Samsung PN50B550 Plasma 1080p HDTV

Article Index
Samsung PN50B550 Plasma 1080p HDTV
First Look, Setup and Installation
Subjective and Objective Tests
Viewing Angle, General Usage and More

Product: Samsung PN50B550 Plasma 1080p HDTV
Provided By: Samsung Canada
Price: Find Lowest Price Online



Today we are taking a look at another HDTV from Samsung, but this time we have a Plasma unit on our bench and in the living room.  This is the first Plasma I've looked at from Samsung and I think it will be interesting to see how it compares in terms of black performance, color accuracy and refresh rate and speed when watching sports.  This is probably one of my favorite things to review as I get to sit down and watch some hockey, football and a little NASCAR as part of my job.  This TV lacks some of the add-on features of the LN40A650 - such as RSS feeds and weather, but it makes up for it with a monster 50" panel that outputs at 1080p and does very good up-scaling of Standard Definition content.

Before we really begin, let's take a quick refresher course on Plasma TV technology.

A plasma display panel (PDP) is a type of flat panel display common to large TV displays (32" inches or larger). Many tiny cells between two panels of glass hold a mixture of noble gases. The gas in the cells is electrically turned into a plasma which then excites phosphors to emit light. Plasma displays should not be confused with LCDs, another lightweight flat-screen display using different technology.


Keep in mind that there really is no back-light on a Plasma display.  The gasses that are turned into Plasma essentially emit the light.  It sounds like a futuristic sci-fi idea, but it works.

 Box of Plasma
Box of Plasma
In The Box
In The Box


The PN50B550 box is massive and should not be handled alone.  The box is actually as long as my upright piano.  This series of TV from Samsung is pretty darn heavy, and while not as thick as earlier plasma TVs, it's still pretty thick.  Shipping weight on this unit a touch over 85lbs, and that should be a consideration when choosing a wall-mount, stand and for handling.  It would be a shame to drop this unit when trying to install it.

Features & Specs:

Before we get too in depth with technical details, let’s take a quick look at the published specifications for this TV. Keep in mind that these numbers are produced under ideal circumstances and are not always indicative of real world performance.

With SAMSUNG's Touch of Colour™ design aesthetic, our feature-rich 1080 p Full HD plasma 550 Series slips effortlessly into any lifestyle. Enhancements such as 2000000:1 Mega Dynamic Contrast Ratio, FilterBright™ and 600 Hz sub-field drive, make for a television with substance—and style. Add an Energy Star® 3.0 rating, with lead-free materials, and the 550 Series becomes the ultimate television for today's discerning viewer.

Touch of Colour™ design
SAMSUNG's trademark Touch of Colour™ (ToC) design is interpreted in sophisticated charcoal grey. With its swivel base and mounted on a floating, reinforced glass stand, the 550 Series works a room like never before.

600 Hz subfields
SAMSUNG plasma TVs achieve faster, move fluid moving images due to the fact that they have more subfield per second than any other plasma. With 600 subfield in every second, they deliver images that appear seamless, smooth, and stunningly natural.

response time 0.001ms
No matter how fast the action, SAMSUNG Plasma TVs are ready to perform. The response time 0.001 ms equals to light speed that creates clear and non-blur scenes at the highest speed.

game mode
Game Mode enhances your gaming experience by providing you with smooth moving images, incredible sharpen of detail, and sound that is clear and powerful.

Connect and create your ideal home network environment with one remote control device using our Anynet+ technology. Simply connect all individual components to your SAMSUNG Plasma TV and enjoy one-touch of a world of exquisite entertainment.

USB 2.0
USB 2.0 provides an expansive entertainment environment. Simply connect any portable digital media devise to the TV via the USB 2.0 input and watch your, photos and music come to life on the big screen.

mega dynamic contrast 2000000:1
True cinematic clarity is achieved by the incredible Mega Dynamic Contrast Ratio, which saturates every image with rich detail and enhanced intensity. Capable of creating pure black and pristine white tones, SAMSUNG Plasma TV's expand the spectrum to provide colours that burst from the screen.

SAMSUNGs patented FilterBright™ technology enables you to enjoy clear images in any lighting condition. Unlike conventional Plasma which can be blurred by bright daytime light, SAMSUNGs Plasma has an advanced super black panel that absorbs external light and minimizes reflections for high picture clarity, brightness and darker black expressions.

Wide Colour Enhancer 2
The colours, perfected by nature remain vibrant and pure. Images are saturated with vivid, natural colour due to the expanded range of colour expression. By strengthening the reds, greens, and blues, you get more depth and intensity in images that might have previously looked weak, or washed out.

anti burn-in technology
SAMSUNG's Plasma HDTVs are built to last. Anti-burn-in technology uses auto pixel shift, signal pattern processing function and all white screens to ensure that no images are burned into your plasma panel.

1080 Full HD motion
With faster speeds and shorter decay times, that other manufacturer's Plasma displays, SAMSUNGs Plasma TV delivers stunning HD TV motion clarity that keeps delivering 1080 lines of Full HD resolution even in fast moving scenes like sports, movies, and games.


Short Specifications


Of all of these specifications the 2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast ratio is the most interesting.  You will notice that this number is far greater than the typical 50,000:1 contrast ratio that is typical for other Samsung LCD TVs.  The other specifications are fairly normal and there is nothing else that is particularly noteworthy.