Usability

Initial set-up is simple, though we were irritated by the need to completely repeat the whole process when trying to re-tune digital channels in a new location.

A four-minute software update download was necessary before this review.

Freeview HD is well handled, with schedules for six channels over two hours on a page below a thumbnail of live TV and a short description of each programme.

Samsung PS60E6500 Review

Graphics are hi-res, nicely nuanced and use impactful colours.

The remote control itself is excellent as a piece of hardware.

Large number buttons are up top, with a clearly labeled 'HDMI' button for accessing whatever is attached to the HDMI1 input – probably a Blu-ray player.

Samsung PS60E6500 Review

We do like the Smart Hub logo as a shortcut to apps, as well as the matching titanium-like plastic finish and how it feels in the hand, though it's not as responsive as it could be.

Some backlighting would be handy, too – this is a serious plasma TV that is likely to be used by those with home cinema ambitions.

Thus it will almost certainly find itself being used in a blackout.

The PS60E6500 is also media-savvy, though arguably this side of its character isn't as slick as on LG's current crop of TVs.

USB recording is a nice option, as is the option to pause live TV if a USB stick is inserted (a 2GB stick ought to give you around 50 minutes of pausing), but digital file handling is a little cumbersome.

It's great being able to stream AVC HD, AVI, MKV, MOV, MPEG4, WMV and WMV HD video, MP3, M4A, lossless FLAC and OGG music, and JPEG photos, but it's all a bit too manual.

At least USB-housed material is instantly located and displayed as thumbnails.

It's also possible to access media files stored on the remote cloud storage service SugarSync.

That's good news for owners of Samsung's Galaxy S3 smartphone, which also has AllShare Play feature, though personally we'd like to have seen Dropbox integration.

Sound

Audio is rarely a flat TV's strongpoint, though the extra girth of the PS60E6500 ensures a better-than-average performance.

It's still not got anything on a soundbar, let alone a home cinema set-up, but there's noticeably more low end; dialogue sounds full and rounded, with even movie soundtracks coped with reasonably well.

Value

Feature-packed as it is, the PS60E6500's list price of £1,899 is relatively good value for such a monster-sized screen.

Even though we found it online for a shade over £1,600, you'll struggle to find many plasmas to match the PS60E6500 in either size or price.

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Panasonic does make its TX-P65VT50B, but that's five inches bigger (that might not sound much, but it's measured diagonally, so means roughly a 17% increase in screen area) and thus goes for a much higher price – £3,499 was the lowest we found.

The PS60E6500 is also bigger, and better value – in terms of price – than its Edge LED equal, the 55-inch UE55ES6800 (£1,900).

It's also worth bearing in mind that the PS60E6500 comes with two pairs of Samsung's slinky, lightweight SSG-4100GB 3D glasses, which is more than can be said for all but the flagship VT50 Series of Panasonic's plasmas. What's more, they cost a mere £15 each.