Plasma TV Guide - Plasma TV Reviews - FPT5084 Samsung Plasma HDTV Series
Review Date: November 11, 2007
 Last Updated: June 25, 2013

FP-T5084 50" Samsung Plasma HDTV

2007 Samsung Plasma TV Product Review


The Samsung FP-T5084 forms part of Samsung 1080p plasma HDTV lineup. It promises superb picture performance, offers a full range of advanced features, exhaustive connectivity, a rated 15,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, and a stylish all-black high gloss finish.

Equally important, it comes at an extremely affordable price tag for a 50-inch 1080p HDTV. But how does it stand against similar premium plasmas and LCDs?

More in this plasma TV review article.


Samsung 60-inch F5500 plasma TV  Samsung 60-inch PN60F5500 3D Plasma HDTV with Samsung Smart TV

The F5500 series shares a very similar feature set to that of the flagship for a much cheaper price tag. The reason is that it lacks the Real Black Pro panel of the F8500, and hence all of its picture performance benefits. But overall picture quality of the F5500 is very good - delivering the best value plasma TV option from Samsung for the inexpensive price.

1080p Samsung Plasma HDTV Sets
2007 Plasma TV Line-Up

Samsung's line-up of plasma HDTVs for 2007 comprises a total of 12 different plasma TVs, five of which are 1080p HDTV sets. The 1080p-resolution versions cover plasma HDTV screen sizes from 50-inch up to 63-inch. Unlike Panasonic, Samsung did not come with a 42-inch 1080p version.

We think this is a move in the right direction; we consider the 42-inch as too small a screen size to enjoy the benefits associated with the higher 1080p pixel count.

The FP-T84 series featured in this article represents Samsung's entry series into the ever expanding array of 1080p-resolution plasma TVs. This series comprises the 50-inch FP-T5084 on review here, and the FP-T5884 58-inch 1080p Plasma HDTV. These plasma HDTV sets signify a solid first effort on part of Samsung in the 1080p plasma category.

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The other sets within the 2007 line-up of 1080p Samsung plasma HDTVs have almost identical specs  to those of the 84 series. We therefore expect all five 1080p models should perform equally the same when it comes to picture performance. There are a few significant differences though. The largest set in the 2007 line-up, the  Samsung FP-T6374 63-inch 1080p Plasma HDTV comes with bottom-firing speakers instead of the side mounted speakers found on the 84 series. Other than this, the difference is just a matter of screen size, in which case, the benefits of 1080p pixel resolution would surely show up on this giant 63-inch plasma TV.

The remaining 1080p series, the FP-T94W, is a step-up version of the FP-T84. As stated, picture wise, it shares the same specs as the 1080p entry series, and therefore it should perform the same.

The one significant difference here is that the two models in the 94W series, namely the 50" FP-T5094W and the 58" FT-P5894W represent the first true wireless plasma 1080p HDTVs. Yes, that's right, the only connection you have to the plasma screen is the power cord! In other words, if you would like to wall mount your Samsung plasma HDTV, but do not want to go into the trouble of hiding those 'unsightly' cables, the FP-T94W series provides the ideal solution. Instead, all interconnecting AV cables go to a wireless hub, referred to by Samsung as Wireless Home AV Center. This media hub then connects to the FP-T94W plasma display via an 802.11N wireless link operating in the 5GHz band. The use of the 5GHz band helps avoid the rather congested air-space normally associated with the more common 2.4GHz band.

As expected, there is a premium for this wireless convenience, and a rather hefty one. Expect to pay at least $1,000 more than corresponding models in the FP-T84 series.

If this is worth paying for, depends on your exact requirements. In our case, we would surely opt for the 1080p FP-T84 series of Samsung plasma HDTVs. In particular, the reviewed model, the Samsung FP-T5084 proved to be a capable performer. Camouflaging those interconnecting cables using some surface mounted channeling solution like that offered by Superb Home Theater, would provide a cheaper alternative to the pricey FP-T94W wireless plasma TVs.

Introducing the FP-T5084 1080p Samsung Plasma HDTV

As expressed earlier on, the Samsung FP-T5084 50-inch 1080p Plasma TV represents Samsung's entry plasma into the world of 1080p-resolution plasma televisions.

It has brought about a lot of positive remarks in a number of plasma TV reviews appearing on major sites. It is also one of the few flat-panel TVs that have consistently earned a high rating from consumers at stores like Amazon and Best Buy.

While not cheap, yet with a reduced on-line price tag of around $2,300, this Samsung plasma HDTV managed to find the right balance between price, picture performance, and the hot spec of the moment... 1080p HDTV.

It is also among the top sellers at amazon, reaching a sales rank of around #400 in electronics at the time of this write-up.

