Pros: Video, sleek look, very thin design, much better Anti-Reflective filter than the PN51D550 (I spent a lot of time in front of both in the show room checking this out).
Cons: The TV Down-Converts 5.1 surround sound audio from HDMI connected sources to 2-Channel audio before sending the audio out the Digital Optical cable to the receiver - thereby eliminating the surround sound of your system.
Summary: I am a very unhappy Samsung customer today :-(
I just got my Samsung PN51D6500 3D TV and Samsung HTD5300 receiever (Home Theater In-a-Box; HTIB) last night. I was very excited and was up late last night getting everything set up.
I will start by saying the the picture on this set is great. But I was very unhappy with the sound processing of the TV. I am a big fan of watching shows in HD and listening in 5.1 surround sound and that is why I bought this whole system. I even spent a day last weekend pre-wiring the family room for rear speakers, locating the subwoofer behind the couch, and running an internet connection and coax to the TV location.
I have several A/V devices to hook up to the TV: WOW! HD digital cable box, PS3, Wii, old VCR and some interactive kids games. Several of these items output 5.1 Dolby Digital (surround sound) audio and I was really looking forward to being immersed in the experience. I hooked the HD / 5.1 audio devices to the TV via HDMI and ran a digital optical cable from the TV to the HTIB. THE PROBLEM is that the TV DOWN-CONVERTS the 5.1 audio to 2-channel audio before passing it to the HTIB. So all you get is 2-channel audio, and it only used the front left and front right speakers. That to me is another problem as the largest and best speaker in a 5.1 system is the center channel and that is not even being used now.
I have set up many HD systems in the past and I think I know what I am doing, but I figured I was missing something here so I went to the manual. And the manual CONFIRMED that the TV will only output 2-channel audio from HDMI sources.
And then, just to be sure, I called Samsung Customer Support today. I will say that they were very friendly and took them time to try and help me out. But they also ended up saying that this is just how the TV is designed. Here is an excerpt from the manual:
"When the receiver (i.e Home Theater) is set to On, you can hear sound
output from the TV's Optical jack. When the TV is displaying a DTV (over-the-air)
signal, the TV will send out 5.1 channel sound to the receiver. When the
source is a digital component such as a DVD player (or cable box, PS3, etc.) and is connected to the
TV via HDMI, you will hear only 2 channel sound from the receiver."
That is on page 263 of the manual at http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/co...0323191523565/
I don't know, perhaps there is some technical reason for the TV to down convert 5.1 audio to 2-channel audio, but I must say that I think this is a serious design flaw and that someone at Samsung made a big mistake in how this is processed.
Samsung's solution, per the manual and Customer Support, is to run the video to the TV via HDMI and run the audio directly from the A/V devices to the receiver via a Digital Optical cable:
"To hear 5.1 channel audio, connect HDMI cables to your Anynet+ DVD player,
satellite box, etc. Then, connect the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL) jack on
your DVD player, Satellite Box, etc. (i.e. Anynet + Device 1 or 2) directly to the
Home Theater, not the TV."
This is from page 259 of the manual: http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/co...0323191523565/
I agree that this will work IF you have a receiver with enough Audio inputs for each device you are connecting. However, my Samsung HTIB receiver (which I bought as a package) only has 1 Digital Optical In. That means if I hook my cable box audio directly to the HTIB, then I CAN'T listen to any sound from the TV or any of my other devices through my receiver - I would have to use the TV's 2 speakers. And then, what would be the point of having a receiver and 5.1 system?????
I think Samsung missed the mark badly here and if they find a way to get this 5.1 audio issue corrected, then I think they will have a winner. In the meantime, I am going to stop by my local A/V store tonight to see if they have any possible work arounds for this. And if not, then my system is going to be returned.
UPDATE: Their solution is to return the HTIB and replace that with a true Receiver and a separate #D blu ray player. Then I can run all my HDMI connections into the Receiver and run a single HDMI from the receiver to the TV. This is a workable solution and it even has some advantages over the HTIB, but it will also cost me at least $200 more if I decide to go that way. And it will require more space as I am exchanging 1 box for 2. I feel a little better now that there is a workable solution for the TV, but I am unhappy that it will cost more money and I still think that Samsung made a blunder by not allowing 5.1 audio pass-thru on the TV.