on March 21, 2014
Just a quick background on myself as a consumer perspective... I am a 41 year old man that has been a graphic design artist for for over 17 years. I have a love for movies and an obsession for color accuracy and picture clarity. I started the HD experience 8 years ago with a 50 inch 720p Sony LCD, which didn't last and needed expensive bulb replacements. I switched to plasma after researching which format provides the best color accuracy. I've owned two 50 inch 720p Panasonic Vieras (plasma) for 4 years now and have no complaints. Plasmas are known for the screen glare, but if you are serious about picture quality you will not have a problem pulling the curtains at times during the day... and you will be blown away when watching TV at night.
So recently I decided I wanted to finally upgrade to full 1080p and bump up to the 60 inch range. I took a chance on a 55 inch Vizio "smart" TV, which was a LED and many reviews boast about the impressive brightness and non-glare of the TV. It was $1500 and I had it for a week before sending it back. First, most of the "smart" features were clunky and I had them on my xbox or bluray player anyway. Second, I could not get past the horrible look of skin tones on the LED. No matter how I calibrated it, the skin looked washed out and without detail. I get brightness is important to some, but for myself if I'm going to spend the money I want picture first, with everything a very distant second.
So I waited patiently and searched for a 60 inch plasma that got consistent high marks for picture quality. Eventually I came across this Samsung 5300. The reviews were a lot of "great picture, not much else"... which is perfect for me because I wanted to pay for picture and not extra stuff that I wouldn't use anyway. I got this bad boy home and gently set it up and was simply blown away. First power up the picture is already impressive, though once you play with the many settings this unit offers you can get it to the point where your mouth with hang open as you experience HD the way it was meant to be. I simply cannot say enough about how impressed I am with the picture of this TV. Color is spot on and whites are impressively accurate even at higher contrasts (you will notice LED TVs tend to lose white details as they get "blown out"). The sound that some complain about is understandable, until you realize this TV has a equalizer setting. Once you find the EQ, which is put in a rather stupid setting so it's kind of hard to find, you can get the TV to sound 10x better than with default settings. There is really nothing else to this TV, just killer picture and good sound with all the settings that usually only TVs over $2000 provide. Basically you can tweak this TV to be exactly what you want to see and hear, which is very nice.
To address the "glare" issue... I get glare from my Panasonic plasmas as well and you get used to it. It's not as bad as some make it out to be, usually only bad enough to be annoying when it's super sunny and the sun is coming in just right. Otherwise the screen is bright enough and the picture is nice enough that it won't take you long to never notice the glare. If you have OCD and feel you will obsess about the glare then I would stick with a LED, but if you are a picture quality freak like myself the glare sacrifice is well worth what you get for picture excellence. Oh, and I have heard no "buzz" like some have mentioned. Not sure if I'm just getting old or maybe I don't sit 2 feet from the unit, but my TV is quiet. I have also played xbox on this and noticed zero lag, so no gaming issues for me (other than it annoys the wife).
- Unbelievable picture quality for under a grand
- High enough refresh rate to handle the opening title of Big bang Theory with no pixelation (nice)
- Professional level settings usually only offered in high end units (both visual and audio)
- Audio optical out for best quality audio signal and surround sound
- Sleek looking design and sturdy feeling build
- Color accuracy is life like
- Fast power on
- Cable TV is awesome, but bluray will melt your brain. MELT. YOUR. BRAIN.
- Price. I still can't believe this TV was $600 cheaper than the Vizio LED I tried.
- TV rotates on the standing mount. Very nice feature.
- Plasma has a ridiculous half life (where you notice loss of quality) and no bulbs or maintenance required
- Some settings can take some digging to find
- I'll never understand why companies have the default settings so dull. Adjust your picture and sound asap.
- Remote can be confusing for the average electronic user
- Only two HDMI outputs
- Day viewing isn't as impressive as night, but still much better than LED or LCD in my opinion
- Glare takes a little getting used to at first
I would highly recommend this TV for anyone who demands picture quality and doesn't need apps or a TV that can do your taxes.
on April 4, 2013
This is the new "budget" plasma model from Samsung that was released early 2013. It basically replaces the 2012 model E530. I beleive my Best Buy started stocking this model in mid-February.