This success is not just a matter of a reasonable price tag. The FP-T5084 plasma 1080p HDTV is capable of reproducing a deep level of black. Colors are accurate while the image is clean and relatively free from noise. Overall, this Samsung plasma HDTV is able to stand up against the tough competition from major brands like Panasonic and Pioneer.

Some have complained about its not so effective anti-glare coating, but in our opinion, this is not worst than other plasmas within the same category. Using this TV under controlled lighting should cure any glare problems. In any case, if you want to enjoy the very best picture that this Samsung plasma HDTV can deliver, controlled lighting is a must. Mind you, this applies to any television.

Main Features

The Samsung FP-T5084 Plasma HDTV can resolve full 1080p content thanks to a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Enhanced picture clarity with a clean image that exhibits excellent deep blacks while still maintaining exceptional shadow detail even in dark scenes.

Exhibits exceptionally natural looking colors.

The set  anti-glare coating - while not among the very best, yet significantly reduces reflections in bright rooms. Furthermore, the use of Samsung FilterBrightâ„¢, featuring a pair of internal filters that absorb external light and transmit internal light, helps increase the effective display contrast under a bright environment.

Very good contrast performance; the FP-T5084 Samsung plasma HDTV comes with a rated 15,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio.

Numerous user controls that let more demanding users zero in on the best picture settings; pre-defined system settings are pretty accurate.

Interesting styling characterized by a high-gloss black finish, chrome side trim and hidden speakers. And as with the majority of flat-panel TVs in this year line-up, this 1080p Samsung plasma HDTV comes with a swivel table-top stand.

A full assortment of digital and analog connectivity options both on the rear as well as on the side panel. These include a PC input, USB2.0 port, S-video, component video, and 3 HDMI1.3 with CEC (Customer Electronics Control) support. The latter allows the user to control multiple CEC-enabled gear with one remote control; CEC also allows CEC-enabled boxes to control each other, without user intervention.

An interesting convenience found on similar Samsung flat-panel HDTVs is the optional remote controlled motorized wall mount. Using the 'Ex Link' on the rear panel, it is possible to adjust the TV viewing angle using the TV remote control.

To top the list, this Samsung plasma HDTV comes with an intuitive remote that can also be used to control up to four other devices.

The 50-inch FP-T5084 Samsung Plasma HDTV in Detail

As remarked earlier on, the hot spec of the moment is 1080p HDTV, and in this respect, the latest advancements are related to plasma displays. The 50-inch FP-T5084 Samsung plasma HDTV is surely one of the best plasmas. Despite that at this screen size, it is difficult to discern the benefits of 1080p pixel count, yet this Samsung still remains a great example of a 1080p plasma TV.

Samsung 50-inch FP-T5084 1080p Plasma HDTV

Samsung FP-T5084 50" 1080p Plasma TV

Main Design: Overall, the Samsung FP-T5084 is characterized by a rather extra-wide design, mainly due to the use of hidden side-mounted speakers along the vertical edges. This look is further enhanced by the relatively thin border that surrounds the display panel. 

This extra-wide approach leads to a more stylish look that better suits this size of plasma than the taller look associated with the use of down-firing speakers.

Samsung FP-T5084 side viewTo complement the whole aesthetics, there is a blue accent light on the center front that can be disabled from the setup menu.

The sides of the surrounding frame consist of vertical strips of chrome that curve outwards to better conceal the side-firing speakers. These contrast nicely with the rest of the set glossy black finish.

The provided matching table-stand not only complements the rest of the set, it also allows the set to swivel by 20 degrees to the left or to the right. Having a swivel table-top stand is surely an extra bonus. With the stand in place, this 50-inch Samsung plasma HDTV measures approximately 50.8(W) x 12.6(D) x 31.7(H) inches; without the stand, the Samsung FP-T5084 measures just 50.8 x 4.5 x 28.8 inches. Overall weight including the stand is 107lbs.

Power Consumption: This Samsung plasma HDTV consumes some 410W under default settings. This falls to around 310 watts when engaging the 'power saver' mode with the latter set to 'High'.

However, further power reduction is still possible by fine-tuning the set brightness level to better match the ambient light. In other words, the key to lower power consumption is correct calibration.

Product Features: The FP-T5084 Samsung plasma HDTV comes with a native pixel resolution of 1920 x 1080. This means that it can resolve every detail of 1080i and 1080p HDTV content; other content is scaled accordingly to fit the set pixel resolution.

One might expect that this higher pixel count means a sharper picture. However, at this screen size, it is hard to discern any significant benefits of a 1080p-resolution when TV viewing takes place from a normal distance. (More on viewing distance in our TV Viewing Distance guide). The real benefit associated with this larger pixel count at this screen size is mainly one of rescaling when viewing 1080i content (since it is a 1:1), rather than anything else.

