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217 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't wipe the smile off of my face
I did lots and lots of research before I settled on this TV. I am not the type of person who buy a TV only to find issues with it then do the old swapperoo with another one only to find another thing I dislike about it. I bought this only after very extensive research and due diligence.

What I look for in a good TV: great picture quality, great side viewing...
Published 12 months ago by KD

136 of 170 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impressive picture, but that's about it...
I had my expectations on this TV pretty high. I've always bought Samsung TVs. I have 3 others, and this one I was buying to put in place of my LN52A750 (a fantastic TV, and still using today). I had my eye on all the Samsung TVs as the 2012 models were released. Those had mixed reviews, so waited another year. As soon as the 2013s were released, I had my eye on the 8000...
Published 10 months ago by B. Wilson

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217 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't wipe the smile off of my face, July 27, 2013
KD (Bay Area, CA) - See all my reviews
I did lots and lots of research before I settled on this TV. I am not the type of person who buy a TV only to find issues with it then do the old swapperoo with another one only to find another thing I dislike about it. I bought this only after very extensive research and due diligence.

What I look for in a good TV: great picture quality, great side viewing quality, accurate colors, bright and punchy whites, high contrast, black blacks, great SmartTV features, Netflix, media streaming, good enough input lag to play games, and as future proof as possible.

It looks like I'm asking a lot right? There couldn't possibly be a TV that fit all these criteria could there? Fortunately for me, there is!

When it comes to great picture quality and side viewing, LCD/LED TV's are quickly eliminated. Winner Plasma. That was quick! I absolutely hated the faded contrast from side viewing, uneven brightness, and graish blacks on the LCD/LED TVs. The problem with most Plasmas are that they look faded during the day. Some of the top modern plasmas have done fairly well in that area.

I narrowed my TV's down to the Samsung F8500 and the VT60/ZT60. I did comparisons of the TV's at a brick and mortar store and found that I'm drawn more toward the F8500 with each comparison. Every single reviewer out there claims "black blacks" as if that is the epitome of great picture quality. Do I buy a TV to stare at a black screen? I tried as hard as I could, but I just could not see the differences between the blacks of the ZT60 and the F8500 in a normal lit area. I'm sure in absolute darkness, I can probably see a difference. However, this TV will be my main TV in my living room with windows all around and 4 recess lights above it. I do not have a "man cave" like some lucky few out there.

Next comes the comparison of the whites and color production. In a normal viewing environment, there's no contest in my eyes. The almost LED-like brightness of the F8500 trumps the VT60/ZT60. The contrast, the pop, and the blinding whites (for a plasma) makes the picture jump out. The problem with most plasma is that the picture is usually washed out during the day. The F8500 seems to have solved this problem. The goal of many plasma makers were always to go as black as possible, but no one ever thought about going the other way--make whites as white as possible. Why is darkness more important than brightness? Why is a .002% difference in black level make one TV superior to the other when the other TV has 30% better whites and deeper contrasts? Am I going crazy here? I don't understand why the "experts" think that makes one TV "better" than the other as if black blacks is the single defining criteria for picture quality.

The SmartTV features of the F8500 seems to be better than the Panasonic as well. The F8500 has a built-in camera which allows for the use of Skype and gesture (something I don't use and think it's a gimmick). However, being able to video call on your TV is a pretty cool added feature. The camera on the Panasonic is an extra added cost. The F8500 offers HVEC (.265) which future proof it. This may not be important now as .265 is not wide spread, but once it's adopted, better quality streaming will be available through Netflix, Youtube, and home streaming. It's good to know that this future technology is available right now on the TV you purchase. The TV may produce great picture quality, but if you have a low quality stream, then the picture quality will be bad. Garbage in, garbage out.

The one thing that this has going against it is the input lag. This is the pitfall of the excellent Samsung video processing algorithm. I believe the VT and ZT has a slightly better input lag of 47ms. On PC mode, the F8500 averages around 53ms. This is not great, but it's absolutely playable and I don't notice much of a difference when I game. Another thing to consider is that when playing over the network, the 60ms lag for the screen is far faster than the 120-400ms ping lag for your packets going over the network. How often have you played a game and you swear up and down you shot the guy but missed and ended up dead? That's network lag spike. The biggest killer of your K/D ratio (besides your skill of course) is the spike in the network and not your TV. I think input lag is overblown unless you're playing over a LAN. In that case, a nice 24" LED monitor would be your best bet, not this beast of a plasma that you use for movies and sports.

- I don't like the remote and the sensitively of the touch pad. Often times I scroll down, and the thing goes left. What-The-F. I'm purchasing the keyboard for this TV to eliminate messing with the remote more than I have to.
- Speakers. Not a con for me as I don't use it. If I can afford to pay for this TV, I can afford an AVR with nice speakers or at least a decent soundbar.
- The finicky ARC port. I think this is due to the HDMI implementation rather than the TV itself. They need to let people configure how this works. I'm not sure who is to blame, the AVR or the TV. I basically use HDMI 3 (ARC) to output video from my AVR to my TV. However, when I turn on the Smart apps and Netflix, ARC should turn on and have the sound come out of the AVR automatically. It works, except whenever I turn on the TV, it automatically set my AVR to TV/CD instead of leaving it alone. I have to manually switch the input back to Cable/SAT. So in order to remedy this, I have to buy THREE new 15 foot HDMI cables (I run the cables through the wall). One goes in HDMI1 for output from AVR, one goes in HDMI 3 for return audio to AVR for TV apps, and then one goes from PS3 to HDMI 2 for PC mode (sound will go back out through HDMI3).

