- Bright picture, 10000:1 Contrast Ratio, accurate colour reproduction
- Slow response when selecting video input source
One of the best options for consumers looking for a high quality image and large display size.
Price$ 4,999.00 (AUD)
Controversy rages in the consumer market about the merits of buying an LCD or a plasma television. The general consensus seems to be for cosumers to sit back patiently and wait for LCDs to become cheaper. Although this may prove to be a wise decision in the long term, some buyers are in the market for a display today, and at this moment plasma still seems the best option for quality images at screen sizes of 42" or larger. In fact, there are still a couple of plasma's that will give future LCDs a run for their money, one of which is the Samsung PS42S5H.
Samsung's 42" PS42S5H plasma display has some impressive specifications, including a 10000:1 contrast ratio and reproduction of up to 549 billion colours. This is quite outstanding compared to the advertised specification of most LCD's, often closer to the 500:1 contrast ratio and 16.77 million colours. While this sounded very impressive, does Samsung's display live up to its specifications?
Firstly,, the design of the display is simple and doesn't distract from the display panel. We have reviewed quite a few displays which come in tacky shiny silver enclosures, and luckily this is not the case with the PS42S5H. The speakers are located at the bottom of the display, and offer two 15 watt stereo outputs. Video/Audio input is located at the back and includes 2 component inputs, HDMI and 2 S-Video inputs. This provides connections for up to 3 HD capable devices.
After configuring the display, (which was a rather simple task), the user interface was revealed to be intuitive and functional. We connected a variety of devices, including a HD capable set-top box and a DVD player to test out this unit. The display is capable of 720p pictures natively, as well as VGA input up to 1024 x 768. When using the panel as a computer monitor, we found the text was clear and crisp. Scaling has been avoided on this wide screen aspect monitor, by reducing the width of the image displayed. When viewing 4:3 sources, users will notice black borders on either side of the image. This can be stretched to full screen, which distorts the image, or the top and bottom can be cropped to fit full screen. This was not an issue when watching native 16:9 material, such as a DVD or standard definition or high definition TV broadcasts.
The image results were impressive. The colours were rendered very accurately, skin tones and colour gradients seemed very realistic and this lives up to the colour specification of 549 billion colours. The contrast ratio, once again, was also outstanding. We were able to distinguish landscapes in dark scenes, of which we had not seen in other LCD panels. Some earlier Samsung plasma's have been known to have noticeable video and audio sync problems but this 'lag' was not detected at all in the PS42S5H.
We only encountered a couple of minor disappointments with the television, and these included the video source swapping process and some noise reduction technology issues. When flipping through video sources, the TV is slightly unresponsive, and this can be quite annoying when trying to flip between a DVD player and a set-top box. Even though this a finicky complaint, we did not find this to be an issue at all with Samsung's LA32R51B, which seemed to use the same user interface.
Samsung have created an excellent plasma television, capable of rendering HD input with immaculate results. We experienced seamless colour renditions, impressive contrast ratio and a minimal and elegant design. The price is quite average for plasma displays, although we hope to see a drop in prices due to the popularity of LCDs, and this makes Samsung's display an even more viable choice.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Gadgets & Things
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Sony’s Bravia XBR-A1E OLED could be the first flat-screen TV with sound that doesn’t suck
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
- Japan starts 8K TV broadcasts in time for Rio Olympics
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Best phone of the year 2016
- TV of the year award 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBrand Marketing Manager - Premium Entertainment BrandNSW
- CCJunior Project ManagerQLD
- CCService ManagerACT
- CCAutomation Test Analyst - Geospatial and Industrial EnterpriseVIC
- FTLead/ Senior .Net DeveloperVIC
- CCEnterprise Solution Architect - Customer Experience PlatformsNSW
- TPBusiness/Data AnalystQLD
- CCNetwork Design EngineerACT
- CCProcess Specialist - short contract, asap start!VIC
- CCProject ManagerNSW
- FTTechnology Testing Co-ordinatorVIC
- TPTechnical Change AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- FTFull Stack Web Developer - UI/UX - .NET or JAVANSW
- CCArcSight Security Engineer - Contract - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPMS Dynamics Post Implementation BAQLD
- CCPeoplesoft SpecialistACT
- FTLevel 2 Service DeskNSW
- CCProject Manager - Location Management Program - TelcoVIC
- FTSecurity IPS Engineer - Permanent - IT Services - SydneyNSW
- TPSenior Business Analyst - Travel and Expense Management SystemQLD
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCTechnical lead (Informatica MDM)Other
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- TPLevel 3 Systems EngineerWA