Samsung PS50C680 Plasma 3D TV Review

Customer expectations are higher these days. They demand a mobile phone flexible enough to function as a music player and additionally perform as a camera and so on. Therefore it would not be surprising if they anticipate their TV to function similar to that of a computer. Being innovative is the key word to strike excellent products in the market, a unique skill that Samsung has developed over years. Staying true to the afore-said statement, Samsung’s PS50C680 makes a distinct entry in the 3D TV field that is developed based on plasma technology. Watching motion pictures in 3D effect is something that most of us are excited about. Many manufacturers are channeling their new products for the exclusive 3D fans. The pioneers are Samsung, Sony and Panasonic, almost giving neck to neck product releases with astounding features. Samsung has indeed capitalized the unique features of plasma technology in their 3D TV. Plasma technology has an upper hand whilst compared to LCD and LED with respect to, good picture quality with negligible motion blurs, rapid refresh rate and faster response time. Hence integration of 3D concept to the plasma TV would truly yield various entertainment features.

Overview:

Samsung PS50C680 3D TV is based on Plasma PDP technology with a refresh rate of 600Hz. The characteristic features include Eco sensor, cinema smooth picture quality, Anynet, connect and share movies, wide colour enhancer and so on. But the main selling factor is the alluring 3D effect produced synonymous to that of a movie theater.

Design:

Samsung PS50C680 3D Plasma TV is impeccably chiseled to perfection. Designing plasma TV’s with large dimension has greatly reduced down to notable specs. The display panel size measures 50 inch wide and all the electronic components are compactly packed in between a meager thickness of 2.8 inches. The TV has an attractive glossy screen with chrome based quad and swivel stand. The swivel set up gives a good clarity viewed from any angle and can be tilted to a tune of 20 degree sideways. The TV comes detached with the stand and the user needs to mount the same on the stand. The guide stand is connected to the stand using screws, but the user must be able to differentiate between the front and rear side of the stands. The TV must not be placed prior to fastening the screws as it can slide to one side during the set-up. Instead of going plain with one colour, the TV is coated with Black to Blue gradation giving a great finish. Overall the look is appealing and gives much of a theatrical touch to it.

3D glasses:

Samsung PS50C680 comes with one pair of 3D glasses. The glass can be worn by anyone and even over an optical glass. But Samsung must overcome its tightfistedness to provide just one 3D glass with the TV set. These are designed with crystal shutter glass. It operates by obstructing each eye very rapidly in a sequential manner. The glass consists of liquid crystal lens and minute electrons and battery. It synchronise with the TV through the infrared radiation. The glass designed by a particular manufacturer cannot be used with other TV. All these factors puts the consumer in a critical position, and somewhat becomes a drag if they need to go to the Samsung dealer to purchase another 3D glass. Samsung must really put some quick action in to it so as to enjoy the full benefits of 3D watching by the entire family. Restricting the glass numbers to one or two is a selling barrier when considering the competition with ace manufacturers such as Panasonic and Sony.

Slots and Connectivity:

The connectivity is not so complicated for users accustomed of using some recent revolutionised TV models. But for those, who have upgraded from their old chunkier ones to this pretty slimmer version, would take several sessions to get used to the connectivity.  But the advantage over the earlier model is, the thickness is reduced affording a good connectivity facility. Besides the Samsung PS50C680 50-inch 3D TV consists of 20 degree rotational swivel stand, thus making it all the more easier to just turn the TV around for connection purpose. There are four inputs for the HDMI cable in the rear side. It has provision to connect to the DVD, Blu Ray player, cable box or high definition set top box. The HDMI/ DVI cable connection must be executed with care, as an incomplete connection can lead to slight distortion in picture colour quality. The HDMI input 1 jack must be used in case of HDMI/ DVI cable connection. The DVI cable connection must be given in the DVI -HDMI mode. The PC/ DVI audio input jack can be used for audio connections. The incompatibility of older version external device such as DVD, Blu Ray player and cable connection is somewhat an inherent issue with many of the manufacturers. This TV is also susceptible to the same, hence if the user highly suspect the external device version is older than 1.3, the service provider must be approached to upgrade the same.

