First time poster here.
I read through this thread several times before ultimately deciding on the H5000. I REALLY wanted a F8500 but it appears I missed the boat on it, and I can't bring myself to spend twice what the H500 costs. I was really nervous about ordering this TV due to all the concern with glare and reflections, as the TV will ultimately be placed in a game room that will not be fully light controlled.
I received the TV early Saturday morning. I was quite impressed with the picture quality even right out of the box (with eco setting off). The colors, blacks, and uniformity definitely put my Vizio E-Series LCD to shame. The pentile screen is definitely noticeable within 6 feet. Depending on the content it it becomes unnoticeable 8-10 feet away. It it is most noticeable with static text. During a movie or show it is hard to discern. I almost wish I didn't even know about because I found myself looking for it and I may not have noticed it as much if people hadn't made such a big deal about it. During good HD content the screen still looks very detailed if your are 8-10 feet away.
I believe the glare issues have been blown out of proportion. I had the windows open, and nearly all the lights on in my apartment in middle of the day on Saturday and Sunday the TV still had better colors and blacks then the Vizio E-Series LCD.
The screen does reflect a lot. Especially if a light is on at a bad angle with the viewer and the TV. I found myself moving around to avoid the reflections. The reflections aren't quite a deal breaker though. During casual TV viewing I did find that I could focus on the image and not the reflections. But if you constantly look for reflections they can become bothersome. The Vizio E-Series with a semi-matte screen did not have near the reflections as this TV does.
Overall I am quite happy with this TV. However, Best Buy selling the 65" Vizio P-Series for $1500 does give me some buyers remorse. I wish I had the opportunity to view these displays next to each other in similar conditions. The H5000 might very well have a better picture than the P-Series but the latest Cnet review of the P-Series says it had comparable blacks to the F8500.
I suppose I will stick with the H5000 as the picture quality is very good and Sears requires a 15% restocking fee to return it
! I also wouldn't be able to fit the massive box in my Jeep to return it myself.
I wish Samsung had put a AR filter on this screen I would have gladly paid a few extra hundred for it. That would have made this a nearly perfect display, and of course if they hadn't used the pentile display. But I guess that's basically the F8500...
On a side note... Does anyone have any experience with aftermarket AR filters? I have been googling around this morning and came across a couple options. But I have not found any credible reviews of them which gives me hesitation. The most promising is a Viewguard screen filter for $200. If this thing does what it says it does I think it would be worth it. It supposedly only reduces brightness by 10% which I think I accept for a reduction in reflections. It could then be removed for a light controlled environment. I have not found anything on AVSforum about this. There are mostly people asking about it with no response. I did find one 'review' but it is not very detailed. Can't post links yet but just google 'Review: Intelligen Anti-Glare TV Filter' if you are interested.