The Samsung F5500 Plasma TV has the same panel as the F5300, but comes packed with more features. It adds 3D and Samsung's Smart TV interface. The screen still reflects a lot of light, so you will need a dark viewing environment to enjoy it.
The Samsung F5500 Plasma TV has the same picture quality as the lower F5300 model. This means very good picture quality in a dark environment, but a washed out picture when the lights are turned on. Unlike the F5300, though, this TV has a smart TV interface, as well as 3D.
I recently purchased the F5500 and I'm very happy with it. I currently have it in a low light room, but I was considering getting the S60 because it is better reviewed everywhere I've looked. I've spent hours researching these two models and have spent as much in front of both (though not in my own home). The thing is, my eyes can't tell a big enough difference between the two to convince me to make the switch. I understand that my personal preference comes into play, but honestly, do you think it would be worthwhile for me to change? As a side note, smart and 3D are useless to me.
The second option is to go for the ST60 in a slightly smaller size (60"-->55",) but then would this just be for the anti-reflection? You guys at least don't make it seem like there's a big enough difference in the picture quality between the two.
Both are really good and the difference is not that big. If you have a really dark room, yes, the S60 is slightly better due to better blacks. It cannot get as bright though, so if you have some lights on you might prefer the Samsung instead. If it is cheaper or near the same price and you don't mind exchanging it, go for it. As for the ST60, besides the extra features, it is really similar. In your case, you do not need the anti glare filter so just stick to the S60 or F5500 and get a bigger size.
I've set my LG 47LM7600 to CNET's calibration settings. I've got the backlight set to 50 to compensate for the black levels. Can you tell me what the luminance will be when kept at these settings? I don't get to demo Plasmas in dark room and I really need to know whether the brightness of a plasma (90cd/m2) in a pitch black dark room will be enough for me.
I would guess about 120 cd/m2. Keep in mind, though, that a plasma's brightness varies depending on the picture (this is called Auto Brightness Limiters (ABL)). Our measurement was achieved using a checkboard pattern. With a completely white screen, a plasma will be darker.
I noticed in your reviews that you list the F5500 as being less reflective than the F5300. I was wondering how this could be, as I assumed the TVs used identical panels and that the only difference was the added smart and 3D capabilities.
The difference was really small, so it may just be due to the variance in the production.
Earlier, someone mentioned that the PN60F5500 uses the PenTile panel. Based on your pixel pictures, it looks like the model you tested was smaller than 60 inches.
I am looking at buying a 60" TV and was wondering if it's possible that depending on when/where they were made you could end up with a traditional pixel layout rather than the PenTile pixel layout.
Your reviews are awesome by the way! Only wish you were able to review more models/manufacturers.
Indeed, we tested the 51". I doubt some units get pentile and others don't. It is probably common to all units of the same size (reportedly only the 60").
I have the pn60f5500 and absolutely love it. Best plasma I've owned so far. I'm wondering, however, about what will be the best calibration settings for watching soccer. I would imagine dynamic, but I would like details if possible. White balance settings and colour gradients if possible! Thank you!
We actually prefer the Movie mode and to disable all advanced settings in order to have a more natural picture. The two point white balance that we used:
Red: Offset: 26 Gain: 25
Green: Offset: 27 Gain: 25
Blue: Offset: 25 Gain: 25
As you can see it was almost perfect out of the box. Also, be sure to set the Color Tone to Warm2.
I bought the Samsung LED 46" F7500, but I am not very happy with the black levels and overall picture quality compared to my earlier TV Panasonic ST60. I had to return that Panasonic TV because of a line that appeared on the screen.
I am now considering exchanging the Samsung LED 46" F7500 for the Samsung Plasma 51" F5500, but I have read reviews that plasma F5500 has reflection issues with day light/bright light. Need your help in deciding if it is worth considering or if F7500 is the better choice.
The Panasonic ST60 has better blacks than both of these, so do not expect something similar. That said, the F5500 plasma has a better overall picture quality than the F7500, and is much closer to the ST60. Reflection is clearly an issue on it, though, as you can see by our pictures in a bright room. So it depends on how much time you spend in a dim room vs a bright room.
I have the Samsung UN51f5500 plasma and the ABL is really hindering my viewing experience. I have it in a dark room with curtains closed, but I can't play any games on it due to ABL. I tried Forza 4 on it and it looks so horrible because of the ABL, as it reduces the screen brightness by 50% and the beautiful tracks of Forza 4 look shit on it.
All plasma TVs have ABL. Unfortunately, you can't remove this. The only way to attenuate the problem is by reducing the brightness of the screen so that the fluctuations are less intense. They will still be there, though.
I have not located a Samsung f8500 plasma in my town. Are there any other plasma models that you would recommend? I have a well-lit room during the day, but I can get it completely dark at night. I am replacing a nine-year-old Samsung plasma that performed well in this same room. I am looking at a 60 or 65 inch model with 3D features.
For a well-lit room there is no plasma TV equivalent. You will have to go for an LED TV.
Jan 07 response missed the point: "replacing ... plasma that performed well in this same room" but response is "no plasma TV equivalent." Perhaps a better response would be to note whether a nine-year-old Samsung is likely to have similar glare and washout as a current plasma (e.g., likely to have better black levels but similar glare/reflection and washout) and then to conclude with the LED recommendation for a well-lit room.
You're right, the answer isn't as helpful as it could be.
Some of the more recent plasma TVs are better at displaying images in a lit room, but others aren't much (if at all) better than older plasma sets.
For viewing in a dark room, a plasma TV like the Panasonic ST60 or S60 would both be good. In a brighter room, the ST60 is still a good choice, but the S60 falls short.
In a really bright room, an LED TV would be best. Our top-rated TV for 2014 was the H7150. It has good contrast, uniformity, and motion blur, and is as good as it gets for non-plasma TVs.