All in all, I cannot wipe the smile of my face every time I watch a movie on this TV. The video processing is astounding. Moving up from an older LN52A750, the picture quality is far more natural with much higher quality coming out of the same Netflix stream and satellite signal. Had the input lag made gaming unbearable, I would've knocked a star off this TV. However, since it doesn't bother me, this is absolutely a five star TV. In terms of features, picture quality, brightness, contrast, and blacks, there isn't a TV out there that's close.

Update 7/28: revised input lag from 60ms to 53ms for F8500 and 40 to 47ms for ZT60 as tested by CNET.

Update 8/19/13: The TV has performed flawlessly. I watch NFL football and the TV looks great during the day which is the majority of my viewing (50% sports, 30% movies, 20% gaming). This is the perfect TV for sports watching as black level doesn't even come into the equation. I also watch Oblivion at night and the black level is excellent (lots of dark scenes). The quality is superb.

Image Retention: There was IR when I watched NFL network initially. The IR (bar at bottom) disappeared within 5 sec after I changed the channel. That was the only time I saw IR. After 30 days of using the TV, I no longer see IR. I can only assume that this plasma is good at limiting IR after the initial break in period.

Video games: The difference between 30ms and 53ms is 2/100 of a second. It's up to you if it affects you. To me, it's negligible.

Noise: No plasma high pitch sound that I can hear.

Tip: I deleted the STB from the TV set up. It's useless and causes the "STB is not powered on message." The guide from the TV is useless because (1) it always start at channel 2, and (2) it doesn't have all the channel information. If you delete the STB, the SmartTV button takes you immediately to apps instead of the guide which is functionality useless and redundant. Since the TV takes 8 sec to power on, putting in a 10 sec delay from the Harmony remote will allow you to use activity to always put the TV and receiver to the correct input, thus overriding the finicky CEC control.

Also, if you use an AVR, set the sound delay to 100ms normally. The sound is synched properly if you use the TV speakers.

Update 11/20/13: I got a PS4 connected with PC mode and games play perfectly fine. Resogun is a reflex game and I haven't had any lag deaths so I believe this lag hype is overblown. Also, since I have to connect the PS4 to the TV and have the sound return via ARC, it downmixes to stereo even with 5.1 sound! It's a legality issue that does not allow the TV to pass through 5.1 sound via ARC. I will admit defeat and will turn off ARC and use an optical cable instead in order to get Digital 5.1 sound from Netflix and PS4 passthrough back to my AVR. ARC is effectively useless for those with a AVR set up. This will also free up the annoying automatic input change. I recommend just not using ARC altogether as it's broken. This is not a Samsung issue but an ARC issue and affects all manufacturer.

Also, Netflix recently updated its Netflix app for many set top boxes. The app on this TV is not updated yet, but the TV should support it as Smart Apps are all upgradeable. I will update this review when Samsung updates the Netflix app. Update: Sure enough, the app is now updated. This TV so far is future proof!

Update 3/14/14:

If you want to go directly to the Smart Apps screen when you hit the Smart Hub button instead of the useless upcoming shows screen, you can do so by going back to the Set Up menu. Menu -> System -> Set Up. Go to the end where you are asked to enter your TV provider and Zip code. Enter your zip code then Select "My Provider's not here" instead of your normal broadcast location. This will eliminate the shows guide when you hit SmartHub and take you directly to your Smart apps!
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85 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful PQ, March 28, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Update 05-09-2014: Well, I just wanted to provide an update since it has been well over a year now. This TV still functions flawlessly and the PQ is as good as ever. Not one hardware issue. A couple of the firmware updates over this past year really made it that much better.

Update 04-24-2013: I was finally brave enough to use my Xbox and PS3. Out of the 2, I think the PS3 looked better, but that is subjective. Both looked good and I did not notice any lag. I did COD BO2 on the Xbox and Oblivion on the PS3. I play my Xbox exclusively on a 24 monitor, so of course it should look better on the F8500. The potential for burn-in though still has me concerned. I most likely will never game much or at all on it.

So to all of the crusaders out there, this is a great TV. Is it the best? I cannot answer that since I only own this one. At a minimum, it is definitely pretty good.

Update 04-15-2013: I would really like to know how they reduce reflection on the screen like they do. I was sitting in the LR with the TV off. If was in the middle of the day and I had the bay window curtains and blinds wide open. I could see reflections in the TV, but they looked really soft. Blurry like. The images further away were even less visible. I mention this because I did watch a full BR with the same lighting conditions. While I did, I barely saw any reflections in the glass and for what I could see, I really had to stare at it to see.

With many hours now, the light pops still happen at cell brightness 16 and 17. I was obviously hoping that would go away. I have settled using a cell brightness of 14 for now, so not a huge deal. I like a cell brightness of 20, but during night viewing, that almost blinds me. No firmware updates available since the one I did when I received the 8500.

Watching the Masters this weekend was a delight. The 8500 handled it well and everything looks beautiful. Hopefully that means football will look good on it when the season comes. Next weekend, I am going to get more brave and try a hour or two of Black Ops 2 via the XBox.

Update 04-01-2013: Well, it is still beautiful. If you got the money and you want to try Plasma, this one is definitely on the short list. I have watched various content in every possible lighting scenario so far and everything is clear and as bright as I would hope it to be. Even content most would consider poor or from a poor source still looks better than on any other TV I have ever owned.

I am not fond of needing to worry about IR and burn-in, but for the beautiful PQ, I will learn to live with needing to do that. The smart apps do give issues now and then. I still think it is an update needed. In the long run, I doubt I use the smart apps since just about everything else I own has the same apps already.

