Samsung PS50P91FHX (50-inch Plasma TV) - First Look

Samsung PS50P91FHX (50-inch Plasma TV) - First Look

Like a forgotten child, the new Samsung PS50P91FHX would have gone under our radar if not for a tipoff from vigilant home theater buffs. Probably the company's first response to its competitors' full-HD entries, the P9 is easily one of the sleekest and most handsome-looking panels in the market. Many are also attracted by its aggressive pricing, tagged at S$5,999 (US$3,946.71) a set, which is just hundreds of Singapore dollars higher than Hitachi's P50X01A price champion.

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The crown jewel of Samsung's plasma offerings, the PS50P91FHX has a future-proofed 1,920 x 1,080-pixel panel. This gives it raw power to reproduce the full glory of Blu-ray and HD-DVD content without compromising on details unlike the lower-end HD-ready models. Though it lacks the trademark deep blacks of the Pioneer Kuros, this Samsung beats all other comparable makes by a high 15,000:1 dynamic contrast. Another interesting bit is the TV's internal 18-bit color-processing capability. This has the effect of enhancing color reproduction in what its designers claim as "true-to-life" hues.

For those who own a suite of A/V equipment, this 50-incher is also well-endowed with an extensive array of inputs. At the top of the echelon are three all-digital HDMI terminals with Anynet+ (HDMI-CEC) and 1080p50/60 conformance. One of these is accessible by the side, ideal for new-gen HD video cameras and laptops. Speaking of computer usage, its PC input is 1080p-enabled, too. To further value-add, onboard multimedia support is catered for by the familiar Wiselink function. Implemented via a high-speed USB 2.0 port, it readily accepts inexpensive storage media for JPEG and MP3 playback as well as future firmware upgrades.

Nowadays, Samsung has the apparent habit of sharing the front bezel design among its panels. It's not a bad move, especially if your S$5,999 (US$3,946.71) TV is closely modeled after a five-figure flagship equivalent. In particular, we like the set of seamlessly integrated touch-sensitive controls that glow in white. This backlit treatment is also favorably extended to selected key remote buttons, sparing you the guesswork under dim viewing environments. If these are not enticing enough, there are many other appealing touches. These include stealth speakers, a slim-and-glossy frame and a matching funnel-shaped swivel desktop stand.


Compared with most similar full-HD plasmas, this is probably the second model following the Panasonic Viera PY700 to ship without 1080p24 HDMI support. Though we have yet to witness a visible improvement in picture quality for this film-centric format, many purists and videophiles will swear by A/V equipment of such caliber. If you think this is a bad call, wait till you check out its dual component-videos. These are far from ideal, compatible up to humble 1080i signals only. In other words, you will be locked out from realizing the full potential of 1080p software and hardware such as the latest Halo 3 and original Xbox 360.


The Samsung PS50P91FHX is a pleasant surprise from a company deeply entrenched in LCD TVs. Yet it's an encouraging attempt from the Koreans that has generated online buzz and a tipoff leading to this preview. Performance-wise, we doubt it will hold up against the lusciously black yet ridiculously pricey Pioneer Kuros. Nevertheless, when it comes to the X factor, we are sure nothing else comes close to around the same price. Performance or aesthetics? It's your call.