While advances in production methods and economies of scale mean 63in plasmas are no longer the preserve of the super-rich, you might need a stately home to accommodate one. Either that or gut your house and turn it into a shrine to the almighty Samsung.
The PS-63P76FD is a great-looking, highly effective – and absolutely huge – plasma. In fact, of all the TVs we’ve tested recently, this 63in behemoth garnered as much envious attention from passers-by as any we’ve wheeled (carrying’s not an option, we don’t care who you are) between our photographic studio and testing rooms.
It’s a pleaser in action, too. The Shining on Blu-ray looks absolutely stunning, with a marvellously rich and natural colour palette. The creepy opening is a good test of motion handling, and the Samsung is just as smooth as the other television sets in this size bracket.
If we were to criticise, we’d point out that the Samsung doesn’t offer the last iota of detail and edge definition compared with the best rivals. Overall, though, there’s much to be pleased with.
Plenty of punch
Switch to DVD and the Samsung is a most impressive performer for a big screen. Bee Movie looks as an animated feature should: bright, punchy and well-defined. I Am Legend, on the other hand, is detailed, sharp, vibrant and natural.
I Am Legend does highlight one slight disappointment in this set’s performance, though: black levels. For a plasma, they’re really not low enough. In fact, even some LCDs manage to go a little bit deeper. The trade-off for the slightly light blacks is some impressive insight.
The decent scaler impresses again when watching Freeview. Good broadcasts such as the latest series of Doctor Who are as sharp, detailed and noise-free as you can expect from a television of this size. Colours are again impressively natural, and motion is fairly blur-free.
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The Samsung’s sound performance is pretty decent, much more open and balanced than you’d find on many flatscreen TVs. But really, you should be investing in dedicated speakers at this price point to complement your screen.
Overall, the Samsung is exactly what a big-screen TV should be: massive, desirable and an impressive performer. It loses a star as we think smaller sets offer better value, but if you have the money and the space, lucky old you!