I can certainly understand your frustration. I think I can clear up some of the questions you have, and explain where some of those answers came from.
1. The WiseLink is indeed an upgrade on the A550, and is not on the A530. This feature allows you to play music and pictures on your television (slideshow, music, etc) from a thumbdrive.
2. Price difference on the website don't necessarily reflect the prices in the retail stores today.
3. Contrast Ratio. I apologize for the misunderstanding, unfortunately it is common.
We have both LCDs and Plasmas, each with a 530/550 line, so it's possibble they were mistakenly reading the specs off the LCDs while you were enquiring about plasma units.
The LN (LCD series) are in the x0,000 (Ten Thousands) contrast ratio level. Naturally, different technologies are measured differently, so a LCD contrast ratio is different from a plasma contrast ratio.
The Contrast Ratio for both Plasma panels is 1,000,000:1, across the board of our entire lineup this year, with the exception of the 410 Series.
Here are our offical spec sheets:
Both list 1,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast, so essentially, the panels should offer the same picture quality.
I'm sorry this information wasn't delivered consistently. I will address this issue with both service and our online support team.
Anytime you need, please feel free to come here with your questions.
Thanks for considering a Samsung plasma.
On the samsung website, with the exception of the USB 2.0 wiselink, there is no difference in specifications between the PN50A530 and PN50A550. However, the difference in price according to the samsung website is $800 (a530 = $1,199 vs a550 = $1,999). I called Samsung and they claim that the contrast ratio is different and he said something like one of the tvs is 30,000:1 and the other is 1,000,000:1. When I asked what the hell he was talking about (not in those words), he said his superiors had confirmed this. I also talked to someone online through live chat support and they claim that the contrast ratio of the A530 is 20,000:1 and that the A550 is 30,000:1. I then talked to someone else about the same thing and they said that the only difference was the USB 2.0 Wiselink which apparently allows you to connect your camera or MP3 player to the TV. But he claimed that the contrast ratio for both was definitely 30,000:1. I still don?t think the USB 2.0 wiselink is worth an $800 difference that is shown on their website. This doesn?t make any sense considering the fact that the specifications on the website say that they are the same. Can you help shed some light on this? Thanks