We watched a few movies now in 3D. I am not a huge fan of 3D, but I can say that the movies i did watch on this TV were really good. I mean really good. Avatar was gorgeous.

The price to pay for really good PQ as this TV provides is that it changes what you see. Many times for the better, but sometimes not such as some movies you can so easily now see what is fake and what is real.

The only strange thing the TV is doing to me is every time I turn it on and select the source, in a couple of minutes, the screen goes completely black and then comes back. Sometimes it will display the info screen as if I just changed the input, which I did not. Hopefully just a firmware issue. It only does it once after turning it on and never again until the next time.

My first plasma. In the past, every time I would see a plasma TV in the store, I was never impressed. Hard to see in most cases and almost always more money.

As I was looking for a new TV this year, I saw that the new plasma TVs were just getting released. I admit that the marketing made me look twice, especially when it mentioned much better brightness. While waiting for any to come into stock, I started reading about as much as I could on plasma TVs in general and for this exact model. I liked it enough to give it a try. At least Amazon has a decent return policy in case this was a horrible decision.

The TV itself looks very nice. I rent, so I cannot mount on the wall. The stand is nice and different then others. I do not really care though. As long as it makes the TV stable.

The picture is beautiful via DirecTV hookups. Most channels and even older content look pretty good. Viewing a BRD is even better. The black levels are out of this world. Hardly any, if any, artifacts or distortions of any kind in the picture. The TV does get rather bright and you can see the picture just fine in daylight. I have it in a room with a bay window and so far, I can see okay.

There is a slight buzz that you can hear when you get close or with some content when further away. I have to mute the sound though to hear it. From what I read, this is common with plasma TVs with some much louder than others. With nothing that I can compare with, this noise has not been noticed by me until I purposefully listened for it.

There is also some flickering with certain cell brightness settings for me, namely value 16 and 17. Any other setting so far is fine. Not enough to dock anything yet, but I am keeping an eye on this.

The remote is different with few physical buttons, but I find it not too hard getting used to sliding the thumb around to move the cursor. Definitely slows you down though. The Smart Apps on the TV are like most competitor apps. Nothing too special, but not bad. I did play the Amazon app last night and it does not work properly. Anything I stream with it causes the video to blink on and off (completely black for a second then back on). It only does this in this app, so surely just an app issue.

I have a lot of things to try yet and many adjustments to make to perfect the picture, but so far I am excited and loving the PQ. Much better than anything I have ever owned yet. I never thought I would own a plasma, but I do believe this one may be it for me.
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136 of 170 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Impressive picture, but that's about it..., September 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had my expectations on this TV pretty high. I've always bought Samsung TVs. I have 3 others, and this one I was buying to put in place of my LN52A750 (a fantastic TV, and still using today). I had my eye on all the Samsung TVs as the 2012 models were released. Those had mixed reviews, so waited another year. As soon as the 2013s were released, I had my eye on the 8000 series LED, and this one, the 8500 Plasma. Due to the size of my entertainment center, I was between either the 60" plasma or 65" LED. After months of reading reviews, looking at the TVs on showroom floors, and what not, I pulled the trigger on the PN60F8500. Boy was I excited! My thoughts and experience below-

The white glove service is the way to go, whether it's through Amazon or one of the other 3rd party retailers. I didn't want to have to hassle putting it on the stand and into the entertainment center myself. I prefer to hook up all the cables myself, but the rest, someone else can do. They'll even take away the box if you want, but I decided to hang on to it just in case I needed to return it.

Before turning it on, I had mixed feelings on the styling of the TV. I knew what it looked like beforehand of course, and even before the purchase I thought it looked a bit outdated. However, I decided to look past that, thinking that when I'm actually watching TV, I will only be concerned with the quality of the picture. I told my wife my thoughts on the styling about a week after we got the TV, and she said, "Yeah, I thought the same thing, but I didn't want to say anything." Haha. Anyway, this is obviously personal preference. Some people will love it, others will not care, and some won't like it. In the end, I still don't think a decision should be made off how it looks, rather the picture quality and viewing experience.

Picture Quality:
Out of the box, not changing any settings - the picture is excellent. However, there are some tweaks to the settings that are needed (see below). Off angle viewing to the sides is good. However, you don't want to be looking down at this TV (fortunately, for me, my setup has the TV somewhat above eye level when sitting, so I only noticed standing and near the TV). A downward angle creates a very dim picture. I'm guessing this has something to do with the anti-glare screen on the TV, which by the way is very good. I was concerned that there may be too much light in the room for a plasma, but didn't notice anymore glare than what was on the LN52A750 in the same space. The PN60F8500 might even have less. Overall, picture quality is why I bought this TV. The reviews had been great, and I can attest the picture is crisp, colors are vivid, blacks are very black, etc. Nobody has been lying when they say all those things. I made minimal changes to the picture settings, but there are 2 that I think are absolutely necessary:
-For me, the cell light was on around a 15 by default. The picture was much too dim, and I had to put the cell light all the way up to the max (20). I also enabled the sensor that detects light in the room and adjusts accordingly, thinking that 20 would probably be too bright in a dark room. I put the minimum cell light at 15. After the change, I was happy with how bright it was, regardless of the light conditions in the room.
-Turn off Motion Judder. This setting creates some weird movements. If you notice a person with slow then quick movements that seem unnatural occurring on the screen, it's likely because of this setting. Many reviews have already talked about this setting, and I too highly recommend that it is turned off. Many 1 star reviewers I think had this setting on. Anyway, if you turn it off, the motions are much better, more natural, and you'll enjoy it much more.

