While 1080p LCDs are nothing new, "Full HD" plasmas have only started to come on to the market this year. The new PS50P96 from Samsung is designed to redress the balance and make us fall in love with that glorious gas.
Samsung has added a whole bunch of features also intended to improve the viewing experience. Firstly, it is using a technology called "Ultra FilterBright" that is designed to reduce reflection on the screen in bright viewing conditions. In the past, plasma screens have been criticized for being too reflective, so it's nice to see Samsung trying to reduce the problem.
Samsung is taking complaints about the sound quality seriously, too. We've often grumbled about flat panels in terms of the sound they produce--there is rarely enough bass to make watching movies on the built-in speakers a pleasant experience. The PS50P96 attempts to improve this by adding something called 2.2 sound, which adds extra depth to the low-end effects- handy if you prefer Bruce Willis action movies to watching repeats of Moonlighting.
The TV also features a mode called "Movie Plus," which aims to reduce film judder by adding extra interpolated frames to make movement appear more fluid on the screen. This is great if you're not a fan of the way movies look on TV. It's not for everyone, though.
As usual with Samsung TVs, this screen has a decent array of inputs, including three HDMI sockets, component, Scart, composite and even VGA in--you won't struggle to hook up everything that resides under your TV. The P96 has a list price of 2,200 pounds (about $4,406), but it's possible to find it online for just 1,600 pounds (about $3,204). Check back for a full review soon.