I had a chance to see this tv at Sears next to an S2. The first thing you realize about the S2 is the grey front filter. That pretty much ruins the picture to me with any lights on.
The 50C450 had slightly more line bleed than the S2, but you had to look for it up close, better color saturation, and almost no dithering. Seems very similar to what 2009 offered, in a way. The S2 was noisier.
The demo material they had was Celine Dion in concert and Sony demo stuff that usually gets shown at trade shows.
Anyone who doesn't watch their plasma in the dark would probably do just fine with a C450. It has an excellent filter, gets very bright, and the actual look of the screen was so very reminiscent of CRT. Even at 720p, it's a nice set. I thought of picking one up and I had no intention of purchasing a set today.
I don't even like Samsungs, but this set looked like it's blacks were better than the B860 that I would see at Bestbuy all the time.
It seems, from what I've been told, is getting the best blacks from these sets is to have a blu-ray player (PS3 or any other device that can send RGB to the TV, which is supposed to access HDMI Black Low).
I'm sure this year's sets will be better than last, since it was talked of in the avforums interview that they've been working on pre-charge or minimizing the reset pulse this year.
If you have a chance, the following pdf was linked here by xrox back in 2008. This gives you an idea of what Samsung is working on, including where they have aimed to be by 2010.
Although I don't think the build quality of the Korean products can hold a candle to the Japanese, I respect the Koreans for at least offering more calibration options to the consumer and, in a way, making for a competitive marketplace.http://code.chinafpd.net/code2008/me...Technology.pdf
Still want to wait for some solid reviews on these. Hopefully ChadB will calibrate a C550 and compare it with the G20/25.