The Smart Touch Remote is the only remote that comes with the TV. There is a HUGE learning curve to use this remote. And to put this in perspective, I'm a guy in my late 20s who is very tech savvy, and is often treated as the IT Help Desk by my friends and family. So if I'm having issues with the remote, I'm fairly sure others will too. I'd suggest either buying another Samsung remote (the old school style with more actual buttons), or using a universal remote. Samsung includes an IR blaster to control a set-top box, but I did not use it.

Voice Control:
This feature was nearly useless for me. The response time was slow. It would pick up sound randomly, thinking I was trying to talk with the TV because you can say something like, "Hello TV," to activate the voice control. When it waits for commands, the TV sound goes off. So that happening randomly because it picks up a conversation in the room was a bit annoying. When I actually did want to use the voice control, it wasn't very good at understanding the commands. I have a Samsung GS3, and my wife has the GS4. Both phones have great voice control. So I'm not sure why this TV can't be as good. Seems like they would have used the same voice recognition technology. Anyway, I ended up just having to turn off the TV voice control entirely.

Motion Control:
Surprisingly, I found this feature to work fairly well. However, I didn't find many opportunities to use it and ended up turning it off. So I'll just leave it at that.

The camera is a cool add-on if you want to Skype. There are some other apps that use the camera as well, but I didn't use them. The camera can be hidden just by pushing it in to the tv, and easily pops out. However, this has to be done by hand. There is not button or auto setting to have the camera pop up when needed, which would be nice. It's a little creepy having a camera always looking at you. A problem I had with the camera is the angle of it. There is a small roller on top of the camera that can adjust the camera angle up or down slightly. However, the adjustment is minimal, and even adjusted all the way down, you could just see the top of heads sitting on the couch. For others, this may not be an issue, just depends on your setup. In the end, I had the camera hidden most of the time. Also if you do not have the camera out, the TV will prompt you that motion control will not be available unless you turn off motion control. A little annoying to get the pop up every time I turn on the TV or use the Smart Hub, so I ended up turning off the motion control.

Smart Hub:
There are multiple screens within the Smart Hub. I found them to be useless except the Apps. If you have Netflix, Amazon Prime or some other streaming service that is compatible, this is an excellent, very convenient way to stream. I had previously used a PS3 for these tasks, but greatly prefer the Smart Hub apps over the PS3. In general the interface is the same if you're already familiar with the PS3, and I would guess it would look about the same if you had a Roku, Xbox, or Apple TV or some other streaming device. I use a wired internet connection to the TV, so not sure if the same experience applies to WiFi, but I did not have issues with buffering. In addition to Netflix and Amazon Prime, I also used and Spotify. Both good, but did have a little trouble with the initial setup of my Spotify account and playlists. Eventually, it worked. One other thing to note is that by default the Smart Hub will load when you turn on the TV. My personal preference was to disable that setting, and just have it turn on to the video source I was last using (usually HDMI 1).

I have DirecTV and had initially planned on using RVU on this TV instead of a box. I have the new Genie setup which supports it, and thought this might be a little bit better. If you aren't familiar with RVU, it allows you to watch your programming without having a box. It just goes directly into the TV. I don't quite understand the setup. If I understand correctly, it uses the ethernet port. In theory it sounded great, but by using RVU, you are at the mercy of the Samsung remote. You cannot use a DirecTV remote if you are using RVU. I already discussed my thoughts on the remote, but the big problem I had was that Samsung doesn't allow the full functionality of the DirecTV remote. You either have to use the Samsung Guide, which isn't as good as DirecTV's, or you have to swipe and click through multiple pages to get to DirecTV's guide. Other features to control fast forward, rewind, pause, setting a recording, etc are all much more difficult. Features like bringing up the scoreguide, starting a program from the beginning, etc. are cumbersome. In the end, I just ended up getting another DirecTV box so I could use a DirecTV remote. I'm not sure if a universal remote would fix these problems with RVU control or not. I think the issue really lies with the interface of Samsung and it's compatibility with DirecTV function. I think that a universal remote using RVU would still limit you to the commands that a Samsung remote would send to the TV. So in my experience, I'll stick with the DirecTV box to keep my features.

Chromecast Compatibility:
You might be thinking, "Why are you hooking up a Chromecast to a TV with so many apps and other features, including Allshare?" Well, I liked the idea of looking at a YouTube video on my computer and then just asking it to play on my TV with a click of a button instead of having to search for it again. Plus, my experience with Allshare on non-Samsung products has not been great. I was hoping Chromecast would be better at sharing tabs, but see my Chromecast review for that. Anyway, Chromecast would not work on the PN60F8500. When first powered on, it would say something like "Starting your Chromecast..." Then, go black. Then, it would give me the Samsung "No Signal" floating message. I tried it in every HDMI port, with wall power, and using USB power. Made sure all the firmware and software was updated on the TV and Chromecast. No luck. Tried calling Google support and Samsung Support. After all kinds of troubleshooting, nobody had an answer, and the last Samsung support person (escalated), pretty much gave up and said it was probably a compatibility issue. Well I'm not sure why it would work on 3 other Samsung TVs, including another 2013 model (UN40F5500), and 2 that are much older TVs, but not work on the newest, top of the line model. Blaming this one on the TV, and not Google since the device works elsewhere. However, it's not a deal breaker, especially since the Chromecast is $35 and the TV is $2,400. Just would have been nice if it worked like it does on my other TVs. Plus, it makes me wonder if there are other things I'll want to plug in to the TV later and whether or not they would work too.

