What with all the hoo-ha Samsung creates around its LED TVs, its plasma offerings often go unnoticed. Every now and again, though, the company cooks up a cracking plasma telly at a bargain price, such as last year's . This year's follow-up model, the PS51D6900, looks just as good on paper, but how does it perform in reality?
This 51-inch, 1080p, 3D-capable plasma TV will set you back around £1,000.
The 51-inch screen size may be a break from the norm, but Samsung has once again come up with an attractive TV. The brushed-metal effect on the narrow bezel looks sexy and the transparent lip that runs around the outer edge of the TV is thoroughly charming. It's not quite as impressive as some of Samsung's super-slim LED offerings, but it's still one of the better-looking sets around at the moment.
With four HDMI ports, as well as a wealth of other connection options, including Scart, component and composite, you should have no problems connecting up set-top boxes, games consoles and other bits of kit to this TV. But it's worth noting that, like many of today's slimline models, the Scart and component connections are made using small adaptor cables.
The TV also has two USB ports and integrated Wi-Fi, so you don't have to use the Ethernet port on the rear to hook it up to your broadband router.
You'll certainly want to make use of this set's Internet features, as they're among the best in the business. The TV includes Samsung's new Smart Hub system, which brings the Internet features, electronic programme guide and settings menu together in a single location. The menus are beautifully presented and the range of Internet services is top-notch.
Along with the all-important iPlayer support, you can also access on-demand movie-rental services like LoveFilm and Acetrax. The TV supports social-networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Picasa too, and there's an app store from which you can download plenty more content.
Along with its Internet features, the PS51D6900 can also play a range of different digital media files, either across a network or via USB drives. We tried it with some DivX, Xvid and hi-def MKV files and all played back without any problems.