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262 of 281 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 15 months ago by KD

166 of 208 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 13 months ago by B. Wilson

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262 of 281 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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93 of 104 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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166 of 208 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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Picture in the World; Forget the Rest, July 2, 2014
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This is probably the best TV set ever made to date in terms of picture quality, which quite frankly is all I really care about a TV doing anyway. It blows everything else being made right now completely out of the water in terms of color saturation, refresh rate, black reproduction, and viewing angle range.

I found it very easy to hook up and get it going out of the box without reading any manuals. The ONE insane thing about this TV is that, out of the box, the picture is excruciatingly bad, looking like everything it shows has been dipped in mud. I was so disappointed I was ready to box it up and ship it back. However, I went to the picture menu and changed the picture from Standard mode to Dynamic mode and the picture immediately lit up like a Christmas tree. Turns out Samsung has "Ecomode" turned on by default in Standard mode, and switching to Dynamic modes automatically turns "Ecomode" off by default, so the real culprit out of the box is "Ecomode", which everyone knows by now means pretty much "not worth a hill of beans mode" no matter whether you're buying a TV, a light bulb or bug spray.

It's completely insane for Samsung to ship these high-end TVs deliberately crippled out of the box. It's pretty much like buying a Ferrari that is shipped from the factory with a 20mph governor welded to the floor under the accelerator.

But I digress. I left the TV in Dynamic picture mode, but it was still necessary to adjust the default settings for brightness, contrast and color to get an optimal picture because they were set so oddly by default. Myself and an artist friend futzed with these until we agreed we couldn't get the picture any better. BTW, I recommend staying away from changing the default settings for cell light, sharpness, and Tint.

However, as far as the Smart TV features go, almost nothing is ready for prime time. There's a jumble of 3rd party vendor "apps" tossed in, with no consistency at all in terms of function, pairing method, or GUI. Far better to just forget the "apps" and stick with your roku box. The "apps" are such a poor showing I don't know why Samsung even bothered. They'd have been far better served to just build a roku (or roku-like) app into the TV and forget about the rest. Even the built-in browser is a pale-imitation of the real thing.

As far as I can tell, the PC/TV mirroring/pairing options are not ready for prime time either, requiring the purchase of proprietary hardware and/or running everything through Samsung's cloud/file sharing service which requires special software to be installed on each PC and a Samsung login account. I've concluded the best bet is just to buy a long HDMI cable to connect your PC to the TV and be done with it. A roku box will already do most of what you need anyway, and a direct PC/TV cable should do the rest.

I did connect up an MK270 Logitech USB wireless combo to the TV and the mouse provides a great interface for working the Menu, Tools, and basic Samsung Smart Hub functions, but both keyboard and mouse are basically useless for working the 3rd party "apps", thereby making the operation of those "apps" as painful as trying to build an automobile from a pile of parts with just one screwdriver and one wrench.

I spent quite a bit of time turning off many annoying features that were on by default such as motion control, voice control, and the Smart TV hub coming on initially by default at power on. Also, the TV did an excruciatingly incomplete and slow job of trying to control my DirecTV DVR via the IR repeater. I finally just unplugged the IR repeater all together, and now control the power on/off for the TV/DVR combo with the DVR remote control, and power off just the TV when with the TV control remote when I want to leave the DVD paused but turn the TV off.

Because I have an old Yamaha RX-V1 AV receiver which doesn't do HDMI, I hooked all my HDMI inputs into the TV and use it as the video switch and run TOS links from my source equipment directly to the RX-V1 for sound. It's not really all that inconvenient since I mostly use the DirecTV DVR and occasionally use the Roku box. I also did connect the TOS output from the TV to the RX-V1 and that works fine also, but the sound is not as good as the direct TOS-to-RX-V1 links. But that connection does provide sound to the RX-V1 for the internal "apps" and any HDMI-connected PCs.

Basically, I've turned my Smart TV into a dumb TV monitor that produces the best picture in the world, which is what I wanted all along anyway. The "Smart" part is such a half-baked effort it's just not all that useful compared to using a PC or a tablet.

