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Samsung PS50A556 50" Plasma (Full HD)
I purchased my A556 plasma in October 2008, after receiving a credit note for my last faulty plasma which was written off.
The A556 is a 5 series plasma, offering full 1080p HD technology on a 50 inch screen.
The screen has a piano black finish, which looks stunning. At the footer of the screen is a glass trim with a small ice white LED glow located at the centre. To the right of the panel, are 5 'Touch' buttons for On/Off, volume up and down, source and menu. There are no buttons, you simply rub your finger across the writting, and the function works. That's 5 ugly buttons neatly removed from the screen.
There are plenty of connections to the rear and side of this plasma including - Composite, Component, RF, VGA, HDMI (x3), S Video, digital audio, SCART (x2) and WISELINK. They are all located to the right hand side of the panel (if looking from behind).
There are 2 cable ties / brackets on the reverse of the panel allowing you to clip all your leads into, and keep them from looking untidy.
The 2 SCART sockets are a little close together, meaning if you have 2 bulky scarts they won't actually fit side by side, which is a problem for me.
The screen offers a 1920 x 1080 pixel display, and a contrast ratio of 30,000:1. It's brightness levels are 1,300cd/m2, which is more than enough for any lighting.
As the screen is Full HD, this means it can handle up to 1080p from any HD source (Xbox 360 / BluRay) The quality of the screen is fantastic, and the dark scenes look black, rather than grey. The colours looks vidid, and look even better in HD.
There are a few areas of the screen which look blocky, but this is only visable when less than 2foot from the screen.
I'm not one for using the on board speakers, as I tend to use a seperate sound system. However, on the odd occasion that I do use these speakers, they are great. The sound dosen't distort, and it can be played quite high.
But as with any on board speakers, there is no surround sound, or base to play with.
For the novice, the menu may look a little scary at first. Not only cna you adjust the standard brightness, contrast and colour, you can also change the cell light, gamma, and each colour (red / green and blue) there are more than 25 different options just for your picture mode.
One great feature I use and love is the ability to rename the ports on the TV. Change HDMI to 'GAME' or Scart1 to 'Cable'
It's black piano finish looks great, and in my opinion Samsung have nailed it. Their plasma tvs are one of the nicest looking sets money can buy. The in built stand can be removed if you wish to wall mount it, and it's even provided with a clip on cover to be placed over the whole where the stand would be removed from.
Now, this is also designed in a piano finish, but it looks like Samsung have made a step backwards here, with a bulky and ugly looking remote.
Fantastic TV, worth the £1k price tag and offers a great FULL HD TV at the fraction of the price of other leading brands.
A must for any serious gamer / film fanatic.