"Choice" is undoubtedly a value proposition for the Samsung PS63P76FDX 63in flat-panel plasma display - some would say too much of it.

The 63in Samsung PS63P76FDX flat-panel plasma display's design and features allow it to be used in business as well as consumer environments.

Given the Samsung PS63P76FDX's huge form factor, we could see the PS63P76FDX being used in a large company boardroom - for instance - for presentations, video conferences, and to display corporate footage.

The Samsung PS63P76FDX's rear panel offers a couple of options for connecting a notebook or desktop PC. You could either use a D-Sub cable to connect the PC In jack on the display with the PC - or an HDMI-DVI cable (not included with the display) to link the HDMI In port on the display with the PC output jack on a computer.

We used the first option to hook up an HP Pavilion dv6636nr notebook PC to the Samsung PS63P76FDX (the onscreen menu allows you to select the external input source). We then used the notebook's remote to move through various programs on the PC.

Our experience was mixed.

While the image from our laptop displayed clearly, the colours were a far cry from vigorous and brilliant shades on the laptop's screen. To route PC audio to the Samsung PS63P76FDX, again there are two options - either using a PC Audio Cable or a "3.5 mm stereo to 2 RCA cable".

The drawback is that none of these specialty cables were included with our package - with is a pity. With a price tag of around £4,799 inc VAT you would think Samsung would throw in all the necessary cables.

On the consumer front, given the price, it's clear the Samsung PS63P76FDX isn't for everyone.

But assuming you've just got that big Christmas bonus, and feel inclined to splurge on a big-ticket plasma display that really makes a statement in your living room - the Samsung PS63P76FDX may be one of the items you should check out.

From a consumer perspective, "choice" is arguably the most compelling feature of the Samsung PS63P76FDX. It's a TV/display that includes everything... well nearly everything.

The Samsung PS63P76FDX's connectivity options - for instance - are many and varied:

The Samsung PS63P76FDX has multiple internal tuners - ATSC, NTSC, and clear QAM - and is therefore capable of handling any TV signals you receive. And in addition to all the standard ports you would except on a high-end display (HDMI, component, S-Video, composite) the PS63P76FDX includes a few special inputs - including a WiseLink USB jack on the side panel.

Vivid picture

After the rather disappointing experience with the images from our HP laptop, we tested how the Samsung PS63P76FDX handled video input from other devices.

So we put the Samsung PS63P76FDX through its paces, checking out picture quality using various media, a variety of external video input devices - including a Samsung second get Blu-ray player and a Sony DVD player - and multiple connectivity options.

We also did the tests at various times of the day, and each time the Samsung PS63P76FDX came through with flying - or perhaps we should say, vivid - colours.

Expectedly, quality was best when we played Blu-ray Discs at 1080p - hooking up a Samsung second gen Blu-ray player to one of the HDMI inputs on the Samsung PS63P76FDX TV.

One of the movies we watched this way - Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto' - had won a couple of awards for "best cinematography". (Gibson had filmed Apocalypto digitally, using the high-definition Panavision Genesis camera).

Viewing the panoramic forest footage, and the scene where captive villagers are led through the river (shot using a Spydercam from atop a 150ft waterfall) was pure pleasure.

This time the colours were vivid, images sharp and beautifully nuanced. According to Samsung, the technology that produces these brilliant colours on the Samsung PS63P76FDX includes:


  1. 1. 18-bit processing
  2. 2. A 15,000:1 contrast ratio
  3. 3. Samsung's Ultra FilterBright technology - that in addition to eliminating "noise" and glare works to enhance colour and contrast
  4. 4. The new DNIe (Digital Natural Image engine)

The DNIe function has to be activated. When it is, there's a perceptible difference in visual quality.

In addition the Picture Menu includes and Active Color option - which when turned on displays stronger and more vivid colours.

Colors and hues also display well in broad daylight, which is another positive feature of the Samsung PS63P76FDX.

The Samsung PS63P76FDX also features an "auto-pixel-shift" technology from Samsung that prevents picture "burn-in". This function that can be accessed from the onscreen menu.