Remote Access Control:

The Remote access control is a neat rectangular structure that gives a sleek grip to the user. It is designed in a manner that can be used by visually impaired people also. The power switch, channel and volume buttons has Braille points over it. There are two switches located on the top most position of the remote control. One power switch takes care of the TV’s on and off operation, whereas the other turns the remote control on or off. This switch illuminates the remote control, so that the user need not search for the controls while seeing the TV at night. Samsung has purposefully provided this switch because it wisely controls the battery usage once when it is turned on. Grouping the favourite channels under one button is possible, and the location for the same is placed downwards for quick access. The four way navigational button is centrally located and we appreciate the positioning of regularly used menu quite nearer to the navigational tool. The remote control set-up is similar to that of any TV besides the special functions such as Anynet button, HDMI is quietly placed at the bottom of the device. This avoids confusion while using it.

User-interface and Set-up:

Samsung PS50C680 set-up consumes least time once an appropriate position to place the TV is finalised. Since the product highlight is 3D, the user must ensure that the TV is placed at a good distance, as the ideal viewing space is thrice the times of the height of the screen.

Once the TV is connected to the power cord and the antenna set-up is configured, the remaining part is actively taken care by the TV itself. With the self prompting options such as language selection, channel selection, clock setting, the rest of everything is a child’s play. Samsung PS50C680 Full HD 1080p 3D Television offers better maneuvering through the remote access control. The channels can be readily sorted in to, the number of channels available, the added channels, and the favourite channels. All the favourite channels can be readily boxed in to one category by merely selecting the favourites, and is further grouped under one button control. This is a good feature when compared against the conventional model, where in one by one registration to the favourite family is only possible. The TV offers the picture setting to be stored for every external device connected to it. While using the PC mode only 4 settings are permitted.

Samsung has included SPDIF (Sony, Philips Digital Interface) that can reduce the interface going to the devices such as AV/ home theater and speakers. It gives an overall good digital sound. The most exciting feature that sets it apart from the rest of the factor is the 3D. The 3D must be activated only after wearing the 3D glasses. There are options to convert the 2D images to 3D. The user can readily access the 3D tools without much difficulty, but in certain cases there are restrictions. When it is switched from one channel to other the 3D mode is disabled, and one needs to re-set that again. Even when accessing the media play, the 3D mode is deactivated. Picture in Picture function does not support the 3D mode. The 3D mode specifically attracts the younger ones at home, the user must understand that these are the restrictions while using the 3D mode and hence must not try repeating the same action. It can merely lead to complain that 3D viewing is not satisfactory. Samsung must tweak some serious technical stuff so that the moment you turn on the 3D mode all the channels gets automatically converted to that mode and the user need not get frustrated. There are particular viewing angles for the 3D viewing, if not adhered properly a good feel is not experienced by the user. There are particular options within the 3D mode such as the side by side option that puts two images at either side. The top and bottom option places one image over the other and, the line by line option displays the image on the alternative eyes and so on. Such features make the 3D viewing an awesome experience.

Features:

Plasma Technology:

The plasma technology has certainly taken a good roll against the LED lit LCD monitors.  Samsung PS50C680 uses 600 Hz sub-fields thereby giving a crisper image display. The juddering effects are not much pronounced and the scrolling text looks pretty sharper. The frame transition is made ultra smooth due to the integration of 12 subfields in each frame. The key aspects that make this plasma 3D TV highly preferred than the rest is the good contrast ratio and the wider viewing angle. Contrast ratio in plasma technology must be fine tuned with care, as artificially augmenting contrast ratio can lead to a daunting watching experience.  However Samsung’s mega dynamic contrast ratio yields a denser and more saturated colour perception that does not harm the eyes even after long watching hours. Image retention issue is noted during the initial months of the purchase, but is observed to fade away. The inherent disadvantage of plasma technology is the power consumption. As Samsung promises that with the TV there is almost 40% less energy usage than the previous model. But the black levels are not as good as Panasonic plasma technology.