One of the many complaints I saw on the 2012 plasmas was buzzing, and was a big reason I waited for the 2013s. I talked with friends with plasmas made from various other manufactures, and asked if their plasmas had a faint/loud buzz to it. Had a mixed bag of answers. I also read many reviews for the 2013 Samsung plasmas that said they didn't hear any buzz. Tried listening for the buzz in stores, but didn't (and didn't really expect to given the noise level in stores). So rolled the dice and hoped my TV wouldn't buzz. Within hours of having my TV on for the first time, I noticed it. It was soft enough that with sound on at normal levels, you wouldn't hear it. If the TV was off, it wouldn't buzz. It was just if the volume was muted, or very soft, it was noticeable. For myself, I have many reasons I mute the TV, and every time the buzz plagued my ears. I thought maybe it would just be me, slightly amplifying it in my head because of my fear from reading so many bad reviews about buzzing. So I didn't say anything to anyone, and just waited to see if anyone would say something. Sure enough, first time the TV was muted, my wife asked me if the sound was normal. A couple days later, she commented again how much she hated the buzzing. My thoughts were confirmed. I talked with Samsung about it, they said some buzzing is normal, but when I told them I could hear it sitting 8-10 feet away, they too admitted it's louder than it should be. They said there were some picture settings that sometimes affect the buzzing - brightness and contrast. I didn't want to hurt the picture quality, but for troubleshooting purposes, I adjusted the setting up and down as requested, and still buzzed. They said it could be a loose cable. I unplugged everything except the power cable, still buzzed. They asked if I was at high altitude. Dallas, TX being at 430' I said no, but apparently high altitude can cause the TV to buzz. If you always have the sound on at normal levels, you probably won't be bothered by the buzz. And if that's you, then ignore the buzzing comments. If you occasionally have the TV on, but muted like me, I'd be hesitant. The buzzing is one reason, I'll probably stick to LEDs from now on.

I'm not sure if it was normal or not, but walking past the TV, I always noticed a strong heat coming off the front of the TV. Just making note of that...

There were a few random things that happened with the TV, and I'm not sure what caused them. I couldn't duplicate it, but still something to note in case it happens to anyone else:
-One time the TV made a few loud tonal sounds, as if it was having a hard time processing the audio (which by the way I have output through optical). It lasted no more than 5 seconds, but several different tones, and then the TV just turned off on its own. I turned it back on soon after, and everything seemed to be okay. It only happened once.
-Randomly, a quick flash would appear, almost like part of the picture from a frame was missing. It would only be in one part of the screen, the rest of the frame would be fine, and it was so quick it was almost like a blink. I think this might have only happened while watching Netflix, but could not pinpoint it to that, and might have happened elsewhere. If it was Netflix, then maybe there was an issue receiving or processing over the connection (but it didn't buffer, so not sure about that). There's also the possibility that something was wrong with the TV in general.

After 2 weeks, I felt I had enough time to figure out if I should keep the TV or send it back. I decided to return it, and Amazon was very helpful. The return service even took the TV off the stand, and re-boxed it. In general, the picture quality was very good. The added bells and whistles were not needed except the Smart Hub Apps. The buzzing, heat, and random issues listed above ultimately made me doubt the purchase. After spending $2,400 on the TV, I wanted to be sure I loved the TV, and not just live with it. I'm still a Samsung fan, and will be replacing it with UN65F8000 very soon. Hopefully, better luck there. It won't fix the problem of the remote or some of the added features (voice control, RVU, etc), but that's okay. I just won't use the Samsung Remote or the quirky features. If it doesn't buzz, picture quality is good, doesn't have random issues, doesn't overheat, and maybe even compatible with Chromecast, I think I'll be happy. The extra 5 inches doesn't sound so bad either. We'll see...
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50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars better than ever!!!, April 12, 2013
This review is from: Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Electronics)
i just purchased this unit about 2 day ago after having and lcd tv for the last 5 years. I'm a big tv and home theater enthusiast and i've been waiting for this years new plasma tvs since samsung made significant improvements.this tv is outstanding in all aspects. I've been doing a lot of research and side by side comparison between led and plasma before buying a new tv and this plasma definitely kicks butt!. Why get an led?? plasma is even cheaper!!!

aesthetics- this tv is gorgeous, slimmer bezel, all metal with brushed aluminum makes this tv very unique and elegant, all other brands just look alike and the sony and panasonic gorilla glass is pretty redundant, not that attractive, and looks cheap. Solid construction all around compared to the cheap plastics that shows glue on edges of leds. Narrow profile.

performance- this plasma performs very well, big improvement over last year's e8000 series, quad core makes performance very fast accurate and smooth compared to panasonic's dual core.

picture quality- holly smokes!!! obviously plasma over led hands down!!!! richer colors, natural skin tones and deep blacks, not purples like leds. this plasma has a ton of brightness. i have mine set at 60% and contrast at 60% making this tv as bright as led. i have not gotten the chance to test the 3d yet!! but the picture is unreal. Plasmas are better than ever!!

CONS: -slight buzzing which i understand is normal on all plasma tvs especially when displaying bright screen colors but it's not overwhelming. you must have the tv in mute and get really close to either top corners of the tv in order to hear it. But once you have a little volume then you won't hear it at all.

-i wish samsung made the camera adjustable instead of a straight forward setting. not everyone will have the tv at the same height!!!

