blacks. It would be hard to find a leftover A (2013) model anywhere, and the B models aren't going to last long.

EDIT: Best Buy lists the UPC code as 887276963693. On the UPC Index website, this UPC code is for the 2014 PN60F5300BFXZA, not the 2013 PN60F5300AFXZA whose UPC code is 887276017976. Best Buy is NOT selling A models!

Last edited by Dave in Green; 10-16-2014 at 09:49 AM.
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post #3 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info!

As far as Best Buy, I asked one of the people in the TV/Electronics department to actually go and look at the model number on the box but it is doubtful they did that. Probably just looked at what was on the display info card and told me that.

Thanks again, I appreciate it!
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post #4 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 10:00 AM
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The B model is definitely better than the A model. Far superior black levels, and even more importantly, it has excellent out of box "calibration" in movie mode once you dial in some of the baseline settings as outlined in the post in my signature. The A model needed a lot of work in the CMS and white balance settings to get it to a good calibration. With the B model, I found that I needed a lot less tweaking to get to a fully calibrated set.
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Recommended calibration settings for Samsung PN60F5300B
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post #5 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Good to know. I will definitely check out those calibration settings if I end up getting this model (which is looking very likely)!
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post #6 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 10:45 AM
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I bought mine from the Costco web site before they ran out. I was a bit chapped because I had to pay $50 more, plus $30 shipping, than if I'd caught it at my local store before they ran out, but I am very pleased with the performance of the set. I feel fortunate to have it at the $788 I paid with tax and delivery.

I can also attest to the usefulness of Orion's calibration. It was a vast improvement over the out-of-the-box settup.

I'm really frugal, but I would sure have a hard time paying over $2000 for any TV, considering the price and performance of this set.
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post #7 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 10:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Glad to get the confirmation on Orion's calibrations being helpful.

Contrary to you, I typically am not that frugal when it comes to my electronics toys. However having said that, I know the 8500 is a completely different beast, superior in many ways, yet I simply don't think I will be able to justify to myself to pull the trigger on paying over double what I would pay for the 5300. I primarily am interested in picture quality, accurate colors, deep blacks ...not too interested in smart features or 3D. I know the 8500 beats the 5300 in many of my areas of interest, yet I am sure some of the "double" cost also has to do with smart and 3D features.
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post #8 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karnog View Post
yet I am sure some of the "double" cost also has to do with smart and 3D features.
I think the key upgrades with an F8500 are:

1) Best ever bright room performance from a Plasma - It can achieve very high peak brightness in comparison to most plasmas
2) Good anti-reflection filter, which again helps with the bright room viewing
3) 3D capability (high brightness also helps with this)
4) Smart TV capabilities

On the negatives, it consumes a LOT of power to achieve the peak brightness and can get quite warm. I'd count a 3X cost over the F5300 as a negative too, though that is debatable .

For light controlled viewing though, I see no reason to spend extra on the F8500 if you don't care for 3D and Smart TV features (which can be added with a cheap chromecast or roku).

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Recommended calibration settings for Samsung PN60F5300B
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post #9 of 232 Old 10-16-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again Orion2001 for the information.

Yes, I was aware of the amazing brightness achievable by the 8500 as well as the anti-reflection filter. Both are desirable attributes, although I think I can live without the extra brightness since the room my set will be going in does not get a lot of direct sunlight and most of my watching is at night. As far as anti-glare, it kind of goes hand in hand with my previous statement ...since I don't watch too much during the day, I am hoping my normal ambient / room lighting is not an issue with glare / reflections.

I assume there are deeper blacks and perhaps more accurate colors attained by the 8500? Even if so, I am thinking it simply won't be enough to persuade me to purchase it over the 5300.

