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Samsung 58″ Class (58.0″ Diag.) 500 Series 1080p Plasma HDTV

Posted by tomwiles at 12:28 AM on January 13, 2011

A few days ago I made a trip to my local Best Buy store and ended up walking out with a Samsung 58” 500 Series Plasma HDTV. I’d gone into the store thinking if I left with anything, it would most likely be an LCD HDTV. However, after spending quite a while comparing picture quality and prices on the massive number of sets covering the big-box store’s back wall, I happened upon the Samsung model PN58C500, a 58” Plasma.

This Samsung Plasma has an absolutely stunning picture, rivaling the best high-end LCD sets that cost two and almost three times more. The PN58C500 sells for $1,197.99. I happened to have a “Best Buy Rewards” coupon for 10% percent off of any HDTV set costing $750 or more, and the coupon did end up applying to the PN58C500. My final price, including our rather high local sales taxes, ended up being $1,147.

There’s no 3D circuitry, but that’s not a problem for me since I consider 3D TV’s (as well as 3D movies) to be a useless gimmick. The PN58C500 has Samsung’s “AllShare DLNA Networking” that allows the set to connect to computers and DLNA servers running on your home network to stream HD video via Ethernet. I’ve also got a Mac Mini, as well as a Western Digital HD Live Plus media player attached directly to the set via my surround sound receiver/switcher.

The PN58C500 has a useful variety of video formatting modes to easily cycle through via the remote control that facilitates getting the right picture format for the particular video you are watching or device you are watching it from. It has 3 HDMI inputs, and is a thin 2.8 inches thick.

The remote control seems to be a bit touchy, needing to be pointed at the set to ensure that remote control commands register. Also, the built-in speakers seem to fire out of the bottom, but the volume levels are more than loud enough to be usable.

If you are looking for a new big-screen HDTV, you can’t go wrong buying this set considering the price versus value. I cannot over-stress the absolutely stunning picture quality this set produces.

4 Comments

  1. From Angelo at 7:03 am on January 13, 2011

    Samsung makes some great TVs, but I do have one word of caution regarding DLNA feature. Our Samsung 42″ TV with DLNA would randomly reboot when connected to our network. We found that the DLNA server provided in Windows 7 through Windows Media Center was causing the problem. If you have any Windows 7 computers connected to the same network as your TV, you may want to disable the DLNA server in Windows 7 or simply disable/uninstall Windows Media Center on those computers.

    There is currently no way to disable DLNA in the Samsung TVs.

  2. From Andrew Darlow at 3:01 pm on January 13, 2011

    Hi Tom:

    Great overview, and I must say, the pricing is amazing for such a quality TV. I just did a written overview of Western Digital set-top boxes on Pixiq.com and was curious if you’ve uploaded any still images to the TV yet. Also, how is the finish of the screen? Would you call it matte, anti-glare or mirror-like (like the iMac/iPad)?

    All the best!

    Andrew

    Andrew Darlow
    Editor, ImagingBuffet.com

  3. From tomwiles at 9:56 pm on January 13, 2011

    Andrew:

    Glad you enjoyed the overview. This TV’s picture is nothing short of spectacular. I haven’t had a chance to play any still images on the set yet. It does have a USB 2.0 input.

    The finish of the screen is comprised of a single piece of glossy, flat glass. Screen reflections are not a problem in the room I have it in.

    TOM

  4. From tomwiles at 8:20 pm on January 14, 2011

    Angelo,

    That’s great to know. I don’t have any Windows 7 computers, but nonetheless it’s a good thing to know if any odd behavior on the Samsung TV’s part should crop up.

    The integrated DLNA feature is a nice thing to have integrated right into the TV, however I’ve also got the TV connected to a Western Digitasl HDTV Live Plus that also does a great job of working with DLNA servers. I’ve got two DLNA servers on my home network — Playon TV and Eye TV. Believe it or not I’ve also got a DLNA server I can activate on my HTC Evo Android smartphone.