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The PS51D8000 is not Samsung's flagship TV - that honour goes to the plasma-less D9000 Series - and, in some ways, this set is almost fighting against the Edge LED TVs within its stable.
Apart from its Full HD plasma panel (complete with Real Black Filter and 18-bit Natural True Colour system), the Samsung PS51D8000 is identical to its liquid crystal brethren, such as the Samsung UE46D8000 and Samsung UE60D8000, in terms of features.
The headline grabber is Smart Hub, a collection of apps for video and entertainment, although the set's built-in Wi-Fi and Timeshift feature (the latter using a USB stick or HDD to pause or record live TV) will attract just as many.
It uses Wi-Fi to power Smart Hub, which includes apps for BBC iPlayer, LOVEFiLM, Google Chat, Acetrax, Facebook, YouTube and Blinkbox, among many, many others - it's a hefty offering indeed, with a polished user interface.
Also accessed via a Smart Hub shortcut, AVI, MKV, AVC HD, MOV and MPEG video files can be read from a USB flash drive or streamed from a networked computer (using the PC-centric AllShare DLNA protocol, which Mac users can fool by using UPnP software such as TwonkyMedia), as well as MP3 music and JPEG photo files.
The Samsung PS51D8000 is well connected and specifically designed with wall mounting in mind. Along an easily reachable side panel are four HDMI inputs, one of them Audio Return Channel-compatible, while nearby are two USB inputs.
Two audio connections also reside on that side panel - optical digital audio and a minijack for PC audio, while the bottom panel includes the RF and LNB for powering the free-to-air cable and satellite TV tuners, Ethernet LAN for hardwiring to a broadband router, and a legacy VGA 15-pin hook-up for a PC.
Adaptors are supplied in the box for RGB Scart and component video. Audio, meanwhile, is dealt with by downfiring 10W stereo speakers along the Samsung PS51D8000's slim undercarriage.
Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),