At 15,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, the Samsung plasma HDTV also comes with one of the highest dynamic contrast ratios available for consumer plasma displays. Sincerely here there is some confusion on the Samsung-USA website. At one point, the Samsung website indicates a rating of 15,000:1 while at another, the same website states a 10,000:1.

In either case, this is too high a rating and the difference between the two is surely difficult - if not impossible - for the human eye to perceive. In other words, do not let these large numbers impress you! Contrast alone does not make the picture. We are not saying that an improved contrast ratio does not make a difference, but... More on contrast ratio ratings can be found in our article: 'The Contrast Ratio Game - Playing with Numbers!

And to continue with this number game, this Samsung plasma HDTV boasts 18-bit video processing for more accurate color. This should make the conversion from analog to digital more natural when it comes to processing of video images but... does the display support 18-bit color depth?

Being so much conversant with 'numbers', Samsung would have surely specified 18-bit display capabilities for its 1080p plasma HDTV, but this does not appear anywhere on the Samsung's specs sheets.

If this is the case, then there is not really much to gain with these extra bits!

Instead, we appreciate the whole assortment of picture adjustments in addition to the usual standard adjustments for contrast, brightness, gamma, color temperature control, etc. There are three picture modes, each with its own memory for each of the inputs. This means the user can customize each input on this Samsung plasma HDTV with up to three different settings. However, it is only the 'Movie Mode' that gives the user full control of all the different picture adjustments.

Another interesting feature is the white balance control, which provides more than the usual pre-set color temperature settings. Rather, the white balance control on this Samsung plasma HDTV gives you the possibility to tweak the gain of the red, green, and blue to zero-in to the desired grayscale setting.

Other important picture control features worth mentioning include black level adjustment, which affects shadow detail, dynamic contrast adjustment on the fly, and color gamut selection, which controls the range of colors the display can produce.

A welcome feature is the automatic brightness level control according to the room ambient light level. In the auto power save mode, the Samsung uses a light sensor (positioned on the front inside the blue accent light - within the power button itself), to automatically change the set brightness to a more suitable level.

To complement this whole range of picture controls, the FP-T5084 provides a full set of aspect ratio settings or picture size adjustments for both HD and standard definition video content. There are six choices labeled 16:9, 4:3, two zoom settings, a 'Wide Fit' mode, which enlarges the aspect ratio of the picture to fit the entire screen, and a 'Just Scan' setting. The latter lets you see the full image without any cutoff when viewing HD content via HDMI.

Screen anti-burn support is an issue that is high on Samsung's agenda. Samsung here has literally repeated what it had done with the picture controls. The FP-T5084 comes with all sort of imaginable burn-in remedies that are far more than one would find on any other plasma TV.

First of all, the pixel shift mechanism is fully user adjustable in that you can set both the number of pixel shifts in the horizontal and vertical directions, as well as the time between shifts. In addition, the FP-T5084 Samsung plasma HDTV provides the user with three remedies dubbed 'White', 'Scrolling', and 'Side Gray, to reduce the effects of burn-in.

The 'white' option fills the screen with a white field while the 'scrolling' feature creates a black-to-white ramp that scrolls slowly across the screen. Both are designed to remove burned-in sections of the screen if it appears though in theory, the black-to-white ramp should be more effective. We are saying in theory because we did not experience any burn-in problems with the set on review despite displaying a static image for some 30 minutes.

The 'side gray' feature enables the user to set the side bars around 4:3 content to either dark or light.

While we believe that the use of new phosphors and pixel-shift technology has reduced the susceptibility to burn-in of the latest plasmas is close to nothing, yet it is  reassuring to have all these burn-in remedies at hand in case the need arise.

From an audio perspective, the Samsung FP-T5084 delivers a total of 30W RMS. As with most other TV, this Samsung plasma HDTV comes with SRS TruSurround XT technology to deliver good simulated 3D effect, clear dialog during playback of surround-encoded material, and improved bass response - particularly important with the set small built-in speakers.

However, overall sound quality is not among the very best - rather, we say forget the TV speakers altogether. Unfortunately, the present trend with TV makers is to use the smallest, cheapest speakers possible, not only to be able to hide the speakers for improved aesthetics, but also to cut costs. The result is sound that in no way matches the picture quality of the latest 1080p HDTVs.

Convenience features include among others, picture-in-picture support to display video content from a second source. However, you would not be able to display a second TV channel as this Samsung plasma HDTV comes with a single built-in tuner (supporting both analog and digital TV transmission).

Equally important is the supplied TV remote control. It comes with illuminated buttons that are well placed and easy to use. It also doubles as a universal remote, controlling up to four other pieces of gear (DVD, STB, Cable, and VCR).

