Often the best TV is the one that makes fewest sacrifices to achieve all-round ability – the Samsung is that setWrite your own review
- Excellent detail, sharpness and colour reproduction
- good motion
- controlled standard-def pictures, but not at the expense of definition
- Doesn’t manage the very blackest blacks
- evidence of temporary image retention
Samsung has frequently made the best efforts when it comes to styling. True, the PS50B650's red-tinted bezel won't be to everyone's taste, but at least it's more interesting than a big, black box.
This TV boasts a feature list that ensures it's more than just a rose-tinted proposition.
It has four HDMI inputs, two USB sockets (one for music, movie and photo files; one for an optional wireless dongle), 100Hz motion processing and Samsung's Ultra FilterBright panel, which is designed to
A delicate, natural performer
As always, we avoid getting bogged down in specs, and get down to the business of performance. And it's in this regard that the Samsung is most impressive.
Play The Curious Case of Benjamin Button on Blu-ray and it stakes a claim for most detailed performer on test, digging up all the wrinkles and blemishes on the old-looking, young Brad Pitt.
It's also got a supremely delicate and accurate way with skin-tones, so in the early phases of the film he has a worn, leathery colour, and as he gets younger/ older, he becomes more flushed and vital.
The scenes that see him sneaking around the old people's home at night prove that its blacks aren't quite as deep as those of the very best, but the overall balance, poise and naturalness of what's on offer more than makes up for this minor shortcoming.
Motion is also just shy of some rivals levels of solidity, but the gap is small enough that this is equally forgivable.
Excellent performance with DVD
If the Samsung quietly raises its hand for attention with Blu-ray, it jumps up and down screaming for you to take notice when you play a DVD.
Here you get sharpness and detail combining with superb image stability and cleanliness to produce the best standard-def picture we've seen for a while.
Results are similarly impressive with Freeview, ensuring even a challenging picture like that on Dave is stable and relatively subtle; an especially impressive feat for a 50in set.
There's just a touch of hardness to the TV's audio, but it's balanced and clear.
And that's the Samsung's story all-round: it may not be quite perfect, but the flaws it's got are minor. Taken as a whole, this is a truly terrific TV.