Samsung  Ps43f4900 43-inch Hd Ready Plasma Tv
Product Code: Samsung  Ps43f4900 43-inch Hd Ready Plasma Tv
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3D TV hasn't really taken off in the way that many people expected it to. In the past few years, it's mainly been early adopters or the hardcore cinephiles who have forked out for what most people still consider to be a novelty.
The catch is that you still have to wear glasses to get the 3D effect, which most people are happy to do at the cinema but bulk at doing while at home. Which is a shame, because in many ways, watching 3D on TV is more effective than in the cinema. And since 3D TVs first came on to the market about four years ago, the prices have come down substantially, making them a very viable option if you're in the market for a new TV.
Several companies – Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and LG – now make a range of 3D TV models. The Samsung PS43F4900 43-inch HD-Ready 3D Plasma TV, which sells for £409.99 at Argos, is one of the better 3D TVs I've come across.
The set itself is a good looker as flatscreen TVS go, and it's slim at just 55mm deep (the screen measures 101cm by 62cm). It weighs in at just 14kg, which makes it pretty easy to handle when setting up. Also easy when setting up are the on-screen instructions, which make getting this TV up and running a breeze.
In the rear, there are two HDMI ports and one USB port. These days, two HDMI slots really isn't enough – almost every device you would want to connect (video game console, Blu-ray player, Freeview/Sky/Now TV box) needs HDMI, so this is a bit of a negative. But it's not a disaster, as multi-device HDMI switches are available.
What of the screen itself? It's a pretty good one. Standard resolution is 1024x768, but it will play back up to 1920x1080. It does come with built-in Freeview HD, but missing is the Samsung Hub. It does offer Media Play though, which lets you control the TV form Samsung phones and tablets. The screen also features Black Optimiser and 600Hz motion rate, which minimises motion blur in action scenes. It's a sharp, clear picture with great colour balance and black definition.
This model Samsung uses active-shutter glasses for the 3D. This means they are battery operated, and the right and left lenses open and close in alternate sequence to produce the 3D image. (As a sidenote, cinemas tend to use passive 3D technology, because the glasses are cheaper.) The Samsung glasses are probably the best 3D glasses I have worn – they compare favourably with the glasses they use at IMAX cinemas. The are comfortable to wear, and very lightweight. But the best feature is that they sit comfortably over regular glasses. It makes watching a 3D movie a joy – you barely notice that you are wearing them. Until glasses-free 3D TVs actually become a viable option, you probably won't get better than these.
To test the TV, I watched the 3D films Top Gun, Star Trek Into Darkness, Iron Man 3 and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. All the films looked wonderful, the 3D being just as effective as it was in the cinema. In some instances it was better, because active 3D does tend to be better than passive. I do recommmend having low light in the room for watching 3D – it does enhance the effect. The Samsung TV also allowes you to convernt normal 2D television to 3D. It's an interesting effect, which seems to work best with panel shows such as the BBC's QI and Channel 5's The Wright Stuff. It also works quite well for sport.
As 3D TVs go, the PS43F4900 is incredible value for money. For a mid-priced set, you'd be hard pressed to find better.