And as highlighted earlier on, the FP-T5084 Samsung plasma HDTV features support for the optional Samsung TV Motorized Wall Mount - WMN5090AN/XAA (available as extra). This wall-mount is designed to take a variety of Samsung plasmas and LCD TVs from 40-inch up to 52-inch. All it takes is to connect the wall mount to the Ex Link on the rear panel. Then you can use the TV remote control to adjust the viewing angle vertical by up to 25-degrees and horizontal up to 60-degrees.

Connectivity: The Samsung FP-T5084 1080p plasma TV comes with a solid connectivity base. This is typical of Samsung flat-panel TVs and includes a total of 3 HDMI connectors, and side A/V jacks. The HDMI inputs are HDMI 1.3 compliant. The latter supports increased bandwidth (10.2Gbps instead of the 4.95Gbps), a wider color space thanks to the use of a color bit depth of 48 bits/pixel (this leads to a smoother HD image), and HD lossless audio formats (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio). There is also a USB port - labeled WISELINK - for MP3 and JPEG files; this port is also used when handling TV firmware upgrades.

The list below summaries the whole set of inputs available on the FP-T5084 Samsung 1080p Plasma HDTV:

Inputs and Outputs

Quantity

Remarks

Rear

Side

HDMI (19-pin Type A)

2

1

HDMI 1.3 compatible with CEC support

Composite (AV) - RCA Phono

1

1

RCA Phono x 3 each.

S-Video (4-pin mini-DIN)

1

1

 

Antenna In

2

Nil

One TV + one cable

Component (Y/Pb/Pr)

2

Nil

 

Ex-Link

1

 

Connect this to the jack on the optional motorized wall mount
bracket to adjust the TV viewing angle
using the TV remote control.

PC Input - Video

1

Nil

15 pin HD D-Sub

PC Audio In

1

 

Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm

USB 2.0

Nil

1

 

Digital Audio Out (optical) - TOS

1

Nil

 

Headphone Jack

Nil

1

Mini-phone stereo 3.5 mm

Performance: The Samsung FP-T5084 1080p Plasma HDTV is an excellent performer, and deserves a place among the best 1080p plasma HDTV sets. And this irrespective of the 'number game' referred to above and that unfortunately has become so typical with most TV makers.

In other words, it is not the large numbers associated with certain technical specs like contrast ratio, pixel count, and video processing bit-depth that makes the Samsung FP-T5084 a great HDTV. Rather, it is the set overall superb image quality with its accurate primary colors, deep shade of black and good shadow detail even in dark content that makes this HDTV capable of delivering one of the best pictures around.

However, there are a few things we did not like. We already hinted that its anti-glare screen is not among the best, despite that the set do manage to maintain a good contrast level even under a bright environment. Yet you will need to use this set under controlled lighting if you want to enjoy the very best in image quality that this Samsung plasma HDTV is capable of.

The Samsung de-interlaced 1080i video-based content correctly but as with most progressive based displays, it did fail to de-interlace 1080i film-based material properly. On the other hand, this Samsung plasma HDTV did engage 2:3 pulldown quickly when set in Film mode.

Handling of standard definition 480i content is not among the FP-T5084 best capabilities even when using the set component video inputs. However, the Samsung is still capable of resolving every single detail; overall image is relatively soft.

Similarly, the set did fail to smooth out moving diagonal lines, although video processing is relatively clean from noise. Overall, noise reduction did work well; a medium setting is generally required to deal with shots involving a lot of motion.

Also, the set grayscale while not exactly linear, is still pretty accurate and overall, it compares well with similar premium plasma HDTVs.

Conclusion

The FP-T5084 1080p Samsung plasma HDTV is capable of delivering a very good picture, with accurate color decoding, deep shade of black, and a relatively accurate grayscale.

Overall, this is one of the best flat-panel TV sets among plasmas and LCDs, and is worth considering if you are after an affordable 1080p plasma HDTV. In addition, the many picture settings found on this Samsung plasma HDTV would surely enable you to zero in on the best picture for your liking. Having so many user controls is an added bonus for the perfectionist looking for the best picture setup.

While we did not review the other 1080p Samsung plasma HDTVs within the same category, namely the 58-inch Samsung FP-T5884 and the 63-inch Samsung FP-T6374, yet we expected these to perform very much the same. This in view that except for the minor differences indicated in our introduction, all models share the same specs sheet.


Thanks to their stylish design and solid picture performance, the Samsung FP-T84 series and their bigger brother, the FP-T6374 Samsung plasma HDTV, should prove to be among the most popular 1080p plasma HDTVs  with those customers looking for premium performance at a not so premium price tag.




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