Thanks again!
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post #10 of 232 Old 10-17-2014, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karnog View Post
I assume there are deeper blacks and perhaps more accurate colors attained by the 8500?
Nope, F5300B blacks actually measure a bit better than the F8500.
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post #11 of 232 Old 10-17-2014, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post
Nope, F5300B blacks actually measure a bit better than the F8500.
Interesting, although I suppose it makes sense. Since the F8500 is so much brighter that apparently causes it to suffer slightly in blacks.
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post #12 of 232 Old 10-18-2014, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by karnog View Post
Interesting, although I suppose it makes sense. Since the F8500 is so much brighter that apparently causes it to suffer slightly in blacks.
F8500 used to measure lower in black level but they released a firmware update that increased it to .0025fL to lessen floating blacks, it also cut the brightness down a lot.

F5300B measures .0019-.002fL, and it can get to 42fL brightness with black optimizer set to auto.
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post #13 of 232 Old 10-18-2014, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post
F5300B measures .0019-.002fL, and it can get to 42fL brightness with black optimizer set to auto.
42fL sure seems sufficiently bright and with the excellent contrast ratio, sounds like a good picture. Hopefully the colors can be calibrated accurately as well.
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post #14 of 232 Old 10-19-2014, 02:08 AM
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Hopefully the colors can be calibrated accurately as well.
Queue orion2001 color charts.
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post #15 of 232 Old 10-19-2014, 12:20 PM
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Best Buy never changed their listing from A to B after 2013 models were replaced by 2014 models. Drones working at Best Buy would likely not be aware of this. They're just trusting their company's erroneous listing. Go to a Best Buy store that has one in stock and it's 99.99% likely to be a B model.

I'm looking for a 51F5300 B model. You're saying even though the Best Buy site lists it as the A model -- that it's actually the B model?


Meaning if I order it from their site I'm going to get the B model?

Last edited by RWetmore; 10-19-2014 at 01:06 PM.
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post #16 of 232 Old 10-19-2014, 06:55 PM
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RWetmore, first of all, I wouldn't make any promises about anything related to Best Buy. The research I did was for the 60" model, not the 51" model. I just looked at BB's website for the 51" model and they do not include a UPC number as they do with the 60" model. So we are left to make our best guess. You have to ask yourself if a big, high-volume retailer like BB would still have 2013 models left in stock a year after 2014 models were introduced.

From other sources I've found that the UPC code for the 2014 PN51F5300BFXZA is 887276963686 and the UPC code for the 2013 PN51F5300AFXZA is 887276017952. If you want the newer, better B model, just tell whoever you buy from that you want UPC code 887276963686 and not 887276017952.
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post #17 of 232 Old 10-20-2014, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
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It seems the problem with big retailers like BB is there is almost no way to get someone on the phone to verify for you the actual numbers on a product. The only way to know for sure is to go into the store and read them from an actual physical set yourself. I realize for some people that is nearly impossible to do, since you may not be close enough to drive to a store. I suppose the same issue could happen with an online retailer.
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post #18 of 232 Old 10-20-2014, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post
Queue orion2001 color charts.
You rang?

Op, check the post in my sig and the Charts posted in the Spoiler section of the post. It calibrates very well with a meter. Without a meter, my settings in the post should get you to a great picture out of the box. For your room and viewing situation, the F5300 will be a fantastic set. I've had it since July, and every time I turn it on in the evening/night to watch a movie or show, I get excited like it's the first time I'm watching stuff on the TV. The picture quality and black levels are really amazing and I can't get over the fact that I was able to purchase such a good quality set for ~ $670.

PS - It is really unlikely you will get an A model if you purchase now. I highly doubt anyone at the store will make the effort to go look at a box label for you unless you are pestering them in person at their store.

