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Samsung PS50Q97HDX Conclusion

by Vincent Teoh
24 May 2007

Bigger is better... Samsung PS50Q97HDX delivers an immersive large screen experience at an affordable price with praiseworthy SD and HD performance.

> Excellent black level and shadow detail
> Very good primary colours with no push
> Comprehensive anti-screenburn technology

> "Reflection moire" possibly caused by Ultra Filterbright™
> Motion tearing and judder under certain circumstances
> Does not accept 1080p signal


  • Excellent black level and shadow detail
  • D65 greyscale achievable from user menu
  • Very good primary chromaticites (close to HD 709) with no push
  • Comprehensive screen burn protection technology
  • Generous connectivity: 3 x HDMI, digital audio optical out, etc.
  • Fluid motion handling (except instances when tearing/ judder occur; see Cons)
  • Excellent viewing angle > 150°
  • Relative absence of posterisation (compared to Panasonic)
  • Settings can be saved independently per input
  • Swivel stand already attached out of the box for quick setup
  • Auto-adjusts compatible PC resolutions to fit fully on the screen
  • Feature-rich remote control and EPG
  • Elegant and attractive design
  • Exceptional value-for-money


  • "Reflection moire" when there's external light shining on Ultra Filterbright™
  • Motion-adaptive tearing and juddering under specific circumstances
  • Does not accept 1080p video signal
  • Cannot align all 3 secondary colours correctly so skin tone will be inaccurate
  • Low-level dithering noise (minimal from 8 feet away)
  • Cannot detect 3:2 cadence for film mode deinterlacing with Movie Plus off, but enabling it will cause unnatural motion and ruin the film-like quality of movies.
  • Slightly sluggish navigation of menu/ channels
  • Electronic buzz with high APL (normal for plasma TVs)


It's very difficult not to like the Samsung PS50Q97HDXBuy this for £617.47 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £32.50 discount
. Sure, it is not full HD, but perhaps that's why it does so well with standard definition content at reasonable sitting distances. It delivers all the advantages for which plasma TVs are renowned – excellent blacks, shadow detail, motion handling (largely) and viewing angle – and attempts to tackle a couple of the technology's inherent flaws through its screenburn protection options and Ultra Filterbright™ anti-reflective film.

Unfortunately while the intention is noble, Ultra Filterbright™ introduces "reflection moire" on the Samsung PS50Q97HDXBuy this for £617.47 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £32.50 discount
. When there's sufficient ambient light, slightly curved horizontal lines appear on areas of the screen where there's very little light output from the TV itself (i.e. dark areas). Even though night viewing and ultra stringent room lighting control are strictly speaking the only ways to eliminate this problem, some people may not be bothered by it at all. Who knows, you may not even notice it. This is maybe the only instance I would recommend that you visit your local brick-and-mortar store for a demo. Ambient light should be plentiful... have a look at the screen with the TV switched off: if you don't see the lines, you don't have a problem.

"Reflection moire" is not the only thing that has gone wrong on the Samsung PS50Q97HDXBuy this for £617.47 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £32.50 discount
by design. It also suffers from motion-adaptive tearing and judder under certain conditions, specifically when a round object (e.g. football) goes past a complex background (e.g. the crowd). Again, this shouldn't matter if you're not a sports fan. I've contacted Samsung about this issue, and hope that it can be fixed through the service menu or a firmware upgrade.

Please do not be disheartened by the previous 2 somewhat negative paragraphs. I review HDTVs for a living, and it's my responsibility to seek out and report such problems. For all you know these issues may be specific to my review set, or they may not even be visible to your eyes.

The fact of the matter is that the Samsung PS50Q97HDXBuy this for £617.47 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £32.50 discount
offers exceptional value-for- money. Somehow for £1100 of your hard-earned cash, Samsung manages to throw in a 50- inch flat screen panel with praiseworthy SD and HD performance, attractive design, 3 HDMI ports, enough controls to tweak the TV (especially greyscale) to your heart's content, and an array of screen burn prevention technology. How it compares to Panasonic's entry level 50-inch plasma TV (which the Samsung undercuts by £100 or more) is a worthwhile topic for another day, but today the glory fully belongs to the Samsung PS50Q97HDXBuy this for £617.47 at Dixons
Use code '5TV' for £32.50 discount


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