The £700 price tag for this 51in plasma TV is verging on the ridiculous, given the vast amount of screen estate you’re getting for the money.
Of course lots of screen for little money sounds like the perfect combination, but have corners been cut elsewhere? Time to find out.
There’s more to the F5500 than just a big package – it also finds room for stacks of Smart Hub features and apps. There’s a Freeview HD tuner built in, two pairs of active-shutter 3D glasses thrown in for free, and even a voice-recognising smart remote. If you’re working to a tight budget but still want the most exciting tech 2013 has to offer, the Sammy looks good.
The smart remote control supplied in the box looks the part and has a touchpad that adds slickness to the user experience. We’d give the voice control a swerve, though…
And a strong performer
Although plain English seemed too much of a language barrier for the smart remote, the rest of this TV’s performance is top notch. There’s stacks of detail on offer, with the TV really coming into its own with high-def TV channels and Blu-ray discs. Natural colours and impressive blacks are also the order of the day. On-demand content from the likes of BBC iPlayer and 4oD doesn’t look too shabby, and even sound quality is weighty and textured – a nice surprise, given the usual sonic constraints of wafer-thin TVs.
The new kid on the VOD block, Knowhow Movies has a whole bunch of new releases and old classics available on a pay-as-you-go rent-or-buy basis (from just £0.99 for rentals). It gets the odd early exclusive, too.
It's hard to find a rubbish TV these days, but it's equally hard to find a brilliant big TV on a budget.
But that's exactly what the PS51F5500 is. It produces a truly superb picture for the money, it looks great, and it's as smart as many TVs that cost three-times as much. That's why it occupies such a prominent position on our list of the best TVs in the world.