3D Viewing:

As stated earlier, the 3D gimmicks will not pop up the moment the TV is switched on.

The user must tune the TV set in to the 3D mode and must wear the 3D glass. The 3D effect gives a good picture quality and astonishing real life like effect. The TV set works on 3D HyperReal Engine facilitated with Super 3C realisation technology. This gives an excellent picture quality even when a 2D image is converted to 3D. However, on continuously watching the 3D effect with the glasses can be bit overwhelming. A good 3D effect requires condition such as darkened environment as light obstruction between the 3D glass and the 3D emitter can marginally reduce the effect. Particularly the Samsung PS50C680 mesmerises the user while watching the sports channel or any wildlife channels.

Connect and Share:

In the Samsung PS50C680 it is possible to connect the digital cameras and can get an enlarged view of pictures and videos. This would be a good experience for the user, because photo previews are normally not seen is such wide screen. Hence getting a good peek in wide screen can give good guidance as whether to print the picture or not. The wide screen provides details about grains, image noise, if at all if there is any. The TV also supports music collection, so it is an ultimate multipurpose entertainment choice. The user can do the afore-said functions by connecting the USB cord to the TV.

Anynet+

The Anynet + features smartly replace the usage of multiple remote access control for several devices at home. But the only requirement the equipment connected through HDMI must be Samsung compatible. If this is the case, then this feature gets a good score among users who constantly replace the remote access.

Performance:

Colour:
The colour gamut produced on the TV screen captures the user’s attention. Even if the reception is poor from the source, the in-built selective filter greatly reduces the transmission errors and gives good and sharp images. The cinema smooth and the movie mode alter the image clarity to upgrade to the level of watching it in big screen. The colour temperatures are attempted to achieve an equivalent movie effect. With the Plasma technology behind the screen, the TV unlike its 3D LCD competitors need not bother about the colour quality. It definitely exceeds the latter, nevertheless Samsung has included Wide Colour Enhancer feature. This technique saturates each pixel count, thereby attaining a natural luminescence effect. So it is needless to say as why the picture quality in this TV exceeds expectations.

Standard Definition:
Compared to its predecessor model, Samsung has revamped certain colour adjustment features in the Advance setting mode. The user can adjust the screen depth (black tone) to 3 different levels such as dark, darker and darkest. It is possible to calibrate the picture using the expert menu. Adjusting the hue colour and standardising the range of colours is well handled by Samsung PS50C680 in the standard definition mode.

High Definition:
The Full High Definition mode brings real good image clarity than the conventional HDTV. The concept of viewing HD is given a good boost by providing rich and vivid colour delivery. The HD surely exceeds the performance of previous HD model TV’s and is worth every penny invested to purchase the set.  The High Definition mode is even applied to any standard DVD being played. The BD Wise feature available in Samsung’s disc players is integrated in to the TV. Hence it can automatically detect the best resolution applicable to the disc. The process does not take much time and can put the user in a much comfortable position rather than fiddling with the setting for optimal resolution.

3D:
The 3D performance is filled with vibrancy and especially users will definitely enjoy pictures like Avatar and Alice in Wonderland. Watching a football game gives a real feel to the user similar to sitting in the arena and watching the game. The colour depth is decent and Samsung has particularly taken good care to minimize the physical annoyance caused by 3D viewing. However a continuous view time of 2 hours will not hurt the eyes. Again this is subjective and varies as per the user’s age and limiting physical conditions. But sometimes it is a bit of inconvenience caused with respect to the 3D optimisation time taken, once when the TV is switched on.  The 3D viewing can be disturbed in the presence of electronic devices used along with the 3D glass.