Bottom line, this is practically the best TV in the world for picture quality and all the rest is just basically hooey as far as I'm concerned.
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37 of 45 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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25 of 30 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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close To OLED Pic quality., September 12, 2014
This review is from: Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV (Electronics)
I won't waste time here saying what other positive reviews are saying... I bought this direct from Samsung and it has NO TAX. Comfortable buying this particular TV from Samsung Direct for $1799. You get the free $250 soundbar which ends Saturday 9-13-2014. It's confirmed Samsung is shutting down production November 30th, 2014. So this is the last great Plasma TV you will ever be able to buy. I missed out on the Panasonic Plasma VT last year as I love Plasma TV's. The comment about buzzing, heat. There is some heat but it's not hot hot.I asked Samsung about this and tech support said this is not out of ordinary and TV is designed to shutdown if it ever got too hot. I read from Samsung's own site that if you live above 6500 sea level don't buy a Plasma and if you live at a high sea level you will hear the buzzing. I live in Indiana so no problem and no buzz. So I have no idea about those comments. This TV was going to fill a gap between the time when OLED's will become affordable. As this TV has almost OLED picture quality. The 64 inch model and the new LG OLED priced at $3500 tied for best TV "LG OLED TV and Samsung plasma win 2014 Value Electronics shootout." Google that headline read the article. I looked into the OLED's and found the LG OLED new model is improved over then the original first OLED released last year which cost more. I think OLED's are great and much better then these Ultra 4 LED's. However the technology is still relatively new while Plasma technology has been around and improved since 2001. I also think this particular Plasma is better then the more expensive Ultra 4's.

ANYWAY I buy the 51 inch as you can't find them in stores now. So I get it. Realize this TV is awesome. I called Samsung and decided I wanted the 60 inch. Samsung would not exchange the TV without 15% restocking fee. I got free soundbar with it so I was like F you very much Samsung. So putting my money where my mouth is. I cut a deal with a family member for just the TV at a lower price but sold the soundbar to a co worker at discount and came out about even financially. Selling the 51 inch TV and have ordered the 60 inch version which is on it's way. I REALIZE these TV's are expensive. I am by no means wealthy. But considering the fact this Plasma TV is going away forever. I think it is worth paying for the quality that the mass consumer has decided is not worth the price. I disagree with this view as I consider it the Walmart view in shopping. I'd much rather pay a higher price for quality rather than buy a lower price for low quality. I did not get the extended warranty and when my warranty is up I may consider Samsung's $250 extra 1 year warranty. Considering the fact the TV's are out of production. But buying this TV today. My theory which is only a theory. The longer you buy into a production model.(this tv has been out since early 2013) the more likely you won't get a lemon as the manufacture errors should be corrected.

Some tips:Turn off the eco sensor energy saver as it dims the TV and is on when received. Dim TV on your own using brightness settings etc... There is a lag in game mode and from CNET: If you have say a gaming console in one of the HDMI's. Turn on Game mode and go to very top of screen right hand corner. Click on tools and input PC TV as description of this HDMI channel. These corrections take the input lag from poor to about average. You lose just a lil bit in pic quality but picture was great from beginning. When watching sporting fast moving events leave the Motion Judder Canceller to default standard. However when watching movies or TV shows etc... Turn the Motion Judder Canceller OFF. As this will eliminate the soap opera effect. CNET AND Plasma TV Buying guide both offer good calibration settings for MOVIE mode. Just google those settings for the TV model and links will appear. ON downside the controllers are not the best user friendly design and the 3D glasses while fine are a lil too narrow. You can buy universal 3D glasses that work with TV. But I checked 3D out and was impressed. I hope my overall comments have helped. -------------------------TJH
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone seen a pair of socks! Remarkable Picture, November 23, 2013
- Picture, just stunning!
- Controls, outstanding control of every aspect of the picture
- Smart Features great if you have a keyboard
- Easy Set-up, it does most of the work
- Integration with Home Theater receiver and STB
- Built in WiFi and Wired Ethernet
- 4 HDMI, 3 USB, 1/1 Component/Shared Composite

- Need a stand as wide as the TV, most of the weight falls on the last 4" of each end (5 feet)
- Internal speakers - this is pretty much the case with any large TV these days
- Need a very wide stand, looks good but needs a stand to fit the full width if not wall mounted.
- Annoying error screen when switching sources to tell you there is no HDMI signal (can be bypassed at the cost of other features)


