Samsung PS50Q97HD review: Samsung PS50Q97HD

The Good Size; three HDMI sockets; Freeview and HD quality.

The Bad Picture noise; only HDMI 1.3; not 1080p.

The Bottom Line Samsung's PS50Q97HD is a good buy if you want the maximum visual impact for your money. The picture isn't perfect, but it does redeem itself with better than average Freeview performance

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7.5 Overall

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If you like your TV big, then you'll be thrilled by the 50-inch Q97 from Samsung. It's a monster of a television -- big enough to make even the largest living room look like a pokey bed-sit in Acton.

We've enjoyed Samsung's large screen LCDs in the past, so how does this monster plasma measure up?

The Q97 is a pretty handsome television. It's hard to make something this large look pleasant, especially when you are talking about traditionally dark foreboding things like televisions. The Samsung manages to get some style points for its piano-black finish and funky rounded styling.

The TV doesn't have many interruptions to its smooth case. There's a power button in the middle of the TV, below the screen, but that's the only thing that breaks up the lines.

Beneath the power switch is a tasteful blue light that has three modes: you can either have it on all the time, off all the time or on when the TV is in standby mode. Once you've got over the novelty of this light, we'd recommend that you turn it off. As pretty as it is, there doesn't seem much point in paying for it to be on when the TV is supposed to be off, and when the TV is on it's a little distracting.

There isn't a huge amount to say about the remote control -- it's standard for Samsung and is average looking. It is light and fairly comfortable to hold, but it's still a little sluggish to respond to commands, and the buttons are not very tactile.

To the rear, you'll find a couple of HDMI ports, and at the side is a bonus, third HDMI input, which we are always pleased to see. If you are interested in the full list of inputs, take a look at our specifications page, where we list all the relevant connections.

The Q97 has Samsung's usual selection of picture modes. You can adjust the settings to create the best picture for your particular taste. There are also pre-defined settings, labelled Dynamic, standard and movie.

On the side you'll find composite and S-Video connections, plus a bonus HDMI input

Samsung UK is labelling its plasma televisions as 'ideal for sport' because it claims that the quick refresh time of plasma displays makes them ideal for fast moving action. This does make sense, and coupled with a high-definition sports package from Sky, this TV would be a dream come true for a football fan.

There's also a dedicated gaming mode, for getting the most out of your Xbox 360 or PS3. Again, much like the TV's suitability for sport, the fast refresh rate makes for a good gaming experience.

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