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I'm an ardent admirer of plasma displays - have been since I first affixed my gaze on a Pioneer KURO HDTV, oh these many years ago.
The dependable deep blacks and rich colors rendered by plasmas are a luxurious delight to my eyes. I'm pleased to report that the Samsung PN60F8500 ably upholds the KURO tradition.
Indeed with the 2013 video technology of the new Samsung Super Contrast Panel with the Real Black Pro filter - and I say this with all reverence to the KURO - the picture quality surpasses the KURO.
With that statement, I'll leave the discussion about the picture quality of Samsung's F8500 plasmas. Just don't get me started on the sad fact that plasma TVs seem to be a dying breed.
As for 3D performance, it's top notch. Like most 3D TVs, to compensate for the reduction in brightness caused by the active shutter 3D glasses, the Cell Light and Contrast settings are pushed to the maximum by default. The result is a sharp, bright and richly colored image.
The 3D illusion is striking, especially if you sidle up close to the TV. That arrow that Merida shoots comes right at you.
The active shutter glasses, even with the battery, are extremely lightweight and comfortable, but I find that the constant shuttering fatigues my eyes.
Also, the glasses are still pricey. Four pairs of glasses are included in the box.
I was pleasantly surprised with the audio quality emanating from the PN60F8500's integrated 10W + 10W speaker system. The volume is adequate for a small room, but if you crank it too high, the speakers will complain.
Samsung does supply a few audio adjustment tools that allow you to shape different sound effects. If you really wish to fiddle, the Sound Customizer feature guides you in calibrating the sound and then creating custom sound profiles.
Be that as it may, you really need to pair this 60-inch beauty with a high-end sound bar at the very minimum and ideally a dedicated 5.1 or 7.1 or 9.1 audio system that would create an immersive audio environment.
The Samsung PN60F8500 plasma, with its combination of stellar picture quality and overflowing features, ranks right at the top of 2013 HDTVs and earns our Highly Recommended award.
It might be more TV than some may need and as always, I wish it were a little less expensive, but if you are in the market for a no compromise HDTV, then start by looking at the F8500 series of Samsung plasmas.