The overall 5 rating is based 90% on picture quality, the rest to me is a small part of the decision, if I add in Sound from the internal speakers and Smart Features and other measures it drops to a 4+,so an outstanding TV. This 64F8500 is at the top of the game in picture quality and while it offers nearly endless tuning options, you are just fine with your eyes and the basic picture controls we all know well; Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Color, and Tint, and Cell light. The good news is that out of the box you get a stunning picture, and using your preference and eyes you can tune it to your liking just fine so no need to be worried about most of the settings, the factory values are very good. Most are going to be very happy with some basic adjustments and that will be the last time you need to bother, more on calibration later. When you add in the smart features with the great picture it is hard not to have a smile on your face unless you are watching a sad movie.

I have mine on an AV stand, it is not wall mounted but can be with a standard bracket and various styles. I had to get a new stand as this needs to be 6" side, most of the weight sits on the last 4" of each end and I don't think it would do well without the ends resting on the stand. The other option is the wall mount it, it has a standard mount so you can buy most any style.

Overall this is by far the best Plasma TV I have owned or any kind of TV for that matter, this brings together the best of LCD/LED and Plasma in one set and should hold me over the few years it will take for OLED to get its act together, I saw no material advantage in OLED, not that you can get a 64/65 inch yet. Not only are the prices too high, they still have a lot of bugs to work out, OLED is only for true early adaptors who enjoy the early flaws and all and have a healthy budget.

Picture Quality (PQ): 5

This to me is the first and most important measure. Out of the box the picture is just plain stunning before messing with any settings and there are 4 picture "modes", 6 if you are a little adventurous and care to dive into the "forbidden" service menu, the 4 you get are: Dynamic, Standard, Relax, and Movie. Dynamic is typically for use with game consoles or PC's hooked to the TV and on some animated movies like Shrek it can really punch the picture up. Standard covers typical TV viewing, Relax tones things down a little for less eye strain that too bright of a picture can cause (common in LED/LCD sets), and finally Movie which is how Ron Howard thinks it should look :) - this is supposed to align to how the producers wanted it to look. If Ron ever drops by it is nice to know you are all set. Seriously though Movie sets a base line for true reference standards.

I found the F8500 Picture after an a few minor adjustments to be as good as the Pani ZT60 for everything from Blu-Ray movies to HDTV from cable, both are just great. There are two places where I think there is a noticeable difference, and to my surprise they were both on the Samsung. The F8500 seems to hold its color better in a room lit well enough to read in, and far better in a sun lit room. I also liked 3D on the Samsung more than one the ZT60, seemed a lot more vivid.

As to the overall picture, you get deep blacks to bright whites, the best whites I have ever seen on a Plasma, true white. The colors look true and I measure that by them not standing out (except where they are supposed to), red things should look red and not make you notice it if you know what I mean. Flesh tones are outstanding, again they look like they should to the point that it does not call your attention to it, they just look right.

When watching a blu-ray under darkened conditions the F8500 really starts to show its stuff, when they say a picture tell a thousand words that is an understatement when it comes to the picture and I traded up from a top of the line 50" Panasonic Plasma. The subtle details add a lot to the movies, things in the shadows to spectacular explosions are the best I have ever seen. As for things like dealing with on-screen motion I have found this to be the best set I have owned so far still not perfect but the best to date.

Bottom line on picture quality out of the box just does not get much better than the Samsung F8500 series the colors are vibrant without looking cartoonish, the whites are the best I have ever seen on a Plasma set (finally watched a hockey game where the ice was white and not grayish or bluish and approached that of LCD/LED sets, the black depth allows the subtle shadows to show themselves adding the kind of richness and depth usually only seen at a theater.

3D PQ: 5++

If you are a 3D fan then I would not even consider the Pani it is just too dark to really get the full impact of 3D, the Samsung being brighter has produced the first 3D I have been willing to watch on my home TV, it is near theater quality, it will make you duck! The TV comes with 4 pairs of 3D glasses and additional glasses are reasonably priced. I watched Star Trek - Into the Darkness in the theater 3D and later on the F8500 and WOW is all I can say, while not quite as deep as in the theater I was awed by it, and the most amazing part is how the effects are so clean it does not distract from the movie but adds to as it should.