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post #19 of 232 Old 10-20-2014, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Op, check the post in my sig and the Charts posted in the Spoiler section of the post. It calibrates very well with a meter. Without a meter, my settings in the post should get you to a great picture out of the box. For your room and viewing situation, the F5300 will be a fantastic set. I've had it since July, and every time I turn it on in the evening/night to watch a movie or show, I get excited like it's the first time I'm watching stuff on the TV. The picture quality and black levels are really amazing and I can't get over the fact that I was able to purchase such a good quality set for ~ $670.
Thanks. It truly is helpful to hear this feedback. It seems that at this price point there really is nothing else that can compare, as long as you don't need a blazing bright screen. I look forward to pulling the trigger soon. It is now a matter of determining where to put it and figuring out some installation challenges (since we will likely be wall-mounting or hanging from the ceiling) ...keeping that cost down.
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post #20 of 232 Old 10-21-2014, 11:24 AM
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Thanks. It truly is helpful to hear this feedback. It seems that at this price point there really is nothing else that can compare, as long as you don't need a blazing bright screen. I look forward to pulling the trigger soon. It is now a matter of determining where to put it and figuring out some installation challenges (since we will likely be wall-mounting or hanging from the ceiling) ...keeping that cost down.

I'm still anxiously awaiting my couch to be delivered to take full advantage of this TV. Recently finished the basement and have everything ready to go... except a couch. Watched a football game this past weekend on a folding chair!

The picture is awesome on this thing... after a switch off the "Default" setting. I plugged this baby in for the first time, also nothing this is first time I've had a plasma, and initially thought "Oh no". Switched over to Movie mode and was instantly relieved. Then used Orion's recommendations and it's really tuned in nicely. (Thanks Orion)

I ran the color slides for like 100 total hours (not sure if you really need to or not, but since I wasn't really using the TV as I didn't have carpet at the time and/or furniture yet, figured it didn't hurt either).

I was watching this set for several months (a while back) and then saw BB dropped it into the $750 range. Thought it was great deal. Did a quick search on the set and saw Sears of all places had it listed for $640 + free shipping. Mind you this was back in like June/July though. If you're patient, I'm assuming you can get it under $700 for sure. Haven't seen $640 again though. Think HHGregg had it down at like $650 not too long ago as well. Seems like everyone is back at the $799 range right now.

Recommend it for sure. Good luck!

P.S. Speakers understandably stink on the set. I searched out a budget soundbar and ended up buying the VIZIO S3821w-C0. For $140 I paid for it on Walmart, I'm very pleased with it as well. For the $800 or so I spent on the TV and speaker, I don't think I could have done much better bang for my buck.
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post #21 of 232 Old 10-21-2014, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm still anxiously awaiting my couch to be delivered to take full advantage of this TV. Recently finished the basement and have everything ready to go... except a couch. Watched a football game this past weekend on a folding chair!

The picture is awesome on this thing... after a switch off the "Default" setting. I plugged this baby in for the first time, also nothing this is first time I've had a plasma, and initially thought "Oh no". Switched over to Movie mode and was instantly relieved. Then used Orion's recommendations and it's really tuned in nicely. (Thanks Orion)

I ran the color slides for like 100 total hours (not sure if you really need to or not, but since I wasn't really using the TV as I didn't have carpet at the time and/or furniture yet, figured it didn't hurt either).

I was watching this set for several months (a while back) and then saw BB dropped it into the $750 range. Thought it was great deal. Did a quick search on the set and saw Sears of all places had it listed for $640 + free shipping. Mind you this was back in like June/July though. If you're patient, I'm assuming you can get it under $700 for sure. Haven't seen $640 again though. Think HHGregg had it down at like $650 not too long ago as well. Seems like everyone is back at the $799 range right now.

Recommend it for sure. Good luck!

P.S. Speakers understandably stink on the set. I searched out a budget soundbar and ended up buying the VIZIO S3821w-C0. For $140 I paid for it on Walmart, I'm very pleased with it as well. For the $800 or so I spent on the TV and speaker, I don't think I could have done much better bang for my buck.
Thanks for sharing your experience and glad to hear from another happy customer.