For those of you who are experiencing louder than normal buzzing and can hear it beyond a couple of feet try putting some light pressure on and off in the back panel, top left or right corner and hear the difference. if the loud buzzing resides to normal then the screws that hold the circuit boards by the power supply are not tight enough. you can make that adjustment at your own risk!!! or you can call a tech to do it for you. other than that i HIGHLY recommend this tv to anyone.
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34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samsung outperformed themselves, December 11, 2013
This review is from: Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Electronics)
Usually over time you see TV's pricing dropping... month after month. It is very rare when a price stay solid for long time or even goes up. This is the case with the SAMSUNG PNF8500. Samsung simply outperformed themselves with this amazing panel. Its price stay steady for 6 months now and there are many reasons why...

Just to clarify I own an AV integration company and we sell and install audio and video equipment for smart homes and home theater.

Here are several factors that make this panel outstanding compared to other panels. some are generic to Plasma technology and some are specific to this panel:

1. Refresh rate - Unlike LCD/LED panels that offers 120Hz refresh rate, Plasma TV's offers 600Hz which is 5 times compared to LCD/LED. without getting too much into technical details, what this means to you is that high motion images such as sports and action movies looks much smoother on Plasma then on LCD/LED

2. Lifelike Colors - It is known that LCD/LED panels shows more saturated and vibrant colors. But ask yourself, is that how the world around you really looks like? When you watch a movie or a TV show, you want the skin tone of a person on the screen to look as close to real life as possible.

3. Contrast Ratio - Contrast ratio, or the ratio between the darkest part of the image and the brightest, is one of the most important factors in overall picture quality. A display with a high contrast ratio is going to seem more realistic, and have more virtual "depth".

4. Black Levels - This is related to contrast ratio. Although LED panels can offer absolute black, overall Plasma panels would offer darker image where dark scene is viewed, creating a more realistic image.

5. Viewing Angle - LCD/LED panels lose picture quality when viewed "off axis," as in not directly in front of the screen.

6. Brightness - Up until this model, Plasma panels were darker and recommended to be installed in a darker room. however this Samsung panel brings new dynamic brightness which align this panel with the brightness seen on LED panels.

7. Web Apps - with the growing trend in streaming content over the internet, more and more consumers are looking to be able to stream content from sources such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, You Tube etc. Samsung as proven to lead the industry with their app rich Smart Hub. They offer tens of apps and continue to constantly adding new apps and content resources through frequent updates. Their user interface is extremely user friendly and easy to operate.

8. Connectivity - This panel supports HDMI V1.4 which means you can control other devices that are connected to this panel using the smart remote control shipped with the TV. HDMI specifications provide special channels for 2-way communication between devices that are HDMI 1.4 certified hence the ability to control them with one remote. for the fairness this function is slightly buggy as it is in its first stages but it is a nice feature to have.

9. Built In Camera - This panel comes with built-in video camera allowing you to use Skype and other social apps as well as you can control the TV using gesture commands. Gesture commands is a new technology which interpret the movement of your hands to control the system. for example you can swap your hand in the air from left to right and it will swap the screen to the right or scroll the apps to the right if you are on the Smar Hub screen. If you played with XBOX Kinnect, this is similar technology.
Just keep in mind, if you are planing to mount the TV on the wall, you want it to be low enough so the camera can capture you while sitting on the couch.

10. Voice Activation - In addition to the gesture technology, you can operate the TV via voice commands. While this seem like a very cool feature that actually works, I know many people choose to turn it off.

11. Streaming - Streaming from Netflix and other HD services works fine and smoothly if you have good internet connection. The TV has enough buffer that you can watch an entire XHD movie from VUDU without stops or bumps.

There is no such thing as perfect device and this panel has it's own little quirks that may or may not be a deal breaker:

1. Remote control - Samsung tried to be a bit smarter by replacing the traditional hard buttons with a touch surface that acts as a mouse. While this is pretty bold approach, I find it somewhat limiting as you need to make some extra clicks to get the rest of the options.

2. HDMI Implementation - As I mentioned above, HDMI V1.4 allows to supported equipment to communicate via the HDMI cable and save the need of running extra cables between components. Another feature is the Audio Return Channel (ARC) which allow the TV to send the sound back to your AV receiver so you can hear the sound of the streaming content such as Netflix through your surround sound system rather than through the TV's speakers. With this feature, the TV can control the AV Receiver and switch the source on the receiver automatically to TV Audio and play the sound through the speakers. Unfortunately, either as a bug or intentionally, the way this was implemented by Samsung doesn't play nice with other components. When you turn on the TV, it will always send a command to the receiver and switch the source on the receiver to TV Audio.

3. Power Light - This is more of a personal semantics.... the power light is turned red when the TV is in off state. The light will turn off when the TV is on. The problem is if there is no picture on the screen, there is no way to know if the TV is on or the power was cutoff completely. I wish the light could change to dark blue when the TV is on.

All in all this is a real winner among the many choices available today. It offers outstanding image quality as well as amazing array of apps and other features. In fact I was so impressed by this panel that I got one for myself. If you can afford shelling $1800 I highly recommend this panel
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samsung PN60F8500, August 24, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
After literally two months of research and going back and forth between the PN60F8500 and the Panasonic ZT series, I ended up going with this set because after all of the reviews and all of the time spent checking out both sets in person, unless you live in a dark cave, the Samsung just has better and fuller color. The ZT does have a smidge better black level but it's hardly noticeable unless you're in a pitch black room.

Regardless, I am extremely satisfied with my purchase. Glad I passed up on the Panny and the 4K sets because after having this set professionally calibrated, I can say that it's the best TV I've laid my eyes on (except for the brand new OLEDs, outrageous pricing however).

I was extremely satisfied with my Samsung LN52A750, and Samsung has impressed me even further with this set.

