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Samsung PS50B650 review

This smart big-screen Samsung seems to do pretty much everything right when it comes to delivering the goods - put it on your audition list Tested at £1400.00

Our Verdict

Often the best TV is the one that makes fewest sacrifices to achieve all-round ability – the Samsung is that set

For

  • Excellent detail, sharpness and colour reproduction
  • good motion
  • controlled standard-def pictures, but not at the expense of definition

Against

  • Doesn’t manage the very blackest blacks
  • evidence of temporary image retention

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Often the best TV is the one that makes fewest sacrifices to achieve all-round ability – the Samsung is that set

Pros

  • + Excellent detail, sharpness and colour reproduction
  • + good motion
  • + controlled standard-def pictures, but not at the expense of definition

Cons

  • - 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
improve contrast.

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.

See all our 50in+ TV reviews

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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