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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

Usability

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We obliquely covered much of the usability aspect of the Samsung PS64F8500 when talking about its features. But a recap certainly can't do any harm. So…

Samsung's 2013 TVs go further than those of any other brand right now when it comes to trying to help people find content and interact with the features on offer.

The inclusion with the Samsung PS64F8500 of a second remote control with a touchpad and built-in mic is extremely welcome, and we're also starting to warm after a few false dawns to Samsung's increasingly clever (through regular firmware updates) voice recognition system. Heck, we've even seen demos to suggest that Samsung's previously irritating gesture control engine is about to become usable, following yet another upcoming update.

Samsung PS64F8500 review

The move to five separate on-screen hubs works well in principle too, and the enormous sophistication of Samsung's 'viewing habits learning engine' is a boon, so long as you're patient while it builds its knowledge of your preferences.

There remain two problems with the Samsung PS64F8500's usability, though. One is that Samsung hasn't done enough - in the interface's current form, at least - to help teach users about the features on offer. This means that we can readily imagine many users not even knowing that some of the features are there, or else feeling uncomfortable and uncertain about how to make the most out of them.

The other issue is that Samsung really needs to consolidate its second-device functionality so that smart device users can enjoy control of their TV, multimedia sharing and second screen viewing via one single app.

Sound

Samsung PS64F8500 review

Pictures as big and bold as those of the Samsung PS64F8500 deserve an equally big and bold audio accompaniment. And actually, that's pretty much what they get.

The unusually powerful speaker system makes good use of the TV's relatively large and heavy-duty chassis to produce an impressively wide soundstage that enhances the sense of immersion created by the screen.

There's more bass in this soundstage than you'd usually hear too, courtesy of the woofer on the TV's rear, while the main speakers are powerful and large enough to deliver both a decently scalable mid-range and some rich, harshness-free treble detailing.

Value

Samsung PS64F8500 review

Panasonic's upcoming P65VT65 is set to cost £3,350 (around AU$5,172 / US$5,107) and Samsung's own 'mere' 55-inch UE55F8000 LCD model costs £2,500 (around AU$3,860 / US$3,811).

So with that in mind, if you ask us £3,000 (around AU$4,620 / US$4,575) is by no means an outlandish amount to pay for a screen as huge, feature-rich and talented as the Samsung PS64F8500.

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