The pixel shift feature is particularly important if the Samsung PS63P76FDX is used play a lot of video games. Many a plasma screen has been ruined by status bars and other stationary game elements - and thankfully you now have a way to avoid that and protect your investment.

NEXT PAGE: audio quality, bells and whistles and our expert verdict > >

Adequate sound

The Samsung PS63P76FDX includes a pair of 15W stereo speakers, which Samsung says is capable of SRS TruSurround XT sound. That would be adequate, if you're not too particular about things like sound depth and richness.

But if you have multichannel home theatre system, we suggest you get your audio from that.

While the Samsung PS63P76FDX's internal speakers are fine for casual TV viewing (for instance), they certainly won't meet the expectations of an audiophile.

Bells and whistles

While most consumers would use the Samsung PS63P76FDX to watch TV or play video games, you have the option of doing many other things the Samsung PS63P76FDX as well - such as viewing pictures, or MP3 files from a USB memory stick.

The Samsung PS63P76FDX's side panel includes a WiseLink USB port that allows you to connect a memory stick with MP3 files or pictures.

When we did this the MP3 files played well (and sounded surprisingly rich on the 15W speakers), and the image quality was quite good.

Also while it took around up to 30 seconds for the first picture to display, thereafter hitting the forward button on the remote produced the next image almost immediately.

Samsung PS63P76FDX: Specs

  • Display format: 1080p (HDTV)
  • input: analog coaxial(RF), Component Video, Front/Side HDMI, Front/Side RCA Composite, Front/Side S-Video, HDMI, SCART, VGA
  • output: audio - digital optical, audio - Line Out (3.5mm mini), SCART, variable/fixed audio
  • aspect ratio: 16:9
  • resolution: 1920x1080
  • Freeview (DVB-T) tuner
  • HDTV compatible
  • 1000 cd/m2
  • 63in screen
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • broadcast formats supported: 1080i (HDTV), 1080p (HDTV), 480i (SDTV), 480p (EDTV), 576i, 576p, 720p (HDTV)
  • vertical viewing angle: 175 degrees
  • horizontal viewing angle: 175 degrees
  • picture in picture: Single Tuner PIP
  • comb filter: 4-Line Digital (3D Motion Adaptive)
  • remote control
  • included components: speakers, stand
  • SRS TruSurround XT
  • 87kg
  • 423x1,528x1,087mm
  • 1-year warranty
  • Display format: 1080p (HDTV)
  • input: analog coaxial(RF), Component Video, Front/Side HDMI, Front/Side RCA Composite, Front/Side S-Video, HDMI, SCART, VGA
  • output: audio - digital optical, audio - Line Out (3.5mm mini), SCART, variable/fixed audio
  • aspect ratio: 16:9
  • resolution: 1920x1080
  • Freeview (DVB-T) tuner
  • HDTV compatible
  • 1000 cd/m2
  • 63in screen
  • 16:9 aspect ratio
  • broadcast formats supported: 1080i (HDTV), 1080p (HDTV), 480i (SDTV), 480p (EDTV), 576i, 576p, 720p (HDTV)
  • vertical viewing angle: 175 degrees
  • horizontal viewing angle: 175 degrees
  • picture in picture: Single Tuner PIP
  • comb filter: 4-Line Digital (3D Motion Adaptive)
  • remote control
  • included components: speakers, stand
  • SRS TruSurround XT
  • 87kg
  • 423x1,528x1,087mm
  • 1-year warranty

OUR VERDICT

When used in a corporate context, the versatility of the Samsung PS63P76FDX - it's ability to connect to many different external devices - would be an advantage. For consumers the £3,750 price tag is not a figure to be sneezed at. But when you consider that it's a 63in plasma display that includes such a broad range of features and the video quality (except when it comes from a PC) compelling, the PS63P76FDX certainly worth considering if you're up for a big ticket purchase. Another point to factor in when mulling over price is that this model incorporates power-saving technology. In essence, a light sensor helps you adjust to one of three brightness levels, while also being able to detect changes in the light and adjust the brightness on the fly. Samsung claims this feature can reduce power consumption by up to 25 percent, which is pretty substantial when you consider how much power a plasma display of that size would typically suck up. As they teach you in business school these days, you need to focus on total cost of ownership.

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