Crosstalk Noise and Screen Burn:
Samsung PS50C680 is equipped with digital noise filter facility. It can tactically reduce the analog noise produced as a result of low quality reception. The image noise occurring during transmission is effectively minimised thus producing crisp pictures. Occasionally some users complain of a buzzing crosstalk noise created while viewing in the 3D mode. The 3D technology is not been completely evolved or researched to bring the best in the TV set; it is still under the development phase. Samsung clarifies that the noise is created due to the malfunction of 3D emitters or panel board and sometimes even the infrared hindrance caused by the 3D glass can also be a trouble maker. Under such circumstances, prior to plunging in to the service, it is advisable to check the cable connections. Sometimes if it is not properly connected, colour distribution will not be smooth. Leaving aside such trivial occurrences, the overall rating is remarkably good for this product.

Sound:
Samsung has done a good job in improving the sound quality in the plasma TV family. In a seamlessly perfect piece such as the PS50C680 TV, the sound effect makes the user just to gaze the screen even if it is for longer hours. Embedded with the SRS theatre sound, it consists of special features, namely “amplify” that can selectively increase the intensity of high frequency sound for hearing impaired individuals. Occasionally sound echo occurs due to the variation in decoding speed between the main speaker and the audio receiver. The remedy to this is to set the TV to the external speaker source. The drawback in that setting is the limited sound output and it is not possible to mute the function. On the positive side it supports the Dolby digital plus and Dolby pulse sound output and the sound quality adequately meets the user expectations.

Warranty:

Samsung PS50C680 Plasma 3D TV comes with  one year warranty for parts and labour.

Verdict:

Samsung PS50C680 3D plasma technology based TV has lots of goodies to cheer the customer’s entertainment value. The TV can be connected to the LAN setup and permits the user to access the internet. Provided with a Samsung wireless LAN adapter, wireless networking is also possible. Samsung has made efforts to control the environmental impact caused by the Plasma technology. It has attempted to reduce 40% power consumption than the previous year models and the raw materials used in the plasma technology is more eco-friendly. This feature sets it apart from the competitors.

3D is the most attractive aspect and it gives a promising performance. Despite of few synchronisation issues of 3D glass with the emitter, the user can enjoy the 3D effect to the fullest especially during a sports sequence. The TV is a good value for the money invested.

Samsung PS50C680 Plasma Screen 3D TV – Technical Specification Table

Manufacturer Samsung
Model Name Samsung PS50C680 3D TV
Model Number PS50C680
Colour Black (Blue Black Gradation)
Dimension (without stand) 1214.5 x 732.5 x 71mm (W x H x D)
Stand Type Quad
Swivel Yes (Left & Right-20 & 20)
Slim type Normal
Technology Plasma
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixel
Picture 3D Hyper Real Engine
Wide Colour Enhancer Yes
Number of Colours 18 bit  Natural True Colour
Dolby Digital Plus and Dolby Pulse
SRS SRS Theatre Sound
Sound Output and Speaker Type 10Watts x 2 and Down Firing
Speaker Type VGA (640X480)
Samsung 3D Available
Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) Available
Auto Channel Search Available
Auto Power Off Available
Auto Volume Leveller Available
BD Wise Available
Other Features Game mode, Sleep Timer, PIP, Digital Noise Filter,
Power Saving, Screen Burn Protection,
DTV Reception and DTV Tuner Built-in
Peak Luminance Ratio 70%
Eco Mark Planet First
Eco Sensor Yes
Input and Output Audio Out L-R (Mini Jack)-No
1 x Component In (Y/Pb/Pr)
1 x Composite In (AV)
1 x Digital Audio Out (Optical)
1 x DVI Audio In (Mini Jack)
Ethernet (LAN)-No
1 x Headphone
4 x HDMI (v1.4 with 3D, Audio Return Channel)
1 x PC Audio In (Mini Jack
1 x RF In
2 x USB
1 x CI Slot
2 x Scart
Accessories 3D Glasses, Batteries , Power cable,
Remote Control ,Instruction manual, Vesa Wall Mount
Warranty One year

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Leave a Reply