Samsung PN51E6500 Review

51" 3D Plasma HDTV with Smart TV

Samsung PN51E6500 Plasma TVThe PN51E6500 will add 3D and a full web browser to its feature set along with built in Wifi. The picture quality is excellent as is the value offering. Picture quality from these Samsung Plasma TVs such as the E6500 is very smooth and gives you very much an experience akin to being in the theater. These are the best TVs on the market for the movie buff bar none. The features lacking in the E6500 are the Smart Interaction features, which you may or may not care about (they are softly rated).

Picture Quality: 8.8/10

We love the picture quality on the PN51E6500 plasma. Colors are rich and beautiful and detail is good enough without suffering any strange edge enhancement effects. You get most of the top picture quality characteristics and features on this TV including the All Black Filter that is on the two top tier Samsung Plasma Panels. The only feature not in this panel is the more louvered screen filter which adds some anti reflection technology. The side viewing angles which are perfect. The picture brightness is somewhat dim (by design) so best for low light rooms. That is one of the only drawbacks of the picture. The price is also excellent and value runs deep in this model.

Black Level and Contrast

The PN51E6500 has Samsung's new All Black Pure Filter, this is new technology for 2012 available exclusively in Samsung's top tier plasma televisions. The All Black Pure Filter improves the contrast and black levels over previous models by 10%. The increased black levels do not hamper shadow detail and you can see every fold in a dark shirt or all the detail in a dark scene.

Color

The All Black Pure Filter's primary purpose is to increase black level and contrast but this has an effect on the color performance of the E6500 as well. Putting a color next to a stronger black makes the color "pop" more and the stronger black levels improve overall color rendition. We've always felt that realistic color was a strong point with Samsung's plasma televisions and the E6500 is no exception.

Samsung E6500 Series Plasma TV
A shot of Julia Roberts from the Blu-Ray of Mirror Mirror shows a dimmer but accurate picture on the Samsung PN51E6500

3D Viewing

Put on Samsung's improved and lighter weight 3D glasses (2 pair come included) and images jump off the screen or sink back into it, the full HD active 3D delivers 1080p images to each eye with stunning clarity and detail. The 51E6500's 3D performance is improved over the previous year models with less cross talk an none of the blurry corners in the screen.

Features Rating: 8.5/10

As mentioned above the Smart Interaction and touch pad remote control are not included with the E6500. So what I say. Those features really do not add that much value if you ask me. The touch pad remote is a little hard to use, and the Interaction features are a little gimmicky.

Built in Wifi and Web Browser

The Wifi and Web Browser that are built in the E6500 are a true value and something you will use often and seamlessly that gives you the true flexibility of the entire Internet on the E6500.

Appearance

The PN51E6500 has a 1" wide brushed metal, matte charcoal black bezel that is very nice looking and a little thinner than last year. We liked it last year and it's slightly better this year. However, there is a big improvement in the depth in the 51E6500 which surprised us with its super slim 1.5” in depth – a feature normally reserved for top models.

Internet Options and Connectivity

Samsung Smart TV
Samsung's Internet Apps Games section includes more options than other manufacturers. Whether or not these games appeal to you is another matter. Texas Holdem is the most popular. Sodoku is next.

The Smart TV feature has been expanded for 2012, the E6500 has access to the app store which has grown to over 1500 apps. There are apps ranging from social media to streaming video and even games you can play on your TV. Stream video from Netflix, Amazon Video on Demand, Hulu, Vudu and more. Stay updated on the latest news, financial numbers, sports scores and the weather and new for 2012 on mid tier models: surf the web on the inlcluded full web browser.

The E6500 has built in WiFi so there is no need to run extra cable to get your plasma television on your home network.

Value Rating: 9.5/10

The PN51E6500 does the same excellent job from a value perspective that its predecessor did. If you have a darker room environment, this TV delivers a great picture without some of the features (Smart Interaction) that add so much to the cost of the TV while still getting 3D and the full Smart TV suite and built in Web Browser and Wifi. It's a value set that many will miss due to not knowing how superb these picture qualities are. LG's new plasma offerings in the same size are a good comp as is Panasonic's TC-P50ST50. The price for this plasma is around $1247.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Quick Specs

  • 1080p Full HD
  • 3D Compatibility
  • Smart Hub
  • Full Web Browser
  • Includes 2 pairs of 3D glasses

Dimensions


TV without stand: 47.0"W x 28.1"H x 2.2"D
TV with stand: 47.0"W x 31.7"H x 12.2"D



Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Anthony never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...