Previous Samsung sets that have warmed our cockles started on the front foot thanks to a low retail price – not so with this one.
While it’s undoubtedly good value for the size, at around £1200 it finds itself in mid-price territory. The ace up this plasma screen’s sleeve, though, is specification: if you like bells and whistles, get ready to tinkle and toot.
This set is 3D-capable out of the box. It uses active shutter technology, so you’ll need Samsung’s glasses to get the benefit of 3D films and live 2D-to-3D conversion.
The former looks good, giving the depth we’re coming to expect, while the latter’s performance falls closer to gimmick territory – even if it is clever.
The PS50C6900 also ticks all the Internet TV boxes. You get the BBC iPlayer and LoveFilm apps, with Internet@TV giving access to a wealth of streaming content.
Add a wireless dongle, or connect via Ethernet cable to enjoy impressively high-quality pictures via iPlayer (HD included) and films at your fingertips should you subscribe to LoveFilm – though with a lower quality picture.
You also can connect to DLNA-enabled devices and stream your own media to your TV, while two USB inputs can handle pictures, audio and video, including hi-def MKV files. You’ll also find a Freeview HD tuner, four HDMI inputs and of course a full HD resolution, 1080p panel.
Out of the box, it’s easy on the eye, although the pedestal stand (be warned: an involved connection process is required) perhaps doesn’t do the set justice. The remote is underwhelming too, but the interface is simple to navigate, despite the wealth of features.
A strong Freeview performance gets us off to a good start, with impressively sharp edges and a clean presentation considering the upscaling job required on a standard-def picture.
This bears fruit with DVD performance too, with a colourful, detailed picture, even if motion can be a little jagged when the set’s really pushed.
Freeview HD raises the performance bar, and it’s no surprise to see Blu-ray doing the same. While the Samsung can’t quite deliver the deepest black levels, there’s much to enjoy. Edges are drawn sharply, brighter scenes show punchy, vivid colours (though skin tones are occasionally too ruddy) and there’s good attention to detail.
This is a well-specified telly, and with a level of performance that matches, this set should definitely be fighting for supremacy on your shortlist.