PQ Calibration: 5

There are three levels I break picture calibration into, basic settings (brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, Color , Tint and Cell Light) adjusting the picture with live content, ie watching TV, this is how most people adjust the picture, then an intermediate level where it is calibrated by eye with a calibration disc like the Disney WOW disc that gives you the test patterns and advice on how they should look and what "knob" you need to turn, and finally the professional calibration that runs from 300 - 600 buck and attempts bring it to a reference standard. The F8500 is a 5 for all three, I did use the Disney WOW on mine after 300 hours of running the TV, but this is not required, I just like to know I am at a good starting point before adjusting to what I like.

Sound Quality: 3 (internal speakers) / 5 hooked to a home theater

The sound is very acceptable out of the internal speakers to watch most TV, but is far from ideal, this really takes a surround bar at minimum or surround AV receiver to pull the best sound out and unlike the professional picture calibration talk, it really does require using external speakers and an AV receiver if you want the sound quality to match the picture, however if you start with just the internal speakers or if you are like me and do not always want to fire up the home theater system, this set has sufficient sound quality to enjoy most TV. For sports and movies it really does pay to add the external audio, it truly makes a noticeable difference. This is the same with any TV, so it is not Samsung specific.

Smart Features: 3+

This has a ton of smart features and are of the same quality and diversity as any TV in this price range, so if you want to stream movies from Amazon or Netflix or a pile of other streaming services you are all set. The Samsung comes with wireless Ethernet or wired, I found the wireless WiFi to be pretty darn good, watching HD movies from a streaming sources was very good, no lags, artifacts, pauses, blocking or other noise. This depends more on the quality and performance of your wireless router and internet service than on the TV. The best connection for streaming is still a wired Ethernet connection if you can swing it and there are a number of ways you can do this without running wire if you are a little adventurous.

Once adding a keyboard (about 30 bucks) the browser goes from virtually useless to acceptable but this is the early days and it will get better over time with firmware upgrades. Bottom line, do not count on this to become you mainstream browser.

Count on getting a Bluetooth keyboard if you want to get the most out of the smart features, the remote is only practical for very limited use. One downside, not all Smart Apps work with and external keyboard, I just don't use them, the on-screen keyboard or smart pad is too awkward to be usable.

Key smart features include:

- Things like, YouTube Facebook, Twitter and Skype that works with the built in camera, apps include a number of streaming services like Amazon Video, NetFlix, and several more, these are app paid services, so you get the app for free but the movies generally cost you (except Amazon Prime of course) Other apps include a mix of paid and free things like Weather, News, games, sports and such. If you use the full TV functions you have a full TV guide and you can play content from a USB stick for Photos, Videos & Music: Play back photo, video, and music. Has a pretty cool camera app, nice field of view.
- The DLNA is OK and on par with most DLNA clients but it allows you to stream from any DLNA source you might have, I have it hitting my HTPC for movies and other stuff we have recorded using Windows Media Center and a tuner card. If you have a large collection of movies and tv shows the navigation is pretty rough.
- Android App, is very hot, if you have a smart phone or tablet then you can control the TV via a free Samsung app, I use it with a Samsung 10" Tab that came with the TV and both Samsung's free App but also a few free/shareware apps. A cool feature is the ability to push whatever you are watching from the TV to the tablet or phone, and keep watching from there while you leave the room for whatever reason, then you don't have to pause the show to wait for someone to come back. It does an amazing job pushing the show to the tablet, very smooth and sounds great. There is also a number of cool remote app.