The only times I have seen the $640 price range has been for refurbs, which I don't want. I'm not necessarily looking for prices to drop any further at this point. If they to be lower when I pull the trigger (which is hopefully in the next couple weeks), then that is just extra icing on the cake!

As far as the internal speakers, I don't expect much on any set. I already have a pretty decent external amplifier and speaker set, so luckily I am already fine in that department. (For you audio geeks, I have a pair of Monitor Audio SR-6 speakers, a Paradigm DSP-3200 sub-woofer and a NAD C372 amplifier.)
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post #22 of 232 Old 10-21-2014, 05:28 PM
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RWetmore, first of all, I wouldn't make any promises about anything related to Best Buy. The research I did was for the 60" model, not the 51" model. I just looked at BB's website for the 51" model and they do not include a UPC number as they do with the 60" model. So we are left to make our best guess. You have to ask yourself if a big, high-volume retailer like BB would still have 2013 models left in stock a year after 2014 models were introduced.

From other sources I've found that the UPC code for the 2014 PN51F5300BFXZA is 887276963686 and the UPC code for the 2013 PN51F5300AFXZA is 887276017952. If you want the newer, better B model, just tell whoever you buy from that you want UPC code 887276963686 and not 887276017952.
I tried contacting them but no one could verify which specific model at Best Buy, and I would have to order it online, which means I would have no way of knowing which one I would get (assuming they even have both). However, I found the B model listed on Compsource.com for nearly as good of a price and ordered it there tonight. This TV as good as it is at these crazy low prices is just too damn good of deal to pass up. I'm buying mine to store as a back up to my Panasonic S60 should it ever break down.
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post #23 of 232 Old 10-21-2014, 08:16 PM
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I hate to think of a plasma this good sitting in storage. I hope before putting it in storage you'll at least set it up to try it out next to your S60 and let us know what you think. I'm with orion2001 in that I'll be sitting watching some good programming material late at night on my new PN60F5350B and I get goosebumps at the quality of the image. And I'm coming from an LG 50PK540 that was a pretty decent bargain plasma when I bought it just a few years ago.
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I hate to think of a plasma this good sitting in storage. I hope before putting it in storage you'll at least set it up to try it out next to your S60 and let us know what you think. I'm with orion2001 in that I'll be sitting watching some good programming material late at night on my new PN60F5350B and I get goosebumps at the quality of the image. And I'm coming from an LG 50PK540 that was a pretty decent bargain plasma when I bought it just a few years ago.

Unfortunately, I do not even plan on opening the box -- let alone setting it up to compare. I figure if I don't ever need it or use it, I'll just sell it to someone locally or to a family member.
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post #25 of 232 Old 10-27-2014, 01:11 PM
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A vs B version

HI, just ordered this online from HHGregg and they have it listed a the A series, which I did not notice at first. Now I am hoping I do not get the A series based on what I am reading here but when I chatted with Samsung, they assured me there is no difference in picture quality between the A and B versions and that the A just means its made in 2013. I referenced what i was seeing here and they again assured me that there is no difference.
For those that are saying the B is better, you had both models to compare? When I go to pick it up in store, if its the A series, should I just cancel the order? I got if for $100 less than anywhere else but if its that much inferior as far as black levels etc I will gladly pay the extra $100. thanks

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post #26 of 232 Old 10-27-2014, 01:22 PM
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HI, just ordered this online from HHGregg and they have it listed a the A series, which I did not notice at first. Now I am hoping I do not get the A series based on what I am reading here but when I chatted with Samsung, they assured me there is no different in picture quality between the A and B versions and that the A just means its made in 2013. I referenced what i was seeing here and they again assured me that there is no difference.
For those that are saying the B is better, you had both models to compare? When I go to pick it up in store, if its the A series, should I just cancel the order? I got if for $100 less than anywhere else but if its that much inferior as far as black levels etc I will gladly pay the extra $100. thanks
I wouldn't trust what Samsung told you. There are folks on the forum who have previously owned the A model who then "upgraded" to the B model and have noticed the difference. It also explains the difference in black level numbers measured by reviewers and AVS forum members when the F5300A was first released in 2013. Unfortunately, the B model was never re-reviewed and it's only recently that we've realized that the B series have more capable panels with excellent black levels. The fact that they have different panels is a given since the calibration settings for the A panels looks atrocious on the B panels.

