"Great picture quality if you don't mind a few things..."3.0 starson by fergville
Overall picture quality
A lot slimmer than most
Samsung's customer service is timely and painless
Cons: Flashlight/Clouding issues (aka uniformity)
RF interferance with some remotes
Samsung's firmware updates
Summary: The picture on this thing really is quite spectacular as long as you can find a firmware update that suits you. The colors are great and the blacks are some of the best you can get in an LCD. I will say that as the firmware upgrades have progressed, the black levels have seemed to degrade slightly. It's not that big of a deal though.
It's easy to set up and has plenty of connections for what ever you want to throw at it.
My gaming experience hasn't been that bad on it. Some people say that it's laggy or doesn't do a good job, but in my experience it's done quite well.
The panel is nice and thin and looks very elegant sitting on its glass pedistal. Even though it's got a glass coating over the panel for contrast enhancement, it doesn't seem to reflect too much light from windows etc. I have mine situated directly across from a large picture window, and have had no issues with light reflecting off of it and making it difficult to watch.
There are some issues, however.
There do seem to be some uniformity issues known as clouding. Clouds seem to appear in dark scenes and can be quite distracting. It can present itself anywhere on the screen but is stationary. In fairness, though, this can only be seen in dark scenes at night, with the lights off. For some this is no big deal because they won't typically be watching tv in these conditions. But for someone who likes movies and likes to watch with the lights off, it can be very annoying. I have a feeling that this is an issue with every a850 set. I'll be recieving my 3rd set in the next few days trying to find the golden ticket. But my hopes aren't up.
There are known interferance issues with some remote controls. While ours (digital cable remote) isn't completely blocked out, there is noticable performance degridation. We will often have to press the button several times before the signal takes. Samsung does have a fix for this that requires a technician to come to the house and replace parts inside the TV.
Firmware updates have not seemed to help much with the uniformity or RF interferance problems. Samsung's website (at the time of this writing) doesn't actually have one for download either. I assume that they're working on another one, but we shall see.
On the upside though, if you have issues with your TV, Samsung's customer service is very easy to navigate and is very helpful. I've never spent longer than 10 minutes on the phone from dialing to hanging up. They have always been willing to send technicians to or replace the set.
This TV would be getting 5 stars if I didn't watch a lot of movies at night. The clouding issue is just too annoying for me in those conditions. If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably get an a750.