- 25% reduction in power usage over previous E530 series. Now 144 kWh ($16 per year) vs 193 kWh last year ($21 per year)
- The Viewing Angle is perfect from side to side
- Super Rich Blacks
- Amazing vibrant color
- More options in the menu system for customizations
- No motion blur like LCD/LED 60hz
- Best price for the size and quality
- Smaller bezel trim than E530 (only 1 inch)
- Extremly thin, you might mistake it for an LED
- 1 USB input port for quickly showing off videos/music/photos on a usb drive
- I can see reflections if I do not have lighting setup correctly and the brightness very low.
- Small amount of buzzing very close to the screen, though silent from about 3-5 feet away. (This is normal)
- Limited HDMI ports (2), however, I use an HDMI switch: Portta PET0301S 3x1 HDMI Switcher Support 3D
- Not a smart TV, however, I own a WD TV Live Streaming Media Player Wi-Fi 1080p that updates the firmware much more frequently than SmartTVs and an XBOX 360.
- No 3d (but I don't want it... I wear glasses not contacts)
- Plasmas are best where you can create a somewhat dim environment. LCD/LED for lots of ambient light.
- Burn-in is not a problem in modern plasmas
Traditionally the deep black colors are the best reason to get a Plasma over and LCD/LED. To truly appreciate the black levels you will need to control the lighting in your room. In a bright room, you will see reflections on the blacks. This is because Plasmas have glass screens. With that being said, the new F series of this panel seem to have improved over the E series. Blacks seem to be completely void of any "grey" color. It is truly amazing and cannot be appreciated in bright show rooms.
Colors are much more lifelike and real. Skin is a bit too dark and yellow and a bit dull. Whites have an off-white color and somewhat green tint. Contrast and blacks are still deep and impressive. Tweaks: Turn down the sharpness a bit, less than half. It should help with graininess. Under picture, change the Color Tone from Warm2 to Warm1, this will make a huge difference to offset the off-white color. You can play with some of the other "Enhancements" under picture to alter the color and picture to your liking.
The default mode. Looks a bit artificial and looks a little grainy. Color does not feel lifelike or natural. Using the standard settings without altering the settings, you will not get the best performance this panel has to offer. I think the default Color Tone in this mode is Cool2. Changing this to Cool1 will remove the pale blue tint. I have also increased the brightness in this mode because it felt a little too dark and dull.
This is the setting stores will use to display this model. Everything is bright and loud. It will appeal for some people, especially very short term. However, I think it does not give any type of realism. Colors are too bright and exaggerated. In this setting, I have left everything in the default mode. I typically will use this setting if I want to have the shades pulled back and I'm letting lots of light into the room. This should help counter some of the reflections.
With true HD sources, you can use the "Fit Screen" setting instead of the default "16:9", this should help improve a little graininess and overscan as well.
The F5300 is truly a winner at this price. Colors are bright and vibrant, while the blacks are deep and true. At this price, the whites are going to be a little greyish and the blacks aren't going to be as deep as the more expensive models. You can't really expect the quality to match the more expensive Samsung models. With the proper calibrations, this TV will still shine and can look extremely natural and true.
on February 13, 2014
What a great tv this really is. I finally upgraded from my reliable 32 inch Sony Bravia LCD to the Samsung PN51F5300 51 Inch Plasma and I am sure glad I did.
The picture on this set for the price is stunning. I tried several different calibration settings before stumbling upon the website: plasmatvbuyingguide
The calibration settings from this place was spot on and picture looks perfect now. If you feel uncomfortable clicking the link above, feel free to check out the instructions below which I copy and pasted from the page for your convenience. I would highly recommend only using these settings since they were done professionally and not just by vision/remote. The Calibration Settings is only for the Samsung PN51F5300 51 Inch 1080p 600 HDTV. I am not sure how these settings would look on different sized samsung plasma's, so please know the settings are only for the 51 Inch Model. Enjoy hopefully this review helps!
