Originally Posted by rustygrizwald
I picked up my PN50C450 on Friday March 19th from BestBuy after months of research. In general I don't make purchases from BestBuy. I did the purchase online / pick up in store option and was very satisfied (I avoid sales people whenever possible :>). Sorry for the long review but it took me 4-5 months of research to pull the trigger on this TV. Here are my impressions.
Instructions on the box for removing the TV were clear. After a quick look at the assembly instructions (and sending my kids upstairs to play for 20 minutes) I screwed on the mounting bracket to the base. Just as I read on other reviews these screws did NOT go in easy. Samsung needs to address this as it doesn't instill confidence in the product when the first step in assembly has a minor glitch. Had a bit of a time getting the TV to lineup with the bracket (my issue not the TV). Put in the last 4 screws in the back and those went in much easier. Took a step back and looked at it, dude that thing is huge (large smile on my face)
Now the moment of truthIS IT GOING TO BUZZ? I powered it on and..not a sound to be heard totally silent! For a second I thought maybe I didn't power it on but the little musical tone went off indicating that it was on. This was my #1 concern with all the things I read about buzzing. My wife is partially blind and her hearing is more acute than most people. I didn't mention anything about the buzzing issue (kind of as a test) and she never said a thing about it. Maybe I got lucky, maybe I just can't hear a buzz or maybe it's not as much as an issue as everyone keeps saying? Sure, I stuck my head behind the TV over the next few days and really tried to listen for a buzzing sound. I found if I got on a stool and put my ear really close to the top of the TV (careful it gets hot) I could hear the sound of electricity same as my old CRT TV. IN SHORT NO BUZZING.
HDMI: After some research about the whole HDMI controversy (Monster vs cheap cable) Cnet put everything in perspective for me, it's digital, just get the cheapest cable you can find. Believe it or not BigLots had a gold plated 6' long HDMI cable for $12.00 (BestBuy's least expensive was $29.99). So I picked up one HDMI cable, 4 cans of diced tomatoes, yellow mustard and a 6 pack of root beer (God Bless America).
I connected the HDMI to my U-verse box and immediately went to the first HD channel I could find. I then switch to the corresponding SD channel and flipped back and forth several times. It's a big difference between SD and HD (although my kids and my wife didn't seem to care, but they have not yet given into HD madness).
I then connected my Wii with the standard cables it came with. The picture was obviously not HD but that was to be expected with the Wii. PQ was fine for gaming. The new Super Mario Brothers is way more fun (4 player mode) when you have so much digital real-estate to play on. I think I'm going to pick up a set of component cables from ebay to see if it helps the picture. Overall the PQ was fine for gaming.
I don't have a Blu-Ray player yet so I did a test with my DVD player. Movies looked good after fussing with the screen size settings. I know Blu-ray DVD up scaling will be a significant improvement.
I also need to pick up an antenna so I can get OTA HD channels. From what I've read the OTA signal is not compressed (like my U-verse signal) so I'm excited to see what kind of results I can get.
TV Viewing and Settings
Right out of the box in Standard Mode the picture looked kind of dark and the colors were kind of flat. I then scrolled through to Movie mode. That was much better but still the colors were not super impressive. Then I switch to Dynamic..who the heck came up with this setting? Very bright and colors looked like a carnival. Unfortunately dynamic is the mode for choice for my kids when they play the Wii. I guess that would be the only time you would need this setting.
In order to get the best picture I took the advice of many of you and tweaked the movie mode settings. Thank you (PENDRAG0ON) and others for posting the custom settings. They worked great!! I think I still need to bump down the skin tone setting one more notch but I'm very happy with the way it looks.
There is a lot of talk about Black Lines, Screen Doors, Dither etc.. I don't seem to have any of these issues (maybe ignorance is bliss?). I do get a little pixilation on HD channels sometimes but I think that has more to do with my HD signal being compressed (thanks AT&T). I guess the Blu-ray test will be the only way to verify it's just my U-verse connecting and not the TV it's self. In general it's not a deal breaker for me.
Glare: I have the TV in a corner of our room that has a window flanking the left of the TV and a sliding glass door facing from the other room. Sure you get some glare in the middle of the day but if you just draw the curtains (and I'm not talking about black-out shades, just normal curtains) its fine. At certain angles at night I can see a lamp or kitchen light reflecting on the screen. I've found that most lights have these things called switches which allow you to turn them on/off. That seems to solve the problem :>)
Image Burn: This was another major concern I had prior to purchasing plasma in general. I've come to the conclusion that as long as you don't spend 5 hours straight playing COD4 with the brightness up to 100, image burn is not an issue. I'd say our family is average when it comes to TV use. We've played the Wii and watched movies/TV and over the last week I have never seen any indication of image burn (and trust me I've been looking for it). And NO I didn't run any break in DVD's either.
Sound: With the way people complain about the sound I thought it was going to be like listening to the TV via a tin can and string. Do the speakers compare to a separate surround sound system running from a receiver.NO. Are you going to hear chest thumping bass when you watch a movieNO. Relax people, the sound on the TV is just fine. All of my u-verse TV viewing is done exclusively via the TV speakers right now. I watched a concert the other night and I thought it sounded great. The Wii and DVD are currently running through my receiver and 5 speakers and yes it sounds better through that. But that is to be expected.
General PQ: The real test was last Sunday night when Discovery showed their LIFE series. The whole family sat down to watch our new Plasma. It was ideal viewing with a pitch black room (it felt just like a movie theater) I actually heard one of my kids gasp because it looked so real. My youngest wasn't too happy with all the HD close ups of bugs and kept his hands over his eyes because it looked too real. I personally couldn't believe how clear the picture was. I'm finding out that not all HD channels are the same. Some have great HD and some are so/so. That's more of the fault of u-verse and the compression they use on their HD channels. But after watching that I was sold!!!! I know that Blu-ray is going to be equal if not better than this experience. 720P: When I was in BestBuy this TV was right next to a 1080P TV and you could see a little bit more details when you were 2-3' away. But at 8-9' (my TV viewing) I couldn't see the difference. NON ISSUE FOR ME. But how are the Blacks you ask?: wouldn't you know that the blacks lookwell..black (not grey). Very happy.
Gripes: I use my u-verse remote to watch TV. I only use the Samsung remote to switch inputs or change the screen setting. The Samsung remote is about as responsive as molasses in January. I'm not sure where they put the stupid sensor for the TV but it must be under the base. Switching from SD to HD shows and visa/versa and dealing with the different screen formats is a pain. HD looks great in 16:9 but then the SD shows are not full screen so you have to flip fit to screen to fix that. All of this screen gymnastics is getting old. I wish there was a setting to say, hello TVjust fill the screen for me to give me the best possible picture. Swivel would be nice as it takes 2 people to swivel the TV manually. Since I don't have the component cables for my Wii I have to swap the DVD and Wii between the 1 in-put that supports them. I wish it had 1 more set of composite connections on the side. For now that's about it. Oh yeah one more thing. I watch way too much TV now!
Conclusion: So far I love this TV. The only issue now is competing for screen time between the Kids/wife. I'm glad I got the 50 as I know I would not have been happy with the 42. For the price I don't think you can go wrong with this TV.