All that being said, I highly doubt that you will be receiving an A series model. If you do, I would spend the extra and pick up the B series model. Dark/black room viewing is an absolute joy on this set.
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Recommended calibration settings for Samsung PN60F5300B
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post #27 of 232 Old 10-27-2014, 01:35 PM
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I wouldn't trust what Samsung told you. There are folks on the forum who have previously owned the A model who then "upgraded" to the B model and have noticed the difference. It also explains the difference in black level numbers measured by reviewers and AVS forum members when the F5300A was first released in 2013. Unfortunately, the B model was never re-reviewed and it's only recently that we've realized that the B series have more capable panels with excellent black levels. The fact that they have different panels is a given since the calibration settings for the A panels looks atrocious on the B panels.

All that being said, I highly doubt that you will be receiving an A series model. If you do, I would spend the extra and pick up the B series model. Dark/black room viewing is an absolute joy on this set.
Thanks orion.. fingers crossed and thanks for the link on the settings. I would hope HHGregg is large enough that they move a high volume of sets and that I get the B version. The UPC numbers listed earlier were for the 51 inch. Is there anything I should be looking for on the box before I leave the store with it to know which series I received, A or B? i would think on the UPC or another label that it would have the full model #..
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post #28 of 232 Old 10-27-2014, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by orion2001 View Post
I wouldn't trust what Samsung told you. There are folks on the forum who have previously owned the A model who then "upgraded" to the B model and have noticed the difference. It also explains the difference in black level numbers measured by reviewers and AVS forum members when the F5300A was first released in 2013. Unfortunately, the B model was never re-reviewed and it's only recently that we've realized that the B series have more capable panels with excellent black levels. The fact that they have different panels is a given since the calibration settings for the A panels looks atrocious on the B panels.

All that being said, I highly doubt that you will be receiving an A series model. If you do, I would spend the extra and pick up the B series model. Dark/black room viewing is an absolute joy on this set.
Orion, question on your settings. I did not see anything in there about the ABL setting (automatic brightness limiter). does your settings take into consideration having that turned off? I saw in a review that it can be turned off by going to System->General->Auto Brightness. Then Select off. should that be turned off? thanks
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post #29 of 232 Old 10-27-2014, 01:52 PM
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Orion, question on your settings. I did not see anything in there about the ABL setting (automatic brightness limiter). does your settings take into consideration having that turned off? I saw in a review that it can be turned off by going to System->General->Auto Brightness. Then Select off. should that be turned off? thanks
Hmm...I'll have to check. I definitely have turned off ECO mode, etc, but I never looked in the System menu after the first day when I turned all the useless stuff off . I'll check tonight and report back and edit my post in the signature. To your question - Yes, you want to turn off all the artificial processing stuff and energy saving features.

And with regards to what to look for on the box, just examine all the sticker labels on the box. One of them should say PN60F5300BXFA if it is a B model or AXFA for an A model.

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Recommended calibration settings for Samsung PN60F5300B
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post #30 of 232 Old 10-27-2014, 01:57 PM
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Hmm...I'll have to check. I definitely have turned off ECO mode, etc, but I never looked in the System menu after the first day when I turned all the useless stuff off . I'll check tonight and report back and edit my post in the signature. To your question - Yes, you want to turn off all the artificial processing stuff and energy saving features.

And with regards to what to look for on the box, just examine all the sticker labels on the box. One of them should say PN60F5300BXFA if it is a B model or AXFA for an A model.
awesome. thanks for the tips and help.. look forward to your update on that ABL setting.
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