If you are like me, going back and forth between sets and also unless you're a Panasonic fanboy or spend the majority of the time watching TV where it is extremely dark with no glare whatsoever, you won't be sorry with this set. Personally, I don't have a brand preference. I just thought this particular TV looked better picture-wise and aesthetically.


As of 10/10/2013: Still loving this set, so much so that I purchased another 64 inch set!

After having this set for about two months, my eyes have adjusted to it and now it looks "normal". What I mean by that is now when I look at someone else's TV it's unbelievably different than looking at my 8500. You truly see how great of a set this is once you're adjusted to it.

After the latest firmware update there were no more "quirks". Before, it randomly reset itself twice and the HDMI-ARC setting was a little jittery. I have this set hooked up to a Samsung HW-F550 via HDMI. No problems since the update however.

*** Additionally, as I believe others have mentioned, you can get the non-touch remote for this set 100% FREE from Samsung's website. It's infinitely better than the touchpad based remote. The touchpad one is now sitting in a cabinet. I have to compliment Samsung because I received it two days after ordering.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For me, this is the best TV currently available., October 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I own a Kuro, had the VT60 for a month and now have the 8500. The Kuro is still spectacular but it is 50" and I wanted a larger TV. I bought the VT60 based on expert reviews. The blacks were very good as was the sound but for me, there was always something missing. I went to BB to compare the two and watched the VT and 8500 side by side for quite a while. It is always hard to make judgments based on what you see in a store but to me the 8500 had much whiter whites and also a lot more detail. I figured this was just a settings issue. I ended up returning the VT because of the fan noise. It doesn't bother some people but I couldn't ignore it. When the dialog was quiet, I could always hear fan noise and I started waiting for it. Panasonic has since come up with a potential fix that seems to work for some people but it seemed ridiculous that I would need to have my brand new TV worked on for a fix that may or may not work.

That was more than enough to convince me to return the VT for an 8500. Now the 8500 is not perfect either. The first one I got had an issue where it would flash a duplicate issue on the screen when Black Optimizer was on. Samsung's response to my inquiry about this was just to not use the feature. That was helpful. So once again, I had to box up another 64"+ TV and send it back and my wife let me know how much she enjoyed that!

To me, the 8500 is the most complete TV currently available. Once the settings are adjusted, it has blacks that are just a touch below the VT and the difference is not noticeable in most circumstances. It has brightness that allows it to do well in non man cave environments unlike most plasmas. I didn't realize what I was missing with the VT and Kuro until I got the 8500. The detail it produces is amazing. The TV is much more of a smart TV than the VT. The apps are much better and it's ability to interact and control a cable or sat box is cool. I also like the small things like the LED power light is off when watching TV. The VT has a glowing red light when you were watching the TV which was annoying with no option to turn it off.

Now the 8500 isn't perfect either. My first one had the black optimizer issue. The sound isn't as good as on the VT. I haven't had much luck with voice commands but that was never very important to me. People have reported buzz. I can hear some if I turn sit directly in front of the very middle of the screen and turn my head sideways. This is not my normal TV viewing position so I never hear the buzz while watching TV which is very important after the VT fan noise. All in all I am thrilled with the TV and its shortcomings are minor compared to its positive traits.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible picture / a few bugs, February 13, 2014
First off let me say this set has an amazing picture. I swapped it for an older Panasonic TC-P50V10, remember the top of the line panny in 2009 that had issues with black level increasing with age... Turned me off to Panasonic, but with the demise of plasma I figured I needed an upgrade before it was too late. I looked at all the offerings and this set just bowled me over. I won't get into the great Samsung VS Panasonic debate, to me it's really a matter of preference. I liked the contrast on this screen and the bright whites, to my eye it gives the image more definition and pop, and while I'm not a huge fan of 3-D I played around with it and the effect was second to none. The set is also great looking, I like that the bezel blends into the screen, very understated, it's all about whats on the screen; no bright chrome or shiny plastic to detract from the picture. The blacks are superb and the overall picture is truly amazing, it makes the 2009 VT10 look downright washed out.

Theres a lot of talk about the remote on this tv, it should be noted that my set came with both the bluetooth touchpad remote as well as a standard full-size IR remote, so if you're not a fan of the touchpad you can swap for a more traditional device, it should also be noted that if you don't have the IR remote samsung will provide one free of charge with this set (see their website). I actually really like the new remote design, it's easy to use with the smartTV functions and I thought quite intuitive, you can use the touchpad to trace in numbers to change the channel (gimmicky but cool) and access lesser used commands via an onscreen extension of the remote. There is a DVR button on the remote but accessing things like FF and REW is a bit tricky. Overall I give the new remote a B+. As for gesture and voice control.... again, a bit gimmicky but both work, the voice search feature is actually a great aspect of the system and makes it super simple to do a cross platform search of movies and TV.

I'm sure the speakers suck, I never even tried them out and I'm not sure why they're a consideration at this price point and size, I'd prefer they just deleted them all together if it meant they could make the set even smaller. There's a lot of complaints about "buzzing" I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary, and certainly nothing that I would find irritating, the fan from my PS3 is considerably louder than any noise this set is putting out, I've also been reading that the buzzing (and heat output) subsides after a few hundred hours of use with this set, so perhaps it's just a temporary side effect of the break in?

