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AVS › Reviews › Displays › 3D HDTV › Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #15 in 3D HDTV


Pros: Great contrast, fantastic bright room performance, fast and easy Smart Hub, elegant design

Cons: Remote backlight, annoying camera, small crosstalk on 3D, high input lag

Samsung's top of the line Plasma this year, the f8500, is the first Plasma I've ever owned, and by far the best tv i've ever owned. I upgraded from my previous set, an LG 47LH90, which was a fully backlit LED. The off angle performance of my previous set, as well as overall contrast and black levels weren't satisfying enough for me after 4 years of usage. The 51f8500 includes four pair of 3D glasses (active, battery operated), a fancy touchpad remote, as well as a curved bow shaped stand. I personally chose to mount my set on the wall. Those who may choose to place it on a stand may want to make sure their stand will work, as the base is very wide.

The TV is beautiful, aesthetically. It feature's a brushed chrome design, and is nearly as thin as slim line LED models. It feature's a pop up camera on top, which i personally found to be somewhat frustrating as i always got a message for it when i turned the TV on (which i easily fixed by disabling the camera altogether, it was more of a gimmick to me than anything else). When I did have the camera enabled it worked well for the most part, although some times the tv audio would randomly trigger it. The remote itself feels great and is easy to use with the smart features. Samsung will be providing in later models this year a "normal" remote, or you can mail in a rebate for to get one for free, which is convenient. I was disappointed with the backlight features of the included remote, however, as it only lights up the button and does not allow you to see what the text says below the buttons, which kind of defeats the purpose. The F8500 also features a quad core processer which greatly improves smart hub performance and app navigation. When the TV becomes "dated" and next year models are released, you will have the ability to upgrade the 8500 with the smart evolution kit.

Samsung currently has, in my opinion, the best smart hub on the market. With multiple tabs including "ON Tv", "Apps", "Social", and "Photos / Videos", the hub was extremely easy to navigate and was a breeze with the touchpad remote. One of the cooler features is the ability to send an IR blaster from the back of the TV into the front of your cable or satellite box, allowing you to easily change the channel and see what is on. I didn't use the feature much, however, as I have a harmony remote with a receiver separate, although i could find it extremely useful for those with just the tv, cable box, and / or soundbar. The included remote will essentially act as a universal remote for all of your devices as well. You can use voice commands to select certain channels as well with the built in camera/microphone on the TV or with the remote. I never used these, but once again they could be useful for some. The TV also had an easy to use walk through that allows you to select the devices you own and want to program with your remote, which was really cool.

I never used the speakers on the TV for personal use, as i have a 5.1 Bowers & Wilkin / Denon setup. As with any slim TV, speaker performance on any set is mediocre at best. I did do a test just to see how loud the f8500 would get, and it was loud but the quality just wasn't there. But, that's expected with such small speakers built in. I highly recommend at minimum a soundbar with the TV.

Picture wise, the TV blew me away. Incredibly deep black levels along with a great contrast of brightness really made the TV pop. I used suggested settings on the AVSforums to get very good color accuracy, although i was somewhat limited on my settings as i turned my TV on PC mode to lower input lag (as i frequently play games). Luckily, however, on other inputs my full settings remained the same. With the recommended settings, black levels remained good with great shadow detail. When watching the Dark Knight, particular on specific cityscape areas, you could easily see details in the buildings, without washing the image out. The input lag is noticable with my "calibrated" settings, but when i switch it to PC mode i don't even / barely notice the lag. The TV worked very well even when my lights were on, and i noticed no decrease in black levels as some lower tier plasma's will. I did notice when sitting up close and below the tv that the image was overall much darker, i'm not sure if this is common with all plasma televisions or not. As normal with all Plasma TV's, this set does buzz, even more so with brighter images, but i didn't find it to be an issue whenever i had my speakers on. I did watch a few things in 3D, and overall i was impressed. I wasn't a huge fan of the included glasses, although they were light weight, i was easily distracted as i could see my reflection in them, which was kind of weird. For those afraid of plasma TV's because of "burn in", you probably shouldn't worry, unless you are careless with the TV. I have noticed a small bit of image retention if i leave my xbox on the dashboard for an extended period of time (30+ minutes), but the image quickly goes away. The TV has tons of options to prevent burn in, including a screen wipe.

The TV purchase price was $1899, which is expensive, but for the picture quality you get, incredible contrast, deep blacks, quad core processer, voice commands, and premium design, the TV is worth it if you are in the market for a higher end set. Although there were a few minor complaints, such as high input lag, 3d crosstalk, and the camera, the TV is still incredible. If you're big on picture quality and a great smart hub, or even a plasma for a bright room, the set is definitely for you.
Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV

Feature1080p Plasma HDTV: Best picture quality 600Hz Refresh Rate: Best for general viewing, video games, action movies, and sports Smart TV with Gesture Controls and a Built in Camera: Interact with streaming content and the web TV without stand (Width x Height x Depth): 46.9'' x 27.9'' x 1.9'', TV with stand (Width x Height x Depth): 46.9'' x 29.3'' x 10.6''
Item Height29.3 inches
Item Length46.9 inches
Item Width10.6 inches
Package Height16 inches
Package Length21 inches
Package Weight21 pounds
Package Width16 inches
ProductGroupHome Theater
TitleSamsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
UPCList - UPCListElement887276021256
Item Weight51.6 pounds
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElementPN51F8500AFXZA
Warranty1 year parts and labor
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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