Picture Mode : Movie
Cell Light 18
Color Tone Warm 1
Digital Noise Filter OFF
MPEG Noise Filter OFF
Film Mode OFF
Black Tone OFF
Dynamic Contrast OFF
Expert Pattern OFF
RGB Only Mode OFF
Color Space Auto
Flesh Tone 0
Edge Enhancement OFF
Motion Lighting OFF
Energy Saving OFF
ECO Sensor OFF
Auto Power OFF OFF
10p White Balance = ON
Interval Red Green Blue
1 -1 1 -2
2 -2 -2 -2
3 -3 -1 -4
4 -4 0 -3
5 -1 -2 -2
6 -5 -1 -1
7 -7 1 2
8 -1 1 2
9 -5 1 7
10 -3 0 -3
on July 9, 2014
I've had the warehouse version of this set, the PN60F5350 for the last couple of weeks. This is my third plasma. My first was a 50" Panasonic S series purchased in 2009 (still using it today), the second was an LG 60PA6500 that developed the notorious burn out problem at the 22 month mark, and now this Samsung 60".
Starting off with the differences I've noticed between this Samsung and previous sets, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of heat produced. The Panasonic, which has cooling fans, and the passively cooled LG, both ran significantly hotter than this Samsung. I've run wattage tests on all three, and here are my findings. On a very bright screen, the Panasonic tops out at 540 watts, the LG at 420 watts, and the Samsung at 317 watts. Normal viewing with varying levels of brightness yields significantly lower numbers, at about half of those listed. The irony here is that the Samsung is close to the brightest, if not the brightest, of all three sets. This is definitely a win-win for the consumer. Obviously, the lack of heat is tied to the lower wattage consumption.
The picture quality of the Samsung is absolutely excellent, at any price point. I can't imagine an improvement in the 8500 model, but I'm sure there is. The picture is bright, vivid, and with excellent color reproduction. I always felt that my Panasonic was significantly ahead of the picture on the LG, but the Samsung is either neck-and-neck with the Panasonic or I'm considering the possibility of it being even better perhaps.
The other two sets had three HDMI inputs, while this model only has two, but the Kinivo 501BN solved this issue for me with expansion available for the future. No Ethernet port here or Smart TV functionality, but I could care less about either. My Roku 2 XS makes this a smart television that gets updated regularly, so I'm ahead of the game by comparison.
One interesting note about this set in comparison to the others is the "Pentile" display structure it utilizes. More information can be obtained about this on the net, but the short version is that it's a different pixel layout than the traditional sets. My other two plasmas had Red-Green-Blue phosphors in each pixel, while Pentile sets have green in each, but then alternate red and blue in alternating columns. The "real world" effect of this structure isn't much. Most people would never notice any difference, at least at a distance. As you get close to the set (2-3 feet), you can see some patterns in the picture that look different than other televisions, but as you begin to back away, like a David Copperfield magic trick, that look fades away and you're left with an image like any other you've seen in the past. I've gathered that the Pentile structure explains the lower energy consumption, and my guess is it might explain the differences I've noticed with regard to image retention as well.
Being a perfectionist, image retention, or more severe burn in, scared the heck out of me even with my first plasma. I had read up on it thoroughly, so I was prepared for it, and took the necessary preventative steps (i.e. running 100 hours of break in 1080P slides when I first bought each set), and as a result, have no IR or burn in of any type on any of the sets mentioned. Here's the interesting and exciting aspect of this Samsung. I won't go so far as to say that this set is "burn in proof", but it's the closest I've experienced yet. I've been testing it with various 360 and original Xbox games with static images, and the results have amazed me. Wolfenstein: The New Order has static health and ammo indicators on the screen at all times with the exception of in game videos, and after putting in over an hour, I immediately went to a dark grey slide to look for the expected image retention in those areas, only to find none. This would be absolutely unheard of on the Panasonic or LG at half that amount of time. Granted, it would fade relatively quickly on those sets, but the point being that there wasn't even the slightest hint of it on the Samsung. I also ran Serious Sam on the original Xbox for a half hour or so and found the same situation. C-Net ran an unintended burn in test on a couple of Panasonics and Samsung plasmas last year with the same findings. I will continue testing the situation, preferably with games that have bright white images, which are usually responsible for the worst retention issues, and will post the results at a later time. This alone, could make this the most perfect television I've experienced thus far. As a side note, the lower power consumption probably helps to contribute to the lack of image retention as well, as the phosphors might not be burning as intensely as plasmas normally do. If this is true, it's a win-win again, as the image is as bright as any I've seen on a plasma.
