- Flawless HD image quality, Excellent SD capabilities, attractive design.
- A few minor image quality problems in SD and via PC connection
The Samsung PS50Q7HD delivers high-end image quality at a reasonable price. This is a great unit for High Definition and does a good job for Standard Definition.
Price$ 5,499.00 (AUD)
The Samsung PS50Q7HD is a 50in Plasma display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768 and an integrated High Definition tuner. The image quality in High Definition is superb with no major problems and its ability to display Standard Definition content is quite impressive as well. In fact, across all modes, there were very few tests that this unit had problems with.
High Definition (1080i, 720p)
To test the High Definition capabilities of the Samsung we connected the Xbox 360 video game console at both 720p and 1080i to run gaming and HD video tests - both of which were displayed flawlessly.
We played Tony Hawk's Project 8 as well as Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas and found the image quality to be top notch. There was no loss of detail in the image, no noise and excellent clarity. There was some noticeable over-sharpening but this was easily removed with calibration. Most of all we were impressed with the colour reproduction and the deep black levels. Samsung LCD panels are notorious for over-emphasising the colour red but, thankfully, their plasma had no such problem.
We ran 720p HD video from the Xbox 360 hard drive which looked flawless with no noise or any problems to speak of. We also connected the Panasonic DMP-BD10 Blu-Ray player at 1080i. We used the film Into the Blue for testing and were blown away by the image quality. The clarity was nothing short of stunning with every minute detail displayed without pixilation or blemishes. If you are looking for a television to display High Definition content, the PS50Q7HD will do the job brilliantly.
Standard Definition (576i)
We also ran Standard Definition DVD tests using the Philips CE2006 Demo DVD, Digital Video Essentials and the lobby scene from The Matrix. While the results were not as perfect as the High Definition tests, they were still considerably better than many Plasma panels we have reviewed. In the Philips tests we found no real problems. The motion jitter test showed a level of jitter that was consistent with most panels and the colour, contrast and sharpness tests were all displayed without any aberrations.
The Digital Video Essentials tests revealed a very odd pixel fluctuation phenomenon that we haven't ever seen before. At about 80% amplitude, which is a pale light grey, a strange pixel crawl was noticed. It started from the left side of the grey block and moved to the right. It looked like a gravity defying fountain with pixels being spurt sideways across the panel and eventually fading out. This problem translated to noise and fluctuations in various shades of red and green but didn't impact DVD playback when watching films. While it would be preferable if it weren't there, it didn't seem to have much impact on the image during normal Standard Definition use. We also found some magenta and green discolouration in the greyscale tests, but no problems at all in the greyscale block and the black on white contrast tests.
Using the lobby scene from The Matrix we tested DVD movie playback to see if we could detect any problems or areas where the panel struggled. The Matrix is an excellent test for this due to the speed of the action, the myriad debris in the scene and the green wash that the film is renowned for. The only problem we found was a very minor stepping issue but realistically, it was so insignificant it is barely worth a mention. From a comfortable viewing distance, this isn't noticeable at all. The other aspects we test were all delivered flawlessly. There was no image noise or undue pixilation and the sharpness was excellent. Overall, this unit is excellent at displaying Standard Definition content and will be a great buy for those that love watching DVDs.
We connected the PS50Q7HD to a PC at a resolution of 1360 x 768 and, unfortunately, found a few problems when running our test program, DisplayMate Video Edition. There were no problems in the geometry and distortion tests but we found a minor vertical pixel fluctuation issue with the vertical resolution test at full resolution. The moire pattern tests also showed these fluctuations but they were far more prominent. There was also some minor discolouration in the greyscale tests but no problems at all with the colour block patterns. However, the full greyscale and 256 level grey intensity ramp tests both showed discolouration and stepping. This is not an ideal result but it also isn't that terrible either. While the image was not displayed perfectly, these issues do not translate to problems that would lessen the experience of using this panel as a computer monitor. In fact, we noticed that the level of image retention that we experienced on this model was very low, making it far more suitable for PC users and console gamers than other plasmas. We saw no signs of burn-in effect even when we left a static image on the desktop for extended time periods.
TV Tuner, Design and Sound
The Samsung PS50Q7HD comes with dual tuners which allow you to watch High Definition or Standard Definition digital television and an analogue channel at the same time via picture-in-picture. We would have liked to see two digital tuners in this unit since analogue tuners rarely look good on large, flat panel televisions, but the fact that it has a HD capable tuner at all is a big plus. In our tests, we found that the digital tuner took about two and a half minutes to find all the channels during set up and had no delays to speak of when switching between TV programs.
The speakers on this model are in keeping with the standard Samsung design and are located at the bottom of the panel facing downward. The sound they deliver is quite good, though we did experience some distortion at their highest volume levels.
As far as design goes, Samsung seems to have found an attractive aesthetic which they use across their entire product range. The Q series plasmas look similar to every other Samsung television on the market with a gloss piano black finish and a neon blue on/off button. The connection options on the rear and right side of the unit include one HDMI, two Component, two Composite, one S-Video and one VGA D-Sub connector. This selection is certainly sufficient for most users needs.
There are very few Plasma televisions on the market that can produce images as good as the Samsung PS50Q7HD. While there were a few image quality problems here and there none of them were severe. We have no problems recommending this unit to anyone looking for a large television that will play High Definition content flawlessly while also adequately displaying DVDs as well.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Acer Swift 7
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Sony shows off its new OLED and LCD TVs, video projector, and Bluetooth speakers
- Sony’s Bravia XBR-A1E OLED could be the first flat-screen TV with sound that doesn’t suck
- Say goodbye to Apple's third-generation Apple TV
- Japan gears up for 8K TV broadcasting
- NHK's latest 8K display is large, thin and beautiful
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTOracle DeveloperACT
- FTWeb BA LeadQLD
- TPIT Business Analyst (UX Design)NSW
- FTBusiness Improvement ManagerNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- CCProduct Design AnalystNSW
- FTDevOps - Web AdministratorQLD
- FTSenior Lead Developer/Architect - TelcoVIC
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTField Hardware Deployment EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Nexus 9k ACINSW
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistNSW
- TPIteration ManagerNSW
- FTSenior C# Analyst Programmer, Product & MarketsNSW
- FTTechnical Data Business AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- TP.Net Software DeveloperQLD
- CCApplication Developer - FileNetQLD
- FTGraduate Software EngineerNSW
- CCCommunications Network EngineerWA
- CCICT ManagerNSW
- FTService Desk Operations AnalystNSW