Pros Cool design, plenty of connections
Cons Contrast is almost too dark
Summary When I made the plunge into HDTV and purchased the Samsung 5053, I didn't take into account one important thing - the new DirecTV requirements for HD. Although a DirecTV customer for 7+ years (only dual LNB), no one told me you needed to change to a 5 LNB receiver in order to get HDTV. Although DirecTV offered to do it for free, it turns out that I did not have a clear enough line of sight for the new 5 LNB dish. That meant I had a choice, either return the TV and keep DirecTV or convert to Comcast. By the time I found that out, it was to late to return the TV so I converted to Comcast. Let me say that I am satisfied with Comcast but it just does not offer the same variety of programming or quality of transmission that DirecTV does. So if you have DirecTV and you want to keep it and add HD, MAKE SURE you can receive a signal from all 5 satellites before you make the investment. As for the Samsung 5053, initially we were not happy with it as it was WAY to dark with to much contrast. I don't know if it took awhile to burn in, if I finally got it adjusted correctly, or if we just got use to it, but now we are very pleased with the picture. In HD it is spectacular (especially channels like Discovery HD) but with regular broadcasts, it is not as good as the picture I use to get on my 36" CRT via DirecTV. I'm guessing that's because DirecTV is all digital. The bottom line is if you can get the 5053 for under $2,500 (I got it for $2,300), it is well worth considering.
Cons Cnet's Review/Rating
Summary Maybe cnet should get some real people to review there products instead of these A/V super geeks! this samsung is by far the best H.D. for the money it is rated much higher by just about every other source out there "Most bang for the buck" is what sound & vision mag said! Comcast search by rating shows samsung 5053 #1 of all tv's "flat panel". I would never pay 10,000 dollars for a t.v. or 5,000 for that matter. If you looked at sets costing four or five times as much as this samsung I'm sure you could find a close up in Bourne Supremacy where the grey scale was perfect whatever that means. But who cares! This set should be at the top of your list if you compare features,Panel life,picture and price the samsung 5053 comes out on top.
Pros glossy frame, picture, deep black, inputs, price
Cons black artifacts in some movies but not all
Summary I had spent months comparing plasma TVs between Panasonic, Pioneer (great but out of my price range), Vizio, Hitachi, and Toshiba. I didn't even consider Samsung when I heard about the false contouring problem with the dark/black background in scenes.
On Black Friday, I was determined to purchase the Vizio due to its price and CNET reviews but actual visual comparison at Circuit City narrowed my choices narrowed to Panasonic, Hitachi, and Samsung. Vizio was cheapest but picture was too soft with only 10bit video processor. Samsung was aesthethically beautifully designed (looks great even when turned off)and it simply displayed beautiful picture. Plus, it was $1,799 with free financing(That's at least $700-1,000 cheaper than price you will find now for any good 50" plasma.). My friends have Panasonic plasmas, but I noticed that it can look posterized at times or looks overly saturated...its video processor doesn't seem to handle as many colors.
I did notice the false contouring issue while watching "The Cave" and was quite annoying; however, I had also watched Sin City, Miami Vice, and many other movies with dark scenes without any issues. I don't see the issue 99% of anything I watch. I also used a calibration disc to dial in my picture settings and I can only say that I am very happy with Samsung. Make sure you use at least an upconverting DVD player cause it will look a bit grainy after regularly watching HD.
"Great Value"on by jumper_3187
Pros Incredible Picture and Stunning performance
Cons Limited information
Summary I am very inexperienced in what constitutes a good HD picture or poor. I am however very happy with this the picture and and the performance of this TV and the price was very economical for the size and quality. It was very easy to set up and worked wonderfully right out of the box. With any type of HD service the picture is just phenomenal.
The manual less a lot to be desired. Not being a technical junky there are a lot of abbreviations that make no sense to me and not a lot of detail to help a novice fine tune the TV. If your looking for a great plasma at a decent price this is the TV for you.
Pros Great picture, easy to use
Cons Warranty is sub-par, heavy (get a good wall mount), only 2 HDMI inputs, slight noise
Summary We really enjoyed this TV, bought it in 2006, it died in 2010. It seems the X-Main board went out on it; but the Samsung (Lakes Electronics) repairman wasn't 100% sure. The total cost for repair at this point was $530.00, barring any additional issues after installation of the new (and possibly refurbished) X-Main board. We decided not to repair the TV because for an additional $869.95 we could get a new one, one that could possibly last longer than 4-years and a larger screen size. Plus we didn't want to get into the possibility of having a most costly repair if the X-Main board wasn't the issue.
Bottom-line is that as a consumer in today's big screen market environment, I believe that these devices should last longer than 4-years. As such, we have decided that Samsung may not be the manufacture for us going forward and have been hearing a lot about Panasonic; we are leading to them for replacement of our Samsung big screen plasma, we are looking at the TC-P54G25 Viera, we can pick one up for $1,399.95.
In my ever to be so humble, I think that if a manufacture truly believes in their product, they should offer a longer warranty period and/or offer an extended warranty for a reasonable fee, not the absorbent fees being charged today.
In closing, we loved the TV, hated the short lifespan and the repair costs.