I spoke to Samsung and they said that they only use a US based vendor for parts, and that no panels are outsourced. Can this be isolated to this model only? I asked specifically about the 8550.
I just purchased a brand new Samsung UN65H6350 from Amazon.com. I had looked at this set at BB, Sears and Costo. This set at BB looked fantastic!. Costco looked very good and Sears looked alright. To my horror I found out that Samsung outsources panels to three companies. Sharp, AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics. They state all meet the minimum specs for their sets. All use different panel technology and pixel structure. The set I bought looks nothing like the sets at BB, Costco but in line with Sears. I took my trusty Samsung remote to each location and changed the settings to match my own and still the same conclusion. Checked the versions on the back sticker and behold BB display had a Samsung panel, Costco had a Sharp and Sears had my panel, a AU Optronics panel. AU Optronics and Chi Mei are from Taiwan. Called Samsung and they did not deny that outsource their panels but since the tv works that they could not help me. They did say they would pass on my concerns to the upper management team. Called Amazon to see if they could pull a TS01, TH01 or a TH02 version from their warehouse. Of course they could not. I talked to a industry expert yesterday and he told me that Samsung sends only sets with Samsung panels to raters and also all of the set displayed at CNET have Samsung panels inside of them. What does that tell you? This is my third Samsung tv and I am not happy. After researching my other sets, they had Samsung panels and both blow away my new set. I had no idea they did this. I would not have purchased this set from Amazon but would have gone to a local retailer and find one with a Samsung panel. Sending back the set to Amazon.