Samsung PS51D6900 review
51in, Freeview HD, analogue, 1,920x1,080 resolution, 3D: yes, 4x HDMI
For this review we tested the 51in model in the D6900 range (PS51D6900), but it's also available in a 59in screen size (PS59D6900). That model has identical specifications except for its dimensions and power usage. We're confident that image quality will be practically identical across the range.
We’ve seen several Samsung TVs this year, but they’ve all used LCD panels. We’ve got nothing against LCD technology, but when it comes to image quality it’s difficult to beat a plasma set, especially in films. As Samsung’s current mid-range plasma TV, the PS51D6900 is a reasonably priced way to improve the picture quality of your home cinema setup, as well as add new features such as 3D support and SMART TV content.
A 51in diagonal screen size might sound unusual, but you still get a standard 16:9 image that’s large enough to fill most living rooms – it’s just a shame that the sizeable screen bezel is larger than that on Samsung’s LCD models, as the plain black plastic creates quite a severe frame around the onscreen image.
There are a reasonable number of inputs on the back of the set - four HDMI ports, SCART and component video, optical S/PDIF, 3.5mm and stereo phono audio inputs, a common interface slot and two USB ports should be more than enough for most setups. It has integrated Wi-Fi, as well as an Ethernet port, so you won’t need a cable to connect the set to your home network.
The TV has Samsung’s excellent SMART HUB portal, which lets you access catch-up TV from BBC iPlayer, film rentals from LoveFilm and AceTrax, FaceBook and Twitter and a dedicated Samsung Apps store for further downloads. The PS51D6900 is well-equipped to play your own files too, with DLNA media streaming and local playback over USB. We could play almost all our test files, either over the network or from a USB flash drive, with only AVCHD files refusing to play correctly. You can also use an external hard disk to record digital TV - as the set only has one built-in Freeview HD tuner, you won’t be able to watch one channel while recording another, but it’s still handy for anyone that doesn’t have a dedicated PVR box. You'll have to format the flash drive to a proprietary format before you can use it, so you can’t access the recordings on a PC.