The 50in, plasma Samsung FP-T5084 scores with a combination of good performance, reasonable price and competitive features.
The Samsung FP-T5084 offers pleasing colours and sharp picture detail in a sleekly designed cabinet. Moreover, this 50in plasma HDTV has an affordable price.
Colours in high-definition scenes were luxuriously rich. An HD scene revealed bright, natural colours and realistic skin tones. Jurors watching 'Corpse Bride', a colourfully macabre animated film, gave the Samsung FP-T5084 a high score for the vivid tones and detail that it reproduced. Standard-definition quality was slightly above average; a standard-definition baseball game had well-saturated oranges and turf greens, with fine detail in dark areas and minimal pixelation.
The Samsung FP-T5084 offers a slew of adjustable settings, including RGB gain and offset controls in the White Balance section of the OSD menu (for fine colour temperature controls), and separate pink, green, blue, and white settings in My Colour Control.
You also get Samsung's DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine), which combines noise reduction, colour enhancement, and motion processing to make pictures look sharper. With DNIe enabled, images did look a bit sharper, brighter, and more colour-saturated - unnaturally so, we thought. In the Blu-ray version of Phantom of the Opera, we preferred the TV's presets, such as the default Standard and Movie modes.
The Samsung FP-T5084's clean lines give it a stylish look, highlighted by a glossy black bezel and thin chrome accents on the left and right sides. The screen could use a better antireflective treatment; reflections from the room became distracting during some dark scenes. The speakers, located on either side of the TV, are far from the best. In 'Phantom of the Opera', audio seemed brassy and a bit muddled.
It's not the most cutting-edge or full-featured HDTV set, but the Samsung FP-T5084 scores high overall because it is inexpensive, well designed and a solid performer.