In my opinion, plasma has always had the edge over LCD/LED due to flawless viewing angles, screen uniformity, color vibrancy, motion handling, and black detail, but with the additional advantages that this Samsung set has to offer in terms of low power consumption, low heat dissipation, and high resistance to image retention, I can't imagine going with any other set at this time, particularly at the low price point it's being offered at. A good 60" LED set will run a minimum of $1,800 and still be inferior to this plasma in so many regards.
On a closing note, I was hesitant about the "buzzing" issue certain people have commented on, as I'm very particular about things like that, but I'm glad to say that from where I sit 9-10' away in a virtually silent room in a silent community, I don't notice anything out of the ordinary that varies from the Panasonic or the LG. If I put my head between the set and the wall, I might be able to hear a little something, but nothing I would even take the time to write in this review, as it's not worth mentioning.
Very disappointing that Samsung will be exiting the plasma market in November 2014. I'm just glad I got this set when I did.
on June 19, 2013
This is my first plasma TV. Amazing image quality especailly after some adjustment. The picture took some adjustment. Here is what I found to be the best adjustments:
Cell light 20
Color 80 (for dvd content. Sometimes on TV I turned this down)
Picture Size 16:9
In Advanced Settings:
Dynamic Contrast: High
Black Tone: Darkest
Flesh Tone: 0
RGB Oly Mode: Off
Color Space Native (there is a noticeable difference)
Motion Lighting: Off
Going back out to the main menu again, and going into picture options:
Color Tone: standard
Digital Clean View: Off (with teh sharpness setting where I have it, noise isnt too much of a concern as long as they used good film....I found that when this was turned on you would from time to time notice a paint like effect on the film. You sacrafice quality when this is on.
Mped Noise filter Off
HDMI black level: normal (greyed out with my dvd player)
Film Mode: off
Black Optimizer off
With these settings, HD movies looked incredible, particularly with the deep blacks that accompany this tv.
Two negatives: The tv has screen fit, 16:9, and wide fit. Most modern dvd blu ray players (save for some of the LGs (Example: LG BD300 and LG BD590) are not able to zoom to fill up the entire screen. This tv doesnt have the option to fill up the entire screen on any of these three options, meaning no matter what you are left with black bars of some type for Blu Ray content even if its a small amount. Those aspect ratios are common with most plasma or LED tvs. But it would be nice to have a zoom or zoom 2 option to avoid any temporary image retention. Maybe samsung will incorporate this onto their tvs in the future... In hte meantime, I have purcahsed an LG blu ray player with the zoom feature allowing me to view all my movies and content without any bars.
Negative #2 Buzzing: PLasma tvs are known to buzz but some are louder than others. On this one its noticable especially if nothing is playing and your looking at it directly on from a close distance or in a smaller room. Off to the side, not so much. wallmounted, not so much. volume on and wall mounted, not at all save for really quite parts of the movie. But buzzing is there. If your coming from LED to plasma, dont let this alarm you. Its a normal part of the technology and samsung even addresses this as normal operation.
...I would gladly take the slight buzzing heard when there is no or little volume for what you get in exchange, namely: Image quality. Its amazing. the best ive seen on a tv...even from my former LED samsung. Blacks are black, image is crisp and clean. Vivid colors, excellent volume on the tv itself. Good assortment of options...Pixel shifting is left on and is a nice feature. Just a great overall tv. Would recommend it to anyone.
on February 20, 2014
Ok, I don't write reviews... On ANYTHING. But in this instance I feel compelled. A little background for the readers... I was the previous owner of a 2011 Panasonic 55 inch VT30 (plasma) which was their top of the line picture. That TV was awesome. Super rich blacks, great color and sharpness, zero motion blur... Just an incredible picture... Until it suffered a catastrophic failure which required replacement. To say the least, I was depressed and didn't want to spend good money on another high end set.