Smart Control Features -

Controlling the TV by Voice commands and/or motion gestures I put in the novelty section, yes they sort of work and are very impressive when showing this off to family and friends but on a practical level I found them worse than useless, so turned them all off and only use them now when I am doing a gee-wiz demo for folks. Voice triggers too easily, misses too often and after a while feels like it does when trying to direct a 3 year old on what to do, you repeat yourself a lot. The motion controls are just insane in my view, some may like them but I just can't bring myself to sit there flapping my arms around to control the TV, seriously what are folks thinking... The one gesture I am really good at is not very polite and it does not understand it and when it does it turns the volume up :)

Operation: 4 (not counting smart control)

I measure operation by ease-of-use, when I want to watch TV I like things simple. Samsung now ships this with 2 remote controls, the little Smart Remote and a big ole conventional remote, I prefer the conventional remote for most of what I use but the smart remote is pretty slick also and often best when using the smart features, I just happen to like a real button for selecting and controlling common functions. The on-screen menus are the best I have ever used, they are generally very well placed and sized, as well as ordered in a way puts the things you want most often one click away. It loses a point on the keyboard deal, given that many of the smart features I like are nearly unusable with the on-screen keyboard or gestures on the keypad, I think one needs to be included, sort of like a new car delivered with no tires.

This will interface with your cable/Sat set top box (STB) using the included IR (Infra-Red) blaster that you position in front of your STB, I found this to be very reliable but like any IR blaster will sometimes be a little flakey. I would say that it hits 95% on the first try and the 5% it missed it does not do anything, which is good, this is with a Comcast STB.

If you are using an AV receiver for your audio the Samsung will integrate with most newer receivers and allow you to control it thought the Samsung remote, at least for volume and channel, offering a simpler operation experience in not having to juggle remotes, but don't count on getting rid of the AV receiver remote, it is not that complete. You can put the STB remote in a drawer if you use the IR Blaster that is included, so one less thing to mess with while watching TV.

It can be a little flakey when using the integrated control to the receiver, I use it with a Sony STR-DA1800 and 99% of the time it is fine, 1% of the time it gets confused and turns off the receiver, or will no longer adjust the volume, but for me it is rare.

Final Thoughts:

I would easily recommend to friends and if I had to make the decision again today, this is the set I would buy to hold me over until they get the issues worked out with OLED. Now after having this for a couple of months I find I never think about the settings, rarely even change picture mode (which is very easy).

My Home Theater:
Samsung 64F8500 / Sony STR-DA1800 AV Receiver / Infinity 7.1 Surround Speakers / Panasonic Blu-Ray BDT-210 / Comcast HDTV Set-Top / HTPC computer
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23 of 28 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
When most people are shopping for a TV this days, they usually have little to no interest in plasma, that's because when you go to a store most of them look thick, terribly washed out in a bright room and also they run very hot. This added to the general lack of knowledge of most salesmen, who don't really know what they're selling due to ignorance and also persistence of marketing for LED and 4K makes people end expending tons of money in a product completely unpar with is actual quality.

If you're looking to buy a tele this size and price, this is DEFINITELY the one to get.

Plasma it's a technology that has existed for quite a long time, so it has had the chance to mature and radically improve, leaving previous mistakes behind. That's why the pictures this beauty can produce are simply superb, blacks are incredibly deep and whites are the purest of any plasma tv, ever. Some people will argue, why would I care about that? I won't be watching B&W shows! But the better a tv's contrast ratio is, the better clarity and overall color pop.
Off axis viewing is spectacular and it's bright room performance is top notch, delivering brightness as equal or better than some LED sets.

This quality will change the way you see television, seriously.

Honestly, it does warm up when in use and it's energy efficiency in standby is not great, those are the only things I can complain of an otherwise outstanding product, minor issues that don't really affect it's usability.

Even though it is succeptible to image retention when displaying letterboxed content as I've noticed in this 6 months of use, everything goes out pretty quickly, so I haven't really cared that much, it's that good.

As people start to care less about plasma display and instead focused their hype on LED
LCD's , and 4K the few manufacturers that were still betting for this old-school tech have finally left it behind, which has allowed the pricing to decline like crazy (Seriously, I got mine for around $2150) just waiting for supplies to end forever, which is pretty sad by the way; that's why if you are into this beauty you MUST buy it while you can, because it is going to dissapear, and soon.

This is not your average television by any mean. It's the statement of what plasma technolgy was able to achieve after many years of existence, a true pinnacle of enginnering. A product that will be remembered by videophiles and experts for many, many years to come because of what it will become: a legendary product, one of the best televisions ever made.

Seriously, buy it if you can. You'll really love it.
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Samsung PN51F8500 51-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV
$2,699.99 $1,397.99
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