Pros Good sound, great 3D
Comes with two pairs of glasses
No detectable motion artifacts
Great picture adjustment controls
Amazing price for a TV this size with the features it has
Cons Screen glare
No analog audio output
Summary Let me start off by saying, I don't always review products I have purchased, but when I do, they have usually blown my mind. The PN59D550 is no exception, Mind = Blown. I bought this TV November 19, 2011 and I've had ample time to get a feel for the set. This is my review.
I spent months on the internet doing research on Plasma vs LCD/LED and decided on Plasma for my needs (moderate gaming, lots of movie watching). I was lucky to catch this unit on sale with a two free pairs of 3D glasses and I couldn't be any happier.
Once I unloaded the set and opened the box, I was quite astounded by the sheer size of this 59" set. Seeing it set up in store is one thing, but looking at this beast on the floor of my rec-room I couldn't wait to get her up and running. The aesthetics of this particular model are top notch. The bezel is sleek and modern looking and very pleasing to the eye. The set itself is very slim for a plasma set. Now to address some internet inaccuracies, some sites claim less than 4 HDMI ports on this model, but there are actually 4 HDMI ports on the back; however, two are on the "side" of the unit... not more than an inch from the "back" ports. So, to recap, there are actually FOUR (4) HDMI ports. Don't let the internet fool you on this.
It took no time at all for me to get the set mounted on my TV stand and hooked up to my Uverse Box, Xbox 360, and Sony 3D BluRay player (BDP-S570). The picture quality straight out of the box was amazing to say the least when hooked up to my Uverse HD box. As awesome as the picture was straight away, I decided to dial the contrast down to below 50 for the first 150 hours. Now, if you do research on the internet, there are two schools of thought with regards to the need to run 100 - 200 hours of a break in period in order to age the phosphors evenly, and whether or not the new plasma sets are susceptible to Image Retention and Burn In. Some say that the new sets don't suffer from IR/Burn In at all, while there are many forum users who swear they have already noticed IR/Burn In due to static images being displayed for too long. I decided to err on the side of caution and only run full screen HD movies on BluRay, HBO, or any source that doesn't have a static image anywhere on the screen (no logos, or black bars on the top/side). At night and while I wasn't home, I found that "break in slides" which are just 20 slides of different shades of White, Red, Blue, and Green running in a loop from a USB drive, helped me to get through the first 150 break in hours.
Once the first 150 hours were behind me, I searched online for optimal picture settings and adjusted my set accordingly. All I can say is WOW. I'm constantly blown away by the OUTSTANDING picture quality, depth of color, and the way the TV handles fast action with sports (no motion blur whatsoever). The images really do pop off the screen, and I continually can't wait to watch more bluray movies on this TV. The 3D wasn't really a feature I had to have, but I'm glad I decided to go with it. This set displays true 3D content flawlessly and I'm constantly amazed at the 3D images. The set can also convert regular 2D images to 3D. We found this feature to be surprisingly good. The wife broke it in with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Pt 1 and she thought she was actually watching the real 3D content, not just the 2D conversion to 3D.
Now to address a few of the "issues" that I've read about in doing my research; the sound, glare, heat, buzzing, and fluctuating brightness (brightness pops).
Sound: To start with, the Sound is just fine unless you are some sort of audiophile. I would give it a 4.5 if I were rating that in it's own category. To be honest though, if you are buying a TV of this size and quality, you are going to upgrade to surround sound to get the greatest home theater experience. Just don't expect the sound from this set to blow your socks off right out of the box.
Glare: The Glare on this set is definitely noticeable, but again, if you've done your research you'll know that many of the plasma sets in this price range are going to have the glass screen with no anti-glare filter, so you can expect to see a little glare from windows or lamps that are in front of the TV. In my case, I have a very light controlled room that this TV resides in, so the glare is negligible. If your room is light controlled, then the glare won't be an issue for you either.
Heat: The amount of Heat the set puts off is only noticeable if you are standing 2' or closer to the screen, so it's not like a "space heater" that I've seen some reviewers compare it to. I'd mark this down as a "non-issue" as well.
Buzzing: The Buzzing/Humming had me a little concerned at first, but I have pretty sensitive ears. When the TV is on with no volume on, you can definitely hear a buzzing/humming sound coming from about 2/3 of the way up on the screen. I don't know if I would consider it a buzzing sound as much as I'd consider it a high pitched frequency sound, almost like one of those iPhone or Android apps that you can change the level of the buzzing sound.
It's my understanding that all plasma TV's have issues with buzzing one way or another, some louder than others. While sitting directly in front of the set, approximately 12 - 13' away, I can hear it only slightly if I'm REALLY listening for it. It almost seems that the buzzing is only in a certain 'zone', as if you keep your head at the same level and move around the room, it's like you walk into the buzzing then walk right out of it. When the TV is on at moderate volume (volume value 10 - 12 or higher on the set) the buzzing sound isn't noticeable at all. The buzzing is something that will depend on the user and their hearing sensitivity. I never mentioned the buzzing to my wife just to see if she noticed it on her own, and she has yet to bring it up. Your results may vary with this "issue".
Fluctuating Brightness: Lastly, I have noticed the Brightness Pops/Fluctuating Brightness that people talk about on the message boards and in reviews, but they were so slight that I had to REALLY watch for them. They were mostly noticeable in the first 50 hours of viewing. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the picture settings I've used, but I haven't noticed any of the brightness pops lately.
All in all, after weighing the amazing picture and overall look of this TV against the "issues" mentioned, I'd say that I am 100% completely satisfied with my purchase and I don't think I could ever turn back from plasma and their outstanding picture quality. Hopefully this review will help you make the right decision on your new TV purchase!