Not wanting to spend an arm and leg to replace my higher end set, I decided to go for a budget tv and skip the 3D and smart tv functions (I have a ps4 for streaming net flicks and never use the 3d) First up, I chose a 60 inch Samsung LED. I had previously been a plasma guy and was curious about LED sets so I went for what looked to be an ok tv. Disappointment doesn't begin to describe my impression of LED sets. Blacks were dull, and even worse light was bleeding through anything dark leaving blotchy "clouds" of light on any dark scene. It was horrible during dark scenes. Popped a Blu ray in and it was unwatchable because the backlight was bleeding through the corners so much. Very distracting. I played with all the settings for over a week trying to live with the problem... and I corrected it at the expense of having a dull image. In the end it was just too flawed.
After a week I returned it for a 60 inch Samsung plasma model #PN60F5300BFXZA. It was a hundred bucks less than the LED and I really wasn't expecting much. Man was I wrong.... This set was AWESOME. DEEP blacks... Almost as good as my top end panasonic (almost). Great natural color, very sharp, zero motion blur. I couldn't be happier for $899.99. Right out of the box it was obvious and noticeably better than the LED. After calibrating it was 10X the picture of the LED. Really it's only a slight step down from my old plasma picture quality wise. There are fewer connections and features for sure, but the picture is outstanding.
My room is naturally dim so glare from the screen is not an issue as it is for some...
on July 23, 2013
The only reason that I don't get this bad boy a 5 is because it reflects like a mirror in the daylight. I owed a Sony projection television before I bought this one and it didn't reflect anything. So I was stunned when I sat in front of this television and saw myself and the back wall. And when the television is on the blacks projected on the screen reflects the wall and whatever is back there. I was so concerned that I was going to send the television back. But that would have been the biggest mistake of my life. Here is what you probably want to know; this television's picture is absolutely awesome. The colors jump from the screen and dance in front of your eyeballs, like a ballerina in an opera, I had to hold my breath as I watched "The Thing" (the pre-sequel to Kurt Russell's) in Blue-Ray. I play PS 3 games on this beautiful creature and I can't believe the colors of Madden or Tiger Woods or Basketball or on anything else I put in the machine. This television is one of the best that I have ever had and I had a few good ones, for a poor boy. And to end this, I want you to know that now I don't see the reflections, I guess after awhile you stop noticing them. But you will never stop noticing the colors, never.
on February 10, 2014
Because this tv has an optical audio out connection, I did not have to upgrade my favorite Harman-Kardon receiver which accepts optical audio inputs but not HDMI. Now I can listen to audio through the tv speakers or through the receiver when I want great sound. Ka-ching! Money saved!
I really would like one of the new OLED tv’s, but my redneck retirement plan (lottery) has not produced any tangible assets, so I’ll have to wait for the prices to come down out of the atmosphere. Ka-ching! Money saved!
I have a HTPC (Home Theater Personal Computer) that I assembled a couple of years back which I use stream movies, play games, view blu-ray, and view over the air broadcasts via a Silicon Dust network tuner. Thus I did not need a “smart” tv as this setup is even “smarter”. Ka-ching! Money saved!
Kidding aside, after reading the reviews here on Amazon I was confident this tv would work in my environment. I have a media room w/o any windows and have indirect lighting controlled by a dimmer switch, thus I don’t have any glare issues. I satisfactorily adjusted the settings as recommended by Consumer Reports which saved me time from having to fool around with them myself. The color is fantastic and the picture is clean and crisp.
Even though this only accepts two HDMI inputs, I’m only using one since I already have an HDMI switch because of my previous tv setup which accepts HDMI from multiple sources. It made sense to continue to use it.
The only issue I had was an annoying high tone sound which was due to my sound card on my PC, I had both the digital audio out and HDMI audio out turned on, since I did not need the digital audio out I turned it off and the annoying sound ceased.
This is the first time I have purchased a tv sight unseen on-line, I would normally have gone to the local Best Buy and picked one up after having looked at it in person. Because of the reviews and Amazon’s excellent return policy I went for it and am glad I did.