I should point out that I am having a few issues with my set, and I'm hoping that it's just a matter of figuring out the right set-up with my AV system etc... The first is a known bug, when you calibrate this set and you turn off the cinema smooth feature it defaults and turns dejudder processing to on(even though it says it's off) I couldn't figure out why things were looking so strange (I for one HATE the dejudder look) you have to go into settings and turn dejudder back on and then off again to defeat it.. seems like a big oversight as I'm guessing most people will have this set calibrated or do it themselves. My second issue is a sound issue, and it may be due to the ARC HDMI, I use my AV receiver as a switcher for my components and have the AV connected to the TV with an HDMI in the ARC input (so the TV only has one input coming from the receiver) my AV is ARC compatible and the tv remote is able to control the power and volume which I really like BUT when I turn the system on i don't get any sound from my cable box, if I launch an app (like netflix), then quit out of the app and go back to the cable box I get sound. Not sure if it's an issue with the ARC or a funny software bug, but it's irritating. I called customer service but that was about as much help as calling my grandmother. So if you're using this in a setup with ARC compatible components or you're using an HDMI controller to make use of the Samsung remote, you may run into trouble.

This set is hands down the best picture I've encountered, I don't think plasma will live to see another update after 2014 so if you want to get the best possible picture available right now I would seriously consider this tv. Hopefully in 5 years time the tech will have surpassed what is currently available, and at an affordable price. My thinking is, it's going to be a few years before anything with a picture close to this set at a decent price is going to be available, so now is the time... I couldn't be happier.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow... Awesome Picture!!, December 23, 2013
Over the years, I have had several LCD and DLP televisions that I have been very happy with. I never really looked at Plasmas because of the inherent flaws... burn in, screen reflectivity, and just not very bright. I decided a new TV was in order a few months ago, so I began researching the current offerings in "Big" televisions. I made up my mind to go with the Sharp 70 or 80 757. I went to my local Best Buy to see it in person (they had the 857 on the floor). The size was good and the picture was ok, but what really jumped out at me was a smaller plasma unit... Back to the internet to look into things a bit more thoroughly...

After many more hours, I decided that a great picture was more important to me than just a huge screen. I thought about the Panasonic VT or ZT, but the Samsung F8500 won my heart because of its ability to be very bright (and because all my HDTVs have been Samsungs which I've been very happy with).

I received my 64F8500 a couple weeks ago and have been amazed by the picture on this thing. It's really incredible. I have only done some basic tweeking using settings from professional reviews and I can honestly say that I've never seen such an incredible picture... Wow! I'm going to play with the settings using my Spears & Munsel disc once the display is broken in (200 hours I guess).

I didn't purchase this set for the smart features, camera, or 3D, but that stuff is all fine. I was actually kinda blown away with the 3D from my 3D Blu Rays, though. Pretty cool. It comes with 2 remotes - the one with the mouse is the only one I use and I think its great. Very easy to use and get where I want to be. I still use my Dish Network remote for changing channels although the Samsung remote allows you to navigate channel menus from Dish, Direct TV and more.

All in all, I am Mega-Happy with this purchase. Now the picture is as good as the sound of my system when watching Blu Ray movies (I have a pretty awesome audio setup with Axiom's, an Onkyo 818 and dual 1000W subs). I used to say the best part of Blu Ray movies was the sound... now it's the whole package!!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Stunning !!!!!!, June 16, 2013
Robert Smith (Highland,Michigan) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Electronics)
I purchased the Samsung F8500 Smart Plasma HDTV after a considerable amount of research.After reading over a dozen reviews from professional tech web sites that tested this latest Samsung flagship model,and many other online reviews giving this set 5 stars,I made the purchase on Amazon.

The reviews read "Stunning,the brightest plasma set ever produced","The best HDTV of the year","One of best televisions we've ever reviewed","Absolutely awesome","Amazing deep blacks and accuracy of color","Breathtaking","Clearly one of the best 1080P sets ever manufactured","Power packed plasma shines brighter" and "Easily the best HDTV that Samsung has ever produced" are just a few of the quotes from the many reviews.Along with winning the Value Electronics 2013 Flat Panel Shootout in a closely fought battle with two Panasonic flagships.

I was a little skeptical that this set could measure up to all the hype.After receiving this HDTV,I can totally understand all of the rave reviews.To put it simply,the picture quality is really beyond stunning.Superb color accuracy,amazing rich contrast,inky deep blacks,breathtaking true whites and a very bright display.Motion blur is virtually non-existent.Cable content and internet streaming on this set in high definition is nearly flawless.I have not experienced any buzz sound from my set,that is often associated with plasma sets.The set is dead quiet.Image retention has also been non-existent.

For those who desire a set with an amazing picture,although stick with LED sets for fear of worry about these issues,I have had zero problems.Every aspect of this set has exceeded my expectations.I use it with a Tivo Premier XL4 DVR and Oppo Blu Ray player,and the results are amazing.The Panasonic flagship plasma sets are also top rated,and have great reviews,although I chose the Samsung for it's ability to have an amazing bright display,one of the shortcomings of many plasma sets.Although from reading the many reviews,you can't go wrong with either the Samsung or Panasonic plasma flagship models this year.It is an excellent year for plasma technology.If you are considering purchasing the Samsung F8500,I believe that you will not be disappointed.I am confident that this set will amaze you too.

UPDATE: July 2013- I have had my Samsung F8500 plasma HDTV for one month.The set has performed flawlessly for the duration.I have not experienced any buzzing sound and zero image retention.It has been a month of high definition bliss.The picture quality has been gorgeous.From the most beautiful rich colors,the most inky blacks,true whites and a stunning bright high contrast display,this HDTV continues to be stunning.Several friends have also viewed the set,and all have commented that the picture quality was by far the best image they have ever seen.The only downside of the set is that it does run a bit hot and create some heat.I guess a minor side effect of the super contrast display and bright screen.
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Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
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