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Samsung PS64F8500 review

Samsung's 64-inch TV sees the Korean brand making a big step forward with its plasma picture quality

Our Verdict

The PS64F8500 is easily Samsung's most aggressive assault yet on Panasonic's traditional dominance of the plasma TV market

For

  • Remarkably bright for plasma
  • Excellent black levels
  • Powerful smart TV platform
  • Very good sound quality

Against

  • Dithering in dark areas
  • Smart system can confuse
  • Minor initial image retention
  • Minor 3D crosstalk interference

Samsung is not, it would seem, a brand that likes chasing anyone. It seems almost obsessed with being the pace setter, the race leader, not the valiant runner up. This obsession has seen the brand invest vast amounts of research and development time in recent years in successfully hunting down seemingly unassailable rivals in the smartphone, tablet and LCD TV sectors.

Now, if the Samsung PS64F8500 plasma TV is anything to go by, Samsung's ruthless quest for world dominance now has a new quarry in its sights: Panasonic. Or more specifically, Panasonic's long-revered plasma TVs.

Samsung is hardly a plasma virgin, of course. It's served up numerous plasma television hits before. However, these previous plasma successes have mostly traded on value for money - when it comes to absolute picture quality, Panasonic has remained the king of the castle.

Samsung PS64F8500 review

Buying Guide
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With the Samsung PS64F8500, though, the brand gets so close to upsetting this established order that you can practically hear Panasonic's teeth chattering.

As its name suggests, the Samsung PS64F8500 is a 64-inch TV - a damn fine size for movie fans, and a heck of a lot of television to be getting for a full price of £2,999.99 (around AU$4,620/US$4,575).

What's more, despite its very respectable price the Samsung PS64F8500 is no feature lightweight. On the contrary, its highlights include active 3D playback, a comprehensive multimedia playback system, a full iteration of Samsung's latest startlingly powerful and flexible smart TV/online platforms and a much more refined and uncompromising plasma panel design than anything the brand has unleashed before.

Samsung PS64F8500 review

You can even wave your hands at and talk to the TV if you want to - things we've not previously felt inclined to do, to be honest, but which suddenly, thanks to recent significant firmware updates from Samsung's seemingly tireless engineers, have started to make sense.

Despite Samsung putting so much effort into the PS64F8500, the TV doesn't sit at the head of a long line of cheaper plasma models, as you might expect.

There's a 51-inch 8500 model that costs £1,899.99, but aside from that your only Samsung plasma options are the 60-inch and 51-inch F5500 models - priced at £1,299.99 and £899.99. These use less high-grade panels and video processing, don't have built-in cameras and don't support voice or motion control.

Samsung PS64F8500 review

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If you'd rather have a Samsung LCD TV, the obvious options to consider would be the brand's flagship F8000 LCD TVs - a range of outstanding sets that currently top out at 55 inches but will ultimately be joined by 65-inch and 75-inch models.

But you should note that the biggest two models in this series will likely be far more expensive than the Samsung PS64F8500.

So far as rival sets from other brands are concerned, the inevitable competition will be Panasonic. Where models we've already tested are concerned, the closest option is the Panasonic P65VT50. But we'll also soon be looking at the brand new Panasonic P65VT65 and flagship Panasonic P60ZT65 models.

Tech Specs

Product TypePlasma TV
Scan Format1080p
Standard Refresh Rate50 Hz
Digital TunerDVB-T (MPEG4), DVB-C (MPEG4), DVB-S2
Video Signal StandardHDTV 1080p
Number of HDMI Ports4
Number of SCART Interfaces1
Product Family8500
3D Type3D
EU Energy LabelC
Brand NameSamsung
Screen Size162.6 cm (64")
Aspect Ratio16:9
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityCEC
EthernetYes
Wireless LANYes
Ethernet TechnologyEthernet
USBYes
HDMIYes
Weight with Stand (Approximate)36.20 kg
Operating Power Consumption230 W
Standby Power Consumption500 mW
RMS Output Power20 W
Electronic Program GuideYes
HDMI VersionHDMI 1.4a
VGANo
HeadphoneNo
Digital Audio OutputYes
Height with Stand918 mm
Width with Stand1482.60 mm
Depth with Stand320 mm
Number of Common Interface1
CI+Yes
Composite VideoYes
Component VideoYes
SCARTYes
Network (RJ-45)Yes
Number of USB Ports3
3D TechnologyShutter
SlimlineYes
Energy Consumption per Year336 kWh
3D Glasses RequiredYes
Enhanced Refresh Rate600 Hz
Height877.7 mm
Width1482.6 mm
Depth55.4 mm
ColourTitan Black
Sound SystemDolby Pulse, Dolby Digital Plus, Surround Sound, DTS
Product Series8500
Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080
FeaturesMedia Player, PC Streaming, Teletext, Web Browser, Auto Program, Auto-off, Sound Leveler, Picture in Picture, Sleep Timer
ManufacturerSamsung
Product ModelPS64F8500ST
Product Name64" F8500 Series 8 Smart 3D Full HD Plasma TV
Manufacturer Part NumberPS64F8500STXXU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

The Samsung Plasma TV Series 8 uses features like Real Black Pro to produce the richest, deepest blacks, while the Super Contrast Panel enhances brightness, so you can enjoy the sharpest contrast and most vivid images possible. It's also a stunning addition to your home, with a stunning metal finish and elegant design that unifies the body and stand. With Smart Hub and S Recommendation, your Series 8 Plasma TV even lets you access online content and services, as well as suggestions based on your taste.

Package Contents
  • 64" F8500 Series 8 Smart 3D Full HD Plasma TV
  • 2 x 3D Glasses
  • IR Extender Cable
  • Slim Gender Cable
  • Power Cable
  • User Manual
  • E-Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote Control
SpeakersYes
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)32.80 kg