If you are looking for a no-frills but excellent picture quality tv and have the appropriate environment, then I highly recommend this Samsung plasma.
on September 1, 2014
I've had the PN60F5300 (60-Inch) for a month now. I absolutely love this TV. I haven't purchased a television since 1990. I told myself that I get to splurge every quarter century and buy a nice one!
I read and read and read and researched and read. I listened to the people who love the color of plasma, and I read enough reviews, in enough places, from enough professionals and regular users to convince me to make this particular Samsung my first television purchase in 24 years. My research convinced me that this TV would have great color, would come at a very good price, for a 60" and would not be best in a bright room. So far, that has all been true.
As others have stated, this is not a smart TV - that is, it doesn't connect to the internet and provide streaming video and other online services, browsing or firmware updates (there's a USB connection for that.) But, I get my network services elsewhere (from my Blu-ray player) so it's not necessary.
The menus are basic and not elegant. I haven't spent a night to figure out how to tweak colors and more advanced settings either. There's very little though, at this point that I think needs attention. The detail, brightness, and pretty much every element that my eye and brain are concerned about are very, very good. The picture is even from edge-to-edge. There is no annoying sound. New streaming 1080 cartoons, Blu-ray disc movies and Netflix Super HD movies are breathtaking.
I have seen "banding" with gradients, and I'm not sure if that's how you say it, and it's the only thing currently that seems odd. It's trivial, and I wonder if it's a result of low-bandwidth streaming content versus a shortcoming or bad setting of the TV. I guess I can research it further. My guess is that it's a click or two in the right place and it's solved. (What I'm describing is seeing distinct lines or bands when there should be an even transition from light to dark images, for instance, on a dark sunset, where the grays should progressively become black, without any visible steps or edges.)
My last TV lasted 24 years, and we'll see if this one holds up that long. (I'm giggling as I type that, as I don't think we build electronics to last that long anymore, but hey, maybe it's possible?)
I have pretty much loved this purchase right out of the box, and for the money, I'm absolutely delighted with the new picture in front of me.
Oh, and by the way, I threw a compact RCA antenna in the attic this summer and stopped paying for cable TV, and I run it to this TV. Some of the broadcasts are 1080 and 5.1 audio. I was concerned about getting the audio return from this TV. I purchased an $8, 10ft long Toslink cable (digital audio / fiber optic) here on Amazon, and it did the trick without any additional setup on my part. So, the surround sound from free, over-the-air digital television broadcasts makes it to my television via the antenna ($35 here on Amazon too - RCA ANT751) and coaxial cable. Then the audio makes it to my audio/video receiver via the cheap digital audio cable. I am truly looking forward to 5.1 surround sound NFL Sundays this fall, 100% free, looking and sounding the very best I've ever had it.
I'm hoping this 60" Samsung gives me years of exquisite quality for the money. Why spend $2500 on a TV!?
I'll report back if there are any significant changes or updates.
on May 3, 2013
If you are in the market for a large screen television without all of the "smart" features that most current sets now seem to come equipped with, then this just might be the TV for you.
This is my first plasma set, as I have only had LCD and CRT sets in the past, but I have been well aware of the capabilities of each format. I was a bit concerned about the reported screen glare, but once I received the TV, it wasn't as bad as some have indicated, even in normally lit rooms. Granted, care does need to be taken when placing lamps and other sources of light in close proximity, as I have noticed that reflections are visible when the color black is displayed on the screen.
There are only 2 HDMI ports on this set, which is a bit of a let down, but I read that this could be remedied via an HDMI switcher, or simply by unplugging devices that are not in use. The picture settings offered are standard fare, but really, what more does one need?. Pop in a THX calibration disk or use their iOS app and the picture on this set will really show you what it is capable of. The lack of Wi-Fi did not deter me, as I simply use an Apple TV and PS3 to stream and watch HD content.
The design of the television is very attractive and feels very sturdy. Being a plasma, there is a bit of heat generation near the rear of the set and it also produces a slight buzzing sound, which are all within normal operation parameters. The sound is only noticeable when standing within a foot or two and is not an issue.
Overall, I highly recommend this set and for the price, you simply cannot beat the size of the display and the quality of the picture. Samsung makes some of the best television sets on the market and this model simply serves to validate that fact.