*NOTE, I suggest you have to check for best deal before you're will buy it at: Dealsfine.info/pn59d550/
You won't be disappointed with this set!
Pros Bang for the buck! Does what it is supposed to do. BIG, good sound, great 3D, comes with two pairs of glasses, great picture adjustment controls, attractive dark glass bezel as opposed to cheap plastic, light weight, etc...
Cons Screen glare, may not be suitable for some extreme sun mounting locations. Acceptable in my bright two story living room and west facing wall.
Summary Bought a mid-grade LED for $2,100. Sure the picture had more "pop" but even after making all the adjustments; athletes running (esp baseball players running in the outfield) had a haze around them, even a little off center viewing turned blacks into grays, had to turn off the 240Mhz due to jutter, did not include 3D glasses, etc. all unacceptable for a TV over $2k. This mid grade plasma was $1,600 at Best Buy and included 2 pairs of glasses and blows away the equivalent grade LED. You will not be disappointed.
Pros Network connectivity, DLNA compatible. Great picture. great Price. 3D Blu-ray is amazing,as well as Direct TV channels. Envy of all my friends. Can stream movies and pics from my phone directly to TV.
Cons No smart TV apps. Some reflection in bright light, but you can brighten the settings and you're good to go. Glasses are expensive, but the word is Samsung is dropping them to $50 this month ( don't quote me on that).
Summary Must have, if you're in the market for a TV. If you need apps, use PS3 or capable Blu-ray player.
Pros See summary
Cons See summary
Summary This is a review for my Samsung PN59D550, and let me say, that I LOVE this TV. Hands down, best TV that I have seen at any home (media room) and it's all mine! Yes, I'm sure that you could spend twice as much and get the Samsung 8000 series and be more impressed, but unless you are a pro, you'll never notice the difference without the 2 TV's side by side.
I brought it home and hooked it up to HDMI feed through my PS3, and started to put on different material to test it out. Tried "Dark Knight", and "UP" and the colors on this thing are outstanding. Blacks are extremely good as well. I was always so used to my LCD's that I didn't really know how good plasma's blacks can get. I do have a dedicated media room though with blacked out windows, so take that into consideration. Also I played a little Uncharted 2 for the PS3, and almost brought a tear to my eye......
This thing is the best TV that I have ever owned. I have owned 2 DLP's, a few LCD's, and some of the old Sony Bravia CRT's. All of which I paid almost double what this TV cost me. Funny how electronics seem to get cheaper and better each year?
The only thing that buyers should be aware of is that this has a pretty reflective screen. This could be a problem in a bright room, but since I have a dark room, I prefer the glossy glass.
I was able to tweak the settings a little bit, and it only gets better. I have not experienced anything that others have mentioned about "floating blacks", pixelation, or contrast and brightness pops. I have only had it for a day though. I am currently breaking in the set with the color palettes from AVS forum, and will then do an AVIA calibration. I have noticed that on the color palettes that show up, that my screen is completely uniform (no bright, dark, or odd colors), which is something that I cannot say for both of my LCD's. I may do an update to this opinion/review later, but right now, I could almost just leave it on Standard out of the box and be pleased.
I was considering both the Panasonic 55ST30 and the LG 60PZ550, and after deliberating and researching for over 2 weeks, I went with the Samsung. I was not able to compare the Panasonic ST30 and this TV side by side, but when I was able to find it in store, it seemed that the Panny was not as colorful, or as sharp as this one. I always turn the sets to Cinema to compare as the settings are horrible when using Dynamic, or Vivid settings. Panasonic past plasmas and in-store reps kept pushing me towards the Panasonic, but I just couldn't convince myself that it was better than the Samsung D550. Maybe if the Panasonic were the same size, and came with glasses then it would have been a tougher decision, but happy I went with the Samsung. The LG just seemed inferior to the other 2 every time I looked. I was trying to convince myself to go with LG because it was cheaper, larger, came with 2 glasses, and I think internet apps, but the picture quality just wasn't there for me. I think it had a better Anti-Reflective screen than the Samsung, but that was about it. Colors didn't POP, and when watching some HD content, noticed that blacks and other dark scenes were grainy. The Samsung came with 2 free glasses, and although I think 3D is kinda cheesy, why not get $300 worth of glasses that you can use if you want.
All together, I think the Samsung PN59D550 was a great purchase. Great color POP, good blacks, really good in a dark room, and so far no issues.
If you will buy this TV I suggset you have compare prices before you decide at: www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004MN8I0A?ie=UTF8&ref_=dp_olp_new_map&condition=new#?ie=UTF8&tag=***************&********=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957
Pros Picture Quality, Size, 4 HDMI, Easy setup. Great price. Includes a pair of 3D glasses.
Cons 3D is just ok. Glare- reflections are an issue.
Summary Sears has this 59inch, 550 series model for 1199 while other stores are selling the 59inch 530 series for the same price. This tv has 2 extra HDMIs (4 total). On reviews of the 530 (I couldnt find on this model), sound quality was an issue. Well this model is solid. I dont feel any reason to go out and buy a soundbar or surround sound system. The picture is amazing! I previously had a 46 inch samsung LCD and its just no comparison. Out of the box, I used the Dynamic setting, and the colors were great. The 3D is ok. I watch TRON and it was ok, but not sure there is enough of a difference for me to pay the added cost of a 3D Blu Ray.
Only thing that definitely could be improved is the light reflection. I ended up adding a thicker curtain to sheild out light. I realize this is an issue for plasmas but some models have matt screens that prevent the reflections.
I connected the TV to a PS3 and didnt try connect it to the internet directly. It lacks smart TV capabilities.